Spectacular Orange County Diving!!!!
Intro: Southern Orange County dive sites provide some of the most diverse beach access diving with Reef, Kelp, and abundant sea life. Visibility can be fickle. Its either AWESOME, so-so, or SCUBA by braille. But when it is "on", you will be rewarded with some of the best diving in the So Cal mainland. Incredible underwater structure that rivals the Channel Islands.
We plan to BBQ and picnic. This is Mother's Day, so bring the entire family. There is plenty to do for non-divers!
We will dive Heisler Park and Divers Cove. They are adjacent to each other. We only need to park once to walk to both sites.
If you have non-divers with you, this is a wonderful place for them to hang out; they will soak in as much beauty above water, as you will below! There is also good snorkeling here, look for leopard sharks.
Parking is limited to the metered spaces, the spaces take credit cards or bring quarters.
In-Water Time: ~0900
Average Depths: 25-50ft
Bring a snorkel. It's require at this location by the lifeguards. You can keep it in your pocket, but bring one.
We will attempt to get a BBQ. Please bring whatever food and drinks you prefer. Bring games, a tent, umbrellas, hats and sunscreen. This is a family event, so bring the little ones.
THE DIVE SITES
Heisler Park is one of the most popular dive sites in Laguna Beach, CA. It spans over 4 blocks and consists of three different areas, all three of which make good dive spots and are unique with their offerings.
Diving at Heisler Park/Picnic Beach is straight out and to the left. If you head straight out there are several reefs that are separated by sandy areas. Each of these reefs is great for exploring. On days where the water is clear you can stand up by the tables and see each one very clearly. If you head to the left there is a large rock that has many crevices that fish like to hide in. This rock will feature an astounding amount of life to the observant diver who's armed with a flashlight. This area is a marine preserve and there is no hunting or gathering allowed! This area has always been good for seeing small sharks and rays in addition to the other marine life.
Beach access is available from a paved ramp just below the picnic tables. This is one of the easier beach accesses in Laguna Beach. There is a hand rail on both sides of the ramp and when the ramp is wet and sandy it's a good idea to hold onto. The ramp is steep so be careful ascending and descending. The beach right at the end of the ramp, this can also be used for access to Divers Cove. During high tide the entire beach gets wet so don't leave anything in the sand (it may not be there when you get back!).
Heisler Park South - "Rock Pile" is accessible off Jasmine Street at Cliff Drive and is a nice dive with one heck of a hike up and down the stairs.
Heisler Park - "Monument Point" is great for viewing the ocean and those special dates, but is an Advanced dive spot.
Heisler Park North - "Picnic Beach" is a nice dive spot with relatively easy access down a walkway (No stairs). Great place to meet after a good dive to BBQ and enjoy company.
We will be diving Picnic Beach. An orientation of the area will be available.
Heisler Park is a preserve, so take only pictures.
Parking: No Parking Lot, Free and Metered Street Parking Available (See below)
Entry: One Public Entry - South Entry Stairs *Entry can be hard to find, its right by Diver's Cove*
Beach access is available from a stairway at the street level down to the shoreline. There is an apartment building on the right and a view of the beach and Heisler park on the left. The stairs are steep so be careful ascending and descending. The beach is to the left, during high tide the entire beach gets wet so don't leave anything in the sand (it may not be there when you get back!).
Diving at Divers Cove is on the left, to the right and straight out! On the left there are cracks in the rock that can drop down 15 feet and are fun to explore. On the right there are several rocks that come clear out of the water, these are great diving also. Straight out there are several reefs that run parallel to the beach. This area is a marine preserve and there is no hunting or gathering allowed! This area has always been good for seeing small sharks and rays in addition to the other marine life. Depths are to about 35 feet and marine life is abundant and most are rather small.
Facilities: None, although Heisler Park is within walking distance. (See below)
Lifeguards: There is sometimes one lifeguard on Duty
The entire length of the beach has really good snorkeling that extends out quite far from shore. This is a great beach for beginners as well because there is plant and sea life just about 10 feet from shore. It doesn't get too deep too fast if you are intimidated by that either.
