Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mola Mola sighting at Catalina

On April 7, 2010 we saw three Mola Mola from the surface at our first dive site, Eagle Reef. After a rushed donning of gear, into the water I went with buddies Ruth and Mike. This was a first for us all, swimming with and getting some shots of Mola Mola or Sun fish. Very exciting to say the least!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Catalina 1-8-2010

My first three dives of 2010 were at Catalina on January 8. Ruth found this nice 3 foot Pacific Electric Ray on dive three. It was totally buried in the sand and it sure gave us a nice show.
Ruth was happy to see this blanket of Squid egg Baskets. We were pretty deep but the pictures and video were worth it.
Ruth found us this Acanthodoris rhodoceras Nudibrach. A first sighting for both of us. We were in about 80 feet of water headed back up from 94 feet. We were on the hunt for reported Squid egg baskets of which we found two at this site. The Nudibrach was about 3/4 of an inch across and was moving fairly quickly. Very interesting.
I found this anchor on dive two at about 60 feet. This was after Ruth and I had descended to 120 feet to see the blanket of Squid egg baskets. Unfortunately the anchor was just too heavy to bring up. I fully inflated my BCD but couldn't get off of the bottom. We will have to return with a lift bag and try to find it again.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Late Summer and Early Fall

I do believe this is now my all time favorite picture. This juvenile Horn Shark is about twelve inches long. I thank my BBF Ruth for shooing me to the front to get the photo, I usually stay on the side of these wonderful creatures. This little guy sure reminds me of a little piglet for some reason.
Here is a juvenile Garibaldi, the neon blue slowly fades as they mature, this one was about one inch long.
This Sun Star is fairly rare to see off of our South Orange County coast. This one is out on the West-front side of Deadmans. Gerald was with me when we came across this one, Ruth tells me that there are two out there. It was large about twenty four inches across.

Late Summer and Early Fall

Here are three new White-spotted rose anemones. As you can see two are orange face and the other is very pink-purple in coloration. I made the swim out to Deadmans reef off of Crescent Bay Laguna Friday November 6 to get a picture of the first one. I spotted it on Wednesday but did not have my camera with me. That in itself was very odd! I never dive without it. I had forgotten to charge the battery and almost did not go diving just because of that. Glad my inner voice said "GO". I am also very glad that I was able to easily find it again.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Green Sea Turtle

I had a stellar day at Catalina Friday October 16, 2009. The Visibility was 100 foot and more at Old Quarry. We stayed there for two dives. On the first dive I saw the Scythe Butterfly fish and other numerous creatures but I was shocked, to say the least, by the sight of this Green Sea Turtle cruising past. I always enjoyed seeing the Turtles in Hawaii but to see one here is very rare. This site is now my all time favorite!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blue Shark

During the second dive of three at Catalina on Friday October 9, 2009 the four of us were treated to a real surprise. We were at Old Quarry, my son Andrew had spotted the Scythe Butterfly fish, I followed and filmed a Round Ray and just as we met back up with Ruth and Laura I saw a Blue Shark. I have only seen one other and that was looooong ago like 35 years or so. This one was at least five feet long, turned about a few times, which was very helpful as it took me what seemed like hours to get the point across to my buddies that there was a cool Shark just behind them!!! I nearly gave myself a concussion banging the side of my hand against my forehead, the sign for shark underwater. Luckily my brain finally caught up with my body and I managed to get about 8 seconds of video but my BBF Ruth's reaction after is priceless!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The third of four Anchors I've found this summer

I had a wonderful time on the back side of Catalina 9-30-09. Not only did Ruth and I see a large beefy five foot Leopard Shark but I then found the third anchor of four this year. Here is a short video of me being silly at the safety stop. Thank you to Ruth for filming Meee!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Catalina, June 26, 2009

I have posted video before of the Scythe Butterfly Fish but yesterdays encounter was too good to leave off of my blog. There were three dancing back and forth.

Catalina, June 2009

Thanks to my buddy Ruth and her great eyes we both got to take pictures and video of this wonderful Nudibranch.

Yukon 6-21-09

This Decorator Crab was inside a square area on the Yukon

The Yukon wreck in San Diego June 21, 2009

I was amazed at the shear size of this wreck. It sits in 105 feet of water. I was just a little cold in the 52 degree water after 45 minutes of dive and saftey stop time.

Catalina, June 2009

Here is Ruth posing the Coffee Bean Cowry she found.

Catalina, June 2009

Abalone gobble up Kelp leaves

Catalina, June 2009

These Hermissenda crassicornis Nudibranches were literally all over the site of this dive, Eagle Reef Catalina. Since seeing them for the first time, I have now found them in San Diego on the wreck of the Rubby E, and Yukon.

Wreck diving in June

My buddy Ruth found these mating Polyclad flatworms on the wreck LCM3 out of the LA harbor. We had three wonderful dives on the Wreck Avalon, LCM3 and at a site called Arches off of Palas Verdes
I can never resist the colony anemones or Corynactis, these were especially graceful as well as a beautiful color.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Laguna in May

Ruth and I heading out at Woods cove Laguna Beach. This was my first dive at Woods in approximately 30 years. I must say it was fantastic and felt like coming home. Woods always was one of my favorite sites. I am looking forward to many dives there.
WE had a great week with stellar conditions, poor Ruth you can tell she is just not enjoying life enough!!
Yellow sponge covers the walls in the crevice at Shaws cove
The Octopus remains my all time favorite underwater creature

Laguna in May, Nudibranchs

Hopkins' Rose which is bright rose pink in color, beautiful, and easily found at Shaws cove.
Tylodina fungina sometimes misidentified as a limpet. It has an external cap-shaped shell which is covered with brownish bristles.
Black Dorid
Just one group of Porters chromodorids of the many we saw on dives during the week of May 17 to 21, 2009. The water was spectacular. My buddy Ruth and I spent over three hours total in the crevice at Shaws cove over the course of 4 dives.
A single Porters chromodorid all stretched out looking for food
Another picture of a Chromodorid macfarlandi to show how close in color and shape these are to the Porters, the Macfarlandi have three yellow stripes instead of two

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Catalina May 10, 2009

Gerald, David and I had fun watching this 7" long Navanax hunt the elusive Nudibranch. We found his lunch at the next dive site where we spotted at least 20 Spanish Shawl's. A great day of diving with old and new friends.

