San Clemente/Catalina 2 day trip-June 9 & 10, 2012
San Clemente & Catalina Islands dive trip report for Channel Islands Dive Adventures. Trip was on the Pacific Star on June 9 & 10, 2012 and was a blast.
I was really looking forward to this trip and then the military changed some of our plans by closing Northwest Harbor where the john C Butler is, at least San Clemente has plenty of other great dive sites. Then Pat Smith had to cancel but I guess it wasn’t all that bad because we couldn’t dive any of the wrecks that he was going to tell us about.
The ride out was much better than expected with us starting our day with breakfast . Max makes really good breakfast burritos and there even better with some good habenaro hot sauce. The first dive was at Hook Pt. This was a nice easy dive and more of a “get out of bed and start the dive day” type of dive. Afterwards we moved to Pyramid Point for the 2nd dive. There was a swell so we couldn’t get right off the point so we anchored just a little southwest of the point where we had a great dive. Here there was lots of large rocks & structure along with a nice healthy kelp forest. There was some surge from the swell but as long as you stayed out deeper it wasn’t much of a problem.
Our 3rd dive was at Fish Hook which I really liked the best. It was an excellent shallow dive all around the area the boat was in and a very short swim over to the wall where you could get as deep as you wanted. One thing I like about San Clemenete is the walls because they are quite steep, sometimes with an overhang and there is lots of life on them. Occasionally you will see a giant black sea bass or even a shark like we seen on the 4th dive.
The Pacific Star than moved to little Flower where we would stay for the night. We did our 4th day dive here and Little Flower is another one of San Clemente’s well known sites because of its wall and excellent shallow area . One high light of this dive was the sighting of a shark . I have to say it was priceless to see the look on one of my buddies face when he yanked on my fin and signaled to me that there was a shark nearby . Of course it looked bigger underwater and my guess is it was about 5’-6’ft. long. It’s still debatable as to what type of shark it was but it seems to be narrowed down to a blue shark or a soup fin shark, either way it was a cool experience.
Early Sunday we moved to Farnsworth Bank. There was a swell (not to big) , not much current and the water looked like some OK visibility so it was a go. The dive went good as long as you didn’t spend much time shallow and overall I had a good dive along with some good photo opportunities. Our next dive was on the Midnight Hour which is a fishing boat that sunk sometime around Sept. 2011. Just around the backside of the west end of Catalina. This was the 1st time the Pacific Star had done this dive and with the anchor about 50’ away a current along with about 25’ visibility some of us just didn’t find it. We heard that it was an excellent dive from the guys that did make it and seen some equally good video of one of the guys trying to do a little salvage on it. Now I can’t wait to go back.
Our 3rd dive of the day (and last) was at Parson’s Landing. I think Parsons Landing is an excellent dive site with the large rocks, healthy kelp forest, abundance of sea fans and lots of fish it really seems to have it all. If you have a camera there is also plenty of photo opportunities here. One of my dive buddies said she liked this spot the best of all the ones we visited. Afterwards we had a very nice ride back to the dock getting in around 4:30pm. I would have to say that even if we didn’t get to the wrecks we had hoped for the trip was still lots of fun. San Clemente and Catalina always seems to be a crowd pleaser .
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By Ken Kollwitz