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Los Angeles wreck trip 6/12/11

This was one of those trips that you remember for a long time and will keep you going back for more. As usual my wife and I arrived at the Pacific Star early the night before stopping along the way to pick up a friend. We actually needed to be at the boat early to open it up for the guests because the owner and his family were at a big family party and would not be able to get to the boat until later that night.

Shortly after getting everything ready people started to trickle in with ½ showing up the night before and the others in the morning. In the morning I discussed the day’s plans with Captain Dave and we decided to dive the wreck of the Avalon 1st because it was the furthest away.

Although there was a 3’-4’ swell the ride out was very nice and as we arrived at our location the water clarity looked great. The Avalon sits a short distance off the beach of Palos Verdes in 80’ of water with a rocky bottom and kelp growing on and around her.

I had dived the Avalon quite a while ago and the area I dove was a very small debris field in shallower water and I can tell you Captain Dave knew exactly where the best part was. This dive turned out to be awesome. As my buddy Greg and I followed the anchor line I knew we were in for a treat with calm water, 25’-30’ Vis and to make it even better the anchor was only about 20’-25’ away from the best part of the wreck-the large bow section. The bow section is about 20’ tall and sits on its port side. There were lots of places to explore, even a few big holes that you can swim in and out of that are actually part of the top deck of the ship.

Greg and I explored a lot of the nooks and crannies and part of the debris field when Greg let me know he was going up and back to the boat, I found out afterwards that his dry suit became not so dry. I then continued to explore the debris field a bit more. There were collapsed decks with large fish hanging out beneath them. My friend Jonathan was checking out the debris field and said he came across a crane-that would have been very cool to see.

Once back on deck I could tell everyone really enjoyed the dive and the excellent conditions we had during the dive. There were a few that wanted to stay, but because it was still early I thought it best to move on to the Olympic ll. As we were getting close to the Olympic ll something didn’t look to good for us but it must have been really good for the fishermen because there were 43 boats sitting right where we wanted to dive. After a quick discussion with Captain Dave we decided to make a change of plans and dive the oil rigs Elly & Ellen. This decision turned out to be a best seller for everyone.

We were treated to some of the best conditions I have seen when diving an oil rig. We had calm seas, very slight current and 50’-60’+ vis starting from the top. There was plenty to see like schools of fish, tons of invertebrates and plenty of scallops especially after about 50’ deep. We did 2 excellent dives with anyone wanting scallops getting their limits. We arrived back to the dock about 6:00 enjoying an excellent day diving the Avalon and oil rigs on the Pacific Star. If you missed this CIDA trip stay tuned for others like the next one on July 16th diving the Olympic ll and the oil rigs.

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