The conditions over the weekend were once again amazing, so Stan and I planned on meeting up at Shaw’s between 7-7:30 for a dive. We wanted to get there early to avoid the crowds. But this is prime scuba class season, and when we got there, there were 3 separate classes. There were a good number of other divers around as well. The drawbacks to having so many divers in the water is that they tend to kick up the sand and visibility drops as a result. And in some of the inner reef areas of shaw’s, it’ll get crowded. It’s like trying to enjoy a drive up PCH in traffic. But I did get some nice pictures.

Jason, Jen, and Andrew came along. Everyone piled into my little scion and we headed out first to Shaw’s cove. They went off to check out the tide pools. It was low tide so they got to see a good number of the intertidal sea creatures such as sea stars, small crabs, sea urchins, etc. There was a lone fisherman out on the edge of the reef. I snapped a picture of him while Stan and I kicked out to the drop area.

After resting a bit after the kick out, we dropped in. Here is Stan as he’s descending and trying to balance himself. There are divers everywhere, and here’s one guy getting up close and personal with the reef. The next picture is the famous Archway at Shaw’s. The arch way is fairly large and through it, one enters the inner sanctum of the reef.

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After snapping a few pictures around the outside of the arch, we headed in, and I went straight for the spot where I snapped pictures of the nudibranch from the previous week. Sure enough, I found not one, but several. How many nudibranchs can you see in the first picture? I’m pretty sure I count 6, maybe 7. I didn’t realize that there were this many until I saw picture when I off loaded them from my camera. Hell, I didn’t realize that the one I saw and snapped most of my pictures of was actually two, mating. I almost feel like a pornographer…

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Here are some more scenes from around the inner reef. The surge was very light so I was able to take fairly decent pictures. I snapped pictures of divers passing through, some kelp, and a sea star.

Here’s another video from the return trip out through another branch in Shaw’s cove through a smaller archway, and Stan following out with his camera in hand.

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With about a thousand pounds of air left, we exited the reef and explored the outer area of the reef. heading back to the spot where I found the shrimp on my evening dive the previous week, the same Garibaldi decided to attack my head this time. Damn sucker just doesn’t like divers. I wonder how many other divers have been attacked by the little orange monster. I was looking for an octopus; but wasn’t able to find any.

We were underwater for about a full hour. Stan’s longest dive to date. We headed back to our cars and Stan and I parted. When Jason, Jen, and Andrew returned to the car, we headed up to the Laguna Sea Sports dive shop and I got a quick tank fill. Afterward, we headed south to Treasure Island.

After gearing up, we started to head toward the beach, and my fiber optic cable snapped at one end, so my strobe was effectively useless. No worries, I’ll just snap pictures without it. However, once I got into the water, the camera wasn’t turning on. So I have no pictures of my dive at Treasure Island. However, I did manage to see a large bat ray swim away when I approached. I also saw one sleeping half buried in the sand. There were so many fish around. I could have just sat there snapping pictures as the fish were not shy and came right up and swam along side me.

After the dive, I checked my camera and one of the rubber buttons inside the case went missing; which was the reason my camera wasn’t turning on. I probably lost the thing when I opened up the case after my first dive to wipe out the moisture inside the case. Not a big deal as I have enough silicon from model building molds that I can cut and use as replacement buttons; so that should be a relatively quick fix. The fiber optic connectors also looks like an easy repair.

I did take some pictures while out of the water at Treasure Island. Andrew brought out his fishing pole and they fished while just hanging out on the reef. Jen spotted a tiny little sand crab so I got up close and snapped a picture. The thing was no more than 2 cm long, and looked like a spider running across the sand.

On the past few dives; I left the hunting bag at home as I was out to just look and take pictures. That said, on my dive at Treasure Island, I came upon a large scallop and just had to grab it. I didn’t even bring my knife so I pulled the sucker with my hand, and cleaned it off with my flashlight. With no bag, I ended up wedging the scallop between my wetsuit and BC. Coming out of the water; I headed over to Jason and friends to see how they were doing. They showed me a small little rock fish they caught, and I showed them the scallop, that was larger than my open hand. Having no bucket to take the thing home in, I cracked it open and offered it up to Jason and Jen. They were a little squeamish at first, as the damn thing was still moving, and they didn’t know how to go about grabbing the main abductor muscle and eating it. So I grabbed chunks of it and gave it to them. They were pleasantly surprised by the sweetness and nutty flavor. Ya cannot get any fresher than this. Here’s a picture that Jen snapped of the open scallop.

More pictures of the dive and bigger versions of the videos are here:

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