March 2003 and the first time we went diving for real! Well why not start with somewhere very special. We were on holiday in California, seeing Coco's family so we took the opportunity to go diving off of Catalina in South California. It is an area renowned for its wonderful diving in Giant Kelp forests, a huge collection of fish and shellfish. Other commitments meant that we were limited to a single days diving so we made the most of it by booking a couple of dives on a boat for one of the many diving companies in the area.
The small town of Avalon on Catlina Island. It takes about an hour by boat from L.A. to get here. It was quiet when we were there but I guess it would be very overcrowded in the summer.
Our dive was a wonderful warm March day.
|There are several companies providing dive boats on the island - We used Catalina Divers Supply - You can't miss their green shop on the "Green Pier"|
|It was a pretty fancy dive boat by any standards. There were only six of us diving so we were not cramped for space. I can recommend diving out of season if you like it quiet, even if the water is a bit cooler than the summer.|
Ron the Dive Master trying to look the 'super cool dude'!
He really was a lot of fun and knew the island's dive sites very well.
We were all novices on the dive so we insisted he got wet and joined us as a guide.
|Coco sunning herself after the first dive. The weather was wonderful but there had been a big storm two days previously so the visibility was not as good as it may have been. We stuck to diving in sheltered areas as the sea was still uncomfortably choppy outside of the bays.|
|Kelp - Not quite forests of it were we were diving but still enough for me to get entangled - twice! A few scary moments slowly untangling did the trick.|
|We found a good variety of fish but we weren't always sure who was watching who!|
|Some of the divers came out of the water very cold but I was warm as toast in my new drysuit.|
|Coco - just hanging around|
|The sheltered water areas of the bays were good fish nurseries.|
All over! Packing up our own kit and drying off after the boat returned to the harbour.
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