Palos Verdes Dive Site: Camelback

Outer Bamnks diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on August 14, 2019 at 08:17:58:

The reefs along the southside of Palos Verdes are an enigma. Most nearshore reefs look very similar. Sand, bare rock, algae, sponges and the typical reef fish. Reefs and wrecks offshore have more abundance of marine life and a variety of fish uncommon near shore, such as rockfish. Sometimes there are exceptions to the rule.

One of my favorite nearshore reefs, Biodome has an abundance of marine life not found on neighboring reefs. Halfway Reef and Kevin's Reef offer nudibranchs and small fish not found at Christmas Tree Cove, just a few hundred yards away.

I found an interesting looking reef on Google Earth that I had been wanting to check out. It's not far from Biodome, sitting just sixty feet inside the northern boundary of the Point Vicente Marine Conservation Area. I expected to find a similar reef to Biodome, but it couldn't have been more different.

33 44.791'N 118 25.053'W

Camelback tops out at thirty-five feet with the bottom of the rocks around sixty feet. Although it is too far to reach from shore, the reef resembles Christmas Tree Cove. There is a lot to see but there is plenty of space between the flora and fauna. I was disappointed at the sparseness of the rocks but any dive with fish, sponges, and anemones is a good one.

Garibaldis, sheephead, and Blacksmith are scattered around the reef. I even saw my first batray in years approaching, but not close enough for a photo. Algae swayed in the light surge on top of the reef while a thick school of blacksmith picked off plankton above. There are signs of the reef's history before it became an MPA. A large lobster trap covered with bryozoan, pipes and a large chain nearly dissolved into the rock along the bottom of the west side of the reef. Perhaps the reef will become a more lush site after a few more years of protection.

Encrusted chain

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