From the Mini to the Mega

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Posted by Merry on September 21, 2015 at 10:34:05:

Phil won't be diving for another month or so while recovering from sinus surgery. As a result, he has become my own personal DM. He sets up my tank, lays out my gear, hands me the weight belt, bustles around the deck, rinses the gear, soaks the camera, and even manages the anchor and all the other boat trappings. Whoa, I could get used to this.

With heavy hearts, it's up to Kevin and I to bring home the bacon. This weekend we dove on Garden Spot, tried a new area at Christmas Tree Cove, and visited the Giant Sea Bass on Hermosa Artificial Reef.

On Sun., Scott and Margaret Webb, and Jim Lyle met up with us on HAR. For some reason, Margaret has developed a special rapport with the broomtail groupers, and is repeatedly able to get remarkable photographs of them.

An unexpected 1-inch warm-water find at Garden Spot, the Cortez Damselfish, Stegastes rectifraenum. ID thanks to John Moore. Pesky, lurking, calico bass prevented me from spending time with the little fella, as I didn't want him to become a meal.

 photo Cortez damselfish_zpscb94lwgn.jpg

Austraeolis stearnsi
 photo Austraeolis stearnsi DSC_3143_zpsvx7thpbp.jpg

Simnia snail laying eggs, Delonovolva aequalis
 photo simnia amp eggs DSC_3155_zpsug1vmpvb.jpg

 photo simnia snail acrobat DSC_3153_zpsbhihsqex.jpg

Tiny amphipods are thick on red gorgonian.
 photo simnia amp eggs DSC_3158_zpsvhmtxj0w.jpg

Megalomma pigmentum, a sabellid worm.
 photo Megaloma worm  DSC_2989_zpsll90ibaz.jpg

Pacific Angel Shark, Squatina californica
Wandering west on Hermosa Artificial Reef, I encountered the largest angel shark I've ever seen. Note its size compared to the perch.
 photo Angel shark DSC_3116_zpspuh4hotn.jpg

 photo Angel shark DSC_3111_zpsrqlkydiz.jpg

Giant Sea Bass, Stereolepis gigas
 photo GSB 3 DSC_3240_zpsnxi91ruy.jpg

We're still seeing different GSBs than the ones we photographed earlier this month.
 photo GSB 1b DSC_3240_zpsbgnlbyc3.jpg

 photo GSB 2 DSC_3250_zpsavkgtvoy.jpg

 photo MP GSB 30 31 B DSC_3095_zpsdebhju8u.jpg

As I was ascending the anchor line, this GSB decided to check out our green anchor.
 photo GSB anchor DSC_3273_zpsqs7hcowx.jpg

 photo MP GSB 33 34 DSC_3107_zpsp63hzlvw.jpg

Not a good photo, but it shows how they congregate in the "bowl".
 photo MP GSB 30 31 32 DSC_3099_zpsbjcyd2o3.jpg

Kelp rockfish, Sebastes atrovirens
 photo Kelp rockfish DSC_3200_zps3vorrfdm.jpg

Olive rockfish, Sebastes serranoides
 photo Olive rockfish DSC_3255_zpslfiglwxz.jpg

 photo fish head DSC_3193_zpsogqsbmtp.jpg

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