Still thinking back to April at Santa Cruz Island when 4 divers and I spent over 30 min face to face with a 6-ft, 400+lb black sea bass! Each of us had an eye to eye connection with the wise old gentle giant. We could sense its curiosity, and deeply felt the wisdom he held about the ocean. We left the encounter with so much more reverence and respect for the ocean and her inhabitants. What a magical moment! Have you had similar experiences with ocean creatures?
Photo by our resident nudibranch expert (geek) and instructor Megumi Itoh from 6/1/19 dive trip aboard the Peace Dive Boat to the west end of Santa Cruz Island. Spanish shawl (Flabellinopis iodinea) is one of the common nudibranchs you see in Southern California so some divers just brush them off as a common sight, but there are many of us who love their flamboyant appearance. When the lighting is just right, you can get a very dramatic photograph.
Beautiful giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) absorbing the abundant sunlight of Southern California. The gas-filled bladder at the base of the leaf-like blade holds the kelp upright, and the kelp fronds grow straight up to the surface. Kelp is a type of algae. Thus it does not have a root system to absorb water and nutrients. It harvests the sun’s energy through photosynthesis. The growing season for the giant kelp starts in spring and peaks in fall.