By Michael Zeigler and Todd Winner
We recently headed out to Farnsworth Bank the backside of Catalina Island, California. Located about five miles from the shore of Catalina, Farnsworth Bank is an underwater seamount, with the top of the reef reaching 50′ below the surface of the Pacific. From there, the reef drops off to hundreds of feet deep, forming sheer walls and ledges on the way down.
The big draw to this site, besides the vast quantities of fish and torpedo rays, is the purple hydrocoral. Found at very few dive sites around Southern California, purple hydrocoral always delivers at Farnsworth Bank.
On this day, current was minimal until the afternoon, and visibility was marginal but the water was blue. Water temperatures averaged 59ºF and topside it was sunny but cool (~60ºF).
The last dive of the day was on the “front” side of the west end at a site called Eagle’s Nest. Although we were treated to seeing a few bald eagles high on the cliff above, the site delivered very little photographically. I guess we’ll have to go back!
Michael Zeigler is a contributor, instructor, and trip leader for Samy’s Underwater Photo & Video, as well as an AAUS Scientific Diver. More of Michael’s underwater photography can be seen at www.seainfocus.com. For the latest information on workshops and trips, sign up for our newsletter.
Todd Winner is a contributor, instructor, and trip leader for Samy’s Underwater Photo & Video and has over 20 years of experience in underwater still and broadcast video. To see more of Todd’s work please go to www.toddwinner.com. For the latest information on workshops and trips, sign up for our newsletter.