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Kelp Crab - Big Sur, California | by Jim Patterson Photography
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Kelp Crab - Big Sur, California

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Earth Day Underwater


After two dives in Carmel and a spectacular sunset down in Garrapata State Park on Monday, I wound up back at Soberanes Cove for an "extreme" dive up the coast to a spot called 4.2.


4.2 is the mile marker south of Point Lobos and is an expansive rocky reef system that is rarely accessible. In fact, the last time I dove here was in March of 2007. I jokingly said to my friends that the hike back up at the end of the day is something you have to erase from your memory in order for there to be any chance of diving there again.


Lowering kayaks down a small cliff and making several trips to get all the camera and SCUBA gear takes it's toll on the ol' muscles. Twenty to thirty minutes of paddling the kayak later, we tied off to some kelp, anchoring the kayaks.


On the kayak paddle out and back, we talked of the crazy dive stories we've had. Big swell, heavy wind. You know, victory at sea kind of stuff. We discussed the finer points of when an adventure becomes a fiasco, and I came up with the idea that every adventure can have a "Fiasco Factor" on a sliding scale of 1 to 10. 1 is a nice calm day with mild conditions. 10 involves a hospital.


Today was a 1.5. Mellow ocean, but slippery rocks on shore and sharp granite cliffs were the only real hazards as my boss can attest when he cut his hand on some jagged rock on the hike down.


I was at about 80' when I shot this, and the fog was in thick topside, so not the best light. I also realized that this crab was missing a couple legs. They do grow back, but I would have liked a crab with all its appendages. You can't have everything, I guess.


In the end, I was glad to be underwater on Earth Day, celebrating the major part of our planet.


Nikon D300

Tokina 10-17mm @ 17mm

1/40sec @ f9, ISO 200

Aquatica Housing with Megadome Port

Sea & Sea YS-110 Strobe at full power

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Taken on April 22, 2009