Sept. 28, 2008
Logged dive: No. 15
In with: 2600 psi
Out with: 700 psi
Max depth: 18 feet
Bottomtime: 50 minutes, I think (I need to get a watch or computer.)
Now, about the dive...
After several trips to walk the stairs at Vet's Park, Manfriend and I decided to give Malaga Cove a try.
Malaga Cove involves walking down a paved trail, then a dirt trail. The entry options are to go in off the rocks right as you get to the bottom of the hill or to walk around to the beach and go in there.
Since it was my first time here, we decided to try the beach.
The walk was not bad, even with the 60-plus pounds of scuba gear.
We got to the beach, discussed the dive plan, then waded in.
The plan was to get in, swim back toward where we had reached the bottom of the hill near the swim club, then submerge, check out the reef and decide on our exit once we saw conditions in that area.
The water here stays shallow and sandy for quite a while.
Once we got out past the small surf zone - it was very calm water - we got our fins on and started paddling toward the swim club.
It was a longer swim than I am used to, but we were in no hurry, so we just laid back and kicked our way out until we were parallel with the club.
We dropped down. The water was very shallow and I could feel my fin tips breaching the water when I was kicking.
The first little while was very surgey and all there was to see under the water was sea grass that was swishing and swaying with the current. It was a little dizzying, but soon we got past that and started to see reef.
This was a much more interesting dive than Vet's Park. There was so much more to see!
MF got some pictures of the garibaldis and lobsters. Most of the lobsters were smaller, hiding away under rocks and in crevices. There were quite a few of the bright orange garibaldi.
Unfortunately, the camera batteries went dead about halfway into the dive, so there are not too many pictures from the actual dive.
I also saw a big, ugly but interesting rock fish.
The kelp also is pretty just by itself, as is the reef. Beats the hell out of the sand we usually get to see in Redondo!
Once my air gauge dipped just under 1,000 we peaked to see where we were and decide on our exit plan.
We decided that we would brave the rocks. MF said the conditions did not get much better for a rock exit.
A short swim later and we were scrambling onto rocks. The waves were small, but they were still slapping a bit. I crawled my way over the rocks and got my fins, vest and weights off.
MF was also taking his gear off to make it easier to get up off the rocks. We dragged our gear up to the trail then put it all back on to walk back up the hill.
The walk up the hill was not fun, but we only stopped twice. Which I thought was pretty good.
After we got all cleaned up, I walked back down to the beach. MF had left his hat there because originally we thought we would go in and come out at the beach.
So I got to walk the hill twice, once with gear and once without. Great workout!
When I got up Monday I was a little sore. I figured I would go do that hill again as a way to work out the kinks.
It also gave me a chance to take pictures of the area and the trail out to the beach and then back in from the rocks on the far side of the swim club where we came back onshore.
There is a gazebo at the top of the hill. It is a good place to check the water below and get an idea of conditions.
It also is a good place to get married. When I got there Monday morning there was a couple doing just that. I also was the "flower girl" in a wedding here some years back.
It is a beautiful setting and totally free and open to the public. Anyone can get married there pretty much anytime with no need to get a city permit. The only caveat is that public access cannot be restricted. Which means I could have walked right into that gazebo and into the middle of the nuptials.
Of course I didn't. And by the time I got back up the hill the wedding was over and there was just a guy watching the water.
The hike was a good plan. Until I woke up Tuesday and felt like I had rocks in my calf muscles.
But it was all totally worth it. I look forward to my next trip to Malaga Cove. I'm not sure I look forward to attempting that rock entry though.