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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Southern California Program Manager
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Location: San Diego, CA
Please join me in welcoming the summer OC class! We are in the middle of our training at AOP right now. Next week we will be at Catalina on the Magician, enjoying some great dive sites while mastering our survey skills.

As a new student, please register for the forum and post a reply to this question below: what is your favorite California dive site and why?

Can't wait to hear your reply.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:54 am 
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Hi Colleen!!

I finally received my acceptance to the forum!!

As for your question, "what is your favorite California dive site and why?" I am quite torn between two locations. First, I absolutely LOVE the solitude and diversity of diving the Yukon off Mission Bay. I have seen Mola Molas there that were larger than a VW Beetle, and I enjoy being inside wrecks and caves. But I also spend a great deal of time diving off North Crescent Bay off Laguna Beach, usually between Deadman's Reef and Seal Rock. I typically surface swim to the back side of Seal Rock, make myself know to the juvenile sea lions on the rock by bust swimming around and descending in their view, and then dive, typically with a handful of seal lions who drop down to greet me and play around. I will never forget one such experience when I had a juvenile sea lion stop inches from my face and just stare, for what seemed like 15 minutes, before barking the loudest I had ever heard anything underwater.

Bill Paoli


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:18 am 
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Yo, OC 2013 Class!

Aren't Colleen and Brianne the sweetest peeps everrrrrr???

My favorite dive site in Cali is Farnsworth Bank because it has the most colorful stuff underwater (like purple hydrocoral). I hear norcal has colorful reef stuff too, but it's way to cold for me.

See y'all Saturday!

Paul


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:46 am 
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I have two favorites!! I really enjoy Deadmans Reef because you just never know what you may run into! Actually love the long surface swim and attempting to descend directly on the "coffin". Once saw a very small mola mola there.

Also really enjoy entering Shaw's and descending in the area of the sand dollars, then going through Fisherman's Cove to Diver's Cove. There is so much to see...lots of kelp, bat rays, a great variety of fish, and all those crazy deep cracks. Caution: strong surge and cracks are not a good match :shock:

Excited for the weekend and still working on all those darn rock fish! Question...is it normal after a Reef Check training to come home and notice that your cat's face has the markings of a blue rock fish??


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:07 am 
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These replies are great you guys! I have never heard of anyone noticing that their cat looked like it had similar markings to a blue rockfish- that is very observant and I know in no time you will get those rock fish down... especially if you are seeing them everywhere. Thank you guys so much for making these posts... who else has done their homework???


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:22 pm 
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My favorite dive site is Cat Rock, Anacapa Island. It was where I did my first night dive and the first time I saw California Spiny Lobsters in open water :) Different kind of fishes were found hiding under rocks, which allowed me to observe them in detail.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:16 am 
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I'd have to say the Pinacles at Pt. Dume were the most eventful shore dive I've done. There were sealions dancing, large bat rays, sheep crabs, nudibranchs everywhere and on the way back we saw a kormorant swim by at about 20 ft. And the water/vis just seems better in those parts.

I'm looking forward to the Magician this weekend.

Chad


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Southern California Program Manager
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Location: San Diego, CA
So glad people have been doing their homework!

Thanks for all the great replies.

I have had some awesome dives in California. Some favorite sites include Broomtail Reef in San Diego, Little Dume in LA County, San Miguel Island (lots of sites!) and Ship Rock at Catalina. But it's really hard because there are so many sites I'd add to this list! Luckily, I get to dive many of these sites on Reef Check surveys.

I look forward to hearing what everyone else has to say!

Colleen


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:55 pm 
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So nice to meet everyone last weekend and looking forward to Catalina!!

My favorite dive spot in SOCAL is the oil rigs. Its a pretty magical dive. Every sqare centimeter on the platform is covered with life and I saw an awesome school of yellowtail last time! I love Catalina too, especially the west end (rock quarry, ship rock, lions head).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:21 am 
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Hello Reef Check California,

My favorite dive site?
I would have to say that they are almost all my favorite because of my passion for the Ocean and the entire California Coast.Growing up in California I have always been exposed to the Sea,It is my life and I love the Sea.When I was a small kid in the 1970s we used to sail just about everywhere in our local area including the Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island and many trips to Cherry Cove on Catalina as well as Mission Bay in San Diego and Eureka in Northern California.I have visited many Channel Islands in my adulthood and have camped for several days at a time on Santa Cruz.I have lived on the Big Island of Hawaii off and on now for 3 years right on the Kona Coast and I will say that my favorite place to live and to Dive is my home right here in California. :)
Please visit http://www.pacificgallery.net/pk4/store.pl?section=155 to see my Underwater Photography at Pacific Gallery in Laguna Beach.

