It could have been the dead sea lion, or the tope sharks, or maybe the fascinating topography, because today I discovered that La Jolla Cove is one of the best kept secrets in Southern California scuba diving. Besides all the great sea life, the cove was perfectly flat with no surge and visibility a staggering 50 feet or more. (Unusual for Southern California shore diving.)
I had planned to photograph nudibranchs and other critters, even though I knew there were lots of large animals in the area. I thought I could compromise by taking a 60mm lens which would allow me to photograph both tiny critters and basketball sized animals. However, the larger creatures were more abundant and the only tiny critters were a few MacFarland’s Chromodorids:
On a relatively larger scale, I found an octopus defending her hole,
Southern California Octopus
And several lobsters who have survived this season’s lobster hunt.
One of the most interesting things, if not the most morbid, was the carcass of a sea lion that was covered with sheep crabs who were scavenging for food. At this point, the lens I had was not sufficient for the whole scene, so only a single sheep crab was captured in the frame. The whitish material is the sea lion.
Sheep Crab picking flesh off a sea lion carcass.
Also spotted on this dive were four tope sharks which were too far away to photograph, but were nonetheless exciting to see. I am eager to visit this site again as it appears to be a treasure trove of marine life.
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