Margie Christiansen is one of our Assistant Instructors. She just returned from our California trip the first week of August. This is what she had to say:
I just got off a live-aboard and it was great. The boat was the Horizon based out of San Diego. I was told there were 32 divers on board - from both the Salt Lake and the Ogden shops as well as the full-time crew. I love the idea of getting on the boat, going to sleep and waking up in the morning…somewhere. You never know and it is always such a treat to wake up to a new horizon.
I had a wonderful time! I took eleven dives and my total bottom time was 8 hours and 3 minutes. I did skip two dives that were offered, one to enjoy a great lunch and the other because it would make it less than 18 hours before flying home.
On one dive I swam with a seal lion for about 5 minutes. Well, she did most of the swimming but I made myself available for her enjoyment. (Female because she didn't have the bulge on top of the head they told us indicated a male.) At one point she swam close, opened her mouth and barked. No kidding, I could hear it. The next time she came by, I tried to imitate the sound. She did swirls and twists like it made her happy. Who knows?
The fourth dive on the first day was wonderful for the kelp. Ever since the El Nino a few years back, the kelp has been thinner. This dive, Geiger Reef, was like the old days. There was dense kelp in the center with lots of places to swim through it. I had an inexperienced cold water diver with me and Sandi was treated to several light shows in the kelp. At one point we just stopped and looked up to see the play of light against and through the kelp leaves and forest. It is God's own stained glass window and there is truly nothing like it.
The first dive of the second day gave me a look at several different kinds of nudibranchs. I thought we were pretty lucky when I saw the first one and pointed it out to Sandi. It had the frill along the backside and was larger than most I had seen. As the dive progressed we kept seeing them. We even saw two combined - playing follow-the-leader. By the time the dive was over we had seen several different kinds of nudibranchs for a total of around 20. It was a grand dive.
Two night dives were offered. I went on both but had a little trouble in the kelp the first night and cut the dive short. The second night was spectacular. We dove over an undulating field of rocks and sand. There were urchins and starfish and a beautiful landscape.
I won't bore you with any other dives but they were all great. I will tell you that the food was wonderful and plentiful. We had the regular three meals each day and snacks after every dive. The snacks ranged from candy to fruit to granola to cheese and crackers.
I slept well in my cozy bunk and they provided sheets so I didn't need the ones I took. I do have one complaint. I didn't take my husband. He would have loved the diving and we would have had a bigger bunk! Oh well, maybe next time.
Thanks for putting this trip together. I'm glad I went along.
Let's go diving!
Dive Utah Assistant Instructor