Chamber Day 2013 and Catalina Kelp Diving

Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, marked the 25th annual Chamber Day on Catalina. The event benefits Catalina's hyperbaric chamber, the only hyperbaric chamber in Southern California that is exclusively dedicated to the treatment of diving accidents. The Chamber, which is staffed 24/7/365 by volunteers, derives over half of its annual budget from Chamber Day proceeds.

We arrived at Big Fisherman Cove on the west end of Catalina Island in the late morning for a walking tour of the facility. The Los Angeles County Port Police and Baywatch Lifeguards were in attendance, and visitors were permitted to board and view their boats. Finally, we hopped in the hyperbaric chamber for a shallow (one-foot) demonstration "dive".

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Los Angeles Port Police underwater ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles)

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And then we went diving for real! Local dive charter boats (including our host, the Pacific Star) donated their services for two dives in the Catalina kelp. We saw lots of the usual rock reef residents, fish and invertebrate critters alike.

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Female sheephead

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Bat ray close up

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Blackeye Goby

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Blackeye Goby

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C-O Sole

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Moray Eel

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Pair of Navanax

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Navanax Eggs

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Dorid nudibranch egg ribbon in a loose spiral

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Sheep crab in kelp

Starfish texture

Starfish close-up texture

Tube anemone

Tube anemone

catalina chamber day-jelly

I have no idea what this is. Jellyfish? Salp? SEA MONSTER?!

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