Trip Report and Photos
Catalina Island on the Psalty V
and Photos © Elaine
Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced
On Sunday March 13,
2005, I went to Catalina Island on the Psalty
I had a stressful
week at work and wanted to get away for a day. A speedy 6 Pack
to Catalina sounded perfect. I boarded the Psalty V early Sunday
morning, and, we were soon off for a day of "live boat diving"
Our first stop was
Ship Rock near the Isthmus.
Captain Gary turned
us loose without the worry of calculating a return to the boat.
Where ever we surfaced - he would come and get us. I splashed
off the boat and headed straight for the 140 foot bottom. My
plan was to make a slow spiraling assent around ship rock. This
was great, it wasnít going to matter which side of the rock
I ended up on when I surfaced. It was a pure sightseeing dive.
I went into deco near the start of the dive but by the time
I was ready for my safety stop I was out of deco.
At the sandy bottom
there were schools of blacksmith and beautiful gorgonians. As
I wound my way up I saw several lingcod at around 100 ft. Near
70 ft. I ran into the commercial Sea Cucumber guy. At 50 feet
the Garibaldi population increased. Finally in the shallows
there were garibaldi, kelp fish, and more schools of blacksmith.
It was interesting to watch the marine life change with each
successive shallower circle. As I surfaced, sure enough, Gary
pulled the boat over to pick me up.
These are some of
my photos from this dive. As I later learned, one of the following
does not belong at ship rock. Can you pick out which one it
underwater videographer on doubles.
blacksmith, and sheephead.
Beautiful red gorgonians.
commercial Sea Cucumber Harvester.
The correct answer
Once everyone was
safely retrieved from the water we went to our second stop -
Bird Rock. On route we watched a whale "spout and tail" display
but I wasnít fast enough to get a photo.
Bird Rock was a little
bit crowded. We saw the Pacific
Star, the Magician,
and the Great Escape all lined
up along the reef. To avoid picking up any of at least 80 assorted
divers by mistake, Captain Gary dropped the anchor on this dive.
(Hum, pick you up and deliver you back to your designated boat
- thatís a dive service no one has thought of yet. It would
definitely end those annoying surface swims.)
On this dive I saw
lots of fish but what caught my attention was pair of Painted
Greenlings that I think were mating. The lighter colored female
would perch next to a rock and the darker colored male would
swoop at her. The swoops were so fast that it was hard to get
a photo. The first photo below is the best "swoop" that I could
catch and the second photo is the male.
After a relaxed surface
interval we headed around the corner for Sea Fan Grotto.
At Sea Fan Grotto
Capt. Gary dropped us at the west end with a planned pick up
"where ever" to the east.
I swam a brief distance
into one of the caves but didnít find too much in there of interest.
Next I headed to the sandy bottom and saw a cool light tan sea
cucumber. A torpedo ray was resting a short distance away from
the cucumber. The torpedo ray let me take several photos and
then took off for more peaceful ground. As I headed east I passed
a discarded weight belt and a lawn chair. My dive ended near
the shallow area of sea fans that Sea Fan grotto is famous for
(although I never found the exact spot).
After Capt. Gary
plucked us all from the water we had a quick trip back to San
Pedro. Another great dive day was over. (A day that would have
been a little more relaxing without the "cucumber man" - see
previous post dated 3-14-05). Thanks Capt. Gary for a terrific
Until next time............