Think of the dive you saw all sorts of cool stuff. Well, that was Shaw’s Cove on 27 August for our night dive. A close friend of the owners, Joe, is in town and wants to dive as much as possible, so we are happy to oblige. That meant an early morning dive at Shaw’s Cove and then, because the conditions were so incredible, a night dive as well. So, here’s a few photos and some info about our dives.
Day dive: Entry at 0730 Dive time: 58 minutes Max depth 25′
Surf conditions: 1-1.5′ visibility: 20′-30′
surge: limited, slightly more in the shoot-throughs
Nudis and bugs! We only made it 30-40′ into the shoot-through as we kept getting side tracked by nudibranch. At the entrance, we found multiple Hopkin’s Rose nudibranch and quickly found a tiny Porter’s Chromodoris as well. As we moved a few inches, we found some very large California Blue Dorids. Look into the side crevices and you could find California spiny lobsters crawling over each other! big and small bugs everywhere! As we were looking at the sulfur sponge on the right side of the shoot-through, we found two Yellow Umbrella Slugs camouflaging with the sponge. Needless to say, we spent the dive going back and forth between the sides looking at nudibranch. As we left the shoot-through to return to the beach, Ashley spotted the creature Joe wanted to see: an angel shark! This was the first angel shark Joe had seen, and first for Ashley and Jake at Shaw’s Cove as well. What an incredible way to end a dive!
So, must do night dive conditions they were, so we headed back out and went in at dusk.
Entry: 1911 Dive time: 75 minutes Max depth 27′
surf conditions: 1′ visibility: 20-30′
surge: limited, slightly more in shoot-throughs
Incredible dive. Conditions were amazing, so shoot-throughs at night were the name of the game. Bugs everywhere. Look in the crevices, and just like the day the Lobsters were crawling all over each other-big and small bugs. So many fish as well. As we swam into the crevice, the nudis had gone to bed. We found two Porter’s Chromodoris during the dive, and one Spanish Shawl at the end of the dive. As we continued through the shoot-through, the vis was amazing and we found multiple California and Stone Scorpionfish, a handful of California Moray Eels with the shrimp friends (have not identified the species of shrimp yet), and a few large Two Spotted Octopus out hunting as well. As we fast forward to the last ten minutes of the dive, we had a Harbor Seal use our lights to hunt-chase garibaldi. He spent 10 minutes nearly knocking us out of the way so he could get to his food. Then, a shovelnose guitarfish swam into our view followed quickly by a large horned shark and another Octopus on the hunt. On our surface swim back, the harbor seal was still using our lights to hunt and popped up several times. At one point, I was confused thinking there was a fourth diver in our group only to realize it was the harbor seal!
Needless to say, this was the best day of diving Shaw’s Cove has produced!