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Santa Barbara Fireworks & Santa Rosa weekend-July 4 & 5, 2014-Peace

coastalThis was for sure a trip you wouldn’t find anywhere else and something I thought would be pretty cool to do. I don’t know about anyone else but I have always heard the fireworks in Santa Barbara (not the island) are some of the best along the coast and across the channel from Santa Barbara is Santa Rosa Island so why not plan a 2 day trip doing both.

coastalChannel Islands Dive Adventures is all about-“Striving for different diving” so that is exactly what we did. The Peace had some open dates so I secured the boat got with my friend Jonathan and proceeded to look for some different diving spots using GIS software. We found some and knew there is always Naples Reef so it was set. Also I had to think about travel times so we could be out in front of SB harbor in time for dinner & the fireworks aboard the Peace.

We started out by metering a few areas and decided on the 1st dive at Goat Roping ledge. This is an area with a series of ledges that aren’t much higher than about 4’. The ledges run parallel to each other and they run a long ways. The vis here was about 5’-8’ but if you went slow along the ledges they was some really cool nudibranchs and small fish to see.

coastalWe than checked a couple of other spots but with the swell we had we went to Naples for the other 3 dives of the day. Naples is a very large reef with lush kelp and lots of big structure, some coming up to within 15’ of the surface. Naples used to be a hot spot for lobsters and fish but is now another Marine Protected area (MPA). Vis at Naples ran about 15’-20’ on all the dives.

peaceAfter the last dive we pulled anchor and moved to SB harbor for a good viewing spot for the fireworks. As we watched the fog move in we just kept hoping it would cover us up along with the fireworks. An excellent tri-tip dinner with all the fixings was served and everyone was out on the deck waiting for 9:00 pm.

coastalThe fog was getting closer but seemed to hold off just out of the way. The fireworks started and they were good but every so often they seemed out of order and then the smoke got so thick it covered up the fireworks instead of the fog doing it. Then about 15 minutes later they seemed to stop and with no grand finale. We didn’t know what happened and then we heard they stopped and were waiting for the smoke to clear so they could begin again. I don’t think the people on shore knew that because lots of them were leaving and then the fireworks started again. First the grand finale and then lots of other ones that I think were the ones that didn’t go off. Either way it was fun to be on a boat like the Peace not having to do anything but have a nice drink and watch fireworks, what a life!

Because of the weather we decide to go to the front-side of Santa Cruz the next day. It was a clam ride over and we dived west of Hazards, Painted Cave Annex, 3 caves and Diablo. We also went into Painted Cave while there which is always a treat. Vis was much better at Santa Cruz with it between 20’30’. The day was beautiful and it looked like everyone was having fun.

The trip actually turned out good even if it didn’t go as totally expected. After all I always say “plans are made to be changed”