Cay celebrated her 36th birthday today and she wanted to visit the California sea lion rookery that lies on the southeastern side of Santa Barbara Island.
We went out there with Ted Henwood, William Brown, and William's friend Scott. We met the Encore in Long Beach on Saturday night at around 9pm and had dinner at Gladstones. The boat left at 1am and we arrived just after 6am this morning.
It was a gentle ride out and the conditions were gorgeous above water (sunny and calm) but below water there was a lack of good visibility due to some long range ground swells and subsequent surge. Last year's dive (Cay and Nate's pics are here) offered better visibility but for some reason this trip felt better. Great boat and met some cool peeps.
I shot an old Reefmaster point and shoot film camera (BW neg and Fuji slide results to come) and Cay shot with our new Canon S70. She'll have her pics out on Flickr by the middle of this coming week.
Our first dive was near Sutil Island at a place called Old Abalone Cove. It was a bit hairy at first but it was a good dive overall to about 45 feet where we were joined by the first of many playful sea lions. The boat made its way to the rookery and it was spectacular over there. There were hundreds of sea lions in the kelp beds and we got to interact very closely with these wonderful, intelligent pinnipeds.
Cay had enough after her second dive so I was able to use the S70's movie mode to shoot in 800 x 600 AVI. I'm very happy with the results and I've posted a Quicktime movie of the rookery at some space on swell.la. It's compressed down to 5.97MB @ 270 x 170. I wish I could post the full 800 x 600 but the size of the file would be prohibitive.
I am very interested in compressing the full quality video using Media Cleaner Pro or something similar so if anyone out there has any tips (hint, hint, Scott Hunter) let me know.