Report and Photos
Diving with Ross O.
A Day Near Pt. Vicente
November 23, 2008
and Photos © Elaine Jobin,
may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced written permission.
Sunday was another terrific Southern California Dive
Day. The ocean near San Pedro was almost as calm as it gets. A cloudy
morning was my only complaint - less ambient light for photography.
Ross O, Jeff S. and I motored up the coast. Small pods
of dolphins were in the near shore kelp beds. We slowed down to watch
them for a while. Not far from the dolphins, an area of nice "blue
water" near Pt. Vicente was so inviting that we dropped anchor
for our first dive.
Everything was moving along smoothly until Jeff S. jumped
in the water with his dry suit zipper not quite shut. He was soaked
in a matter of moments and subsequently aborted his dive day. Jeff
does this quite regularly I might add. I think he has finally taught
us, as his dive buddies, to always check his zipper before he gets
into the water. (If it was that male front zipper instead of the big
back zipper that routinely has this problem - I think I'd start to
The vis was great in the upper areas of the water column,
but, for whatever reason, the bottom was a little cloudy As we traveled
the outside of the Whale Rock reef we frequently stopped to look at
lobsters and other reef critters. Most were macro photo subjects -
nothing really suited for wide angle.
Somewhere during the first half hour of the dive, Ross
found an irresistible object that sent his scavenger gland into overdrive
- an abandoned anchor. He tied it to a lift bag/surface marker for
later retrieval and we continued with our dive.
Shortly after we encountered the anchor, Ross started
acting a little strangely. He kept pointing at me making the hand
sign for and eel. I looked at the rocks that we were swimming past
and I didn't see an eel. Maybe he was trying to tell me a strobe wasn't
firing - so, I did a test fire - they were fine. Ross continued making
the strange hand signal and now he was motioning that it was really
big - he kept pointing behind me. "Uh Oh" I thought - maybe
I'm about to be swallowed by a giant man eating eel. I turned all
the way around this time and finally saw what he was talking about
- something huge was chewing on my fins. I reflexively let out a scream
and gave some small kicks. Next, a harbor seal was in my face, no
doubt laughing as hard as Ross was.
The seal followed us for the rest of the dive. Periodically
making stealth attacks on our fins.
Back on the surface, we pulled anchor, retrieved the found anchor,
and moved on to another spot near Pt.V. It was a little less cloudy
now and more light was available for making pictures.
The first things we saw on this dive were huge boulders and old,
abandoned hoop nets and lobster traps.
As we swam along a huge old anchor caught my eye.
We were in the vicinity of where the Newbern
became stranded in 1893. (Steve Lawson forwarded us this very old
photo of the Newbern).
There is no way to know if this anchor was actually
from the Newbern. Ross attached a surface marker to a near by piece
of kelp so that we could mark the position of the anchor when we returned
to the boat.
We continued our swim and came across two sheephead
too involved in their dominance ritual to pay any attention to us
Then Ross's scavenger gland went back into overdrive.
He found another anchor to retrieve.
Followed by an old weightbelt that was stamped with
Pacific Divers Supply or something similar. Sadly we were out of lift
and marking devices, so he posed for and photo and then put it back.
The last "prize" was an aluminum danforth
type anchor which was quite light weight. Ross managed to swim it
back to the boat. This one, he sadly had to leave behind.
Before we began our ascent we checked out a Lingcod
and an active lobster trap.
Schools of fish kept us entertained during the final
part of the swim and on our safety stop
Back on board the boat, we picked up the surface marker
and anchor. We marked the site of the big old anchor on the GPS so
that we could find it again some day. Then we headed back to the dock
and I got to drive (fun). Thanks Ross and Jeff for a great dive day!
This is Ross's collection of anchors from the trip!