On August 21st Chris Jaterka, Tony Siebert, Tyler Stanton and myself took a little road trip, ok I called it a mancation, to SoCal for a couple days of California kelp diving since Tony wasn’t able to make it to Coz, he really needed to get out, have salt water in his eyes and cruise the kelp forests.Departing on Friday afternoon we drove from SLC through Las Vegas to Primm Nevada were we spent the night at Bu falo Bills before heading into Long Beach the next morning. Did I mention we went through Vegas when it was 113 degrees? Hotttttttt.
Back on the road early we pull into Long Beach a good hour before we are allowed to board the Cee Ray. With some time to kill we walked around looking at the different dive boats and grabbed a quick bite at the wharf before boarding. Nothing like a fresh fish breakfast.
Once on board and checked in, it was grab a bunk, set up gear and take a nap for the 2 hour boat ride to Catalina.
Looking at the roster I noticed there were only a few of us just diving to have fun and the rest were Advanced Open Water students from a couple Sport Chalet stores in SoCal. On board was Bob Taylor an Instructor/Regional Depertment Head Janine and I had met when the SLC store was opening. It was nice to catch up on things with Bob. So much for being incognito. Oh well. I was also able to meet another Instructor from the Vegas area that was DM’ing for the boat.
Our three dives on the first day were being conducted at sites around Arrow Point. Talking with Captian Bob it is very rare that you get to dive Arrow Point due to the way the currents and swells normally run. Nothing spectacular but it was fun crusing the kelp and seeing Tony and Tyler navigating through the kelp and seeing Tony’s eyes get as big as the 6 foot bat ray we saw.
Due to some sinus issues Tyler and Chris decided to sit out the night dive. It was pretty calm and for some reason not much in the way of marine life.
Heading back it was find your bunk and nap. We arrived back into Long Beach around 11:00 pm.
Since we were heading back out with the Cee Ray the next day they were kind enough to allow us to sleep on board over night. After filling out tomorrows paper work it was bed time.
Day I awoke to the smell of bacon and gear bags being dragged across the deck above. Gaaaawd what time is it. 6:00 Am! Come on people. ;0) OK I’ll get some food. It was obvious that Chris has some type of hearing problems because that guy didn’t wake up until we were about a half hour away from Catalina. In fact I don’t think Chris had a problem sleeping period.
Briefing time. WOW this site looks familiar. Yup, Captain Arnold, father of Captain Bob, thought it would be good to go back to the same area. Not a problem since we were going to be one cove west of yesterday. Dive one we ventured down to the wreck of a sailboat that had sunk a few years ago and was sitting at about 55 feet .Dives two and three were done one more cove away and were pretty similar to all the previous sites. Plenty of kelp, some what shallow and with a small reef.
Arriving back into Long Beach around 5:30 it was time to saddle up and hit the road for Las Vegas where we would crash for the night before heading home the next day. Was there gambling involved. Um yeah. Not sure about the winnings of everyone else but I took the casino for $6.15.
All and all it was a fun trip and I would do this one again.