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Anacapa 3 Arches 2/12/11

Diving the 3 underwater arches of Anacapa all in one day is something not usually seen on any dive schedule and that’s what makes Channel Islands Dive Adventures unique. The weather had been very windy the week before the trip, but as the weekend got near the wind and seas calmed to create a most excellent weather window with February 12th (the trip day) being the best.

There were 16 on board for this trip and with everyone arriving early we were able to leave a head of schedule. You could tell the minute we left the harbor we were in for a treat-the swell and wind were just about non-existent.  We reversed the dive day plans starting at the underwater arch on the backside of east Anacapa. As we pulled up I thought this is going to be great, there were sea loins everywhere. I was trying out a new back plate and wing and this dive was perfect for it.

I checked out the arch and headed towards the shallow water to check out the area for bugs at which time I kept feeling like something was touching me and I would look and see nothing. Finally I looked up and realized a large harbor seal was following me. The harbor seal followed me for about 15 minutes staying close enough to touch it and within 6” of my face. The only time it left was when I ventured to far from its area and when I returned to its area it returned. I have never had this happen and it was a very cool encounter.

Next we moved to the underwater arch at the Landing Cove. Conditions were still excellent making for a great dive and good conversation with everyone on the boat. It was an excellent group of divers and all seemed to be having a good time. Its always nice diving from the Raptor as it’s probably the easiest boat to dive from. The water is less then 12” from the dive platform making for the easiest entries.

For the 3rd dive the Raptor moved to Barracuda Rock on the front side of Anacapa. Barracuda rock is a large rock that sticks up past the surface about 15’ and has an underwater arch in it. Again this is also in an MPA like the landing cove and has some of the biggest lobster you are going to see anywhere. I think Barracuda Rock is a fun dive. The visibility through out the day was about 20’-25’ and the water must have been in the mid to low 50’s as most of us (including myself) ended up getting cold, of course we still endured it to have a nice long dive.

Afterwards it was a very calm ride back to the harbor getting back about 2:45 and without being rushed the whole day. It was another fun and successful trip.

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