Diving Anacapa With The Raptor Dive Boat

  • Updated: June 08, 2019
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

June 8th, 2019

As of Friday Jen was officially done with school and joining me full time (-ish) on the Summer Hiatus 2019 adventure.

Originally the Jerky Meadows trip was supposed to last until Saturday at which point I was returning to OC for the highly anticipated oil rig dive with the Asante dive boat on Sunday.  Conditions and circumstances on the Jerky Meadows area trip caused me to come out early leaving me a few days at home to recovery and catch up on a few things I've been neglecting.

That of course didn't last long and Saturday found Jen and I waking up at 3:30 am and making a pre dawn two hour drive out to Ventura while Jen lamented how I didn't know how to relax.

(For the record I'd like to state I know *how* to relax, I'm just slightly allergic to it)

This time we were heading out on the Raptor dive boat out of Ventura.  That's twice the drive for us  vs going with a boat out of San Pedro but I'm currently on a mission to try out as many different dive boats as I can.

Unlike some of the bigger boats there's no full on galley and so the food is a bit more limited.  But on the plus side it can make it out to the Channel Islands in about an hour. And we were here to dive!

The boat is run out of the Ventura Dive & Sport shop right up the dock which was conveniently well stocked and saved our butts with some clearance rack hooded vests which made the 54 degree water Sunday a lot more palatable.

The boat left dock a little after 8 and the ride over went quickly and included the requisite dolphin sighting.

The first dive was at Cathedral Cove which has nicely dense kelp even if it was a bit on the shallow side.

We came across lots of the ubiquitous spanish shawl nudibranchs that are always so photogenic.

And a few other slightly more subtle species.

The second dive was at Winfield Scott which turned out to be a really nice spot and my favorite for the day.  There's an old boat wreck there but it's nearly impossible to pick out due to how much it's decayed.

Following the divemasters advice we went deep first exploring a reef further out then came back to explore the shallows

No sooner had we dropped down but we had a harbor seal come over and say hello.  They're always a bit hard to capture with my lowly dive camera since they tend to be speeding around but he made a few passes before heading off in search of something more interesting.

There was kelp again but less dense than at Cathedral.

Turning back towards the shallows we acquired the anchor line and passed the open water student group.

The shallows had plenty of life but the most interesting feature was a swim through area.

In addition to the neat cave effect there was a full on hoard of lobster skulking around in the rocks.  Unfortunately only a few shots of the area came out due to all the dirt being thrown up by waves.

Our third and final dive for the day was at Portuguese Rock which was fun but not the most standout dive I've ever done. (Which at this point is a good description of Anacapa diving in general for me.) Some kelp, lots of starfish, and not near as many fish as we usually see around Catalina.

All told we got in our usual 3 ish hours of underwater time and a good time was had by all.

And with that it was back to the dock plenty early to drive home and recover a bit before tomorrow's oil rig dive.

Or at least it should have been if I hadn't managed to forget my fins on the boat which we only became aware of after we had driven 45 minutes back towards home and stopped for dinner. The backtrack was a bit painful.

But hey, sleep is overrated right?

Next up we finally get to dive the oil rigs!

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