Giants At Hermosa, Little Left At Little Reef

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on September 05, 2015 at 20:23:27:

If I had to rate my favorite dive sites Hermosa Beach Artificial Reef would be near the bottom of the list. There is not enough relief to attract the amount of life hoped for when the reef was first constructed. Concrete pilings provide a home to gorgonians and scallops but little else. During the summer several large visitors come here seeking lobsters and perhaps a shallow spot to mate.

Beginning in June we heard from friends at the marina and the dive shop that there were Giant Sea Bass on the reef. We made a dive last month and found nothing, nada, zilch. Last week we heard the stories again as well as Jim Lyle's post about the Broomtail Grouper. Always looking for ways to waste full tanks, Merry, Kevin and I tried our luck again.

We had very little visibility on Thursday but counted eight distinct GSBs and had a few close encounters with the grouper. They seem to know they are protected species as they sneaked up behind us, giving us little time to get a shot. I managed to get four images over two dives. We hoped for better luck this morning.

Visibility had improved to a cloudy ten feet and this time the GSBs didn't seem to mind us one bit. One large speciman allowed me to get twenty shots from six inches away without leaving. While photographing the school of mackerel that hangs out there I got a distant image of the grouper. It kept its distance today.

Feeling sad that we made Kevin dive there with his macro setup we bounced our way to Little Reef near Pt. Vicente. We had to pull our way down against a stiff current to reach the poor visibility on the reef. The prolific life we previously found here was either hiding from the suspended sand or has left the building. I never thought I would enjoy a dive at Hermosa Reef more than a kelp forest off Palos Verdes.

We had uncomfortably warm 69 temperatures on Thursday with a more likeable 62 today.

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