Not even 24 hours after our Thanksgiving feast ended, Brian and I were on the road to Point Lobos, California (near Monterey and Carmel). We met some of his friends for breakfast on the way and then we all headed down south for a day of diving in Whalers Cove in Point Lobos State Nature Reserve.
The area is beautiful and Whalers Cove is known for good diving. There is a lot of wildlife in the kelp forests thriving there, as well as interesting rock formations underwater. Even at the surface there is plenty to see, like the crane below that found a nice perch on a batch of kelp floating at the surface of the water. There was also a harbor seal that were very interested in us. After we started out first dive, it followed us down and nibbled on the fins of the last person in line.
Once underwater, we saw some huge fish as well as lots of colorful algae and invertebrates. Brian claimed that the whales come pretty close to shore, but we didn’t see any when were there.
This was the toughest dive I’ve done. There was quite a bit of surge coming in and out of the cove, a lot of kelp to swim around, and the visibility wasn’t great. We did a long surface swim to get a little bit further out where the visibility was better and the kelp was more navigable. It was longer than I was used to and that gets you pretty tired right off the bat. I ended up surfacing early from the first dive and we headed back in.
The three guys went out on a second dive after a bit of surface time, so I was able to get some pictures of them before they headed down. They took a different route with Brian leading. It sounds like they had a good dive and saw more of the same flora and fauna that we’d seen.
Some say that Point Lobos has some of the best diving in California or even the U.S. I think it may be hard to compete with Hawaii and some of the Caribbean territories like the U.S. Virgin Islands, but this had the benefit of being close by. I’m looking forward to doing some diving in the Gulf once Brian relocates down there in the spring. And I’d like to return to Point Lobos as well, though perhaps when I have a bit more experience dealing with the range of conditions there.