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Catalina Dive Park Sept 11th Cryptic Cardinalfish Cavern

Discussion in 'SoCal' started by lamarpaulski, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    I made it over to the Park and found the catalina Divers Supply operation closed down. (I had called but phone just rang) I used Scuba Luv, who gave me great service to the point of picking me up and getting me supplied with tanks ASAP. Conditions were like last week...pretty good but not the epic Fall conditions that were so great last year. Still lots of particulates in 30-40ish viz. Water was warm in top 35 ft but dropped about 8 degrees to hi 50s at that point. I wished to video the Cardinalfish I had seen last week (and last year) so I tried to find the little grotto/cave I'd seen them at. Murphy's law...if you look hard for something you won't find it..esp in kelp. I could not find it or them so enjoyed encountering a very full house of critters in the cracks and crevices...multiple friendly octopi, eels, large horned sharks, mobs of lobster and abs. Stuff everywhere in the shallows. I stayed at 15-25 depth and headed out towards Avalon Bay seeking the 300 ft distance approx from steps where I'd seen them before. On the way back I stumbled across the place @ 18 feet...old 24 oz Budweiser can at the entrance...encountered three Cardinalfish...probably the same three as last time. A pair (male and female..male with swollen mouth) and next cavern over a solo female ? Very hard to get my pole-GoPro in position as they were WAY, way back in mini-cave. Reminded me of my youth as a desperate lobster hunter just to poke the stick near them...my light was either too bright or to dark due to the location and partly due to my need for a 'video' light. I will post something of this video (poor quality on You Tube..search catalina guadalupe cardinalfish) I noticed that they had grown much larger than last season's group...maybe the male ? is hosting eggs in his mouth ? I don't know..seems something is in there. They're a beautiful fish with colors that go from peach to lavender



    cardinalfish1c.MP4_snapshot_03.57_[2013.09.12_07.27.28].jpg and my screen captures cardinalfish1b.MP4_snapshot_01.29_[2013.09.12_07.24.31].jpg do not do cardinalfishbestb.MP4_snapshot_00.51_[2013.09.12_07.41.56].jpg them justice...hope they stay and have a colony. I surfaced from the cavern and included the screen shot to give an idea of location.

    Met some other divers and they reported a herd of five Giant Sea Bass had ripped by them...were very impressed..I did not see them as my head was in holes. The park seems to always offer up something.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
    drbill, watchmanjc, tracydr and 3 others like this.
  2. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,761
    5,904
    113
    Cool... I'll have top search around the 20 ft contour for them. All I saw last night were the light sensitive sea cucumbers that retreat as soon as my video lights hit them... oh, and the thousands of usual suspects!

    One question: Was it a Budweiser or Bud Light can? Tee hee.
     
  3. blue steal

    blue steal Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California/Redondo Beach area
    2,695
    328
    83
    Thanks for the report. I was there early morning and was disappointed that CDS was closed. I did get one long dive in as I had brought my tank with me and conditions were as you say, about 70 on the surface, maybe 65 at 35'.
    Lots and lots of critters in the shallows. I decided to just do some freediving later as I did not want to be hauling tanks from scuba luv.
    Heck there was tons of stuff to see just around the stairs maybe in a 50' radius.
     
  4. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    Yeah...a bit disappointed CDS hadn't left a message on their machine. I was really impressed too by the numbers of creatures in the shallow crevices...a real smorgasbord of SCal reef inhabitants and they weren't shy either. What a great place for students and newbies but I'm not bored there often either. The protected status of the Park has allowed some big bass and lobsters and abs to thrive.

    People always ask where it's 'good' and I usually tell them right off the stairs is pretty darn interesting.
     
  5. merxlin

    merxlin ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: So. Cal.
    6,087
    686
    113
    I find myself often having air left at the end of dives, and I thoroughly enjoy taking my buddy to the stairs then going back out and crawling the wall in the shallows. Octos, eels, and an assortment of other creatures to be seen, plus the light is typically good and the water is warmer up there.
     
  6. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    779
    283
    63
    After seeing that photo of the Brittle Star TWERKING I need a Bud Tall.
     
  7. fnfalman

    fnfalman Orca

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southern California, USA
    5,271
    727
    113
    Thanks for the photos of the cardinalfish. Now I will know what to look for when I hit Casino Point again, probably in October or November. Waiting for the vacation divers and student divers to clear out.
     
  8. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,761
    5,904
    113
    Last year I went for quantity in my dives, this year I'm going for bottom time so most of my dives only go to 50 fsw and I'm getting bottom times of 80-95 minutes. Gives me plenty of time to look for and film critters in the shallows. Besides, it has been murky below the thermocline lately, but clear and reasonably warm above it.
     
  9. blue steal

    blue steal Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Southern California/Redondo Beach area
    2,695
    328
    83
    Only saw maybe 3-4 divers at the park on 9-11, but it was a Wednesday.
     
  10. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,761
    5,904
    113
    Busy Saturday yesterday... lots of students and poor vis. I did an 85 min dive (max depth 29 fsw) going from one end of the park to the other looking for the cardinalfish... no luck. Ruth Harris said she saw one and gave me the location so I did a second dive for 78 min to max depth of 45 fsw and couldn't find that one either. I think I need to visit my optometrist.
     

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