The Yukon Shipwreck- You may have dived it or seen photos on the Eco facebook, but what do you know about the Yukon itself? The ship was a Canadian Mackenzie class destroyer, launched in 1961. It was assigned to the Pacific Fleet and served primarily as a training vessel for the Royal Canadian Navy. After over 30 years of service, the ship was decommissioned from Maritime Command. in 2000, the hull was purchased by the San Diego Oceans Foundation and towed to San Diego to be sunk and turned into an artificial reef.
At 366ft, the Yukon is an exciting shipwreck dive that also poses quite a lot of challenges to wreck divers. Since it was a crew ship and not a cargo ship, the interior is complicated and divers can easily lose their way. The wreck lays on its side, making navigation even more disorienting. Those who have dived the Yukon know that it can be an eerie experience, with the ghostly anemones swaying in the current. Peering into the empty halls and exploring the decks is a thrilling dive experience and is quite a departure from reef diving.
Anyone curious about getting more acquainted with wreck diving can look into the regular PADI Wreck Specialty Certification that Eco offers regularly. This course will teach divers how to safely penetrate wrecks with reels and how to handle the extra dangers of being in an overhead environment, especially at depth. It’s a great weekend getaway to San Diego, with plenty of beer and good food in between.
Coastal Cleanup Day is coming up September 20th! We take pride in the beauty of our Californian coastline, and events like this help keep our beaches and waterways looking nice and healthy. Last year alone, 58,000 volunteers removed 750,000 pounds of trash from beaches and waterways around California.
Eco will be organizing a Santa Monica Pier clean up dive with Heal the Bay. In past years many odd items have been recovered, from briefcases full of crackers to religious statues. It’s a good time with your dive buddies and an opportunity to help in the preservation of the ocean that we enjoy every day in Los Angeles. Divers are an important part of the clean up effort because a great deal of the pollution that is found in the Santa Monica and San Pedro bays come from water runoff from the rest of the city, much of it inaccessible to volunteers on foot. You never know what might turn up, so join us for an eco adventure!
As scuba divers, we have a unique appreciation of sharks. We see how graceful they swim underwater, how curious they are, and we get to understand first hand their vital role in our ocean ecosystem.
One of the most beautiful of the over 400 species of sharks is the Leopard Shark and they are found right here in our temperate California waters. Leopard Sharks get their common name from being conspicuously covered with dark saddles and splotches. While they do have teeth capable of puncturing human skin, Leopard Sharks’ teeth are more like flattened and ridged bone used for crushing their favorite invertebrate food like crab and shrimp. Although they also sometimes like to dine on small fish like sanddabs.
Female Leopard Sharks give live birth that the can produce litters of up to 4 to 33 pups. We are extremely fortunate because hundreds of Leopards Sharks regularly chose the warm shallow waters of La Jolla Shores in San Diego to aggregate and give birth every summer.
August is the best time to grab your mask, snorkel and fins and go snorkeling and free diving with these beautiful sharks. The best chance of seeing them is in the afternoon right off the Marine Room Restaurant where the waves are the gentlest, in about 10-15 feet of water over the sandy bottom. Do not bring your scuba gear as these docile creatures do not like the sound of bubbles and try not to splash too much as you might scare them away. Don't forget your scuba certification:)
Saturday @ Oil Rigs Eureka and Ellen
Dive Boat: Pacific Star
Temp: 58F with thermocline at 100' dropping to 55F
Viz: 30' above 30' and below 100' otherwise it was 10' in between
Conditions: Medium current at Eureka, no current at Ellen, flat calm seas
Ride out to the rigs was in heavy fog but it cleared up nicely around the rigs with flat, calm seas and sunny skies. We dove Eureka jumping into green water with about 10' viz which opened up to 25' below 100'. Ellen had blue water to 30' where the sealions had fun chasing enormous schools of sardines. Lots of cabezon and male sheephead that looked about 2' long.
Sunday @ Catalina Island
Dive Site: Emerald Bay
Dive Boat: Pacific Star
Temp: 72F with thermocline at 60'
Conditions: beautiful :)
Ride out to Catalina was in nice calm seas. Water temperatures were a balmy 72 degrees with lots of divers going without hoods and gloves. Visibility was at least 30 feet with no current and sightings of the usual kelp creatures (senoritas, sheephead, kelp bass, garibaldi, blennies, gobies, tons of lobster) and reports of a leopard shark.
Bonus Beachdiving Friday @ Laguna Beach
I went beach diving with a friend so might as well share this dive report as well!
Dive Site: Montage/Treasure Island
With Laguna protected by the Catalina "shadow" decided to go south and check out Montage. Great conditions with maybe 1' surf, slight surge, and warm water. Lots of life: 4' leopard shark checking us out instead of swimming away, sleeping 3' horn shark, at least 12 Spanish Shawls grouped onto a rock, tons of lobster, and the usual kelp forest fish.
Tags: scuba conditions by jing yeo