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Updated 2/20/2013

Diving in Southern California

Emerald Bay, Santa Catalina Island

Emerald Bay & Indian Rock 

2001-2005  M/V Rapture made weekly trips to Santa Catalina Island for church youth retreats during the summer and marine science classes during the school year.  The ship also traveled to Hawaii every winter for several months.  We collected or photographed marine life to create and conduct ecology and observation lab sessions.  All specimens were maintained alive in a custom seawater holding tank and returned to the reef in good health.
Fish ID Invertebrate ID

Diving and snorkeling from the ship was fun and a variety of habitats could be explored at each location in addition to many other popular dive sites accessible with four Zodiac inflatables.  Water temperature ranged from 52 degrees in winter to near 70 degrees in late summer but a thermocline was usually present near 80 feet where it dropped to the high-40's.  Visibility was normally 35 feet but varied greatly with sea state and bottom composition.  Currents were moderate and very similar to Hawaii.

Garibaldi & Kelp

 

Garibaldi & Kelp

Garibaldi & Sea Star

 

Keoki & Kelp Rockfish

Anacapa

 

Sea Lions on camera

Sea Lions at Santa Barbara Island

 

Yuko at the Sea Fan Grotto, Catalina

 

The highlight of diving here was the Giant Kelp forest.  The effect of sunlight streaming through the forest canopy was awesome and the many species associated with kelp were interesting and fun to photograph.  Rapture's dive team conducted a live video night dive on the first evening of a trip.  Guests watched and learned about the nocturnal community found right below the ship in real-time.  Selected animals were collected and placed in the touch-tank for closer observation.  This gives everyone a chance to learn about and appreciate the ocean and its inhabitants.

For educational trips to the Channel Islands contact Pacific Journey Adventures

Habitats

Rocky Reef

Rocky reefs/caverns

 

Kelp/Seaweed Garden

Kelp/seaweed gardens

Rubble/Gravel

Rubble/gravel beds

 

Sandy Plain

Sand/mud/eelgrass plains