15 - 16, 2005
Santa Rosa Island and Talcott Shoals
with the Sea Sons on the Peace
and Photos © Elaine
Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced
On January 15th and
16th , 2005, I went with the Sea
Sons Dive Club to Santa Rosa Island and Talcott Shoals on
the dive boat Peace.
Sons are based in San Bernardo County. The roots of this
dive club can be traced back to 1955 and it is one of the oldest
dive clubs in Southern California. The original members were
"search and rescue" divers who also shared an interest in underwater
hunting. Club members now share a broader range of diving interests
but when they charter a boat they can still impart an interesting
hunting lodge ambiance to a dive trip.
This trip started
with a smooth overnight crossing to Santa Rosa Island. Our eyes
snapped open to clear sunny skies and calm diving conditions.
first dive at Talcott, we entered murky green water with 10
feet of visibility. I had agreed to accept the newest diver
on board (only 30 dives) as a buddy on this dive.
I am usually so focused on photography I rarely agree to accept
the responsibility of diving with a "buddy". In the poor visibility
I opted on the side of caution and did an "anchor line dive"
- down the chain to the hook and back again. I found some nudibranchs
and other small critters along this route and actually did remember
to keep an eye on my less experienced companion. My buddy did
great. He stayed close by and signaled appropriately when he
wanted to return to the boat. Right when I was ready to start
teaching him to become a camera sherpa he paired up with another
diver. Oh well.... I do want to take this opportunity to thank
him for being a very responsible new diver. If you have been
reading the recent posts you know how pairing up with a new
diver can become a nightmare. To him I would like to say "welcome
to the sport and I hope that you stick with it"!
After the first dive
the group opted for areas at Talcott that had a little more
current but also more visibility. The first 20 or so feet of
the descent were always cloudy but visibility would then open
up to 30, 40, or even 50 feet. ? the deeper you went, the better
I am told that Talcott
can be a great place to hunt lobster. Many of the dive sites
were sandy bottoms crisscrossed by rocky ledges. For the most
part it is not a beautiful backdrop for wide angle photography.
It does have some beautiful invertebrate life perfect for close-up
and macro photography however.
most of the day, I think that I was having better luck finding
photo subjects than the hunters had finding lobsters. Many of
the lobster bags returned empty.
a compressor decided to quit working. Our surface intervals
were a little longer than usual as only one compressor was cooperating
with replenishing our air and nitorx supplies. A frustrated,
but determined crew read the compressor manual from back to
didn't think I'd post those photos)
The extra time on
the slightly longer than normal surface intervals was occupied
in various ways.
evening and night dives proved more productive for the lobster
hunters. I especially liked the evening dive. One of the ledges
on this dive was filled with small holes. Many of the holes
contained small fish. I could have done two or three dives with
these fun little critters.
the night dive there were definitely some happier lobster hunters
following morning started with a beautiful sunrise and two working
compressors. Some of the crew stayed up most of the night making
the needed repairs.
lobster hunters had much better luck on the second day bringing
up more and bigger bugs. I spent this day using the Close-up
kit trying to do some fish portraits.
last dive of the trip was done at Santa Cruz Island near Frazier
Point. This was definitely the most beautiful dive of the trip.
There was great visibility, scenic landscape, a nudibranchs
every three feet. I shot 35mm1:2 with some Kodachrome 25. Digitalization
really doesn?t do that film justice. When I returned to the
boat I learned that the site had not been very productive for
the hunters and heard a semi sarcastic ?we did that dive for
you? Thanks guys it was super!
the trip home we enjoyed some Moose Jerkey. (I told you some
of these guys are serious hunters).
also treated to multiple whale sightings and to a visit from
a huge pod of dolphins.
So ended another
terrific dive trip
Thanks once again
to the phenomenal crew of the Peace. Our wonderful cook never
stopped working except for a few hours each night (how did you
escape my camera anyway?). The stubborn compressor was brought
back to life due to sacrificed sleep by other dedicated crew.
We were left wanting for nothing. Great job!