Sea Divers Trip Report and Photos
Farnsworth Bank on the Great Escape
April 1, 2006
Story and Photos
© Elaine Jobin. May
not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced written permission.
I arrived at the boat at about 1am well after most everyone had gone
to bed. Every now and then I have to work a little overtime and Friday
night was one of those occasions. A coworker had stepped in a gofer
hole on a golf course and had broken his ankle. Originally I was assigned
to work his Saturday hours - YIKES, I would have missed a Sea Diver
trip. Fortunately, a coworker swapped the extra hours with me - WHEW
(and thanks Ruth!). Maybe I couldn't see everybody Friday night, but
at least I could make the trip.
I was so tired I have no idea what the sea conditions
were on the way to Farnsworth. All I know for sure is that when I
woke up in the morning we were almost there. I was greeted my my fellow
amphibious Homo sapien Sea Divers
At about 8am we were making our way down the anchor line towards
the sea mount. We weren't on the popular "high spot", we
were somewhere in the middle. We descended through a cloud or smoggy
water that hung between 15 and 60 feet. Beyond 60 feet, the visibility
opened up nicely. Friends (Chris Grossman) predicted poor visibility
so I didn't bring wide angleon this dive trip, a mistake given the
We saw lots of California Purple Hydrocoral.
Two of the "Unnamed Starfish" were out on display. This
starfish is currently being studied at the LA County museum of Natural
History. They are not yet sure if it is a new species or a species
extension from Central America. Hopefully, someday soon, this critter
will have a name.
There were nudibranchs.
Stearn's aeolid: Facelina
As well as the usual small fish and anemones to photograph.
Time spent on the anchor line was more interesting with
the passage of some Jelly Fish. I didn't see any of the large ones,
just the small, nearly transparent ones that flash the electric colors
as they swim.
All two soon, after only two dives, it was time to leave Farnsworth
We all toyed with the idea of a possible third dive here but some
had already spent dive in "deco" and we didn't want our
last dive to be followed by time in the chamber. Even though the Catalina
Hyperbaric Chamber is large - and, I bet the whole group could probably
fit in there - we decided not to cause the Chamber Crew a "paperwork
nightmare" and headed for shallower waters.
We enjoyed a nice long surface interval as we motored
to Black Rock on the front side of Catalina. Eric showed us his prototype
backplate that will eventually be available in stores near you.
At Black Rock we did two more dives. This dive spot
was an instant hit as it was crawling with a zillion nudibranchs and
a very friendly Harbor Seal.
Mark Lacaillade sent me a few of his photos from Farnsworth
and Black Rock. I love the photo of the Black Rock Harbor Seal.
We headed back home, exhausted and happy after 4 terrific dives.
Lots of Sea Diver thanks to Captain Tim and the Great Escape crew.We
were extra blessed to have Pam from the ex-dive boat Encore along
as our second captain. The new flat panel big screen TV in the galley
is pretty cool too by the way.
And, best wishes to John Delaney who will be undergoing knee surgery
and a short dry dock spell.
Until Next Time..........