Catalina, May 10, 2009

Here is a Roughback sculpin that was cooperating with his pose
Spanish Shawl Nudibranch
Spanish Shawl Nudibranch laying its eggs
Octopus under a ledge

The Pacific Angel Shark from May 8, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Catalina May 8, 2009

Pacific Angel Shark just hanging out at about 70 feet

Blue Cavern Catalina

This video includes a Chromodoris Macfarlandi Nudibranch, some wall decoration of brightly colored Corynactis, sponge, Hedgehog Hydroid, and two separate Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

Catalina May 8, 2009

Just one of a rainbow of colors displayed by the Anemone group Corynactis or Club tipped anemone. These different colonies were covering a wall just above 70' at Blue Cavern.
A Tube Anemone in the sand about 70'

The quality of this pix is not great but I could not resist as this sponge was so large, seemed like an elongated basket ball

Catalina May 6, 2009

The Coast Guard Search and Rescue Helicopter Crew and well me
The Hyperbaric Chamber, after trooping inside we were treated to a one foot depth compression.

After two dives at the Island, our Captain, Derek Erikson, delivered twenty divers to the USC Wrigley research institute. This was for the Chamber Day fund raiser. It turned out to be a beautiful, educational, and fun day with old and new friends.

Shaws Cove April 30, 2009

One creature of over 30 species Ruth and I found on this one dive. The water was murky with lots of particulate. This is a type of White Anemone, it was small about 1/2" in diameter. Ruth is looking up the name.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Rough Back Sculpin Catalina April 26, 2009

Three nice new finds for me Catalina April 26, 2009

Chromodoris macfarlandi Cockerell a colorful Nudibranch
A Rough back Sculpin, I especially enjoyed the top sail flying high. There is video of him as well.
A White-Spotted Rose Anemone, I was surprised to see this colorful Anemone at Catalina where I usually only see Tube Anemone.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This is for Tom and Gerald

I met Tom H. again on Sunday and remembered that I had video of him with my buddy Gerald from January. Tom and his buddy kindly led us to the sunken sail boat at Starlight Cove Catalina. So here you guys are, low visibility and all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Record Heat hits Orange County

What do you do when the air temperature is going to top out at 102 F? Why you head to the Pacific Ocean of course.

I met Ruth and shared a great dive with her April 20, 2009. We headed out to the outer area of Shaws Cove, dropped to the bottom and felt cooler as the water temperature was 54 F. Along the way we found at least 12 White-spotted Rose Anemone. I have to share photos of them. While filming one of them, a Sheep Crab was sneaking up behind me. Ruth was waiting to catch him in the 'act' of pinching me, hmm, somewhere. Luckely I turned in time to stay out of his clutches. Obviously a good time was had by all

Too Hot to stay indoors

White-spotted Rose Anemone

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Catalina April 18,2009

The Southern Kelp Crab

A Navanax on the hunt
Horn Shark egg case
Swell Shark egg case

This fellow was the highlight of my day on Catalina as I had never seen one before. Now I have. He is a Southern Kelp Crab. There must have been a nest of Garibaldi eggs near by since a protective daddy kept buzzing me and at one point actually hit me on the side of my head. I just looked at him wondering what I had done to deserve this very rude treatment. I did search for the nest but failed to find it.

Catalina April 18, 2009

I found this Navanax during the third dive of the day. The Navanax is in the Sea Slug family.

Tear drop Crab

Ruth and I had a great but cold dive at Shaws Cove Friday April 17, 2009. Heather is back in town and stayed on the beach patiently waiting for us. The temperature underwater was a whopping 54F yes that was cold.
As always Ruth found the nicest creatures including this tiny Tear Drop Crab, hope you can see it, I know it is kind of fuzzy.

Tiny Spiny Brittle Star

Ruth found this very small Spiny Brittle Star

Shaws April 17, 2009

Here is a small Lithoid Crab, I am on a mission now to take a better video but here is what I have.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009

I was so happy to see another Scythe Butterfly Fish. Notice how the Juvenile Garibaldi chases him away. This happened during the second dive of the day at Quarry, a beautiful dive site.

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009

This is a Round Ray, Thank you Gerald for help with ID.
The next video down is of a Giant Kelp Fish.
Having water was so clear was a real treat.

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Cute Island Kelp fish turning his head to get a better look at me.

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009

This California Sea Hare is about 12" long and the color was very interesting. The ones I usually see are smaller with a mottled lavender color.

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009

H.T. joined me for three dives Easter Sunday. Here he is holding a California Sea Hare. It was the largest one I have ever seen.
One of three California Scorpion Fish we saw during the day

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Catalina 4-10-09

Thanks to Larry I got this picture of San Diego Dorid
This gelatinous mass is called a Siphonophore. Apparently related to the Portuguese Man of War. Here is a link for more information.
We found five total on these three dives and I found one on Easter Sunday.