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MACNA Scuba Dive


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Santa Catalina Dive Trip
By Adrian Marsden

September 28th 1998

The trip began with most peoples alarms going off or hotel wake-up calls ringing at, or soon after, 5:00am with many people wondering if this had been such a good idea after all. Coffee was provided by the Hotel, (probably after looking at the motley crew they were presented with), which was appreciated by all.

So this is what 5:00am looks like in Long Beach, Ca.

And this is what a diver looks like at the same time!!!!

There was a little confusion with the bus company, (who will be paying dearly I hear), 
hence the taxi and airport shuttle in the top picture that were just two of many. 
Around 80 people and all their equipment were shipped off to the boat in these 
cabs and shuttles and all arrived safely. The boat was excellent with a cook 
aboard ready to feed us and as we tramped aboard people began to awaken. 
As we sailed across towards Santa Catalina we were greeted by a school of 
porpoise which sent a ripple of excitement through the anticipating crowd.

Jim, (2nd from right), and Clayton, (right), discuss the upcoming events.

The boat arrived at the first dive site with all the divers ready to go and there was 
a rapid exodus from the boat into the less than warm waters off the island by divers, 
snorkellers and kayakers alike. During this dive there was a serious incident involving 
a shark attack but as you can see from the picture below the Horn Shark, (Heterodontus francisci), survived the unprovoked aggression. There were some kelp beds here and 
a lot of large rubble on the sea floor. The stated reason for the lack of the larger kelp 
was that there had been a large explosion in the population of Sea Urchins which 
were apparent everywhere one looked.

After dives of 30-60 minutes the divers returned and the boat moved to the second, 
(and by popular demand the third), dive site. This site was characterized by very l
arge, (house sized), rocks and numerous Garibaldis, (Hypsipops rubricundus), 
which are so photogenic and curious that I'm sure they ended up on more than 
one roll of film. There were numerous Moray Eels, and an unidentified Scorpionfish 
in amongst the cracks and crevices and Tamara Noack and her snorkel buddy got 
to play with a Seal for a short while. The divers returned and lunch was provided 
while those who were a little chilled by the waters took refuge in the Jacuzzi on the 
upper deck.

A Garibaldi (Hypsipops rubricundus) at the 2nd dive site

There were numerous Starfish, (1' across), and Urchins here too.

As the day wore on the pressure of a MACNA caught up with Jim.

At 4:00pm the call for all divers to return went out and some returned more 
reluctantly than others, (it is chilly and tiring after 3 dives out there). The boat 
fired up once again as all aboard compared notes about their dives and snorkelling. 
One gentleman kindly showed his video of the dives on the television aboard while 
we all sat and relaxed after a long days diving. Not long after the sun set on us 
just before we entered harbor for an actual bus trip back to the hotel and nice 
warm showers and dinner. I, for one, would like to thank and congratulate Jim 
Stime and his team for an excellent MACNA and a wonderful last days diving 
and companionship. It was all great!!!

The sun finally sets on MACNA X

Layout and Photography by Adrian Marsden.




MACNA X was hosted by MASLA, 
Sponsored by MASNA, and
Produced by Aquarium Design


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