21 -22, 2006
Trip Report and Photos
Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands
with the Sea Sons Dive Club on the Peace
and Photos (With the exception of Captain Kangaroo - I can't find
a credit for him, and, Jeff Shaw's assistance with the last photo
of Captain Eric) © Elaine Jobin,
may not be reproduced in part or in whole without advanced written
January was not the best
weather month for diving. The swells created some rough boat rides
and the ocean conditions decreased underwater visibility in many locations.
This trip with the Sea Sons on the Peace began with a determined overnight
run to Santa Rosa Island. It was a little bouncy, and I'm not sure
who was driving - Captain Eric or Captain Kangaroo, but, hallaluah
- we made it!
The Sea Sons
held up well to the strenuous boating conditions. This dive club was
founded in 1955, and, is now into their 51st year. With roots to the
original San Bernardino county Search and Rescue Dive Team, this is
perhaps our oldest local dive club. Long time members are hardy and
well seasoned to the variety of boating/diving conditions that the
Channel Islands can throw at them. They are mainly a hunting group,
but their hunting sites are perfectly good for photography too.
Part time Peace Crew
and Captain, Fidel Luna, is a member of this club.
And....Some of the Sea
Sons brought Sons of the Sea Sons.
Once we arrived at Santa
Rosa Island, it was a little windy topside, but, underwater the visibility
was very good. We started our dive day at the West end of the Island
and moved toward the East end on each successive dive. I concentrated
on macro and a large population of typical Santa Rosa Nudibranchs
were out on display.
I even found a crab taking
cover behind a cluster of nudibranch eggs.
Our captain, had brought
us to some terrific Southern California winter diving.
On one of the late morning
dives, I saw a critter that I had never seen before. I was in the
kelp on a safety stop when I noticed a skinny, foot long, swimming
with an S shaped wiggle, unknown thing swim by. I took off after it
and was able to get a few photos. He was much bigger than my 1:2 extension
tube so I concentrated on trying to photograph the head. He let me
know I was initially at the wrong end by going to the bathroom in
my camera lens. On the second try I got it right.
Back at home, Chris Grossman
helped me to send the photos to Leslie Harris, a worm expert at the
Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. She can't be certain without
actually seeing the worm, but, she believes that this may be an Ophioglycera
which is in the worm family Goniadidae. She said that this worm is
officially unreported as being a resident of our local waters, partly
because they are uncommon, and, partly because they are normally reclusive,
living in the rocks and the sediment. One of the things that makes
diving so exciting for me is that every time I leave the boat, I never
know exactly what I'm going to see, and every now an then, a plain
old recreational diver like myself can maybe do a very little bit
to expand the body of marine science knowledge.
Back at Santa Rosa, Captain
Eric announced that the sea conditions at the outer islands were turning
from bad to worse so we would make an early run to Santa Cruz Island
for the night dive.
and rolled over to Santa Cruz and tucked into a nice quiet cove for
our night dive. It wasn't the most productive photo dive for me due
to the fact that I left some needed equipment on the boat. However,
many of the lobster hunters came back with more than excuses.
After a beautiful sunrise,
day two continued at Santa Cruz Island. The lobster hunters had some
terrific luck at some of the deeper sites that we dove.
I opted to sleep through
the first dive, but I was wide eyed and bushy tailed on the second
one when I found a large nest of white eggs. I wasn't certain what
kind of eggs they were until a lingcod kept coming to pose for photos
and seemed to get a little upset when I was photographing the eggs.
This was the first lingcod nest that I have ever seen. In reading
up on the find, male lingcod guard the nests similar to the male Garibaldi.
Fortunately, this Lingcod was a small one and he wasn't as aggressive
as some of our little orange friends. Lingcod have big teeth.
Visibility at Santa Cruz
was good and there were lots of photo subjects. These are a few of
my other photos from Cruz.
Our return ride to Ventura
was bumpy etc. It was one of those trips where whatever wasn't on
the deck - fell to the deck. Some weathered the trip in their bunks,
and others preferred riding it out in the hot tub.
I grabbed a beer from
my cooler, well, maybe 2 beers, and ended up "pole dancing" in the
galley. Standing up was fine, as long as you were holding on to something.
I've gotten used to some of the heavier sea conditions, and, the Peace
is one fantastic tough dive mobile.
I hate to admit it but
I actually thought boat rides were fun. I don't really think of Captain
Eric as Captain Kangaroo. He does such a great job of getting us to
the good diving, well.....he is more like Captain Marvel.
the Peace crew was first rate and the food the best.
Until next time.....