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!
OSDT Baja 1000 Expedition
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.