Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dive Report - Shaws Cove 6/27/15

Date: 6/27/15
Location: Shaws Cove, Laguna Beach CA
Time in: 10:54 am
Time under: around 25 minutes total, don't ask
Max depth: 26 ft
Min temp: 64 F
Vis:5-10 ft, murky
Waves: 1-2 feet
Buddies: Carolita

A few photos to prove I lugged a camera up the Shaws stairs:
Shaws Cove

Highlights: More learning opportunities. Camera housing didn't leak. Rain was really cool.
My DSLR housing made its way back to me this week and I really wanted to get back underwater and using it. So we decided to head to the same spot where it flooded... :)

Juvenile Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus)
Juvenile Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus)

Good news is that the camera housing didn't leak and we made it out through the occasional wave just fine. But we still had a ton of issues. Carolita's mask was leaking non-stop. First it seemed to be too tight after using it without a wetsuit. Loosening it helped, but it still leaked. Then somehow we both got cold in 64F water (hands went numb). Upon surfacing to fix the mask issue, we dropped back down again and I started having ear clearing trouble. We spent most of the 'dive' dropping down, coming back up and going back down again. I got to take about 5 pictures under water.

Island Kelpfish (Alloclinus holderi)
Island Kelpfish (Alloclinus holderi)

Near the end (ie the point of giving up), with plenty of air left and after being in the water for about an hour, the rain started and made everything all right. We swam back in, encountering a small rip and exited through the surf without any issues.

Carolita Ines enjoying the rain.
Carolita Ines enjoying the rain.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dive Report - Marine Room, La Jolla 6/20/15

Date: 6/20/15
Location: Marine Room, La Jolla
Time in: 11:03 am
Time under: 38 min
Max depth: 70 ft
Min temp: 54 F
Vis: 20-30 ft
Waves: Small, 1-2 ft
Buddies:Carolita & Virginia

More Photos

Highlights: Great vis at depth, but cold!



Cold! The thermocline was at only ~15 ft, which was fine for me in my drysuit, but was a challenge for Carolita in her wetsuit. Virginia didn't seem to mind much in her 5mm (!). We did a surface swim out to the edge of the canyon, navigating the chop and northerly current and dropped down into ~25 ft of water. From the canyon wall, we headed north to see the part we missed last weekend. Below the thermocline, the vis opened to 20-30 feet and we could clearly see the outline of the small canyon wall and the slope down into the abyss. We didn't see too much in the canyon - a brown crab, sarcastic fringehead and an octopus were the notable creatures. We then turned up slope and headed back to shore for the long swim.


More fun GoPro photos this week. I get my housing back on Tuesday, so I'm really looking forward to getting back underwater with the DSLR!




Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dive Report - Marine Room, La Jolla 6/13/15

Date: 6/13/15
Location: Marine Room, La Jolla
Time in: 11:57 am
Time under: 66 min
Max depth: 42 ft
Min temp: 55F
Vis:10-15 ft
Waves: Tiny
Buddies: Carolita

GoPro Photos: Photos at

Highlights: Lots of octos, sarcastic & yellowfin fringeheads, giant bat rays in the shallows

I haven't been diving as much lately, partly because of events in my personal life (like getting married) and partly because I've been doing other outdoor things, like backpacking/hiking. But the best part is that my wife is now a certified scuba diver (thanks V!). We've been focused on training dives, getting her comfortable in relatively shallow water and learning the joy of beach entries with surf. I haven't had much to report other than getting my butt handed to me in Laguna Beach back in April and then having my camera housing partially flood on the 10 minute dive after. Also, for my birthday, Carolita took me over to the Catalina dive park for my very first dive there.


Yesterday, we decided to visit the canyon in La Jolla. Rather than brave the La Jolla Shores parking lot, we went to the Marine Room and scored good parking close to the restaurant. Waves were tiny and there was just a little bit of surface chop. On the surface swim out, there was a slight current pushing north, but by half way out it ceased. We dropped down into 15 feet of water, but fortunately at the point that it starts to slope down from there. We hit the thermocline at about 30 feet and the mini wall at ~40 ft and turned south.


