Catalina-May 12, 2012
Catalina is one of those islands that works for everyone and to top it off there are plenty of good dive sites to pick from. Our plan was to hopefully see the giant black sea bass (GBSB) and dive Ship Rock so it made sense to start the furthest away at Goat Harbor and work our way back.
We heard the GBSB had been seen between 50’-70’ ft. deep and maybe they were but on this day they were in stealth mode. We then worked our way towards the west stopping at a dive site called –Rippers Cove. At this site out deeper in the sand a few angel sharks were spotted but in the shallows was where the action was. Here, I also saw lots of large navinax’s out in the kelp area slowly cruising the bottom looking for some fresh meat. In the shallow area close to shore there were lots of very large rocks that stood more vertical with mini-walls. In between the rocks there were lots of kelp and fish to see and some little critters in the crevices. The rocks seemed to be lined up in a manner that made an outer barricade and the area between them and the shore was an excellent shallow dive. Everyone seemed to really enjoy this dive spot.
Next we moved to Ship Rock, the only problem we had was there was a current and the only spot we could anchor at had another private boat circling around trying to figure out what they were doing. They finally decided to drop anchor where we wanted to be so we decided to then go over to Isthmus Reef. What do you know, no sooner then we anchored the other boat at Ship Rock left…go figure! Isthmus Reef is a nice dive spot with a shallow (20’-35’) plateau with lots of rocks and crevices and a healthy kelp forest along with a wall that runs a long distance on the ocean side. The wall is very steep and would be an exciting dive on one of those crystal clear excellent visibility days Catalina has to offer except that is not what we had. The visibility we had was about 25’ at this site but we did have better earlier in the day.
The Pacific Star crew all did a great job and had us back to the dock about 5:30pm. If you have never been on the Pacific Star then I highly suggest trying them out. They are the only ones (that I know of) that will carry your gear from the car to the boat and back and when they have enough fresh water they put out rinse tubs for your gear with some simple green in one to help un-stink things…what service!