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Catalina Casino Dive Park - Friday Nov 22 - Last of the Cardinalfish.

Discussion in 'SoCal' started by lamarpaulski, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    Blustery day but ocean wasn't too bad on trip over to Avalon. Rain here and there. I met very some nice divers/snorkelers who hailed from Nebraska but were living in S Cal...pretty excited to be diving kelp. The conditions were a little weird with milky and variable viz 30-50 ft. The surface was choppy and a very strong current was running towards the harbor so that the kelp was practically horizontal. The water was COLD...much colder than just a week and a half ago...today I got a 55F on my computer. My 5mm wasn't really cutting it and for the first time in a while I was pretty uncomfortable. I saw and videoed a small school of sardines and noticed what looked like a small Bonita ?mingling with them. I had a cormorant swim right up to my mask...actually startled me and the darn thing looked like he was thinking about taking a nip. Checked out Sue Jac and the schools of Blackfish that hung out over it. Then I came back shallow. I had hoped to really really search for Cardinalfish as I have struck out for last two months. I spent most of my air sticking my head in various crevices bothering lobsters, octopuses, abs, morays, hornsharks, a big Sheephead and thousands more Blacksmiths but no Cardinalfishes. At about 500 PSI i caught a glimpse of something way way back in a mini cave then lost sight of it. Had to go. During S I saw several sea lions ripping through the park...obviously making life tough for the fish.

    On the second dive I returned to same Cardinalfish spot and was finally able to spot and video a solo Cardinalfish...biggest one yet but very skittish and all by itself. As always it was between 18-14 feet in depth. The Cardinalfish remained in the far recesses of the mini cavern and moved skittishly through the narrow gaps in rocks so i only managed about 10 seconds of decent video and only that much because my go pro is on an extendable pole.. I marked the main cavern entrance (see purple float) and then ascended and videoed the nearby breakwater...noting i was almost exactly between the flagpole and marker light on the mole/breakwater. I also noted a smaller light-colored rectangular rock in the breakwater adjacent to cardinalfish location. I have always seen these beautiful fish in the company of others but no longer - perhaps the colony is down to the sole survivor.

    Spectacular sunset on trip back with broken clouds and geography and spots of rain all being bathed in the reds of the sunset.



    GOPR1744.MP4_snapshot_00.37_[2013.11.22_20.15.38].jpg note white rectangular rock GOPR1743.MP4_snapshot_00.21_[2013.11.22_19.57.29].jpg GOPR1744.MP4_snapshot_00.03_[2013.11.22_20.13.53].jpg Marker...
     
  2. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,758
    5,895
    113
    We had rain again last night but the sun is out. I think I'll wait another day or two before trying to spot your marker and see if I can find the elusive cardinalfish.

    Could that small bonito have been a chub mackerel? They will sometimes school with other baitfish.
     
  3. Vegan Shark

    Vegan Shark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Okinawa
    500
    136
    43
    55? Oh man, I was expecting toasty mid 60s for when I go next Fri/Sat. Sad to hear it was choppy, since the swell forecast looks very crappy for my dates by comparison.

    Bill, is the dive park protected enough to have pretty good vis even when the swells off the island are bad, so long as the wind stays NW? I notice it was a S wind yesterday, which I'm guessing is the reason for the current and choppy conditions?
     
  4. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    Dr. Bill...you are correct ! Chub mackerel it was...the odd man in the school. Thnx.
     
  5. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,758
    5,895
    113
    @Vegan Shark: Water temps have been all over the place te past few months, but this drop to the mid 50s may be temporary. I'll try to post a few temps before your visit. You can always check my on-line dive log since I post the min temperature on each of my dives there.

    @Paul: Glad I could assist in the ID. They do look a bit like a small bonito. I've sen mixed schools with sardine, jack mackerel and chub mackerel in our waters.
     

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