Location: N Crescent, Laguna Beach (Seal Rock)
Time in: 8:06 am
Time under: 92 min
Max depth: 27 ft
Min temp: 59 F
Vis: ~10 ft or less
Waves: sets of 3-4 footers, rip current and surge
Buddies: Graham & Brad
Highlights: Lots of quality time with a frisky bunch of sea lions.
Graham, Brad and I headed out to Seal Rock on Sunday morning. There were large sets coming in, but there was a long lull in between and it was easily timed (for the patient). On the way out, I noticed how easy it was swimming. Turns out there was a bit of a rip going out along the west end of the reef, probably a result of the south swell being diverted through the reef. Visibility wasn't great, but the sea lions were very frisky. We could see them leaping out of the water and frolicking on the surface as we approached Seal Rock.
We parked ourselves at the base of Seal Rock and waited for them to come to us. We didn't have to wait very long before we were being buzzed by the curious ones. Underwater, you could hear them barking and a large (momma) sea lion kept watch as juveniles would swim around us. Photography was very challenging as we couldn't see them until they were right next to us. They would swim up, stare you in the face (or blow bubbles like they did to Graham) and then jet off in another direction. We also saw them rubbing their backs and bellies along the reef.
Seal Rock, Laguna Beach
Brad had to leave after 1/2 hour and Graham and I stayed until we were below 1000 psi. It was a long swim in, made even longer by the outgoing rip. I charged straight in and noticed that Graham kept getting farther away. He finally made it through and we easily timed the large sets to walk out to a full beach and sunshine. Later in the day, we heard that the beaches in Laguna were closed to diving due to the surf.
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