Dancing in the Kelp Forest

dancing in kelp forest, west end anacapa island, channel islands national park, channel islands sanctuary

The two-hour crossing from Santa Barbara Harbor to the West End of Anacapa Island was glassy calm. I powered down the Cummins diesel engine of our dive research vessel “Otra Vez.” I looked down as we approached the kelp canopy. I could see the sand bottom about 80’ below.  Diving the California Channel Islands, visibility is rarely that clear. To relish the point, I watched the anchor stir up a cloud of sand as it landed on the bottom.  

It did not take long for us to gear up in the hot sun.  Wetsuits are great for keeping warm once in the water, but on deck during the hot days of Summer, they motivate a quick jump into the Ocean.   

We headed down the anchor line. I checked the anchor hold and then looked up at the kelp forest now towering above us.  I could see the planing hill of the Otra Vez bobbing on the surface. It was a magical day.  We passed through a narrow canyon kicking towards the sea cliffs.  Susanne was following behind. I signaled her to kick by a Red Gorgonian Coral. I gave her a signal to stop, and she saw the shot I was lining up. Perfect! 

Then, I signaled her to look up. “Dancing in the Kelp Forest” became one of my favorite images from the Channel Islands National Park.   

Bob Evans

Bob Evans is diving Pro Model Force Fins, Susanne is dancing in a pair of Original Force Fins.

Difference Between Pro and Original Force Fin

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