Bug Fest October 13-14, 2012
San Nicolas Island Lobster trip dive report for Channel Islands Dive Adventures. Trip was on the Pacific Star on Oct. 13 & 14, 2012 and was as good as it gets.
The bug fest is always fun and brings all types of bug divers together (new & old) for 2 days of fun on the Pacific Star. Like always the plan is to go to San Nick and this year it was looking good until the night before when everything changed because of the wind that was predicted out at the outer islands. Captain Dave and I spent about 20 minutes’ trying to decide when we were supposed to leave at midnight and the final decision was to go to Catalina for the 2 days. There aren’t many hiding spots at San Nick Or Santa Barbara Islands if it is windy and the trip out might not be very good for some of the passengers. Also, because it was a shorter trip there would be a discount of $15.00 each going back to everyone. Just to get there and have to turn around is not a good option. So with that we started our day at Black Rock on the west end of Catalina.
The ride out had a little bump but not bad considering what it would have been like if we went to San Nick and when we woke up, climbed up the ladder and our eyes adjusted to the light we could see we would be in for a treat. There was a slight current but the visibility was great, the seas calm and the sun was shining. The weather stayed like this for the whole trip with it really warming up on Sunday. We did 1 more dive at Ironbound Cove on the backside (very beautiful) and another at Albert’s Pinnacle. There was some problems with the anchor not holding at Albert’s so some of us didn’t even see the reef and the ones that did said it was deep but nice, for sure I want to try this one again.
Because I wanted to have 2 night dives for the trip (and more chances to get bugs) and not the usual 1 night dive we had about a 3 hour surface interval with dinner before starting our night dives. Our 1st night dive was at Parsons Landing and then we moved to Isthmus Reef where we did our last. This proved to be a good spot but most all of the bugs were pulled from deeper water at about 90′. The bugs just were not very shallow the whole trip. Early on Sunday morning while it was still dark a few did a dive getting some more bugs. We stayed at Isthmus for our 1st dive of the day Sunday and then moved to Eagle Reef and then Arrow Point for the last dive of the day.
Probably the best 2 dives where at Isthmus Reef and Eagle Reef. With a water temperature of 7o degrees and visibility running about 80′-100′ it was like a tropical dive without having to leave the country. The best was at Eagle Reef with the sightings of the giant black sea bass, schools of fish including a large school of barracudas’, morays and much more. Some did good for bugs and some not so good (like me) but either way the trip worked out well with everyone having a good time. It was also especially nice to see a group of guys who have been on previous bug fest trips doing well with their bug catching. Their skills are getting quite good and I look forward to seeing them again next year!
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By Ken Kollwitz