Monday, April 13, 2009

Conditions are improving - dive 33

Cat Cove, Anacapa, Channel Islands, Calif. (from the Spectre)
April 5, 2009
Logged dive: No. 33
Max depth: 30 feet
Bottomtime: 40 minutes

By the time we got to the site, things were definitely improving.
The sun was out, the wind was down and my stomach was settled.

The water at this site was flat, like a lake, and bright clear blue.

Of course it was still cold. No amount of telling myself it would be warm worked.

But this time I did not care.

Manfriend had fixed his mask, broken on the last dive, with some wire. We were ready to dive.

We submerged and headed toward the kelp bed. The kelp was thick but not unmanageable here.

Among the usual stars, urchins, etc., we saw this limpet. They are crazy looking. I really find them fascinating.

As we found the rockier area, another diver picked up a rock. As soon as he did this, a sheephead started stalking him.

The diver looked around and found what he wanted... a sea urchin. He used the rock to break it open, instigating a feeding frenzy.

This picture is one of my favorites: two big sheephead fish going head to head for some sea urchin. It looks like they slammed heads and exploded. The debris is just the sea urchin flesh.

Those fish pick an urchin clean in seconds. The diver opened a couple more for them. The whole time we were looking out for urchins, the big ol' sheephead was there.
Below is a little video of the feeding frenzy.

We also saw some sea lions here, but they were cruising through pretty fast and not inclined to play.

We surfaced near the boat into the perfect conditions. A couple other divers are seen at the back of the boat.

Before heading back to the boat I got a picture of the manfriend. The face says it all. That was a great dive.

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