Dive #5 – La Jolla Cove Sea Caves

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

This whole day has been a happy one just because of one one-hour long dive in La Jolla. The conditions were perfect so I could choose to either to the kelp forest or the cave dive. I chose the cave and am so happy I did so. It was incredible and amazing and awesome and I thought it was such a great time that as soon as I got home, I booked another tour (to do the kelp forest) on Friday. Scuba diving is the best thing ever and I regret not getting my certification earlier.

I got to La Jolla Cove at 8am this morning, met with the instructor who would give me a private tour along the coastline right under the cliffs where sea lions hang out. In the beginning of the dive we saw lots of tuna crabs. Then we descended after hiking out a little bit. My regulator this time was so much easier to breathe through that I didn’t even think about my breathing at all, like I did during all my other dives up in SLO. There was a lot of sea grass in a dark red color and bright green. It was very pretty. And through it swam tons of big orange fish, the California state fish: Garibaldi Calico Bass (real name is Hypsypops Rubicundus). The visibility was 15-20ft and that was good enough for me, I could see plenty and I loved the view down there. We never went deeper down than 20ft which was good for a first dive. Water temp was just under 60F at the bottom and around 60F at the surface. But with a 7mm wetsuit I didn’t get cold. During the dive he showed me plenty of stuff, like lobsters and abalone’s. They are apparently very very expensive and their dead shell is very very pretty. We also saw sea lions once we got to the cave. We had just surfaces inside it when I hear him say to quickly look behind me. I panicked a little for a second and then went under water and saw a huge, 800lb, sea lion swimming a few feet away from me. Haha, crazy! There was also a sea lion lying on one of the cliffs in there. Oh right, speaking of sea lions, I accidently resurfaced right before going in the cave. It’s hard with the buoyancy, it shouldn’t be, but it happened, I got too positive and surfaced. And once I was above the surface I heard the screech of sea lions, looked up at the cliff right above me and saw a lot of big sea lions lying there watching me. Haha! They are kinda intimidating honestly.

We swam around inside the cave for a bit, then slowly headed back to the beach. Another thing we saw was a tiny sleeping horned shark. It wasn’t bigger than a feet and was sleeping inside a crevice well-hidden. But the instructors keen eyes found it. He has over 10,000 dives and is very experienced and I felt very safe diving with him.

We had a total of 63 minutes under water, which he said was very impressive for a beginner. Normally that dive was 45 minutes. I guess I am a natural, haha! Jk, but he said that I was very calm and didn’t seem like a beginner, and that felt really good to hear since I thought I was gonna die on dive #1 and #2 in Montaña de Oro.

Now I have 144 minutes under water, more than two hours, yay!

The way up to the truck was hard, the scuba equipment is heavy and walking up stairs with it was not fun, haha! We talked for a bit afterward, and I filled in my log book, got a stamp and then drove home. If anyone ever goes to San Diego to scuba dive, find Scuba San Diego Inc! $140 for one dive with all the equipment rented, $205 for two tanks. I am glad I didn’t do two dives, I would have been too tired. And now I have something to look forward to on Friday!

When I came home I started looking at the pictures. They turned out pretty good, but the videos were the best. And since none of the pictures from the cave and forward were damaged somehow, I decided to go through all the videos and take screenshots, and with the program VideoPad they turned out amazing! So today there are a lot of pictures in the blog.

Later in the afternoon I pretended to be an au pair again and picked up Nicki, who I hung out with in San Francisco during spring break with Helena. We went to La Jolla Westfield UTC to do some shopping. I bought a pair of flip flops and lots of underwear from VS. Mine are falling apart and I don’t know when I will get the chance to buy new ones next time. Good thing they don’t take space or weight from my suitcases. I still have weight left I think. But I am gonna save money if I am about to pay tuition to Cal Poly or SDSU next fall.

Wow, it is almost 3am… I should probably go to bed now, haha! It has been a fantastic day and I can’t wait for Friday when I am going to see the kelp forest and go down to 40ft. I have never been below 25, so that will be cool!

 

Here are Rod Watkins’ pictures from the dive today. He was fast at uploading them to Facebook.

11423748_914103205314813_5177575733712628462_o 1606509_914102251981575_1301084185661643743_o 10338598_914102211981579_3019543076083788694_o California’s state fish and an abalone.10900102_914101825314951_7493330563710473597_o 11059337_914101718648295_7681729652274419291_o Tuna crab.11402281_914101841981616_2004919292234400916_o 11536467_914102678648199_166303659190176965_o 800lb sea lion inside the cave.10446092_914102278648239_7081370884365601938_o Swimming in to the cave.10507070_914103061981494_5106383236332471865_o 10517137_914102341981566_3060282568738167103_o North entrance, to Coast Blvd.10995641_914102861981514_3519503756803124146_o South entrance to the ocean.11023819_914102518648215_2079516442316717754_o Sea lion resting.11112535_914102438648223_2597424519764871899_o 11202967_914102955314838_4873655722201694306_o 11393350_914102781981522_8775457395930558685_o 11425081_914102785314855_1974493588124309815_o Inside the cave.11425487_914102651981535_4229629511061322220_o

Waves hitting the razor reef.Extremely happy after a very successful dive :).

 

Here are my pictures from my gopro:

Snapshot - 92 Red, green, orange.Snapshot - 93 Snapshot - 94 Snapshot - 95 Snapshot - 2 Snapshot - 5 Snapshot - 7 Snapshot - 9 Lobster.Snapshot - 20 Snapshot - 11-13 This is a funny one. I was watching the videos tonight and I saw this sea lion swimming right above us. I had no idea this happened when we were out there, haha! Snapshot - 28 Alive abalone.Snapshot - 32 Beautiful colors.Snapshot - 35 This is what I faced when I accidentally surfaced, haha!Snapshot - 39 The cave.Snapshot - 41 Snapshot - 48 Snapshot - 53-60 This is me filming in the cave, the first picture on the upper left corner shows the sea lion swimming right next to me!Snapshot - 70-73 And this sea lion decided to swim right in front of us when we were outside of the cave.Snapshot - 87 Snapshot - 89 Snapshot - 90