Occupation: Social Media Coordinator / Instructor / Illustrator
Location: Temple City, CA
Hometown: Temple City, CA
I got certified in summer of 2008. I started taking pictures underwater to help me remember what I saw on my dives so I can write them down in my dive log. Since then, I've upgraded my camera from a small point and shoot camera to a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lens. Some people want to see the big things like sharks and sea turtles. I delight in looking for small creatures underwater, especially nudibranchs. There are so much colors under the sea!
July 12, 2019
We did it! We flew to Cabo San Lucas, where we boarded the Nautilus Undersea Hunter, and travelled a total distance of 1018 miles northward along the Pacific coast of Baja California and stopping to dive in many spots only a few have ever dived before! Gabe has named this trip OSDT Baja 1000 Expedition. The group of 19 OSDT divers became one of the few on this planet who ventured into the rarely visited waters of the Baja Pacific Coast.
Before boarding our boat, we had a little side excursion. We got to snorkel with huge fever of mobula rays (we learned that a group of rays is not called a school, but a fever) just outside of the harbor. We could see them leaping out of the water and doing flips and sommersaults all around the boat. The first few we spotted were fevers of 100 or so, but then we encountered a fever of THOUSANDS of mobula rays. It was quite a sight. Initially, we were all thinking, "wow this is nice," but when we were on top of thousands of mobula rays we were all exclaiming, "Ooooooooo this is AMAZING!!!"
There were so many breathtaking sights and awesome adventures that will remain in our memories forever. In the amazingly clear and blue waters at Rocas Alijos, we marveled at the unique formation and enjoyed swimming into the middle of huge school of Cortez Sea chub and red tail triggerfish. We also saw an abundance of usually rare clarion angelfish and the even more rare hybrid of clarion and king angelfish. There were scythe butterflyfish as well! Some of us have seen the few that have migrated to one dive site in Catalina Island. At San Benitos Island, we enjoyed the rock formations and deep pinnacles similar to those of San Miguel Island. It was lovely to see the luscious and colorful seaweed garden and southern palm kelp. This is where we saw some of the familiar marine life such as sheepheads and calico bass. What was different was that they were not afraid of divers and they let us get very close. We can’t forget our land tour on San Geromino Island. Everywhere we looked, there were brooding seagulls who did not seem particularly pleased about our visit. On the beach there were some sunbathing elephant seals who gave us a wondering puppy-dog eyes. We wrapped up the trip with dives at San Martin Island where we saw an abundance of Hopkin’s rose nudibranchs in luscious giant kelp forest. I can go on and on, but then this blog post will become a short story or a novel...
For me, the highlights were the dives at San Benitos and San Martin Islands. I found a couple of nudibranchs I have never seen before - Hermosita sangria and Ancula gibbosa (according to my app. I have been informed by a nudi expert online that it is more likely an Ancula pacifica). Also at San Benitos Islands, I got a couple of nice pictures of Polycera tricolor (I have seen this little guy once before, but I didn't get a good picture). On the last day, I saw a lot of Hopkin's rose nudibranchs at all of the dive sites. I was a happy camper.
June 4, 2019
It was misty when we got to Ventura Harbor and boarded the Peace Dive Boat on Friday night. We were scheduled to depart at 3:30 am and head for the west end of Santa Cruz Island. I was fast asleep by the time the boat left the harbor, and didn’t wake up until we were almost at the island. It was overcast at the island, but that’s actually not a bad thing. When it’s overcast, it will be a calm day without wind.
On this trip, there were basic scuba diver class, advanced scuba diver class, hunters, photographers, divers who simply wanted to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world, and a non-diver who wanted a relaxing day out at sea. Once again, Captain Steven and Chartermaster Thomas selected three dive sites that matched the needs and interests of this diverse group.
The first dive was at Quail Rock, which is located a little east of the famed Painted Cave. We were anchored to the west of the rock, and from there it did not look like a quail or any bird… Apparently it looks like a quail from the other side. The reef was colorful with various sea anemones, nudibranchs, sea stars, sponges, sea cucumbers, scallops, and sea urchins. As we swam around the reef, we were greeted by a variety of fish – tiny blue banded gobies, which are more common in the southern Channel Islands, painted greenlings, ever present garibaldi, calico bass, California sheephead, etc.
We moved eastward to Arch Rock for the second dive. The stern anchor was set in the area with scattered rocks and boulders with sandy areas in between. Off from the starboard-bow area there was a large rock with swim throughs. Nice thing about rocky reef with sandy areas in between is that you see a wider variety of marine life. The rocky reef has the usual suspects: sea anemones, sea stars, sponges, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins. On the sandy areas, there were some sea pansies , a spiny sand star, and a navanax. Sea pansy is not a plant, but an animal in the same phylum as the sea anemones and jellyfish. Navanax is a carnivorous sea slug with appetite for nudibranchs and sea anemones. You see them both on sandy bottoms and rocky reef, moving fast in search of food.
For the last dive of the day, we traveled a little more eastward to Diablo Canyon. We were getting ready to go diving when someone spotted bald eagles on the island. As we watched, two bald eagles flew closer to the cove we were at, and we saw one of them swoop down to the water. It looked like the eagle caught a fish. After this little excitement we finished getting ready and jumped into the water. Here again, we saw many Spanish shawl nudibranchs and white sea cucumbers scattered all over the reef. Aside from the bright purple of the Spanish shawl, green sea anemones and brightly colored red gorgonian sea fans and little spots of orange cup corals added colors to the rocky reef.
After the dives it was time to eat lunch and compare notes with each other on what we saw underwater. When it was time for dessert, there was a surprise for me and another diver, Darlene. Our birthdays were a few days before this dive trip, and we were presented with a decedent chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream!
February 25, 2019
February 15, 2019
My latest overseas dive trip was in the Solomon Islands. The water was very warm - mostly 84F - and the diving was amazing. I saw Pygmy seahorse for the first time and learned to identyfy more fish. After a 10-day dive trip in the Solomons, I went right back to dive at Anacapa (thank goodness for my drysuit) and saw an onespot fringehead. So many people say there is nothing to see when you dive in California, but that is so untrue. Most of the pictures here are from Califiornia dives. We may not have coral reef with colorful fish, but we have some brightly colored creatures.
January 6, 2014