Trip Report and Photos
Catalina Island on the Great Escape
and Photos © Elaine Jobin,
may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced written permission.
Lobster season has officially
ended. I realize that many bug divers may experience symptoms of withdrawal
over the coming days, weeks, and months. To help ease the irritability,
lethargy, and mood swings that this time of year brings I'm posting
the dive report from the Friday night, March 12, 2004, an all night
Catalina bug fest experienced on the Great Escape. Remember, in only
six short months, you can get back out there and do it again.
On this trip, it was sort
of clear that the "end of season" frenzy was on.
The first dive was at Torqua
Springs. An easy trip down the anchor line, then down the rocky vertical
landscape, leveled off to a sandy bottom at 90 feet. Here the kelp
was laying flat in a deflated kind of mode, and, some lobsters were
located simply by pulling up the kelp leaves. A torpedo ray was also
sighted by some divers. Sheep crabs, horn sharks, treefish and Navanax
sea slugs kept me busy with my Nikonos close up kit.
Back on board the boat,
the lobster well began to fill, divers compared notes on successful
hunting techniques, and, events of this entire lobster season were
The good haul of lobsters on this dive kept most people pretty jazzed
during the surface interval, a few tried to grab some zzzzzzzzzzz.
The next stop was at Yellowtail
Point. Visibility here must have been at least 40-50 feet. Divers
dispersed to all corners of the dive site, and, light beams from bug
hunters were everywhere. Now days those new HID lights made the night
dive look a little like a special effects scene from the movie Close
Encounters of the Third Kind. Leary of space ships, I followed the
anchor chain across the sand and became amazed at how many critters
populated it in just a short period of time - kelp bass, cone snails,
a sole, and several whelks - just to name a few.
On the return to the boat
I noticed some very small crabs well hidden in a patch of red algae.
I didn't think that they were real obvious but many other divers noticed
them also. Some divers had spent part of the dive watching these little
guys, um, you know, doing it. I was not exactly sure what kind of
crabs they were.
Back on board something
like a total of 56 lobsters were counted as the total take.
This trip reminded me of
just how much I like night diving. There is a different kind of energy
in the ocean life at night. The next time I see a trip that "dives
all night", I'm signing up. For the dedicated lobster divers - don't
forget to save this seasons memories and keep dreaming of this coming