So on our first channel island scuba diving trip we squeezed in two dives on a kelp bed south of Coronado islands before going to USA and Check in in San Diego, and it was a hit! It is a pretty deep kelp bed between 100 and 65 ft, but as it is off the island it brings in lots of nutrition and thhere was a lot of life of fish , but even more interessting a lot off small stuff to find nudibranch in different form sizes colours and shapes! I will admit that I am not the expert in this waters but I at least found 8 different species , I just wonder then what our nudi branch expert on board Alicia Hermosillo would find… The place we found was that good that we stayed for the second dive at the same place. A few divers where as well seeing the GIANT Black bass. I love being able to finally do this beautiful diving from a luxury liveaboard like the Nautilus
Surface condition: Calm slow light swell a bit cloudy. temp 22C
UW conditions: 61F about 15C. No current viz ca 10m /30 ft
San Clemente Channel islands, California, USA
SHAAAARK! Yi hoo!
We arrived in the morning in San Clemente and where anchoring up by a boiler in the south end. Beautiful topography with white sand on the bottom between 60-100 ft and then rocky bottom where the kelp is with lots of crevisses , canyons small drop offs all the way up to the surface.
After two dives we moved close an other boiler , but parked Nautilus Explorer beside a very dense kelp bed . The bottom had a very rocky irregular bottom beutiful and full of life that we stayed there for our forth and last dive of the day. swimming along in the kelp forest I saw what reminds me of the movement of a shark and yes there it comes! It was a shark a bit curiouse making a circle and swimming in towards me and then shot a way like a bullet. Long snout a very large upper lobe tail. A soup fin shark! in other places called Tope shark as well a size of a bout 5-6 ft, nice eyes I would say it was really cute. Its latin name is Galeorhinus galeus.
Surface condition: Calm sunny , up to 26 C Underwater: 58 C so about 14C the coldest 62F 16 the warmest. Viz ca 10-14m 30-40 ft.
Although a passenger claimed that pinnipeds are “ordinaire”, today’s highlight might have been a spotted seal (harbor seal) that gnawed on everyone’s flippers. The protected cove on the north end of San Miguel hosts a colony of curious sea lions and seals, and one harbor seal had fun bumping into a video camera housing, and cuddling with the videographer’s flippers, it needed its belly scratched. Although the water was chilly, scuba divers couldn’t keep away from the kelp beds; a couple sunflower stars fought to devour a sea hare,lots of jelly fish floated around, a young wolf eel smiled for Sten’s photo, and tons of crabs teemed about. Those in love of the tiny creatures found hooded nudibranchs, in fact one of the divers claimed to have spent one whole hour getting a perfect shot of one Hilton’s Aeloid. The morning was a bit more rough, with tough currents and winds on the southern point, but the abaloni abundance made it worth the effort to get back on the boat.
Amanda and Pedro from Guadalajara Mexico.
Yesterday a numerous group of very courious soup fin sharks at San Clemente with nice visibility waters and a temp of 59 to 62 F degrees, amazing stuff !!! Today a religious experience with a family of harbor seals (and close encounters with one of the young ones) at mangnficent San Miguel island. Chilly waters (around 51 F) and a truly amazing abundance of life. World class diving as portrayed in the new book Sea of Light by Richard Salas. Red Abalone, abalone, abalone, more abalone, and old guys at that… at Wickof’s ledge this morning in San Miguel island. Very windy but captain Gordon managed to guide Nautilus wonderfully in the area.
As for the invertebrates, San Miguel, as usual did not disapoint. We saw the luscious colors and life on every tinny surface of the rocks. Nudibranchs like Hermissenda crassicornis and Phidiana hiltoni were everywhere. The other usual suspects like all the yellow dorids and some little ones like Doto amyra were there too.
Roberto and Alicia, Pacifico Expediciones / Nautilus Explorer Mex
Today was a beautiful, albeit windy, day that began with a colorful sunrise over the island with hot, fresh coffee being served with a smile by Daniela. The divers braved 52 F water temps to be rewarded with an assortment of life, including endangered abalone the size of dinner plates, as many as 15 different species of nudibrancs and playful harbour seals. The wind raged on as 4 dives were enjoyed by divers in dry suits.
Your hostesses with the mostesses, Ashley and Daniela.
Photos by: Sten Johansson, Roberto Chavez and Yves Herraud.