Diving at La Jolla Shores is like Going to the Zoo…

Sarcastic Fringehead

... In that I always seem to end up seeing one of everything. Seriously, head down there with a creature checklist and cross it off, and then ascend when you've seen it all.

WOW, what an amazing night dive at La Jolla Shores. We went in at 8pm and dropped into about 15 feet of black water. The sand was all kicked up, which could only mean one thing... bat rays! Sure enough, we had quite a few fly-bys as the bat rays hunted. A handful of  horn sharks and one leopard shark made an appearance on the sand as well.

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Adult horn shark at La Jolla Shores

We got to the canyon to find it absolutely RIDDLED with Melibe leonina nudibranchs.

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Melibe leonina nudibranchs on kelp at La Jolla Shores

I had been hoping for a squid run, but only saw a few. We did see, however, approximately one trillion octopus along with the usual suspects (sarcastic fringeheads, target shrimp, sea hares, etc.), got dive bombed by a sea lion, and heard dolphins nearby.

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Red octopus on kelp next to a tiny Melibe leonina nudibranch

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Sarcastic fringehead

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A sea hare craning its neck

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Target shrimp

The star of the show, however, came at the end of the dive. I saw what looked like one eye reflecting green in the sand just on the other side of where Mat was. I waited for him to pass so I could investigate it more closely. I stared at it and stared at it, and though I assumed it was a stingray, I didn't see the usual outline, and the eye spacing looked wrong. I knew at that moment that it had to be an angel shark, and started furiously flashing my light at Mat to get his attention so he would come back and look.

Just as he turned, the shark, who was probably only two feet away from me, sprang out of the sand and ate a HUGE fish that I never even saw coming! It was over almost before it started, the angel shark again buried in the sand, but this time with a giant fish hanging partway out of its mouth. It partially re-buried itself while choking down the big fish.

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Angel shark chewing a fish

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Partway buried in the sand as though nothing ever happened

 

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 7.06.06 AM

(Water temp: 54F)


2 Responses to “Diving at La Jolla Shores is like Going to the Zoo…”

  1. Bob cooke says:

    Hi when I was diving I the erly 70 there was a statue of an angel in about 30 feet of water at the south end of la jolla shors just wondering it it is still there thsnks

    · April 5, 2015 @ 2:38 pm

    Reply

    • Ashley Hauck says:

      It’s still out there! But barely recognizable.

      · April 5, 2015 @ 2:45 pm

      Reply

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