Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Early or Late, but not in between

Yesterday's SCUBA diving lesson was very simple: diving from the beach at La Jolla Shores is good early in the day, or late into the evening, but not in between. Greg and I decided to try to get two dives in, one around 5pm and another one after sunset. Unfortunately for us, the waves appear to be at their strongest (and highest!) just before the sun goes down. Trying to kick out through the surf was tough. The waves were rolling, so it felt like we were kicking out 10 feet and being pushed back in 5 feet. Ugh.

We finally decided we had enough of the wave battering us and dropped below the surface. We were in a complete soup with no visibility. We swam out to a depth of 50 feet before the visibility opened up, but of course it gets colder as it gets deeper. By the time we reach our cruising depth of 65 feet, we were definitely chilled by the thermocline. (Brrr!)

We did see a lot of sea life on the dive, but the deeper depth meant faster air consumption and less dive time. We swam back into towards the shore, but quickly ended up back in the soup. We made it to a depth of 14 feet or so before heading for the surface. Ugh. The waves were even worse, which made the swim the rest of the way in pretty crazy. Afterwards, Greg said he enjoyed the wild ride in. Me, I much prefer a smooth entry and exit. I would rather use my energy on the dive and not on the trip out and back.

So the lesson is simple. Early mornings are good because the waves have not yet kicked up. And night dives are good because the waves calm back down after sunset. Late afternoons, though? No thanks!