Trip Report and Photos
Catalina Island - Rippers Cove, Goat Harbor &Torqua Springs
Sundiver Open Boat
and Photos © Elaine
Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced
On Sunday January
2, 2005, I went on the Sundiver
open boat to Catalina. There were some small swells and
cloudy skies, but, it was mostly a day between our winter storms.
I like open boats
because you never know what the mix of divers will be. On
this trip diversity ruled. There were lobster hunters,
recreational divers, and "techies". I think that I was
the only photog. Some of the "techies" came equipped with
doubles, stage bottles, and scooters.
It must be difficult
to plan a dive trip that will accommodate all of these different
interests. Captain Ray seems to have a knack for this
though. Our first dive site was near Rippers Cove.
At Rippers, a weighted
down line with a float was placed in about 140 feet of water.
This is where the techies and some lobster hunters jumped
off. There was a huge boulder here that was the "dive
site". The divers said that the boulder was covered with
gorgonians and was quite beautiful. It was also a lucrative
After the first group
entered the water and had safely found the down line, Captain
Ray anchored the boat a short distance away near another, shallower
huge boulder. This is where the rest of us did our dive.
When I jumped in,
I had forgotten to connect the inflator hose to my dry suit.
When I reached for the stray hose, I dropped my camera.
When I plugged in the hose, I watched the camera sink
quickly out of sight. Without the weight of the camera
it is harder for me to sink but I was sufficiently motivated
to overcome the extra buoyancy. I was lucky and located
my camera almost immediately. It was sitting at 120 feet,
upright and undamaged in the sand. It was being inspected
by a Sheep Crab.
Next to the camera
was the huge boulder that was our dive site. The top of
the boulder was at about 80 feet. It had some kelp growth,
some Spanish shawl nudibranchs, and a variety of small fish
life. After the dive I ran into Bob and Carol on the anchor
line. They had started the dive at the first drop site
and ended the dive with a deco stop under the boat.
We picked up all
of the divers and the down line and went to our next dive site
- Goat Harbor. The tech set and scooter crowd spent much
of their dive searching for the small plane that went down here
a year or so ago. I stayed in the shallows and explored
in the kelp. No one saw the remains of the plane.
After this dive we
moved to Torqua Springs. A sailboat was beached near this
site. It was probably a victim of the last storm.
The visibility at
Torqua Springs was the best of the day - at least 50 feet. It
was a beautiful dive. The plant life was thick and lush.
There were many large schools of fish. I found
a big eel tucked away in the rocks. I traced his body
through the cracks and he was at least three and a half feet
had brought my macro setup on this dive. This was the
best wide angle site of the day. However, I found a swell
and I photographed
some of the plants - the kelp, the sargassum, and the red algae.
On some of the kelp
leaves I noticed these round fuzzy things. I havenít had
time to look them up yet. Does anyone know what they are?
We watched some heavy
storms in the distance on the way home. The ominous clouds
over Long Beach were an indication of storms yet to come.
Another great dive
day was over. When I think about it during this rainy
week I canít really remember.....was it on the Sundiver or the
Until Next Time