Today the Burbank Dive Club along with Hollywood Divers got in 4 awesome dives at Anacapa and Santa Cruz. Some of the club members drove up to Ventura the night before and the rest of us lazy folks drove up in the morning. It’s tough getting up at 4:30 am to make the drive but then I did get to sleep in my own warm bed the night before. There were however a few stories I am told of an unnamed club member that was snoring so loud that the other divers on board thought the boat had cranked up early and was leaving the harbor. Among the Burbank contingency was Phil, Mandy, Jose, Tom, Quinn and myself. Mandy recently was inducted into the DUI drysuit hall of fame and Phil was to give her some proper instruction.
Jose and Tom were sightseeing; Quinn and I were after scallops. All of the above objectives were met and my freezer is once again stocked for the next couple of weeks! Scallops were Phil’s secondary objective and I’ll let him explain how that exercise turned out. Sorry Phil…
Anacapa is about 1½ hour boat ride and is actually three tiny islands that look like one if you are gazing across the channel from Ventura. Only 5 miles long and ½ mile wide Anacapa usually has great diving due to being sheltered by Santa Cruz and often has visibility in excess of 50 feet although on this day of diving it was around 20 at best. Anacapa usually is a little bit warmer than the outer islands however I got a coldest reading of 51 degrees…almost shorty weather! We got in our first dive here in the game preserve and it was a blast. The Captain did mention that we were in for spring time conditions and we all know what that means. Anacapa is not immune to plankton bloom and that is what we encountered. We did not have the spectacular panoramic vistas but if you were the photographer using macro mode you would not have been let down. For reference the dive site we dove was The Goldfish Bowl.
Santa Cruz is much larger than Anacapa by a large margin. At 25 miles long Santa Cruz dwarfs is eastern neighbor and is the largest of all the North Channel Islands. Strong currents at times plague and we did encounter this today. Visibility was better and exceeded 40 feet in certain areas of the three dive sites we visited. Santa Cruz offers the photographer and explorer many options. Once again I used macro mode to frame up some interesting pictures. One of the dive sites we visited, Fault Line we were greeted by at least 20 sea lions. All youngsters, they were happy to see us and we were happy to see them. They were frolicking on the surface and were playful underwater. This simply made the dive and the day.