You know how sometimes life changes, bringing a halt to things you enjoy? Well, that’s pretty much what happened here. At the beginning of 2012 I started to work with Bluewater Photo, and I struggled to stay on top of my writing. I lapsed, came back Spring of 2013 and held on for about 8 months. Then I lapsed again. Its been more than 2 years now since I’ve typed for myself, as opposed to the reviews, blog posts, product pages and more I’ve been creating for Bluewater. I miss it, and I miss being able to share the stories that belong with my photos.
So now I’m back… (from outer space) and I have stories to share. I hope to spend the next few weeks… months… catching up on the many great adventures under the water (and a few topside) from the past two years. There’s at least a few folks still checking these pages, or happening across by accident, so I hope Dear Readers that I can capture you for a few moments each week and continue to delight and inspire through my words and my images. If this sounds enticing, then please come back soon, this interlude has ended.
Its always nice to escape with friends on a relaxing dive. Jessica and I hopped on a last minute boat out to Catalina for a couple of advanced dives, hitting some new sites I hadn’t had a chance to dive before. We started at Blue Caverns, though sadly were not pointed in the right direction and did not find the awesome large cavern. After that we spent a long dive at Bird Rock, one of my favorites with varied terrain. Lush kelp, a large wall drop off and shallow rocky reefs surround this low lying bird crap encrusted island. Lastly we dove Sea Fan Grotto with the small room with sea fans descending from ceiling. I enjoyed a really nice day of diving, and despite not really devoting the dives to photography came away with a few shots that I liked.
The squid have come back to Los Angeles, with a huge squid run happening up and down the coast. Down at Veteran’s Park in Redondo Beach, thousands upon thousands of squid have been gathering to mate, lay eggs and die. Last night we ventured out to see them and I was amazed at how many squid were just swimming around down there. They couple up for the males to fertilze the females then eggs are laid in groups called baskets before the squid, life’s goal of procreating complete, simple die and become tasty food for all the other critters down there.
In February I revisited a wreck I had dove once before, and discovered just how much some added experience can change a dive adventure. The first time I hit this wreck was with a friend in 2010, visibility was limited and neither of us felt extremely comfortable wandering far through the site. We happened upon part of the wreck, but did not realize it extended deeper down into the depths and was as large as it actually was. Three years later, with much more diving experience under my belt I found myself at the wreck of the Valiant again and experienced an entirely different wreck. A long sprawling body with a huge sweeping hull, the Valiant was a 162′ yacht which sank due to fire just off Catalina outside Avalon Harbor.
Visibility on this second dive was a bit better allowing us to see more of the wreck, and after realizing just how much we had missed the first go round, I’d love to get back over there and dive it again!
One of the diving best days on Farnsworth Banks, off the back side of Catalina Island – clear skies, warm weather and water, with visibility stretching on and on and on! Among the many wonders this large ocean pinnacle holds we enjoyed a sighting of a Pacific Electric Ray – or Torpedo Ray. This guy was lazily swimming along and allowed us to approach, swim near and snap a few pics. These guys usually hang out at Farnsworth, in deeper water and can offer a bit of a jolt if you get too close!
Abalone are a special sea creature, hunted extensively back in the day, they are now protected and making a come back. These guys basically look like a rock until you get up close and personal, then you find the neat parts!
A Garibaldi protecting the nest of eggs as another passes in front.
Moments later the passerby was angrily chased away.
Farnsworth Banks, Catalina Island, CA