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San Miguel-April 27, 2013

San Miguel is a long ride away from Ventura, about 58 miles which equates to a 6 hour or so ride and a long day out and is well worth it. I know people who made it to San Miguel their 1st time, others that tried at least 6 times and myself who made it there on my 5th trip. When its good its good and when its bad its bad had there is a number of days in between.

P1020963The trip on April 27, 2013 was what I would call a typical day (an in between day) with wind, a slightly rough sea, some sun and with some good diving. So why bother if it is such a long ride out with not the best conditions? Good question and the answer is because it gets much less diver pressure then most any other island and the marine life is incredible!

When going to any of the outer islands you need to board the night before and that’s half the fun because you get to talk with the other passengers and if you need a buddy it’s also a good time to start scoping one out. Afterwards everyone got settled in for the night with us departing at 12:00 midnight and arrived at our 1st dive at Crook Pt. at about 7:30am.

P1020952A few divers had some last minute gear problems and with those fixed everyone was on their way. Once at the bottom the vis improved to 15′-20′ and with lots of rock structure and cool things to see you didn’t have to go far. The only thing that limited most everyone’s diving all day was the cold 50° water. Afterwards the Peace pulled anchor and moved to Rain Barrel for the 2nd dive which I sat out due to some computer problems which required me to get out some dive tables and do some figuring for the next 2 dives. I heard the dive was nice and there was a wolf eel sighting, how cool!

nudibranchThe 3rd dive was at the Bluffs and as soon as I descended I knew I was going to really enjoy the dive. Why you ask? Because there were lots of lion nudibranches (melibe leonina) all over the kelp fronds and they were laying eggs. I have seen loin nudibranches about 15 years ago while diving on a solo night dive in British Columbia and always wanted to see them again. This past year for the 1st time that I know of they have been in a number of places in SoCal. The ones on this dive were large-up to about 7″ long. I spent almost the whole dive between 10′ -25′ taking lots of pictures and trying to get some good video of them. The vis was also better here running about 25′. We made our 4th dive back at Crook Pt. and again the lion nudibranches action was excellent with me again spending just about the whole dive in 10′-25′.

nudibranchAs soon as the last person was up the anchor was pulled and we were on our way home having lunch (and desert) along the way. We had some whale sightings along the way and another long but nice ride back to Ventura getting in around 9:00pm. I felt bad for the crew because they still had to clean the boat and get it ready for the next day’s trip to Anacapa while some of the people were waiting to board. The life of being a dive boat crew (or any for that matter) is not an easy one and I for one appreciate all that they do. Thank you for an excellent trip to San Miguel!

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