Trip Report and Photos
Diving with Ross O.
A Day Near Pt. Vicente
November 23, 2008

Story 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 wonder)

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.

Underwater Photo Pt. Vicente, Photo by Elaine Jobin

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.

Ross O finds an Anchor, Photo by Elaine Jobin

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.

Harbor Seal Southern California, Photo by Elaine Jobin

The seal followed us for the rest of the dive. Periodically making stealth attacks on our fins.

Ross O. Underwater Photo, Photo  © Elaine Jobin Underwater Photograph, Photo © Elaine Jobin

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.

Pt. Vicente Underwater Landscape, Photo © Elaine Jobin  Photo © Elaine Jobin Hoop Net at Point Vicente,  Photo © Elaine Jobin Abandoned Lobster Trap,  Photo © Elaine Jobin Abandoned Lobster Trap,  Photo © Elaine Jobin

As we swam along a huge old anchor caught my eye.

Anchor from the Newbern? , Photo © Elaine Jobin Ross O. poses by the anchor,  Photo © Elaine Jobin Ross O. Poses by the anchor,  Photo © Elaine Jobin

We were in the vicinity of where the Newbern became stranded in 1893. (Steve Lawson forwarded us this very old photo of the Newbern).

Wreck 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.

Underwater Landscape at Point Vicente,  Photo © Elaine Jobin

We continued our swim and came across two sheephead too involved in their dominance ritual to pay any attention to us at all.

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!