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Catalina Dive Park..May 1, 2014.

Discussion in 'SoCal' started by lamarpaulski, May 2, 2014.

  1. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    May 1 trip to Avalon. I was concerned the unusual Spring Santa Ana winds would ruin this pre-paid trip but they weren't a factor. (However, they had whipped up so powerfully the day before that breakers were bashing the harbor and divers had to be rescued from the Park !!!!) The day was hot and sunny, water was calm but viz was only about 30ft (due to yesterdays winds according to dive shop) and temp was a brisk 61F. Easy entry with the stairs and railings a good help to my screwed up back.
    A student diver alerted everyone, very vocally, she had seen a HUGE GSB that swam right at her....but I didn't see one. I just poked around and encountered the lone Cardinalfish in his/her grotto, it dodged back into crevices after a few seconds so poor pix, saw octo, a nice horn shark of 3ft, usual suspects but no morays. Ate some shrimp tacos at the Lobster Shack and headed back to mainland. GOPR0345.MP4_snapshot_00.47_[2014.05.01_20.39.59].jpg
     
  2. Bubbles below

    Bubbles below Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Arizona
    217
    35
    28
    We are going to dive Catalina, Aug 27 and 28 so I hope the viz is better than 30 ft. We are doing a guided shore dive since it is our first time at the park. My instructor in AZ said its an amazing dive thru the kelp forest. I'm not to kend about the water temp but I have a 7mm and 7/8mm. I'm surprised that a boat dive doesn't offer a guided tour. We always have a guide on a boat dive. I hope its easy to navigate or hope we can buddy up w someone.
     
  3. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    The water will be much warmer (67-72f) then and will probably be better viz-wise too. I use a 5mm, so 7mm will be more than adequate unless you're extremely sensitive. Diving the Park is extremely easy and interesting 364 days of the year..so don't get discouraged. The "park" is NOT a boat dive however, but an easy shore dive down a very wide stairway with railings, right next to the Casino. Very civilized. Food, bathrooms, even showers are all right there or close by. There are park maps available and you don't really need a guide but it will save you some time and wasted air. There are several small wrecks and resident creatures the guide can introduce you to. Its almost always quite calm and clear but of course nature occasionally throws a curve ball. Also, August is a good time to spot the Giant Sea Bass which are pretty impressive. Catalina is beautiful..you ought to love it.

    The dive boats in S. Calif don't include 'guides' which you will understand once you dive there - the kelp and darker water make it impractical for more than a couple divers to be guided, unlike the Caribbean.

    PS: I always bring a small dive light to illuminate cracks, caves and grottos as many of the interesting creatures live there during the day.
     
    Bubbles below likes this.
  4. undrwater

    undrwater Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cerritos, CA
    2,703
    1,259
    113
    I'm curious what a rescue at the park looks like.
     
  5. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    Got it from the local newpaper/newsletter..and the dive shop guys..(excellent photos of it in that edition btw)...used the harbor patrol/lifeguard boats to grab the divers who were just offshore as the suddenly large surf was crashing on the stairs/rocks making the normal easy exit problematic. Very big waves hit inside parts of the harbor too. catalina rescue.jpg catalina rescue.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
    lkws likes this.
  6. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    [​IMG]
     
    lkws and undrwater like this.
  7. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,761
    5,903
    113
    That wind came up suddenly, within 10 minutes and caught several divers out in the water. As usual, Baywatch and other first responders were there quickly. I had considered diving that morning but one of my sixth senses told me to forget it. I did dive yesterday and conditions were a bit murkier (10-30 ft vis) but I think some of it was due to "bat ray season." It's that time of year when they stir up the sediments by feeding in the dive park and adjacent waters.

    Giant sea bass have now been seen at least three times in the dive park. I have yet to see one, but I did confirm a sighting two days ago via a photo.

    I had 59 F as my bottom temperature at 90 ft by the base of the Suejac. It did feel a little chilly in certain parts of my anatomy. I discovered why when I removed my wetsuit at home... the bottom and crotch had totally split open! Good thing it is summer!

    Another Guadalupe cardinalfish sighting? Grrr... I hate you!
     
  8. Mr.X

    Mr.X ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    2,449
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    Gosh I miss Catalina. :depressed: Some of the best days of my life were there. Nothing like the dive park for a fun filled dive full of human escapades, critters, decent eats after a dive and fun people watching.

    X
     
  9. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,761
    5,903
    113
    Dove Friday and Saturday this weekend. Temperature dropped 3-4 degrees (depending on which of my two computers you looked at) in 24 hours along the same profile. Water was so rough my wetsuit developed a small leak (no, it wasn't a Guadalupe cardinalfish bite)... but better to tolerate the warm "bottom" temperatures of 56-59 F:

    wetsuit hole in butt 2014-05-03-cs.jpg
     
  10. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    Youre vulnerable to a near sighted sea lion bull.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
     

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