01-26-2015
Good morning Divers!!!

Begin Time: 8:55 am
Time: 38 min
Max Dept: 46ft
Temp: 60 F
Visibility: 10-15 feet
Conditions: Salt water, shore dive, high tide, large waves, very surgy.
Dive Buddies: Total 30.

Surf was up a bit, but the Santa Ana winds were blowing which flattens the waves. A single high tide in the day. What would the conditions be like?
Turned out it wasn't good.

We had a large crowd show up at the mall and there were a few new people showing up. Crescent Bay had an advisory there so we went to Heisler
Park. When we got there we heard a few big waves hit the shore but when we looked the waves were calm. We suited up.

When I entered the water, big waves were hitting the beach so I had to wait it out. Once they passed, we entered the water and swam out. While
swimming out, I would roll over and look at the water. I couldn't see the bottom and it was murky. This didn't look good. We swam all the way to the
top of the reef and our fins were hitting the reef. We were in about 5 feet of water. We had to move over to drop down into deeper water.

The water wasn't clear and it was dark when we got down. The kelp is coming back and it was more like angel hair pasta and it was getting stuck in
our gear. We swam around the reef and tried to enjoy what we could see. I took a few videos and kept it close to the subject matter so I could see
things. Today wasn't a good day for long shots - only close up shots.

The surge was very strong. At one point it picked me up 8 feet and put me on top of a reef. Then it sucked me 20 feet horizontally. To escape this, we
had to go deeper and stay close to the bottom.

We did see some leopard sharks. They were small and very skittish - running away as fast as possible. The sheephead were big and plentiful. The fish
also didn't like be moved around by the surge and many were darting around trying to find a spot where it was stable.

We headed back and ascended further from shore. The visibility was worse closer to shore and we knew the waves were big so we had to time it right
to get out. I waited a bit longer to exit the water to make sure some of our newbies would get out ok. Rich took off and got tumbled. He lost his fins but
they floated to the surface. i grabbed one and another grabbed the other.

We packed up our gear and headed to Husky Boys to talk about the dive and the fish that we saw. Conditions were tough today and visibility wasn't
good. But we were spoiled by having good conditions the last few weeks.

video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1pnAPcA0nc&feature=youtu.be

photo:
http://southcoastdivers.com/photos/DiveSites/HeislerPark_2015_01_24.JPG

Diving!! DO IT!! Safely...

Rich Parker & Louis Umphenour
http://southcoastdivers.com