San Clemente-August 2 & 3, 2014-Pacific Star-
San Clemente is one of my favorite islands to dive but than it is another one of those that the military owns and they get to do what they want and when they want and this did come into play at the end of our first day BIG time.
The weather was awesome and underwater was even better the whole trip. Clear blue warm water with vis of 60’-80’ or better just makes for an excellent time!
There was a possible deeper wreck I was hoping to check out up towards Pyramid Cove but that area was closed down by the military which isn’t the norm and Northwest Harbor was open and that hadn’t been open in a couple of years so we started below Pyramid and diving the usual suspects while working our way down the island.
There was a large area closed going towards Northwest harbor which we had to go around making our trip about 2.5 hours. The plan was to get a dive in on the John C. Butler as the area it is in had been closed for so long. We arrived, started figuring out where to anchor and then Captain Dave gets a call from Kracken which I understand is the military control. They proceeded to tell us they are closing the area NOW and we must leave. Of course, they NEVER answer back when Dave tries to radio them and also out comes a boat to make sure we leave as well as a fishing boat and the Great Escape who had already been anchored for the rest of the day.
This is what I mean when I say they can do what they want when they want to do it and there is no discussion about it only now what do we do! The only choice for us was to head over to Catalina for the evening. The plus would be we would be very close for Farnsworth in the morning so Catalina here we come.
Our last day dive now at Catalina was at a place most of us called Snipe Hunt. Have you ever been on a dive when you were told the dive site is just up ahead of the anchor and you are sure to not miss it? Well, we all missed it and had a sorta of fun sand dive finding some reef but the conditions just were not all that great.
We than moved and settled into a nice cove for the night where a few of us did a dive. I never found the reef on this dive either but then I went the wrong way. At least I did have a fun dive seeing tons of very small baby rays swimming around.
On Sunday morning we headed over to Farnsworth just a short distance away where we made 2 dives. The conditions were the best I have ever seen with us able to look up and see the bottom of the Pacific Star from 85’ deep. Traveling over the pinnacles was extremely easy because we could see everything and didn’t have to worry about finding the anchor chain. To top it all off the schools of bait fish in the water column were just unbelievable to see. What an awesome 2 dives!
Afterwards we headed to Eagle Reef in hopes of some GBSB viewing. After all we were lucky enough to have Ana Sofía Guerra the 2014 North American Rolex Scholar of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society on the trip and she was here for the first ever GBSB count that was the first week of August. A few people did see some GBSB and the dive turned out great even for those like me who didn’t see the GBSB.
This trip turned out AWESOME and with a full boat of FUN people what is there not to like!