There is usually a little bit of a shelf right as the waves crash. Like maybe 2 - 3 feet, so be aware of that, there will be a drop-off as soon as you get into the water. There are also a lot of abalone shells that can be a little annoying to step on or have pushed into you by the waves, but they are only right where the waves crash.
You'll see Garibaldi, big Sea Stars further out, Sea Urchins, Rockfish, Sandbass, Perch and Eel grass. Even a few rays and small leopard sharks, octopi and lobsters are here as well.
To get to Heisler Park/Picnic Beach in Laguna Beach turn south at the traffic light on Myrtle street from PCH. The Myrtle ends at Cliff drive, turn right on Cliff and start looking for a parking place. Where Myrtle and Cliff meet is the park area, picnic tables and beach access are to the right and a grassy area and the other Heisler area's are to the left. There are tables, benches, and a ramp to the beach here. There is housing on the north side of Cliff and the park is on the south side of Cliff. We will meet (Fill it in Chris).
There are numerous facilities available at Heisler Park/Picnic Beach: picnic tables, grassy areas, drinking fountains, charcoal grills (you must use the ones provided, don't bring your own), showers, bath rooms, telephone, change machine, lawn bowling (private club), shuffle board (private club), and more! There are tidepools to look at, great views of the ocean, this is a great place to spend the day after a dive and have lunch or dinner.
The parking is available at Heisler Park / Picnic Beach on a first come first serve basis. There is parking on both sides of the street. There ARE parking meters to pay (25 cents for each 15 minutes) and the meters take credit cards. Be sure to feed the meter well before you start your dive. You WILL get a ticket if you do not! Please remember that the north side of Cliff is a private residential area. Be very courteous to the neighborhood, quiet and discreet.
This is advised but not by any means mandated. If you're interested in carpooling, please indicate it in the comments section. You can designate places to meet up!
As always...we will monitor conditions and assess conditions a day prior to the dive. We should be able to forecast with a combination of eyes on, previous days dive reports, and forecasted conditions to make a reasonable assumption.
ADMIN STUFF YOU MUST READ:
The Virtual Donation Jar is always out (for the Meetup site costs and general fund). It's strictly voluntary, but is very much appreciated and needed: Click here for the DONATION JAR
If you have not submitted a Liability Release for Power Scuba, please follow this link to the file, print, sign, and bring to the event along with your C-Card (scuba certification card). You need to do this at least once a year: Liability Release and Assumption of Risk
You must also read this: Disclaimer and Clarification... AKA Terms of Service...AKA Terms and Conditions
Anyone with a medical conditionpossibly counter-indicative to diving must have a doctors signature on a diving waiver form and submit signed form to Bill Powers (or an organizer) before they may attend any Power Scuba event. YOU MAY NOT ATTEND AN EVENT WITH AN UNDISCLOSED MEDICAL CONDITION. Doing so is grounds for expulsion from the group. Here is our medical statement: Medical Statement Therein you'll find a Doctor Waiver form as well.
Attending any scuba event Power Scuba facilitates constitutes attendee's affirmation they are medically fit to dive, certified to dive by a nationally-recognized agency, have the necessary skill & training level for the dive being offered, have read the Terms and Conditions, and have submitted a signed Liability Release to an organizer.
Important Note:It is not the organizer's role to lead your dive (or to wait for you after you come out of the water). He/she merely facilitates you getting to the pre-dive meeting location. The Organizer will not assign you a buddy nor will he/she be leading the dive as a "group dive". Visibility and liability do not allow for that. Nor will the Organizer tell you whether you are skilled enough to make any particular dive. That is for you (only) to decide. When you enter the water, you (and your buddy) are on your own. You must plan and execute your dive with your dive buddy only. Once members arrive at the meeting spot, the Organizer becomes simply another diver.
For Boat Dives: Any overage (usually less than $50) resulting from our local dive boat trips is put into a dedicated Group Boat Fund. This allows us to make up the difference if we don't completely fill up a future boat charter. No other use is made of this money.
Power Scuba bears no responsibility or liability for a member's loss (gas, airfare, hotel fees, etc) in the event of a canceled event.
Your participation constitutes your affirmation you agree to these above rules and disclaimers.... and that your buddy(s) (if applicable) has read and agrees to the same.