Diving Before Work - Diver's Cove in Laguna Beach

  • Updated: March 27, 2019
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

March 26th & 27th, 2019

This week we saw enough of a break in the seemingly endless Southern California rain to allow Jack and I to get back out diving again before work.

So far all the morning dives have been at either Shaw's Cove or Crescent Bay so we decided to mix things up a bit and head for Diver's Cove located a short distance to the south.

The parking spots at the top of the stairs only require you to pay starting at 8 am which is when we intended to be gone by so that's a plus.  On the downside the bathrooms located just to the south at the park aren't open this early.

We planned to arrive at 5:45 am though we ended up a bit delayed due to a coffee triggered bathroom run.  And then we almost had to scrub the dive because I'd stupidly forgotten my mask.

I usually make sure to touch all my gear before leaving the house but this time Jen helped me pack and I relied on her swearing she put it in my bag.  Instead of doing the smart thing and double checking along the way I waited until we were about to gear up only to find no mask.  Doh!

Fortunately Jack had a spare...

Jack is a much bigger trooper than me because he used that mask for a while and I barely made it through the single dive with it.  The strap had no give to it making it a bloody pain to get off and on and more alarmingly I realized mid-descent that I couldn't squeeze the nose in order to block and clear.

I ended up having to pull off the mask, clear my ears, then put the mask back on, and then clear the mask.  This got really old by the third time when I fortunately figured out I could jam a finger up from beneath and manage the clear.

After all of that we were in the water around 6:50 am enjoying a beautiful sunrise off to the east before dropping down and aiming for a rock outcropping sticking up out of the water to the north.

We had a lot of surge so the pictures ended up a bit grainy combined with the early morning lack of light.

At first we were just traveling over sand with a few minor clumps of rock and vegetation here and there.

Soon enough we found the rocks and had a decent dive.  There were the occasional stands of kelp and another plant but the recent visit to Casino Point has made me a bit harder to impress.

This guy was so friendly he was practically bumping into us.

And of course there were lobster.

We finished after 45 minutes or so a bit on the cold side but having had a good time.  Sadly Jack had lost his ankle mounted dive knife in a tussle with a piece of kelp which we didn't realize until we were back out to the vehicles.

We had a chance of rain Wednesday night which would mean another multi day beach closure so we decided why not go again the next day!

So after a late night wrapping up the 2019 Wilderness Travel Course Jack and I were back out to Diver's Cove again at 5:45 am the following morning.  Same parking spots and this time I made sure I had my mask.

This time it was overcast so the lighting wasn't as good which combined with a strong variable surge meant our vis wasn't very conducive to pictures.

Which is a real shame as I liked the dive site much better!  We started out over eel grass almost directly off the beach and soon found ourselves swimming around large rocks in relative shallows that were all teeming with critters.  I look forward to heading back in calmer conditions sometime soon!

I had vague hopes of making it out one more time this week Friday morning but I couldn't track down anyone who was free in time.  Ah well!

Next up it's back to the desert as I'll be heading out to Utah for a 4 day backpack down Buckskin Gulch to Lee's Ferry!

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