2 day Santa Barbara Island trip-April 14/15, 2018
By Ken Kollwitz
This past weekend of April 14th & 15th we boarded the Truth for a trip to Santa Barbara Island (SBI). The weather the week before had not been very nice so I figured it would be another Santa Cruz trip. I even had an email from someone early in the week thinking we probably would end up at Anacapa which shows you how bad the weather report was. Of course I replied back with-I haven’t even looked at the report because it is still too early to tell what it would be like.
The only weather advice I can tell everyone and it is something WE all SHOULD KNOW is that-what it is like a week before, what it is like at your house, what the long range forecast is and what it actually will be like are ALL very different then how it will be on a trip. Here is a link to an article about weather I wrote that might help bring this all into perspective.
So by now I am sure you can guess what happened? Yes, Captain Davey and I talked on Friday and he said SBI was plenty doable and we should give it a go-YEAH! We left Santa Barbara Harbor around 1:30 and actually had a very nice ride, even better than some trips to Anacapa. We did our first dive close to the underwater Arch but could not get that close because there was a good size swell hitting it making it like a washing machine in the shallow area around it. The swell also did not help several of the people on board who didn’t go diving. My buddy and I found the wall close to it on the east side and had a great dive with around 30’ plus visibility and seen some really nice spots of purple hydrocoral. Made our way around the island stopping various times and the underwater conditions only seemed to get worse. The topside weather was nice which really helped and my milestone of #2000 dives was made on our 2nd dive of the day. The only good thing to report on that dive was it was #2000 for me.
We made our way in close to the island for a good dinner and sleep afterwards with us leaving at midnight to Santa Cruz Island. The report showed it would be OK for us on the frontside and we started around the Diablo area but all the dives had very poor visibility and with the surge which didn’t help for those taking pictures. Even though the diving was not the best which sometimes happens the GREAT part is we had a FULL boat of FUN and FRIENDLY divers. I will say I think I maxed it out a little too much with all the tech stuff we had on board because my tank space was the floor in the back corner. We had about 4-6 sets of doubles, 1 rebreather and about 15 smaller side bottles and the crew of the Truth handled it well. I guess it was a learning lesson and luckily everything worked out!