Tagged: wreck diving

Painted greenling fish and Hermissenda crassicornis nudibranch.

Photo of the Week: Painted Greenling (and a Bonus Hermissenda Nudibranch)

Those who have been following this blog for any length of time will recall that finding tiny surprise creatures in a photo is one of my favorite things in the whole world.

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Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

This Spanish Shawl is the Goldilocks of Nudibranchs

In unpredictable surge and weird currents, it’s a challenge and a half to get a Spanish Shawl photo “just right.”

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Atlantis Submarine in Oahu, Hawaii.

Photo of the Week: Atlantis Submarine

Ever feel like you’re being watched?

Of course you have; we all have.

Ever hear a strange whirring sound underwater, and think, “Oh, I’m just being watched by about 50 kids in a tourist submarine?”

No?

Me neither.

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USS Moody Wreck

11 Interesting Facts about the USS Moody Destroyer Wreck

In San Pedro Bay, about 140 feet down, rests the wreck of USS Moody (DD-277). Moody, one of 156 Clemson-class destroyers, has a rich and interesting history. Here are 11 fun facts about the ship, its class, and its story.

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Grumman TBF Avenger

Anacapa’s Airplane Wreck: TBF Avenger

It’s 1944: two Navy bombers collide midair while participating in a training exercise over Anacapa Island. One goes down on the back side of the island and is never found. The other hits the ocean on the front side of middle Anacapa and sinks to the bottom. Between the two planes, three crewmen are killed. []

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Cyclosalpa affinis tunicate colony

Photo of the Week: Cyclosalpa affinis

DID YOU KNOW that the salp, while it looks like a jellyfish, is actually a tunicate, a member of the phylum Chordata, and is more closely related to vertebrates than it is to jellies?

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UB-88 Submarine Wreck

A Second Dive on the UB-88 Submarine Wreck

In just shy of 200′ of water in San Pedro Bay is the wreck of the German submarine UB-88, the only u-boat shipwreck in California.

I dove this wreck for the first time late last year and my post about it made waves, so to speak. Apparently I’m not the only one who’s into the German u-boat. UB-88 is, in my mind, the perfect mix of historical and exclusive, being the subject of an interesting war story and resting at a depth well out of reach of most divers.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to dive the sub again. I’m never one to pass up a good wreck diving trip, so up to Long Beach we went.

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A wolf eel living in the wreckage of the UB-88 submarine wreck

No Wolf Eel Left Behind

On Saturday, I got up at the ungodly hour of 4-something-a.m. and made the pilgrimage up to Long Beach to catch a charter out to dive the UB-88 submarine wreck.

Sometimes, I think I’m doing “leisure” wrong.

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San Diego, California: Stern of the El Rey Wreck

Diving The Kelp Cutter: The El Rey Wreck

Every once in a while, we get off the beaten path a bit and dive some of the less-often-seen shipwrecks of San Diego’s Wreck Alley. El Rey is one of those wrecks: I believe I’ve (now) dove it twice in my nearly three years here. Both times, though, I’ve been blown away with how fun the []

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San Diego, California: Divers and a black sea nettle jellyfish on the USS Hogan wreck near the US-Mexico Border.

Photo of the Week: Black Sea Nettle Jellyfish on the USS Hogan Wreck

Regular readers are by now aware of my obsession with the black sea nettle jellyfish. I worked a dive charter a few weeks ago and spotted my first black sea nettle of the summer from the confines of the boat. It was all over–from that moment on, I lived and breathed black sea nettles. (Seriously: it’s a sickness. We even slow down the boat so we can stare/go around/not shred them with the props.)

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USS Palawan Wreck

Throwback Thursday: Technical Wreck Training and USS Palawan

Wreck diving is the ultimate in underwater exploration.

I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t into wrecks, at first. I didn’t see the point. They weren’t as pretty as real reefs, and it’s not like I was going to go inside a wreck, like, ever.

And then I got some tech diving training, and it changed my whole world.

I feel like that one warrants a repeat: Technical diving changes everything.

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Wolf Eel on USS Hogan Wreck, San Diego

Photo of the Week: A Wolf Eel on the USS Hogan Wreck

The USS Hogan wreck is pretty much the perfect San Diego dive site–the conditions are usually excellent, the sea life is abundant, and the depth and distance from port are such that the site has an air of exclusivity to it.

It’s also so rife with wolf eels that it almost–note I said almost–renders them old hat.

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San Diego, California: A Purple-Striped Sea Nettle (Chrysaora colorata) on the USS Hogan wreck near the US-Mexico Border.

The Purple-Striped Jellyfish/Sea Nettle (Chrysaora colorata)

There were ripping currents on the deep wrecks this past weekend, and with the currents came a whole slew of jellyfish and tunicates. I’m mildly obsessive about the Black Sea Nettle bloom we sometimes get in San Diego in the summers, and I’m well-known as a nudibranch zealot, so it should come as no surprise that I get pretty excited about other squishy invertebrates as well.

