September 20, 2017
Good Morning! Up at the usual time as our flight is scheduled for 11:35 AM. Mary and I did our morning routine with an early departure at 8:55 AM headed for Jim Davis’ house to meet up with the motley crew. Mary kindly volunteered to drop us off at the airport after we all met at Jim’s to consolidate luggage and pack up the car. Karl showed up shortly after so we laid all of our “extra” luggage on the floor and figured out the best way to get everything reduced to the fewest pieces of luggage. Turns out the hard part was getting all of our luggage in the back of Mary’s Mitsubishi. With four people and all the luggage we had a FULL car. Off to the airport we went arriving way too early according to Karl (who is late for everything). We took advantage of Karl’s high ranking at Delta and checked in five bags, some over 50 pounds and the agent never batted an eye. WOW! We headed for the gate to wait for the boarding time.
I ran over to Alamo to get our car then ran back to pick up my cohorts and all of the luggage. We loaded up and off to the ”405” we headed. In case anybody isn’t aware ”The 405” is a parking lot that was designed to be a freeway in Los Angeles. So we sat in traffic for the first half hour (at 2 PM) getting out of LA and finally reached the edge of town getting on Highway 101 and were actually able to meet or exceed the 65 MPH speed limit. Almost two hours later we met our next slow-down, Santa Barbara…
We found all of the above after checking in and then walked over to dinner and drinks at Brophy Brothers Clam House. After dinner we headed back to the dive shop to get all of the gear loaded on the boat. Not too bad a process. The boat is 65 feet long and holds 40 passengers at full capacity but honestly it wouldn’t be fun. We have 15 passengers and crew so it feels busy but not crowded. After dark we found our assigned bunks then claimed the table at the back of the galley. There was supposed to be an orientation at 9:30 PM but it was cancelled (we’re apparently on “island” time) as it feels like everything just “happens” when it happens… We did ask questions and were able to figure out the usual procedure pretty much. By 10:30 PM (12:30 AM our time) we decided to hit the sack. I slept until the boat began to move then just relaxed and enjoyed the movement of the boat as it made it’s way to the Channel Islands. Good Night!
September 21, 2017
I was awakened by movement upstairs in the galley so I went up to see what was happening. The boat was alive with divers having coffee and snacks while the galley crew prepared breakfast. Our “claimed” table was still open so I climbed in again and set up my gear to start this log. They served a full breakfast but I was not hungry enough for that so I had toast and some fruit.
After breakfast we all headed to the dive deck to prepare for first dive of the trip. We jumped in (Blue Banks) off Santa Cruz Island, the largest island of the Channel islands. The reason for our position was we had high wind conditions so we had to “hide” behind the island to find a spot calm enough to dive. We did…
After three “day” dives the night dive was canceled so Karl, Jim & I broke out the beer and opened a bottle of wine to let it breath. It didn’t get a very long chance to breath as the beers went down fast. Apparently this diving makes you thirsty. Dinner was perfect, some kind of a beef roast sliced up and perfect with the aforementioned cab I’d opened. We settled in afterward to fiddle with equipment, compare pictures and discuss the day’s activities.
September 22, 2017
After breakfast we suited up and jumped in for our first dive of the day. (Flame Reef)
Lot’s of current and low visibility make for a not so fun dive but the camera geeks seemed to enjoy it and did real good getting some great shots (macro).
Dinner followed as we moved to our final dive site of the day (night dive). Only two divers decided to do the night dive but it looked about as calm as I’ve ever seen and the sea lions came out to play once the boat lights came on especially the lamp pointed down directly toward the water. The divers returned with some nice stories and pictures. We’d followed their lights and bubbles.
to be continued…