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Santa Rosa Island on 3/27/10

Santa Rosa Peace trip March 27th, 2010

                This was the 1st charter on the Peace for CIDA and it turned out fantastic. We had all most a full boat and part of it was 2 groups-the Whalers dive club and a group of friends from Mission Viejo.

                Everyone boarded the night before and with assigned bunks, there was no need to rush to the Peace early. Everyone then assembled their gear, went to dinner and socialized a bit before going to bed. We departed at 2:00am and it didn’t take long to realize it would be a bumpy ride across the channel. Once on the backside of Santa Cruz it smoothed out a bit and was a littlie easier to get some rest. Now, when going to the outer islands there is never a guarantee you will make it, so we where very happy when we woke up and found out we where at Santa Rosa.

                Our 1st dive was at a rarely dove site named, Rainbow Reef. Rainbow Reef is a pinnacle with the top sitting at about 60’ and the bottom at 110+. It was easy to navigate with the 20’ Vis and with the anchor draped over the top of the pinnacle. It was a pretty dive with lots of small stuff to see and an excellent spot for macro photography.  The water was chilly with the temperature running in the low 50°s all day.

                The 2nd dive was at South Point with calm conditions and 25’ vis. South Point is in an MPA and is a very good dive. I remember hunting for abs and fish here and now it’s just hunting for good pictures. I wasn’t taking pictures, but I was helping my dive buddy by looking for things to take pictures of so she could dial in her camera better before a big trip that she is going on. The reef structure is large with kelp, lots of fish (big and small) and plenty of small critters to see on the reef. South Point was a good dive.

                The 3rd dive was at East Point between Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz. This dive really surprised me because as we descended to the bottom all I seen was a flat barren reef which I thought was a bit lame, but then I seen some rock mounds off to the north. We then swam over to the rocks and then could see the deeper reef system with lots of overhangs, crevices, little kelp, fish and bugs and about 25’ Vis.  It looked like a good place to go back to for bugs.

                For the 4th dive we headed over to Gull Island on the backside of Santa Cruz. This without a doubt was everyone’s favorite. Gull Island is a small rocky island that is part of an MPA and has much to see and along with the shallow protected rocky reef, lots of kelp, purple hydrocoral and better Vis (35’-40) this was a spectacular dive. It was an excellent spot for photographers and sightseers.

                After 4 dives in my wetsuit it was time for the hot tub and a nap with us getting back about 7:30pm. If you have never been on the Peace you should try it out sometime soon and if you have been on it you know why everyone goes back. The captain and crew always do their best to get you to good dive sites with safety being top priority. The dive site briefings are some of the best I have heard and the crew is always there to help out and there’s no rushing you to get the dives done. The food is very good to fantastic and there’s plenty of room to enjoy yourself either inside or on the top deck where we watched the whales go by. Come join CIDA on there next adventure on the Peace to Gull Island on 3/28 and 4/25.

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