11-20-2017
Good morning Divers!!!

Before I begin the dive report, I'm collecting names for an Advanced Open Water class. I have a few and there's some more that are interested. Since it's the
holidays, I'll wait until the first of the year. We'll be doing 3 dives at Catalina and if conditions permit, we will do the other 2 in Laguna. But if conditions start to go
downhill, then we'll finish up at Catalina. So please reply back with your name and the email address you want me to contact you with.

Now on with the report from Saturday's dive.

#688
Begin Time: 9:11 am
Time: 52 min
Max Dept: 42 ft
Temp: 62 - 63 F
Visibility: 20 feet
Conditions: Salt water, shore dive, High tide, waves, surge.
Dive Buddies: Chuck, Yuki. Total 21.

We had some drizzle and some rain, but not enough for the county to issue a rain advisory. With that news, we were able to go on with our schedule dive. The
south swells were still hitting the beach. It was predicted it would be low, but some 4 foot waves hit the beach. Visibility wasn't as good as last week, but still it was
better than the typical Laguna Beach visibility.

Chuck and I got to the mall and met up with Rich and he was talking to the new divers. We had a big turnout for new divers. We discussed where to go. Reef point
would be good, but not enough big trucks to car pool. Cleo street would be good, but with Rich not diving, we won't go there because he can find the wreck. We
decided to go to Mountain again to take advantage of the sand still being there. It disappears during winter and it's too hard to dive there when there is no sand.

We reached Mountain and parked on PCH and checked out the site. With it being high tide, the waves were almost going up half way onto the beach. We suited up
and entered the water. We had to be careful of the waves, which would knock a person down.

At the drop down point, we waited a bit longer for the last of the group to arrive. We were a big group of 21 divers. We noticed 2 of our regulars ran out on us and
dove somewhere else. We dropped down onto the reef and started swimming along.

I took some videos of the first few minutes and went along in and out of the reefs. I saw one of our divers getting my attending and so I followed him. He turned
around a reef and there I realized that he found the best swim through Mountain has to offer. It's hard to see, you swim down into a hole and you are inside an area
about as big as an interior of a van. You swim through the other side to exit. Some of the group didn't follow me and Chuck led them to the other side. I had them
follow me again and this time, they went through knowing you come out the other side.

Since I had my bearings, I knew the second swim through was further south along the reef. I led the group along the reef and after turning a corner, I could see the
2nd swim through. This swim through is smaller and is more like a hole in the reef's wall. I thought I had my camera on, but actually, I turned it off. I swam through
the reef and thought I was filming everyone going through, but the camera was off. After everyone came through, I wanted to recreate that again, so I turned on
the camera and went back through the hole and the group followed. This time I got footage of the group going through the swim through.

It was about time to head back, so I looked at my compass and swam 30 degrees to head back to shore. We exited the reef and swam across the sand. During this
swim, I'm on the look out for bat rays. I didn't see any. We kept on swimming and in about 10 feet of water, it was about time to surface. There on the surface, I
could see the steps to Mountain Ave. Right where we entered the water.

Getting out was a little tricky. A series of large waves hit the beach and timing was important. No one got tumbled when we exited the water. We packed up our
gear and headed to Husky Boys for food and conversation. It was an excellent day of diving and we found the 2 swim throughs that are at Mountain Ave.

Photo:
http://southcoastdivers.com/photos/DiveSites/Mountain_2017_11_18.jpg


Video:
https://youtu.be/yx61SGsEXjw

Diving!! DO IT!! Safely...

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