Diving Before Work At Shaw's Cove Laguna Beach

  • Updated: January 25, 2019
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

January 25th, 2019

I've recently jumped into diving with the intent of maintaining all of my other various outdoor hobbies. As I'm sure you can guess that is a bit difficult since I already struggle to find open weekends and now I have yet another awesome way to spend them. But hey, there are worse problems to have!

This weekend would see Kristen and I hopefully diving some deep wrecks down in San Diego with Sea Stallion and finishing up our Advanced Open Water certifications. We also had tentative plans to head over to Catalina and Casino Point on Sunday if conditions looked good and when the opportunity came up to do a kickoff dive of sorts Friday morning before work we both jumped at the chance.

This did mean a rather early morning and some last minute prep the day before since I had to run by the dive shop and grab rental tanks and weights but hey, that's just the price of having fun.

Kristen and I arranged to meet two other people at 6:30 am at the stairs above Shaw's Cove. It was still dark when we arrived but we could see people swimming around with lights off the shore.

It took us a little longer to get ready than I would have liked so we weren't in the water until 7 am. As luck would have it the waves were pretty much non existent making our entry quite uneventful.

We swam out a good distance and down we went!

The neat thing about Shaw's compared to the other sites I've been in Laguna is the canyons! You only drop down maybe 20 or 30 ft and you can swim through these dramatic underwater canyons just teeming with life. We did have a bit of surge to deal with but hey, all part of the fun!

We also got to see the sunrise from underwater which I'll take over sitting on a beach any day!

Critter-wise the garibaldi stood out amongst the sheephead and sea bass due to their vivid coloration. We also saw a number of juveniles which are a duller orange and have brilliant blue spots but my camera setup wasn't good enough (yet!) to get any decent pictures of them.

We also found a number of sea urchins tucked into the rocks and a few lobster.

When we popped out the far side of the rocks we spent a little time cruising amongst the vegetation before hitting out turn around point and returning along the outside of the reef. We hit about 40 ft doing this.

In addition to the aforementioned critters we also came across a number of sea cucumbers along the outer wall.

We were back on the surface by 8 am dictated by a combination of air reserves and the demands of gainful employment.

A quick stroll up the stairs and we were back to the car stripping out of wet sandy neoprene and running for our respective places of employment.

There's a little tightening up of the schedule to be done but it does look like this is a viable option for me on a quasi regular basis and it was an amazing way to start off the day. Now if the weather conditions will just start cooperating a bit more...

Next up: Diving the Yukon and Ruby E deep wrecks of the coast of San Diego!

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