Carolita got to see her very first octopi on a dive. And not just one, but about 4 of them. She also got to see her first sarcastic fringeheads (that I've talked so much about), the smaller yellowfin fringeheads, and a pipefish. She was fascinated by the wart-neck piddock siphons. We didn't see any of the normal nudis other than navanax. The wall gently sloped up to about 25 feet where it sort of disappears and a current started pulling us south. We drifted south for a little bit before turning east to head in. On the swim in, we found another small octo hiding in kelp and watched it for a little bit. Then in the shallows, we came upon giant bat rays feeding, creating giant clouds of sand and swooping off to find their next meal.




I'm still waiting for my camera housing to come back from the shop, so I'm learning how to make the most of a GoPro. Apparently they don't focus as close underwater as they do on land. :)


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Top 10 of 2014

Below are my Top 10 of 2014 (not in any particular order). I didn't spend nearly as much time underwater this year, but that's going to change for 2015. My bride, Carolita, is now SCUBA certified!

In 2014, we spent a lot more time in the wilderness, doing adventure photography, hiking and backpacking.

1. A dreamy tempest. I'll start them off with one of my first really long exposure shots at a local beach in La Jolla. There is a narrow window of light where, with the filters I have, you can do a long exposure (60 seconds in this case). This also happens to be where we got married later in the year. :)

Large surf and storm clouds are turned into dreamy, smooth layers in this long exposure along the bluffs in La Jolla, CA.  This photo is available as a Limited Edition Print. See Limited Editions for more information.

2. Stormy beach in Olympic National Park. We fell in love with Olympic National Park and spent a day at the beach after our backpacking trip (see below). In Washington, they don't get drift wood on the beaches, they get drift trees!

Rialto Beach and stacks under stormy skies in Olympic National Park, WA.

3. The Hoh River Trail in Olympic National Park, WA. This was Carolita's first backpacking trip (my first since I was in Boy Scouts 25 years ago) and we absolutely loved it. The lush temperate rainforest in Olympic is simply amazingly green and lush. Quite a contrast to my native San Diego.

The Hoh River Trail in Olympic National Park traverses one of the largest temperate rainforests in the US. In the forest, there are so many shades of green and everything is covered in moss and ferns.

4. Mineral Creek along the Hoh River Trail. This is one of the scenic waterfalls along the trail. It is only about 2.5 miles from the campground and ranger station, so it's easily accessible as a day hike.

Mineral Creek flows through the primordial temperate rainforest in the Hoh River Valley, Olympic National Park, WA.

5. Nymph Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO. I got to do a day trip with a co-worker in Rocky Mountain National Park. We did a nice hike to 4 different lakes and had beautiful conditions.

Nymph Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

6. Lake Haiyaha in the rain, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO. This was the farthest lake we reached on our day hike and this is a panoramic shot measuring apprxomimately 16000 x 5700 pixels. This would fill a wall nicely and at full resolution, you can see the individual rings from each rain drop.

Panoramic Lake Haiyaha in the rain, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

7. Twilight Union. Self portrait wedding shot of Carolita & myself. It was a magical evening.

Twilight Union

8. The iconic Subway along the Left Fork of the North River, Zion National Park, UT. We did a 12 hour hike to the Subway and it was totally worth it. It was our favorite hike on our honeymoon in Zion National Park.

The iconic Subway along the Left Fork of the North River, Zion National Park, UT.

9. Archangel Falls in the Fall, Left Fork of North Creek, Zion NP, Utah. The other beauty along the hike to the Subway. An amazing waterfall that you hike up.

Archangel Falls in the Fall, Left Fork of North Creek, Zion NP, Utah.

10. Moray Eel (California Moray) at the Marine Room dive site in La Jolla, CA. My first dive with a macro lens in over a year and a half and in only 15 feet of water. You just never know what you're going to find!

Moray Eel (California Moray) at  the Marine Room dive site in La Jolla, CA.