Diving the Oil Rigs on the Sea Bass Dive Boat
Saturday was a perfect day for a boat trip. We boarded the boat at 6:30 am for a 7 am departure. I was surprised to see that not a single person on the boat was diving a jacket style bc. It was definitely a boat full of serious divers sporting equipment that would make anyone envious. Two guys were diving doubles with stage bottles and another was on a fancy rebreather.
I was surprised to see a rebreather that was so open on the back. I am admittedly a novice when it comes to this technology, but every time I see a rebreather I find myself fascinated with the physics behind the whole thing. I dove on a boat with an entire rebreather certification class in Maui but they were all diving the big yellow Inspiration and Evolution models we’ve all become accustom too. This rig was different. The scrubber was in a black case but the bottles inverted on either side were in plane site. It looked a lot more streamlined than the big yellow packs I usually see.
The day was a good one. The visibility went from green to open blue somewhere between 70 and 80 feet. There was a definite thermocline that accompanied the clear visibility. I was surprised there weren’t more fish. Don’t get me wrong, we saw some monstrous sheephead, beautiful rockfish, and a few garibaldi, but the star of the show was the beautiful massive structure teaming with all sorts of colorful creatures that chose to make a home on the massive pillars that made up the rig’s substructure. We dove to a max depth of 100 feet but I couldn’t help but feel we missed out on quite a bit further down. I saw some amazing pictures that were taken by two scooter divers at about 130 feet. This dive made me excited about tech diving and left me eager to start training for decompression dives using a more diverse group of gasses. This time around I was on air for the first two and switched to EANx29 for my final dive.
The Sea Bass is fast becoming one of my favorite boats. It’s a small boat without much of a bunk-room but the crew is nice and the food is surprisingly good considering it comes from such a small kitchen. Captain Richard is a fun guy with a great sense of humor. It’s a nice change of pace from the bigger boats where you can go an entire day without speaking directly to the captain.
Click on the image of the rig above to see my pictures from the Eureka Oil Platform!