Let's dive a site that we haven't done before: Mountain Road in Orange County!
In water time will be approximately 8:30 AM
We all know that Orange County has some of the best shore dives in So Cal, so let's go find a beautiful reef that is not well known outside of Laguna Beach. It's a favorite of locals!
WHERE: Mountain Road, Laguna Beach - I'll be on top of the stairs with the Power Scuba sign.
WHAT: This will be a 1-tank dive. However, I always bring another tank with me just in case conditions are great and I feel like going back in again.
WHO: Divers of all levels can appreciate this location.
PARKING: Parking at Mountain Road can be a pain, but arriving early in the morning has its advantages and there is a little more parking on Sundays. Bring quarters for the meter eater. Carpooling is highly suggested!
If you just can't find parking, drop your gear off at the curb near us then go find parking further away.
So what's the deal with diving at Mountain Road?!
The Good: In the opinion of many seasoned local divers, Mountain Rd is the best shore dive in the county. It's got it all: shallow rocky reefs, kelp forests, swim-throughs, barren sandy bottom, and (if you're up for a somewhat longer surface swim) a gorgeous pinnacle. Max depth is 50 feet. Not too many other shore dive that will allow you to experience such a wide variety on one dive. Horn Sharks, Moray Eels, Leopard Sharks, Large Bat Rays, Angel Sharks, Guitarfish, Sea Lions...all on the same dive.
The Bad: There are NO facilities here. Closest bathroom is 2 blocks away at the Jack In The Box. When conditions are sub-par, Orange County diving can be tedious: poor viz, annoying surge. All of that right before you have to trudge up two flights of steps. But this time of year the odds are it will be GOOD!
The Verdict: Orange County has spectacular shore dives. But we can't stress enough how important it is to assess the conditions before entering the water. Entry is typically not difficult, but lookout for rogue waves. When the entry/exit zone is flat as a pond...as it can be at times...then it's just a matter of negotiating a few submerged rocks. On the other hand, as with all shore diving, there are times when large sets roll in. That's when you need to be on your game, and timing can make or break your day (or other things, unfortunately). So take a good look at the pattern of sets coming in. Watch other divers exiting the water. Then judge for yourself if you'll be comfortable exiting the water under those conditions. (Tip: fins that you can quickly/easily don and doff are a huge asset here. Spring straps are great.) Fortunately, conditions should be very good this time of year, so we expect it will be awesome!
ADMIN STUFF YOU MUST READ:
The Virtual Donation Jar (http://www.meetup.com/Scuba-Diving-San-Diego/messages/boards/thread/9702303) 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 (http://www.meetup.com/Scuba-Diving-San-Diego/messages/boards/thread/9702303) DONATION JAR (http://www.meetup.com/Scuba-Diving-San-Diego/messages/boards/thread/9702303)
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 (http://files.meetup.com/1307107/New_Liability_Release.doc)
You must also read this: Disclaimer and Clarification... AKA Terms of Service...AKA Terms and Conditions (http://www.meetup.com/Scuba-Diving-San-Diego/messages/boards/thread/5914647)
Anyone with a medical condition possibly counter-indicitive 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 (http://files.meetup.com/1307107/Medical%20Statement%20and%20Questionnaire.pdf) 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.
Power Scuba bears no responsibility or liability for a member's loss (gas, airfare, hotel fees, etc) in the event of a cancelled 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.