Lora’s Point Loma Whalefall (Point Loma — 180 fsw)


I was out diving with Ben Lair on the Marissa with Lora & Chris yesterday.

We had two days of diving planned and we were diving mainly new targets based on some findings and data from Tyler Stalter.

On Monday, we dove a helicopter (more on that later) and yet another new “abandoned” airplane (again, more on that later). Between dives on Monday we went to go look at a target Tyler saw in the data in about 170 feet deep off of Point Loma. We didn’t find anything there but on the slow ride back to the second dive site, Lora saw something interesting on her new sonar system and she marked it.

On Tuesday we dove a different target in about 210′ (another story for later — you can see the pattern here) and then went to go check out what Lora had seen.

The fun, interesting, and sometimes funny thing about diving new targets is that you never know what you are going to find…I’ve missed targets and found a cute baby octopus and other times I’ve found weird barge like structures and other times just piles of rocks in 250 feet of water

Yesterday, when I was slower going down and finally got down to the bottom of the down-line to meet Ben, he looked at me and said “It is a f’ing whale!”

The Whale

I took a bunch of pictures and some video of the whale and then thought that it might be a cool subject for a photogrammetry model and took some more photos. I missed one side and should have stayed down longer to finish photographing it, but the model turned out reasonably well:

Below are a few photos of the whale as well. The visibility was 5-10 feet and it was literally a night dive in terms of ambient light. I haven’t really edited any of these photos so there is a lot of backscatter but you can definitely get a sense of the whale:

Below are screenshots of the model:

Here are some photographs:

Next Steps

We are in contact with both NOAA and Scripps institute. They are interesting in potentially getting some samples of the whale. We are likely to do another dive on the site to gather more data and more pictures.

7 thoughts on “Lora’s Point Loma Whalefall (Point Loma — 180 fsw)

  1. Brett, this one of the coolest things I have seen! I am impressed with not only the find but also the photogrammetry model you created. Awesome!

  2. WOW 😮 That is really awesome 👏
    I thought you were kidding but I should know better by now!

    1. Not right now.

      I am hoping that NOAA and Scripps can get the approvals done so that we can go back and get samples before too long.

      All I know is that the marine biologist I spoke to at Scripps (who specializes in whale falls) said something like “it doesn’t look very old” and he mentioned that there are still areas of baleen and that some specialized creatures hadn’t yet appeared to get the marrow out of the bones.

      – brett

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