After Rafting down the Deschutes River last weekend, Abe and Katrina (who drove down from Canada) decided that since they were already partly down here, they would just continue south and drive down to LA and come out sailing. And so it happened. We scrounged up some suits and snorkels and went out to Catalina to explore. The water was pretty nice, but not super warm, and Katrina lived up to her 5 years ago today hurricane public image, and helped to cause the winds to blow the most strongly that I have seen since I've been down here, about 25 knots. Since I don't have the diversity of anchors that I used to have, we drug the anchor in a couple places, and of course wrapped a line around the propeller at the same time while heading for nasty rocks. Fortunately, we lived. Abe did some decent dives to 20 ft or so, while Katrina (who didn't have fins or a weight belt) mostly stayed on the surface. I dove for the first time in about a month, and was expecting to be unable to stay down or go deep, but I was pleasantly surprised to find I could go nice and deep. Consequently, I saw a small 6 inch leopard shark, a green Moray Eel, and some purple crabs up in a cave that I haven't seen before. On the way back to the mainland we saw a pod of whales, which I think were Fin whales (or Finback whales), and are second only to Blue Whales in size. We got about 100 yards away from some of them, and then sent out the whaling boat (the nucanoe) out with oarsman (Abe) and camera operator (me) to do some photo reconnaissance. The whales, which are the fastest of the great whales, were too quick for our slow oarsman, so we failed to get any underwater pictures. After that, we saw a shark, which I think must have been a Blue Shark, because of the size of the two dorsal fins. (the main dorsal, and the other one that is further back were similar in size.) On a White Shark, there is almost no secondary fin, its really small, but we saw the dorsal, the aft fin, and the tail very clearly.
Catalina also have Buffalo, if you didn't know it. We managed to find one of them lounging around in Two Harbors, so that was a treat. I hadn't seen one of them before this out there. They were brought out for a movie a long time ago and were never removed.