This is why, when I actually happened to look up for once and spotted a big Purple-Striped Jellyfish (Chrysaora colorata) crossing the anchor line about 20 feet over the USS Hogan wreck, I took a quick mental note of where my teammates were, and went up for a closer look.

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Remove-Backscatter-Pinterest

How to Remove Backscatter: The Fastest Way to Improve Your Underwater Photos

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking about technical diving and underwater photography to the Whalers Dive Club in Canoga Park, California. It was a great crowd, and the attendees were every speaker’s dream: they both laughed at my jokes and asked engaged, thoughtful questions!

One of the questions that stood out, and that I frankly do get asked all the time, is “Do you post-process your photos?” My immediate, emphatic admission of “YES!” drew laughs from the audience, but it wasn’t a joke; I firmly believe that post-processing, especially for underwater photography, is nothing to be avoided or ashamed of. My standard workflow typically includes color and contrast adjustments, sharpening, and–the bane of every underwater photographer’s existence–backscatter removal.

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Missile Tower artificial reef/wreck, San Diego

The Missile Tower Wreck (165′), San Diego

The Missile Tower in San Diego, formerly used by the U.S. Navy to test-launch Trident submarine missiles, now rests in 165 feet of water near the Mexican Border as an artificial reef.

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Diving the Eureka Oil Rig

Getting Riggy on Eureka

The silence of my rebreather allows me to hear every hydraulic hiss, every crash as steel collides with steel, the sounds of industry happening above the surface. I catch myself wondering whether the fish are anchovy or sardine, realizing that I have been contemplating the question for several minutes, lazily resolving the taxonomical conundrum with the label: baitfish.

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Spanish-Shawl-Nudibranch-text

Obligatory End-of-Year Post (A Summary of 2013)

Because (a) It’s pretty much in the rules of blogging to make an end-of-year summary post, and (b) 2013 was full of great diving and photo ops. From technical wrecks to nudibranchs: a photographic summary of my underwater exploits in 2013.

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UB-88 Submarine U-boat wreck

Diving the UB-88 Submarine Wreck

Part of the allure of technical wreck diving is getting the opportunity to experience bits of history that very few others, not even many other divers, get to experience. This is why when I received an invitation to go dive the UB-88, a German WWI U-boat off San Pedro, California, and the only U-boat wreck on the West Coast, I jumped at the chance.

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Divers in the wheelhouse

The Ruby E: One of San Diego’s Most Richly Historied Shipwrecks

The Ruby E, one of San Diego’s premiere wrecks for divers, has a rich and colorful history. Although initially commissioned to intercept Prohibition-Era alcohol shipments on behalf of the United States Coast Guard, she also assisted in Bering Sea patrols, thwarted Japanese task forces in the Aleutian Islands during WWII, and worked as a commercial fish processing boat in Central America. She now rests in 85′ of water outside of Mission Bay.

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Diver at La Reina, Sea of Cortez, Mexico

I saw things in the Sea of Cortez that were not nudibranchs

Despite troublesome conditions on our Sea of Cortez diving trip (on the liveaboard dive boat Nautilus Explorer), we did manage a few days where the visibility was good enough to leave the macro lens in the cabin and get underwater for some wide-angle action. In fact, the water was so clear and beautiful on our first []

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USS Hogan wreck

Diving the Hogan Wreck

USS Hogan was a Wickes-class destroyer commissioned in 1919. During WWII, she served as a minesweeper and coastal convoy ship. In November of 1945, she was used as a target ship for firing tests and sank. Located south of the Point Loma peninsula on the US-Mexican border, the Hogan wreck rests just far enough from the []

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Source: Navsource.org

Diving the Palawan Wreck

Palawan, formerly a Liberty Ship, is an artificial reef off Huntington Beach, California.   What is a Liberty Ship? Liberty Ships were WWII-era cargo carriers designed to be built cheaply and quickly, and were mass-produced by the thousands in the later years of the war. These steel-hulled ships were 441 feet long and 56 feet []

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Rebreather divers at the wreck of the Infidel

Tech Diving Catalina Island and the California Oil Rigs

Southern California Tech Diving with Ocean Research Group This past weekend, I attended my first Ocean Research Group technical dive trip on the Sand Dollar out to Catalina Island, California.  As a fledgling SoCal tech diver, it was pretty cool to do some “big kid” deep dives under the guidance of experienced divers and instructors. I’m also []

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North Carolina Sand Tiger Shark-9

Wreck Diving North Carolina’s Graveyard of the Atlantic

After our ill-fated attempt to dive the caves of north Florida, we needed a Plan B if we were to salvage our trip. Armed with cell phones and hope, the three of us piled into our go-kart of a rental car and started the nine-hour drive north, making calls to dive shops and charter boats []

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2012-08-15 - San Diego - Point Loma Sailboat Wreck-3

Point Loma Sailboat Wreck Debris Cleanup

Update 2/2014: Although swells have long since reduced the Chelsea Lee wreck to a debris field, the rocky reef structure at the wreck site remains a favorite destination for divers due to its dramatic wall topography and rich marine life.   Cleanup of the Chelsea Lee Sailboat Wreck Yesterday, Marissa crew and friends went out to []

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