Marine Room – La Jolla, California
Evening dive with Kimo and Tim at the Marine Room, and it’s beautiful out! Waves were 2 sometimes 3 feet with no power, but the sets were coming in quickly. We entered in that weird cross section in front of the windows of the restaurant where the waves always seem smaller than directly entering from the stairs. Heading out for our long surface swim to the canyon wall, we got more and more excited. The water was a bright greenish blue than the usual pea soup. Was looking like a very promising dive! We drop down in about 20 feet of water and had easily 15-20 feet of viz. Then we hit the slope…. at about 47 feet it was almost instant darkness, cold and it dropped to about 5 feet of visibility. Thank goodness for Kimo’s 1800 lumen dive light! We kept descending down slowly to see if it would clear up. No such luck. One interesting thing I noticed in the muck was a single red gorgonian at 87 feet. I’ve never noticed them there before? Maybe there was more… I just couldn’t SEE. haha. But this one had a spearnose poacher (I think) on it. Pretty cool! I was coming to terms with an extreme macro photography night (which is fine with me) but with all the particulate flying around, it made photos even more difficult. Then my dive light decided it hates me and died. At 80 feet. In the dark muck. Don’t worry I do carry a backup light, which was just fine till that decide to die too. Yup BOTH my dive lights died. Luckily my backup died right as we were exiting the muck and cruising back into the blue green 15 foot viz haze of the shallows.
I was getting ready to give up on this dive and just call it “exercise” when the bat rays decided to make their appearance! We kept seeing huge poofs of sand go up everywhere, and a few times were able to catch a glimpse of the rays taking off. But the hilarious part of this bat ray extravaganza happened just as a poof of sand was settling. I caught a glimpse of part of the tail of the bat ray right in front of me. Getting my camera ready, I completely misjudged where the bat ray actually was. I thought the tail was in front of me and the body extended forward. But as the dust settled, I had it backwards… As in the huge bat ray body was directly below me… And I startled him as much as he startled me and he BOLTED just maybe a few feet from underneath me. I’m pretty sure as I “underwater screamed” and flailed backwards, Kimo and Tim flooded their masks from laughing at me. I never claimed to be graceful. Ever.
Oh and side note, we kept hearing a croaking sound underwater? I thought it might be a type of motor above but there was none to be found. I thought I was hearing things but the guys noticed it too. Can anyone enlighten me?
Max Depth: 93 feet
Temp: 53 degrees
Viz – 15 feet in the shallows, 5 feet at depth
Bottom Time: 47 min
Eye Candy: baby horn shark, hermissenda crassicornis, goby, juvenile rock fish, I THINK a sarcastic fringehead in the weeds (viz too bad to tell), box crabs, graceful crabs, swimming crabs, pipe fish and bat rays!
I didn’t take many photos, but there were a few I thought was interesting.