Trip Report and Photos
Catalina Island on the Sundiver
and Photos ©
Elaine Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced
Last Sunday was another
great day for "winter" diving in Southern California. There was lots
of sunshine, the air temperature somewhere around 70, the ocean calm,
and, at least at Catalina, the visibility excellent. On this last
weekend before Christmas, I expected most people to be out shopping
instead of diving. Wrong! The Sundiver was filled with enthusiastic
divers, some of whom are pictured below.
On the way out to Catalina, it was
kind of hard not to notice Eric Frasco, from Dive and Surf, teaching a marine
life specialty course. I listened in for a little bit and found myself reminded
of some things that I donít often think about, such as the difference between
fish stripes, bars, and bands (page 12 in the Paul Humann Coastal Fish ID book).
Captain Ray made the first anchor
drop at Isthmus Reef. The boat hovered about 20 feet above the "high spot" and
it was one of those wonderful days where you could look over the side of the
boat and clearly see the bottom. Some divers stayed on the shallow reef, some
headed off the South wall for the (130ft +) intense lobster territory, and,
I dropped down the west wall. I met the bottom at about 96 feet and kept an
eye on the channel hoping to see some form of larger marine life go by. On this
day I didnít see much except blue water. I checked in some of the rocks for
lobsters and only saw one or two. This was one of those dives where I became
so involved in just looking around that I didnít take many photos, I just enjoyed
Back on the boat, I found out that
one diver had maxed out his lobster limit on this first dive of the day. He
did the final inspection of his catch and he posed for a few photos. I donít
know exactly what happened, but, his voice was just a little bit higher for
the rest of the day. Maybe you can figure it out.
The next dive was further east near
Yellowtail Point. I always like this site because Iíve had a wide assortment
of marine life encounters here including leopard shark and angel shark sightings.
Today was bat ray day, I must have seen at least ten of them.
I really enjoy watching bat rays.
When they forage for food along the bottom they stir up quite a bit of sand.
When they are startled they can stir up an entire cloud of sand. Sheephead gather
around and forage for food in their wake. I also saw a very small torpedo ray
who ran away faster than I could grab a photo. Some of the bat ray photos are
Between dives the sun continued to
shine and relaxing topside was very comfortable in the great weather.
The last dive of the day was at a
site called Gibraltar. There is a large rocky reef here that runs perpendicular
to the island. I saw many lobsters in the rocks as well as several small eels.
There is a memorial plaque imbedded in the reef that I tried unsuccessfully
to locate. Some of my photos from this dive are below.
On the way back to Long Beach we
were treated to a great sunset. It was a perfect ending to a great dive day.
Until next time. Hope that your Christmas
is a "Knockout".
Story and Photos © Elaine Jobin