Monday, March 26, 2012

Visiting Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Island

First dive trip for 2012! I almost did not go but Gabe at Ocean Safari convinced me and I am glad he did. Since the Channel Island sits further up north, the water has a tendency to be colder. During this trip the water sat at an average of 51 degrees. Unfortunately the weather was not very cooperative as well. For most of the day it was grey and windy making the surface currents very strong. But when we were on our way home, it suddenly became sunny. This was my second trip on the Peace and it was enjoyable: good sleeping arrangments, good eats, helpful crew, and best of all... a hot tub!

This trip was originally planned for Talcot Shoals but since the weather was bad we never made it there and ended up at Santa Rosa Island to start our day and ended at Santa Cruz Island before heading back home to the mainland. First, let's start with Santa Rosa Island. He went to the following three dive spots.

1. Eastern Pinnacle
2. Nanya Reef
3. East Point

Eastern Pinnacle was the deepest dive of the whole day. We started there first to maximize the bottom time.

This Channel Island has never failed to surprised me with the wide variety of life out there. This trip was no exception! I posted two pictures of the weirdest things I saw at the island. I still do not know what those things sitting on top of the kelp leaves are but they do remind me of little spirits in anime cartoons. If you do know what they are, please post on the comments below so other inquiring minds will know. Visibility was up to thirty feet but unfortunately, there were so much krill swimming around, it reduce the visibility. In one of the videos below you can see a stream of krill swimming between the reefs. Was that a bad thing? Absolutely not! It was wonderful to be surrounded by so much life.

The compilation video I've made of all three dive sites at the Santa Rosa Island will show you the variety of life and terrain of the island. The funny thing about this was, I did not dive the reefs that most of the other divers went to! We went in the opposite direction and still manage to find so much... You can only imagine what the reefs where all the fish were hiding looked like! The videos are a little shaky. I am using a new bcd and lights so my bouyancy was a out of tune. I will probably get use to my gear soon.

Coming back home, we made a stop at Santa Cruz Island and made only one dive at Bowen Point. This was a hunters paradise with Ling Cods galore!! I made a compilation showing the amount of low reef structures that existed at this site. There were tons of nooks and crannies for fish to hid in. There were also tons of coral and sea grass that creates the illusion of a rolling grasslands being blown by the wind. The video mostly focus on the general site as oppose to focusing anything specific. I was hoping to share with you the dive experience by giving a quick tour. It was an amazing dive site to be at and a wonderful way to end the trip.

You can find more pictures and video's on Ocean Safari's website: as well as their Facebook page.

This past weekend, March 25, 2012, was also Diver's Day at the Aquarium of the Pacific! I remember the last time I visited the aquarium long ago before I started scuba diving, I hardly recognized any of the fishes in their exhibits, now I can identify majority of them without looking at the plaques and I can spot them easily! Scuba diving has definitely changed my view of our ocean.

Written by: Wayne Lu, Mar 26, 2012

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