For the second year in a row, conditions for the Ventura-Anacapa crossing were favorable: No giant swells, no seasickness, no spray soaking the flying bridge. 18 divers chatted and grazed on donuts and coffee as we cruised to the first dive site, Goldfish Bowl.
We listened as the first divers hit the water, relieved to NOT hear and cold-water screams. Temperature was a cozy 70-72F. Anacapa diving is generally shallow, which was perfect for Open Water student Gia, who performed her skills with ease. Goldfish Bowl is not known for kelp beds, but there was a lovely stand towards the south end of the site where we saw abalone, lobster and about a million vibrant juvenile garibaldi. Sharon & Nixie spotted a large Giant Black Sea Bass at the beginning of the dive.
At Caverns, divers explored grottos, drifting with the mellow surge in the shallows. We were delighted to find dense kelp here too. Also a spotted harbor seal and black sea bass sightings here. Gia and I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary but had a blast gliding through the forest while she perfected her buoyancy. I love watching new divers as they begin to “get it.”
After lunch, we dived the wreck of the Winfield Scott, an old paddle-wheeler sunk sometime last century. While there’s not much left of the wreck, there is a spectacular swim-through and a ton of kelp. And this area is home to squads of large sheephead. By the third dive, Gia was cruising like an experienced pro and I Was happy to certify her!
By coincidence, this was also LGBT Pride weekend in Ventura so a bunch of divers, including Raptor owners Jim & Christie Price, migrated to the fairgrounds to rock to GayC/DC’s stellar, crowd pleasing performance.
It was a great day and our hearty thanks to the always excellent crew of the Raptor.