Ventura County Coastal Offshore Reefs (aka:Deep Hole) 8/5/12
Diving the coastal off shore reefs of Ventura County (aka: Deep Hole area) can be very exciting but the conditions aren’t always like they are at the islands and when they are good this area can have some diving that will rival the sites at the islands because there is so few divers diving this area. Really the best time to dive this area is more like September-January. I have dove the Deep Hole area before in November a few years back and had 80’ of visibility (not a typo). Like everywhere else it is just a matter of the swell, wind and tides being on your side. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t and this time it wasn’t.
The topside and sea conditions were good but in return the visibility wasn’t which wasn’t such a bad thing because it made everyone slow down and spend more time looking at the little things and seeing things they never had before. Anyways, it was a full boat and like a usual Channel Islands Dive Adventures trip there was lots of different gear, from just the normal recreational diving equipment to rebreathers and scooters. If you have doubles, rebreathers or scooters don’t worry about getting hassled about it on a CIDA trip, we welcome it all! This is part of what makes a CIDA trip so much fun, we aim to please and accommodate everyone.
The ride out to Deep Hole is about 20 miles and about 1 hour longer then going to Anacapa but then on the good side this is why very few divers make it down the coast to dive the off shore reefs, kayakers are about the only people you will see down there along with a few private and commercial fishing boats. We dived 3 spots all within a small area. The 1st & 2nd dives were to about 70’ deep and the 2nd site was the one everyone liked better and is now named “Neptune’s Reef”. The 3rd site was at “The Ring” which had a good surface current but once you got to the anchor (the hardest part) and got down below 15’ it was all good. Of course it wasn’t any problem for the 4 divers with scooters. The scooters look like fun and I think someday I will have to try them out.
Like I mentioned the visibility wasn’t the best but it forced us to just get closer and slow down and see all the things we wouldn’t have seen. I saw lots of dorids, nudibranchs, the usual gorgonians, a lone metridum and some purple top ring snails (I really like these) that I don’t remember ever seeing in this area. I also seen an octopus and quite a number of fish and of course I didn’t have my camera when I seen the octopus and the largest purple top ring snail I think I have ever seen. There was one diver that found a nudibranch he said he had never seen before and it seemed like he was a serious nudibranch diver.
After all our fun it was time to call it a day and head back to Ventura with us getting in around 6:00pm, a little later than expected but well worth it.