Santa Cruz Backside-March 9, 2013
Santa Cruz Island dive trip report for Channel Islands Dive Adventures. Trip was on the Peace on Mar. 9, 2013 and turned out to be a great day.
The whole week before the trip the forecast just wasn’t looking all that good and the Thursday before Captain Eric emailed me to say he would be on the boat Friday and if things changed to where we couldn’t go out he would call and of course I was prepared with my list of telephone #’s to call. The forecast still predicted 15-25 knot winds with larger gusts and some big swells but I am not a Captain and don’t know the weather like they do so I stick to their judgment most of the time and again captain Eric was right with the trip turning out to be much better than anyone expected. One friend said “this is a CIDA trip we can handle it” and he was right. CIDA trips have more seasoned advanced divers that know a little rough weather doesn’t cancel a trip. It seems the norm for most diver now is more of a fair weather diver and that a trip to Catalina or Anacapa is about all they can handle, what a shame because they are missing out on so much!
Boarding on Friday evening one would think “are we still going out in this wind” and it also gave us something to talk about. It was actually too windy for most of us to attempt to set up our gear and this was in the harbor. We all went to bed and secretly I was thinking we probably would be waking up still at the dock but that didn’t happen. Right on time and at 6:00am we headed out for our adventure.
It was a longer than normal ride because of the big swell. The Peace headed up the coast further than normal and then they cut across the channel to get a better ride, after 3.5 hours we were in calm waters ready to jump in. They even held cooking until we got into the calmer water otherwise stuff would have been everywhere. Our 1st dive was at Albert’s Anchorage with very good conditions that held out throughout the day. We had very cold water 51°-53° water temperature and 30’40’ of visibility. Of course we couldn’t get to the best sites but the 3 we did make it to were great. Afterwards, they picked up the anchor and moved the Peace up a little further to Coches Prietos where we made our 2nd dive. Here my buddies Ray, Cindy & found lots of large sunstars that seemed to be everywhere you looked, I even found one munching on an urchin. Ray was at a bit of a disadvantage because he was in a wetsuit so he would leave us a little early so as not to freeze to death and we would continue on for another 15 minutes or so.
The 3rd and last dive of the day was at Whale Rock where we found some other cool photo subjects and had another good dive. Who would have though the diving could be so good after the ride we had out but you just never know until you try. Again the Peace crew treated us great and Autumn did an excellent job on the food. The ride back was much nicer and calmer back to the dock with us getting back in about 6:30. If you haven’t been on a Channel Islands Dive Adventures trip then you should come out and give us a try, you’ll be hooked!
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By Ken Kollwitz