Sincerely Yours
Wade "Irish" McDonald

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WADE MCDONALD


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:03 pm 
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Took me forever to login, but I am here now. It was great fun meeting everyone and learning all the info. Shout out to our awesome teachers Colleen and Brianne!

Favorite place to dive? California! I have been out to San Clemente Island twice now and have to say that it has become my favorite place. I now know why they call it "Deep Blue". The only places I will not dive again are Redondo Beach - been through the "washer" twice there nor Old Marine Land/Teranea - still have the bruise on my shin from falling on the rocks. I have not done any warm water diving and am not planning too any time in the future.

Beverly you should post a picture of your cat! That is awesome. I too am struggling with all the rock fish. I picked up a laminated poster of CA rockfish and we have not even learned have of all the rockfish out there. Needless to say I will be doing more UPCs than fish counts.

The video clip was instructive and a good reminder to not get tangled in the transect tape, but that is why we carry a knife right? I did like the nice trim on the diver doing frog kicks. I will be boarding Friday night to redo my fish test. Though I know that my in water test will be a fail. Let's face it if I can't identify the same still picture over and over, how am I going to identify a fish swimming! Can you put the pictures of fish on a string and pull them through the water for me to identify? "One two three Go For Victory"

Well at least I have totally Pimped my slate! It is looking pretty awesome. Now I just have to use it. The other day I was getting something out of my car and there was the "Magic Eraser" I had purchased months ago (almost a year ago) right on top! How crazy is that? So I am ready to put my slate and sheets to good use this weekend.

As we say in New England "Iz gonna be a skawcha, be shu to bring plenty a sunblawck and ice cawffee!"


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:35 pm 
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OK so where did everybody go? I had a great weekend practicing and getting checked off for Inverts. UPC and fish are coming together. I plan on making several RCCA events this summer to hone my new found skills. 1st up Catalina. That should be a great day at the dive park. Since I am familiar with that dive site it will be interesting how I will see it with newly trained eyes. I have a feeling my dives will be much more interesting now that I have had this experience. I am still so excited about the prospect a really making a difference for the health of our ocean. I won't get all urchin huggie here! But I know I want to keep diving and seeing the amazing sea life.

Thank you again to Colleen, Brianne and Mike for your dedication to training and making the weekend a great trip.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:40 am 
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I finally got my login credentials approved and reset! Thank you so much to Colleen, Brianna and Mike! It was such a great learning experience. It truly gives a whole new meaning and dimension to diving! I look forward to more diving with Reef Check CA!

My favorite CA dive site is a tie between the Crane because of the Reef Check post-class experience...I could actually name most of the things I was looking at! and Italian Gardens because this was where I encountered the beautiful Giant Sea Bass for the very first time where I got as close as a few inches away and they didn't move away! I'm so glad to know they are protected because they are totally unafraid of humans and that would worry me.

Thanks again to the instructors for their love and dedication to the cause!

All the very best,
Michele Inigo

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><>MICHELE INIG♡


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:44 pm 
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Southern California Program Manager
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Location: San Diego, CA
Great to hear from you, Michelle! Thanks for your wonderful reply!

Looking forward to a couple of other students.

Can't wait to see you all on surveys soon. Stay tuned for more information.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:15 pm 
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Southern California Program Manager
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Location: San Diego, CA
Way to go, team Orange County!

You guys all did an awesome job in the training! And you showed amazing flexibility as we had to quickly leave the classroom on Sunday afternoon and do our testing recap out in the wind. And we all had to get cozy on the boat and share bunks. But it all worked out well as we had fantastic conditions both above and below the water. Thanks for being great students - I think everyone had a fun time.

Hopefully you are ready to get out and put those newly acquired survey skills to work on some surveys! Please check the forum for the dives that are taking place over the next couple of months. I see that some of you have already signed up for a dive or two - way to go!

I took a few photos during the training. If you have a keen eye, you may find yourself in some of the underwater photos. http://gallery.reefcheck.org/index.php/ ... 29-30-2013

Hope to see you all soon. Your NAUI cards should arrive at your house by Labor Day.

Thanks and welcome to the Reef Check team!

Colleen


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