3 - 5, 2004
Trip Report and Photos
Catalina and San Clemente Islands
Labor Day Weekend on the Horizon
and Photos ©
Elaine Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced
I spent Labor Day weekend
"Diving with Arizona"; or as our BBS friend Jeff might say, "Diving
with %#&@%# landlocked Arizona". The trip was organized by El
Mar Dive Center located in Mesa Arizona. What was a Californian
doing on an Arizona dive club trip? Well.....they had some unfilled
spots, and, it was wonderful. The San Diego based 80 foot dive boat
Horizon departed on Thursday,
September 2, 2004 with only 18 divers and the crew aboard. With such
a light load, there was plenty of space to unwind and spread out for
a relaxing long weekend.
The Horizon boarded on Thursday evening
and made a night departure for the six hour trip to San Clemente Island. Prior
to departure, the waivers were signed, including the Nitrox wavers for those
wishing to turbo charge their O2, and, an extensive boat orientation was given
by the crew. Following this, most found their bunks, and settled in for what
was definitely not the smoothest channel crossing.
At sunrise we arrived at the Pyramid
Cove area of Clemente. The wind and the swells were still acting up, so Captain
Ron searched for some sheltered areas to begin our dive day. At almost every
dive site, both a bow and a stern anchor line were set. This was kind of nice
as no matter what the current or conditions were for the dive, the boat tended
to stay pretty much exactly where it had been when you left it.
Dive sites at Clemente on Friday
included Arrowhead, Calico Cove, and Pacific Palisades. There was a night dive,
but I sat that one out. Diving conditions at San Clemente were less than optimum,
and on some dives visibility was only about 40 feet.
On Friday night the boat traveled
to Catalina Island in search of some better diving conditions. At sunrise on
Saturday, we awoke to a beautiful scene at Ship Rock. After Ship Rock we dove
at Eagle Reef and Isthmus Reef.
At Eagle Reef a diver found something
called a Geocache. This is a new sport that I had not heard of before. See www.geocaching.com
for details. A screwdriver was required to open our geocache tube, and, once
inside we found our notebook and pen along with instructions for playing the
game. The "treasures" that we found in our geocache tube consisted of a disposable
camera, a patch and coin (a British Pound), a keychain, a box of cyclume sticks,
and a can of silly string. The instructions said that you could remove whatever
you wanted from the tube as long as you put some new items inside before returning
the tube to the water
The wind picked up in the afternoon.
On Saturday evening the Horizon anchored near Avalon Harbor so that those desiring
to spend a night "on the town" could brave the shore boat ride and partake in
some of the local color. We also celebrated a birthday.
Saturday night we traveled back to
San Clemete Island for our final day of diving on Sunday. Diving conditions
had improved in our absence and this was probably our best visibility and conditions
of the trip. Our last two dives were at Little Flower where the diving conditions
were the best of the trip.
At Little Flower the Geocache was
returned to the water. Everyone had signed the enclosed notebook and the tube
was resealed and returned with the original patch and coin, and, the can of
silly string. Our additions to the tube were a Horizon T shirt, a "fire extinguisher"
to "put out hot bodies", some business cards, and, a condom. The at GPS coordinates
at the return site were 32 deg 50.437 min N and 118 deg 22.213 min W, if anyone
is interested in retrieving the geocache and continuing the game.
These are a few of the underwater
photos that I took on the trip.
Captain Ron and the crew all did
a wonderful job of keeping everything running so smoothly. These are crew photos.
These are some photos of the participants
on this dive trip.
After a round of "cannonballs off
the bow" the group had a smooth and scenic trip back to San Diego.
My only complaint about the Horizon
is the lack of adequate parking at the very busy San Diego landing. When I arrived
the dock parking lot was full, and, the closest place to park, that I could
find, was about six blocks from the boat in front of someoneís house. Also,
if you end up using the street parking, and arenít careful, it is easy to innocently
end up near one of the poorly lit "two hour only" parking signs. Fortunately,
my car was still in one piece, and, where I had left it when I got back. I still
wasnít too comfortable with the six block walk at night. The Horizon is a first
class boat, but, the parking situation is the worst that Iíve encountered on
a dive trip.
It was great trip to make some new out of state diving friends. I hope that
everyone will keep in touch. Until next time.