Monday, August 27, 2007

Diving the Channel Islands

On Saturday night after the Sunset Junction street festival, I headed over to Paul's house in Atwater Village and then we drove together to Ventura harbor that took us about an hour from where we were. We unloaded all our gear and put it on the boat- the Spectra above- and picked out our bunks before heading to the restaurant to get something to eat. Since it was about 10, our choices were a bit limited so we finally decided on this Greek restaurant which was pretty good-- just REALLY loud with belly dancers and lots of singing. The boat held 30 divers and for the entire trip with the night on the boat, 4 tanks and meals on the boat- it was totally cheap.. $100 per person! That's a steal. We went to Santa Cruz and Anacapa although the visibility wasn't too good in Anacapa so we did all of the dives in Santa Cruz. The visibility in Santa Cruz was around 60 feet, the water temp was 70 and there was basically no current at all... perfect diving conditions for California. Not to mention that it was yet another beautiful day with bright blue skies and lots of sunshine. We saw a ton of really cool things in the water like colorful nudibranchs like below, that looked almost like they were glowing underwater. As tiny as they are, about the size of the tip of your finger, they were easy to spot because of their beautiful colors.
There were also some really cool sponges and anemones that I don't know the names of... but I love the middle picture below of the black coral that looks like it has a red metallic center-- it looks like a piece of art under water. There were tons of sea urchins (like below) and one time Paul cut one of the urchins open and all the fish would come eat it. It reminded me of being in the aquarium and being surrounded by fish! I miss those days! There were also some really neat starfish like below. I love the massive one on the left with about 20 or so legs. If you could just sit and watch it for a while, you could see it moving so fast across the floor.
The whole trip was just great. We lounged in the hot tub they had on board on the gorgeous drive back to the harbor (ok, as long as we could take it!) and then fell asleep on the top platform heading back in. I wish I could spend every weekend this way!! If you dive out here in Southern California and haven't done this trip, you have to go!

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