and Photos © Elaine Jobin,
may not be reproduced in part or in whole without advanced written
season can bring some severe cases of "dry gill" to Southern California
divers. This year there were trip cancellations due to weather and
many of our boats took a break for R&R and repairs. I was very
excited to be on this Sundiver open boat to San Clemente Island -
finally, with the holidays over, diving could get back to "business
as usual". (The Sundiver was one of the few that didn't take much
time off during the holidays - thank you for being there for us!)
departure was for Saturday night at midnight.
harbor there were some lingering Christmas lights to see.
it was a typical Saturday nights at the near by restaurants and bars.
was still experiencing windy conditions with some respect worthy swells,
and Captain Ray gave us a 50/50 chance of making it to San Clemente
Island. Our fall back destination would be Catalina.
in the yellow sweater, was excited to be on this trip. Recent knee
surgery had kept her our of the water for several months. Still recovering,
she gleefully hung her handicapped parking sticker on her scooter
and looked forward to a day of underwater "physical therapy".
Farmer, our past LAUPS president/wreck diver showed up with his trademark
when I stopped in the "powder room" on the Sundiver that it was time
for Captain Ray to post an updated F&G reg sheet. It is definitely
kept where you can't miss seeing it.
into our bunks and as we rocked and rolled, bounced, and occasionally
held on - we plowed our way to Clemente. We were one destination happy
group of divers in the morning! When Captain Kevin stepped from the
wheel house he received a short round of applause. The sight of San
Clemente Island brought out some huge smiles!
dive site was near Pyramid Cove at Nine Fathom Reef. I wasn't optimistic
about the visibility so I took my Nikonos Close up gear for photos.
Boy, did I make a mistake. Visibility was a fun 50 plus feet and anchor
had dropped right at the entrance of the terrific swim though located
at this site. I took a few photos with the Close up kit and then became
totally frustrated feeling like I was missing all of the good wide
angle shots. About half way through the dive I pulled off the lens
attachment, went to a hand held strobe, set the aperture at a ridiculous
f8 so I could get some depth of field with the 28mm lens. I had 50
speed Velvia film so I made like a tripod as best I could and went
for some long exposure shots with the shutter speed set on "bulb".
I guessed at how long to hold the shutter down and a few photos actually
turned out - not very well - but good enough so that you can sort
of see what this site looks like.
dive really got the photogs jazzed.
stop was not too far away and the terrific visibility continued. I
went to wide angle and figured out that I had a strobe problem - these
photos are "natural light"..
Island was definitely the place to be for some good diving.
down the island toward Little Flower. At our next stop, I guess I
went a different direction than everyone else. I started noticing
what looked like a lot of underwater litter. Then I started seeing
bigger pieces of boat parts. I finally figured out that something
must have sunk here not that long ago.
how much Frank likes brass, I looked around to find something to take
him. I carried back the remnants of a ships light and watched him
carefully for the response that my "gift" it would bring. Sure enough,
Frank got right down to work taking the plastic off to salvage the
brass. It was so simple, I just picked up some trash and it made Frank
visibility prevailed on into our last wonderful dive.
home was a little smoother than our ride out had been. I haven't been
able to help but to notice how popular Clive Cussler books seem to
be with Southern California divers. On every trip, at least one person,
is reading a Clive Cussler. I wonder if Clive has ever been a California
diver? It would be so much fun if some day we could read about Dirk
Pitt on a Channel Islands adventure.
noticed that some divers used the time on the trip home to complete
their CPR certifications up in the wheel house
thanks to Captain Ray and Captain Kevin for giving us such a great
post Christmas get away.
that everyone had "Happy Holidays". Until next time.......