TWARS (This Week at Reef Seekers) - November 14-21

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Ken Kurtis

Reaction score
Beverly Hills, CA
# of dives
5000 - ∞
No Swell, Cotton Candy lobster, and more
(please scroll down for details)
This may have been the perfect weekend to go diving . . .

GREAT CONDITIONS - Renee Capozolla, our fabulous Zoom Seekers speaker this past week (see below), sent us a note on Saturday extolling the fantastic conditions at the Avalon Underwater Park. Renee estimated the viz at 70 feet or so, calm surface, and just absolutely spectacular. There was a FB post today from Robin Boettcher Hanson that was also raving about great diving at the Park. And Redondo (Vets Park) today looked flat as a pancake in the morning. What causes this???

THANK YOU SANTA ANA WINDS - You can thank the Santa Anas, also the reason it's been so hot the last few days, for this. When they blow offshore, they essentially counteract and knock down any swell headed to the coast. So that makes a lot of shore dive sites really nice. What's interesting this past weekend is that many times, especially when it's a strong Santa Ana (this one was mild), the wind generally blows straight into Avalon Harbor and really can muck things up as well as create large waves. The Santa Ana this weekend was mild enough that it didn't really seem to reach 26 miles across the sea and we had good local conditions as well as good Catalina conditions.

THE CATALINA SHADOW EFFECT TOO - Another thing that plays into all of this is the "shadow" that Catalina throws on the mainland when we're talking about swell. You can really see an indication of this from the map below (from The very dark blue around the NE side of the island (the side that faces the mainland) gets an obvious benefit from the island blocking the swell. But you can also see the medium blue shadow that's created by Catalina that offers protection from Huntington Beach, through Long Beach, around the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and up towards Inglewood. In fact, you may barely see able to see by Torrance that there's another dark blue patch, which pretty much coincides with Redondo and Vets. That's yet another shadow created by PV, offering even more protection to Vets. All handy stuff to know and understand when you're planning a dive or trying to discern what the conditions will be.​
BOOKMARK THIS - The site (formerly WetSand) is a good resource have for SoCal swell predictions. Here's the link to their SoCal map. You can zoom in on a specific area: .

RENEE CAPOZOLLA WAS ON ZOOM SEEKERS - Renee gave a great talk this past week, showing off some of her favorite images and giving us the stories behind them as well. She also shared some of her journey over the last few years going from a point-&-shoot photographer to an award-winning professional. In case you missed her talk, we've got it up on our YouTube channel for you: ZOOM SEEKERS - RENEE CAPOZOLLA.

COLORFUL LOBSTER IN MAINE - We'll start with the name: Cotton Candy Lobster. That's because, as you can see below, it's not the usual dark red/brown color of most East Coast lobster but is more pinkish and blue, hence the name. It was found by a professional lobster-hunter and is considered literally a 1-in-a-million find. But rest assured this lobster will not get eaten. It's been donated to a regional aquarium where it will hopefully lead a long and peaceful life. Here's the pix, normal left, Cotton Candy right:​
And that'll do it for now. Have a great week and let's go diving . . . once I've cleared the post-COVID no-diving protocols.

- Ken​

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