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California sheephead, Semicossyphus pulcher

California sheephead, Semicossyphus pulcher, California hydrocoral, Stylaster californicus, Red gorgonian, Lophogorgia chilensis
As is typical of wrasses, California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher)
begin life as females, but may transform into males in later life. Here, a
demure female seeks the shelter of a red gorgonian (Lophogorgia
chilensis). It's a several hour ride from Los Angeles harbor to Farnsworth
Bank. The long ride, coupled with the time the night before spent in heavy I-5
traffic rather than sleeping, took its toll the day I shot this image. In fact,
I can't ever remember being more miserable out on the water. The day's dives
themselves were clumsily executed, but enjoyable nonetheless. The end of the
second dive coincided with the start of distressingly brisk wind which made the
trek to the night's anchorage a long one. The ascetic accommodations on the
whaler'sanchor locker were never more welcome.

    "Farnsworth Bank", Santa Catalina Island, California
    April 2, 2005

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