It has been almost a full year since I last dived Laguna Beach, or off the coast of California for that matter. So on Saturday, I had my first dive of the year. It feels damn good to be back in the water. The conditions from earlier in the week were amazing. The water was as still as a lake, and the visibility was about 30-35 feet. I hoped the the conditions kept up for my dive on Saturday. The conditions were fairly good. Not the 30 feet that had been posted earlier the week. The surf was kicking up a bit, so it was a little surgy but not bad. Visibility was very nice. Temperature on the surface was about 85 or so degrees. Not too bad for the middle of January. Temperature at the 25 feet was 56. I had a hole in my glove so my left hand was a little cold. Enjoying my first day back to diving, I decided to go again today, Sunday. Below are pictures taken from the top and from the water.
With such nice visibility, I set to take as many pictures as I can. Below are pictures of a sea star,sea urchins, lobster, and a sea cucumber – rather ugly things. I’m still fiddling with my camera settings so the colors are a bit off. The flash wasn’t really doing the best job, and I didn’t have my exposure set properly. But these are the best I can do with being under water and all that jazz.
I didn’t get a fishing license yet, and I didn’t bring my goodie bag down with me, so no hunting today. I did pick off a scallop to feed the fish.
Video of the fish eating the freshly shucked scallop. These things are very tasty!
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Here are a few more random pictures, the little lobster was just the carapace. Something had already eaten all the good parts, but since it was fairly whole, I pieced it together and snapped a quick picture.
The sand underwater with the waves make it look very desert like. There a bit of peacefulness at the bottom of the ocean, just watching the fish, and relaxing in a weightless environment. Floating through the water, and over the reef here and there is just a feeling of flying. Amazing fun. The dive lasted 66 minutes, and I still had about 1000lbs of air… not too shabby.
Sunday: Since my dive the previous day was so nice, I decided to go again. Yesterday, I woke up around 9 in the morning and didn’t get into the water until about 11; so I woke up around 7:30 this morning, and was in the water by 9. Below are pictures of a few Nuidbranches I found. I was looking yesterday but didn’t see any, and today I saw a bunch. I spend a little time adjusting my camera as well, getting the lighting better and the various other settings dialed in. For all intents and purposes, the camera is still a point and shoot, so there is only so much setting tweaking I can do. But I think the pictures today are better than those I took yesterday.
The next set of pictures are some other creatures I didn’t get pictures of the previous day. A Keyhole Limpet and an Anemone. It was much more surgy today than yesterday, and the visibility was about half as good as it was the previous day. So some of these pictures were a little difficult to take as the surge had me rushing in and out at 6-8 feet at a time and I was bumping into the reef because of this. Still, not too bad of a dive; I’ve been in worse conditions. Temperature was the same as the previous day, although it was a bit more windy today. My bottom time was 58 minutes. And I had about 500 lbs of air left at the end of the dive.
And for the final picture, as I came up from the beach, I saw a couple walking their corgi, and I stopped to complement them on their beautiful corgi and went to my car to gear down. Walking back to the beach for some water, I saw the couple and the corgi coming back, so I asked if I could snap a quick picture, as I have two little corgi monsters at home too. His name is Cooper, and he looks as if he’s just had a bath. He also looks like he’s a tad bit shorter than Beanie, about as long as Hugo, but fatter than Hugo. His fur is very fuzzy, which I attribute to a freshly bathed corgi. Very cute.