Calm Seas at Farnsworth Bank

Location: Catalina Island, Channel Islands, California, USA

Comments: Farnsworth Bank is about a mile off the shoreline of Catalina Island on the west or offshore side. It is two submerged pinnacles that come to 40 feet and 70 feet below the surface. There is a ridge between and around them at 80 – 90 feet and then a steep drop off on one side and a more gradual one on the other. There was palm kelp and a small amount of macrocystis on the top of the pinnacle and then life galore all over the rocks, including a fairly cooperative horn shark who stayed out in the open to have its photograph taken.

After two dives on Farnsworth we went closer to the island and dove Indian Head Point where we had a balmy 59°F at the surface dropping to 56°F at 70 feet. The visibility was low, approximately 10 feet but there was so much to see that it was not a problem. Swimming through the trunks of kelp was like walking through a forest at twilight in the mist. The kelp “trees” would appear out of nowhere and there were sea fans of multiple colours all over. Probably the most exciting part of the dive was the sea hares. Large, black and everywhere. They were much bigger that I am used to and caused several us to wonder before we figured out what they were. Some were tucked up into holes and others were out in the open. There were also many patches of sea hare eggs. Our final dive was at Church Rock where we saw octopus, flounder, a very large crab walking around in the sand and sea lions that came to see what we were doing. After dinner we steamed around to unbelievably quaint Avalon Harbor and most of our guests went ashore to have a look around at this famous place.

–DM Tricia 


Weather: 80°F, clear skies, calm, calm

Water: 52-59°F, visibility 10-40ft