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

Sea Diver amphibious Homo sapiens
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
 
Hairless Subspecies
Roger Carlson, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Eric Sedletzky, Photo by Elaine Jobin
 
Roger Carlson
Eric Sedletzky
 

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 conditions.

We saw lots of California Purple Hydrocoral.

California Hydrocoral:
Stylaster californicus
California Hydrocoral, Stylaster californicus, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin California Hydrocoral, Stylaster californicus, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
California Hydrocoral, Stylaster californicus, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
California Hydrocoral, Stylaster californicus, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
California Hydrocoral, Stylaster californicus, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
California Hydrocoral, Stylaster californicus, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin

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.

Farnsworth Unnamed Starfish
Starfish, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin Starfish, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Starfish, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin

There were nudibranchs.

Farnsworth Nudibranchs
Stearn's Aeolid, Facelina stearnsi, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Stearn's Aeolid, Facelina stearnsi, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Stearn's aeolid: Facelina stearnsi
Tritonia festiva, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Spanish Shawl, Flabelina iodinea, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Tritonia festiva
Flabellina iodinea

As well as the usual small fish and anemones to photograph.

Farnsworth Critters
Painted Greenling, Oxylebius pictus, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Painted Greenling, Oxylebius pictus, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Oxylebius pictus
Corynactis californica, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Corynactis

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.

Comb Jelly, Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Comb Jelly

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.

Dive Intermission
AKA Surface Interval
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
 
Photo by Elaine Jobin
 

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.

Erik Sedletzkys New Backpack
Erick Sedletzky, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Erick Sedletzky,Photo by Elaine Jobin
Erick Sedletzky,Photo by Elaine Jobin

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.

Underwater at Black Rock
Zoanthid anemone, Parazoanthus lucificum, Photo by Elaine Jobin Hermissenda crassicornis laying eggs, Photo by Elaine Jobin Hermissenda crassicornis,Photo by Elaine Jobin
Sheephead, Semicossyphus pulcher, Photo by Elaine Jobin Hermissenda crassicornis, Photo by Elaine Jobin Hermissenda crassicornisPhoto by Elaine Jobin

Mark Lacaillade sent me a few of his photos from Farnsworth and Black Rock. I love the photo of the Black Rock Harbor Seal.

Photos from
Mark Lacaillade
Farnsworth Bank, Photo by Mark Lacaillade
Hermissenda crassicornis, Photo by Mark Lacaillade
Harbor Seal, Photo by Mark Lacaillade
Kelp Forest, Photo by Mark Lacaillade

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.

Captain(s) and Crew
Captain Tim Burke, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Captain Tim and Captain Pam, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin
(Backup Crew)
Photo by Elaine Jobin
Photo by Elaine Jobin

And, best wishes to John Delaney who will be undergoing knee surgery and a short dry dock spell.

 
John Delaney, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Knww of John Delaney, Photo by Elaine Jobin John Delaney, Photo by Elaine Jobin

Until Next Time..........

 

 

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