Trip Report and Photos
San Nicolas Island and Catalina Island
on the Great Escape
and Photos © Elaine
Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced
CHAPTER ONE - A Change in Plans
This is the story of the Sea Divers trip to San Nicolas Island on the Great Escape. On Friday March 4, 2005, about thirteen Sea Divers boarded the Great Escape for an 11pm departure to Nic. Huh????
The wind and the water in the Long Beach Harbor were very calm. However, the recent storms have deposited a lot of navigational hazards into the ocean. Since Capt. Timís night vision goggles havenít arrived yet, he changed our plans. We were now slated for a sunrise departure, destination, Catalina Island. Oh well, when ever the Sea Divers get together, we have a good time, doesnít matter where we go.
CHAPTER TWO - An Inspirational Sea Divers Love Story
Sea Diver Suzanne stopped by the boat when she dropped off Chris. Suzanne first met Chris on a Sea Divers trip. The story goes that Chris went to Suzanneís house after a great day of diving to "see some slides" (good move Chris), and, just happened to end up spending the night. This led to dating rituals. Chris eventually proposed to Suzanne underwater (good work Suzanne) on the opening night of a lobster season. During the proposal, which was written on a dive slate, the engagement ring was dropped, but, a grid pattern quickly recovered the ring and saved the wedding plans. Chris and Suzanne got married. Now, in two months, a brand new Sea Diver will enter this world.
Realizing the potential value of slides, I spent some of the extra time at the dock doing harbor light photography.
Sure enough, I did not spend this time alone. In a dark corner, I found a Sea Lion (story of my life). He was really cute and fuzzy, but also very noisy, smelly, and aggressive. Definitely not my type.
CHAPTER THREE - Our Dive Day
After a calm night of sleep, we bounced over to Catalina. We anchored in the sheltered area of Isthmus Reef for our first dive. Visibility was an awesome 60+ feet and there was no current. Diving and photography conditions were awesome. I attempted to immortalize a shy mantis shrimp on K25, but he ducked into his hole on every attempt. The lobster hunters had some great luck filling game bags on this dive.
Our second dive was at Eagle Reef. The excellent visibility and diving conditions continued. The bottom of the boat photo was taken from about 55 feet.
On this dive I also saw Frank. Frank was scheduled for "cataract surgery" on Monday. So, I guess I can call these photos "pre op". (The truth is he had a special "bionic wreck diver lens" installed - look for their surgical services booth at the scuba show this year). Everyone wishes Frank a speedy recovery.
Next we headed to Arrow Point, but, Capt. Tim made a quick U-turn due to green choppy water. We enjoyed our surface interval in the warm sunshine.
The anchor finally dropped for our third dive at the east end of the Rock Quarry. The highlight for me here was an angel shark sighting.
Our last stop was near Yellowtail Point. The visibility at Yellowtail was only about 30 feet. What I noticed at this site was the dominance of the sargassum plant instead of our usual kelp plants.
Somewhere during the day Jerry found a lobster bag (complete with one legal lobster) and flashlight belonging to Terry May. It didnít look like it had been down more than a few weeks.
CHAPTER FOUR - Ken Kurtis, Pontification,
and Chamber Day
The Sea Divers did some Ken Kurtis "pontification" imitations.
CHAPTER FIVE - The Trip Home
Another Sea Divers trip was coming to a close. We didnít make Nic, but, Catalina wasnít so shabby either. We enjoyed a very smooth trip home.
We send our special Sea Divers thanks to the Great Escape - Capt. Tim and Capt. Kim and Capt. Don, DM Steve, Deckhands Kendal and Shannon, and to the most important one of all Mikey in the Galley. (Hey, even if the boat just sits at the dock, we still gotta eat).
Special thanks also to representatives from the Bottom Scratcher and the Cee Ray who also chipped in with their Ken Kurtis imitations. We wish Ken and the Chamber Day Committee a very successful fund raising year.