There has been a lot written about the Valiant and it is a pretty common wreck dive to do at Catalina.
It is at recreational depths and so it has been dived a lot. The short version is that it was a 162 foot luxury yacht that was built on the east coast in 1926 and then sold to a new owner shortly after being built. The new owner had the ship anchored in Descanso Bay in mid-December 1930 and was enjoying dinner and drinks with friends when a fire broke out in the engine room and the ship sank a short 4 years after being built.
I was testing out my new set of LP72 doubles (more on that in another post) and figured it would be a good dive to get into “light” deco and do some skills. I haven’t dived a set of open circuit doubles in probably 5+ years. I took along an AL40 of O2 as well to practice gas switching and accelerate my deco.
The conditions were good given the recent local weather patterns. On the first dive on the Valiant, I made the biggest “rookie” mistake an underwater photographer can make (other than flooding a housing): I forgot to remove the lens cap. Well, once you are underwater, there is no way to resolve that problem so I took some GoPro video footage and just explored the wreck and got comfortable in the doubles.
I got some good photos on the second dive. The kelp was nice and the visibility was pretty good and I found a cool scorpionfish hiding in the wreck. Some selected photos are below.
The wreck is definitely starting to collapse after 90+ years in the water so I recommend that if you haven’t dived it before, then it is worth your time to go do it soon.
3 thoughts on “The Valiant (Catalina Island — 105 fsw)”
Nice piece. I dove the Valiant a few years ago, when, unfortunately, the viz wasn’t nearly as good as you had.
Thanks, Michael. It was definitely fun little wreck to dive and we did have good conditions, especially considering the general weather and ocean conditions lately.