Diving Oil Rigs and Wreck of the Olympic

It has been a long time since I last had some time with the fishes. This weekend it was finllay that time again. One dive on the wreck of the Olympic and two dives on the oil rigs. The latter are some of my favorite dive locations.

The wrecks near LA are always a hit or miss. That is to be taken literally usually. It is so dark and green that we have missed them on more than one occasion, even though the GPS said we are right on it. It was very green again, but we found the wreck. There is not much left of it, but the bow is still there and some parts of the main deck have nice features. Taking photos was another story, though. Using strobes limited me to only very close subjects unless I wanted all the silt lit up. So I tried some available light shots and converted them to black & white. I kinda like them and definitely have to work on that technique.

Next up was the usual oil rigs. Unfortunatelly, there are only 3 rigs left that let recreational divers dive. I know them well by now, but it is always a great treat to go there. Conditions can be pretty much anything. From dead calm, blue water with 100+ ft visbility to raging current with 10 ft visibility. Today was calm, but still green. Eureka sits a bit more sheltered and thus was less clear. Also, it seems they had just cleaned them down to 100 ft, which does not happen very often. It means that the company removes all growth, which makes the rigs less interesting.

Next up, we went to one of the twins Ellen and Elly. One is a production rig, which means they have the wells and get the oil up to the surface. The other one is a processing rig. That one does the first treatment of the oil. The water and gas gets separated out so that there is less to pump onshore. The twins sit right next to the underwater cliff and thus can get more current. Fortunatelly for us, at about 80 ft depth the water cleared up and we got a good 50+ ft visibility, albeit still very green. Ellen, too, got cleaned recently, but only down to about 60 ft. Diving at 100 ft depth makes the dive a bit shorter, but still great. Again, I tried my hand at some available light photography. I will work more on that in the future.

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