Trip Reports and Photos
The Oil Rigs Eureka and Ellen
the Sea Divers on the Sea Bass
and Photos ©
Elaine Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced
On Saturday, August 28,
2004, The Sea Divers set out for
our local Oil Rigs Eureka and Ellen on the Sea Bass. This is the story
of the groups latest adventure.
Thirteen divers boarded the Sea Bass
for the 7am departure from San Pedro. The past several months have given us
some of the best summer diving conditions that we have had in years, and, prayers
were offered that this day would be an excellent one too.
The trip out was a smooth 40 minutes.
The captain and crew introduced us to themselves and the boat, a 40 foot, 16
knot, convertible - California style. C Cards were meticulously checked - thank
goodness I had remembered to bring mine. Ocean signaling devices: sausages and
whistles were required and available for the needy, free of charge. Everyone
on board was an experienced rig diver, but, an extensive briefing for Oil Rig
safety was given anyway. Once business was over the captain and crew relaxed
for the start of a fun filled day.
One of the things that everyone noticed
was the black eye that Carol was sporting. Carol told the story of hanging in
the Kelp last weekend on her "safety stop" when she was rapidly approached from
below by a Great White. Thinking quickly, Carol turned head down and reached
out to scratch the nose of the 16 footer. As the shark immediately tamed, it
inadvertently bopped her facemask in his trancelike state. The black eye was
actually the result of the reverse squeeze caused by the force of colliding
with the mesmerized, several hundred pound fish. Kudos to Carol for her sharp
mind and fast action in the face of such danger.
Well......that isnít exactly the
real story. The real story was actually pretty mundane and boring, so boring
in fact that I canít even remember it. Anyway, everyone hopes that it gets better
Our first stop for diving was at
the Oil Rig Eureka. Sea Lions greeted our approach for the live drop off. Everyone
eagerly suited up for the first dive.
It was early in the day and the sun
was still covered by the morning marine layer, but, the 80 - 100+ visibility
and calm diving conditions made for excellent sight seeing. Sea Lions, Rock
Fish, Sheephead, Garibaldi, Opaleye, Schools of Blacksmith, and Schools of Mackerel
Jack were some of the fish that we saw.
There were lots of smiles after the
The sun grew brighter on the second
dive and the excellent visibility continued. Some divers were treated to a mola-mola
sighting, but, I missed that one.
For part of this dive I watched a
diving bird. If you look closely, I captured him in the middle left of this
On the surface interval we proceeded
to the Oil Rig Ellen.
At the Ellen, the schools of mackerel
jack were an awesome sight. I could have made a two hour safety stop here just
We relaxed on the deck for the smooth
trip home. The fold away chairs on the Sea Bass are really comfortable - when
you go, be sure to try one out. It was another fantastic day of diving for the
How did I do diving after my trips
to the chamber? Great. I spent the last month or so doing a lot of time at the
gym and walking the dog. That helped me to keep some muscles for diving. I drank
lots and lots of water before and during the dive day. I wasnít too careful
about staying "shallow", but I made sure most of the dive was part of a very
slow assent. I stayed 3 minutes away from deco and did 5 minutes plus at 15
feet on every dive. Fortunately, it all worked.
Until next time........