Kopco Star & the Anacapa Pelican Reserve-Nov. 9, 2013
Kelpcutter & Pelican Reserve dive report for Channel Islands Dive Adventures. Trip was on the Explorer on Nov. 9, 2013 and was one of the best!
The Kopco Star is one of my favorite wrecks and it is not very well known. The reason I like it so much is it sits at a perfect depth for a nice long nitrox dive and it is only a short ways out of Ventura Harbor but what really makes this such a cool dive is the history it had before sinking. If you ever watched Sea Hunt and what diver hasn’t than you probably seen the Kopco Star. It was in the episode called “Magnetic Mine”.
You can read all about the wreck and its history on the CIDA website.
The weeks before the trip I had been watching the weather and thanks to some excellent sea and topside conditions all of SoCal was experiencing some very good diving conditions and it certainly continued giving us some extra good dives on this trip. This trip was aboard the Explorer dive boat out of Ventura which works perfectly for a trip like this. We had our briefing as we left the harbor due to a short ride out of about 30 minutes and we also split the group into 2 groups for the wreck dive. The wreck isn’t all that big and having 2 groups allowed everyone to have fun without bumping into each other. The photographers and videographers were in the 1st group and all others in the 2nd group.
The dive was excellent with some of the best conditions I have seen on the Kopco Star. We had about 25’ of visibility, very slight current and plenty to see, the only problem is the dive had to end and I stretched it out as long as possible by checking out all the cool things floating in the upper water column during my safety stop.
We than moved to our next location to Anacapa Island at the Pelican Reserve. The Pelican Reserve is closed for 10 out of 12 months to any type of use including boat traffic and opens November 1st for 2 months. It has some excellent diving in relatively shallow waters. There is lots of rock structure, friendly fish, lobsters and a family of trigger fish living there and some healthy kelp growing in the shallows. We did 2 fun dives here and even thought I didn’t get any bugs I had a great time. The trip back was nice and calm and it turned out to be an AWESOME trip!
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By Ken Kollwitz