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Blue rockfish, Sebastes mystinus, Giant kelp, Macrocystis sp.
At depth, stands of giant kelp (Macrocystis sp.) are sparse. On the
water's surface, however, their lush canopy may permit only a few beams of
sunlight to pass. The surreal sensation of swimming just beneath the canopy as
these always dancing and occasionally blinding rays contrast with the shadows of
lurking blue rockfish (Sebastes mystinus) enchants almost all who
experience it. Environmental activist and long time dive boat captain Ed Cooper
was so taken with these lights that he named them "God beams". It's a fitting
appellation for one of many dive experiences that photograph poorly. This is
easily the closest I've come to capturing the feeling, but it lacks the sense of
immersion that comes with the real thing.

    "Butterfly House", Carmel Bay, California
    July 23, 2005

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