and Photos © Elaine
Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced
I enjoyed the Saturday
Sea Diver trip
on the Great Escape so much,
that I talked Ross and Beth into returning to the Wreck of the Avalon
on Sunday. I specifically wanted to get some wide angle photographs
of the Avalon. I have never been to this site on a good visibility
day, and yesterday had been as good as I've ever seen it.
I warned Ross that
on the way down the anchor line he was going to think I was nuts.
We would cut through a thick layer of dark green, 5 foot visibility,
plankton bloom. Once we passed 50 feet it would start to clear up
and turn into a decent dive. Fortunately conditions had not changed
much since the previous day and that is pretty much what happened.
On the site I had my very first good tour of the wreckage. I've
seen the bow section, but never the rest of the semi intact debris.
One of the first things
that caught my eye was a Giant Black Sea Bass who stayed just out
of photo range. It is the end of May, so it makes sense that the
Giant Black Sea Bass are back. Next I noticed several large lingcod.
A school of Sargo near
the crane section were stunning. The top of the crane was just about
in the plankton level so it was difficult for me to get good shots
of the Sargo.
This is Ross doing
some wreck photography and a link to the trip
report that he was kind enough to post.
Captain Beth drove
us to our next site. Ross wanted to check out the Whites Point "outflow"
AKA sewer pipe. He chose a depth of 60 feet for our dive. The pipe
extends to a depth of 160 feet. As we traveled to the pipe we wondered
what we would see. Would it be a visible concrete conduit surrounded
by rocks? What kind of sea life - would there be three headed genetically
damaged fish? Would there be leaks with floating turds?
The pipe looked somewhat
as I expected - just like the ones that they install in underground
in residential areas. We could only see some of the concrete top
because it was heavily supported and surrounded by rocks. Every
so often there was a large joint where two pipe pieces fit together.
I looked closely for signs of leaks but didn't see any. There was
not a heavy fish population but I did see some rockfish, some sculpin,
and some gobies - none of them deformed. A small abalone was sitting
right on top.
Nudibranchs were prevalent.
Unfortunately I didn't have my "nudibranch" camera setup.
There was a lot of nudibranch mating activity going on.
Our last stop of the
day was at a site Ross had picked up on the sonar near Pt. Fermin.
We were short of" no deco" time and I only had about a
half tank of air left from my dive at the Avalon. We planned a quick
trip down, a brief look around, and a slow return to the surface
up the anchor line. We had a tight schedule on limited resources
so we left our cameras on the boat. The first deviation from our
itinerary occurred at a depth of about 10 feet when a squadron of
four Molas swam by. It was an awesome thing to see. We stopped to
watch them pass and then resumed our descent. At the bottom, visibility
was limited, and it was very dark, but whatever the structure was
it was covered with bright anemonies and sea life. With only 1,000
psi left in my tank, I stayed near the anchor line and began my
slow ascent shortly after we arrived. Ross followed closely behind,
creating a plan in his mind for future exploration of the site.
So ended another fun
day of diving with Ross and Beth O on the Orion.
Until next time.