Santa Cruz, Yellowbanks-Sept. 28, 2013
Trip review written by Ken Kollwitz
I have to admit that Yellowbanks is one of my favorite areas of Santa Cruz. It isn’t far for a day trip and there are lots of good dive sites especially if the current isn’t blowing down through the area. Yellowbanks is a large extensive area on the southeast side of Santa Cruz past Smugglers Cove. Yellowbanks has large kelp beds and equally large reefs. The reefs are a variety of different types. Some are parallel reefs with sand between them, some are low lying rocky reefs and others are large rocky outcroppings with small walls. With the entire good reef structure there is much to see such as fish, lobsters and lots of small invertebrates. Depths can range from very shallow to 40’-80’ and visibility can be 20’- 50’. It is also an excellent place for not only hunting but photographers and sightseers.
On this day we were obviously there for bugs and I think our small group did quite well considering the take of lobsters the day before. We had about 10 with 22 bugs taken and the day before there were only 2 bugs taken for a full boat. The weather was perfect and the underwater conditions were less than perfect but we still had lots of fun.
All the dives we did were shallow and most of the bugs seen needed to grow a bit more but there are some still out there for the taking! Just remember that bugs don’t usually just jump into your bag and the only way to get them is to dive, practice, dive, practice, dive, dive and do more diving!
After a fun day bug hunting and getting more than enough exercise it was time to head home. Just about when we got to the rig Tony made a sharp right turn and started heading straight for a sailboat so we all were wondering-what’s up? We found out that there was a dead Minke whale floating and there had been blue sharks feeding on it till someone noticed a white shark had moved in so off we went to see something we had never seen before. Standing on the top deck felt a little eerie as we pulled up and you could see the white shark cruising slowly just under the surface. When it went in to eat the blues all moved away and then they moved in for the scraps after the white shark was done. Just a short while the Island Packers boat and the Ocean Defenders boat came over to check it out. It was something to see when the white shark would come in and raise out of the water with its mouth open to eat a little more. This went on for about 10 minutes and then it seemed to leave so it was time to head back to the harbor with a sighting of a large school of dolphins along the way. What a GREAT day!