Trip Report and Photos,
Catalina Island with Ocean Adventures on the Sundiver
and Photos © Elaine
Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced
On Sunday February
13th, 2005 I went with Ocean
Adventures to Catalina Island on the Sundiver.
During the week I
had suffered through soaked "dry wall" from a leaking roof and
theft of a dive mobile. The weather had been so bad at my house
that I called Capt. Ray Saturday evening to make sure that I
had not missed a call from the dive shop canceling the trip.
I was pleasantly surprised by a forecast of "actually, it should
be a nice day." Thank goodness! I needed to get away from it
When I arrived in
Long Beach on Sunday morning, the weather really was nice. I
signed in and met some of my fellow shipmates - mostly students
doing their open water certification. At least five of these
open water students were also marine biology majors who will
continue on for research diver certification.
We had a smooth trip
to Catalina and Captain Ray chose a shallow sandy area near
Yellowtail Point for class activities.
The boat was secured
with both a bow and a stern anchor and we were off on our "Ocean
Visibility was terrific
with a clear line of sight to the 30 foot bottom. I headed off
for deeper water where I found visibility to be 50 feet or more.
Half way into the dive visibility took a drop due to clouds
of sand. I knew it wasnít from the students because they were
still in the shallows so I started my search for bat rays. A
short time later I had some "bat ray foraging for food photos."
These are a few of my photos from this dive.
I returned to the
boat for my surface interval to find that many of the students
were still out on their first dive. Captain Ray let me know
that we would be at this site for a while. I off gassed, got
the tank refilled, changed to a macro set up, and, jumped off
the boat for more of this great diving.
I swam back to the
same general area of the first dive to photograph some of the
smaller sand critters that I had seen. One of the most interesting
things that I found was a nudibranch that I had never seen before.
I shot 26 frames of this Acanthodoris rhodoceras, aka "red tipped
dorid". These are a few of the photos.
After this dive I
learned that still had time to make one last photo run. Some
people may not like doing repetitive dives in one place, but
I love it because it gives me an opportunity to more fully explore
an area. This time I went to the surrounding kelp covered rocky
reefs. Same dive site, different terrain. An octopus lounging
next to a rock was the highlight on this dive.
The octopus allowed
me several shots, then, instead of ducking into a crack took
off on a free swim. Wow, it was beautiful. I followed him with
my strobes flashing away.
He stopped on a rock
and flashed me an "Iím mad as heck" octopus red, so, I photographed
This must have really
pissed him off, or scared him, because he sent out a huge squirt
of "ink" before disappearing into a hole. I donít like to admit
that I disturbed an octopus enough to make him redden and waste
his ink supply on me. I could hide the photos and pretend that
it never happened. Instead, Iíll post the fascinating event.
If anyone can comment on the stress this animal faced please
post a follow up for the diver.net educational archives. I donít
know how long it takes for an octopus to replenish his protective
We moved to Eel Cove
Reef for what was my fourth and last dive. The excellent visibility
and nice easy diving continued. This site is a protected marine
sanctuary with very photographic fish, eel, and lobster populations.
Unfortunately, I was talking instead of paying attention when
I loaded my film so my frame counter remained on "E" the entire
dive. No photos:(.
Another great dive
day was over.
On the trip home
the students focused on dive tables and log book entries. I
photographed some divers using their dive tables for anyone
who doesnít remember what dive tables look like. (No they arenít
the large platforms located in the galley).
On Monday morning,
the country western song started playing backwards. I got my
car back, mostly intact and running. I sent the photos of the
rhodoceras to the Sea
Slug Site and they have decided to feature this dorid as
an upcoming "nudibranch of the week".
The moral of the
story is to keep your priorities straight....... "When the going
gets tough, the tough go diving". Thanks to Ocean Adventures,
Captain Ray, and, the crew of the Sundiver for a terrific dive
Until next time.......