I put away the the dive gear the weekend the snow came, but with 65 degree weather forecast, when I saw Alex was running a shore dive, I decided to go with it.
When I got to the Burger King, Alex decided that with the southwest wind, Loblolly Cove was a good option. I’ve never been there, which was a vote in its favor. Since it’s strictly resident-only parking, even this time of year, we’d have to drop off our gear, then park at Pebble Beach. Alex offered to shuttle us back.
When we drove past Pebble, I was apprehensive. There was a strong breeze, and it had whipped up the waves. When we got to the dive site, though, the difference was dramatic: the cove was calm and flat, and there was a nice sandy path down to the water.
For the dive, I buddied up with François, who I remember diving with once before at the East Coast Divers picnic a few years ago.
The visibility was awesome–around 30 feet or so. Snorkeling out, we could clearly see the bottom, even when it got deeper, and once we went down, it stayed good. François said he saw some lobsters, but I didn’t. We did see a school of pollock, some schooling smaller fish, and a lot of crabs, kelp and starfish. There was also an interesting crevasse we ran through right before we turned around.
The return leg was more arduous. I hadn’t realized we were in a current until we turned around. Swimming back was work, and I burned through my air pretty quickly, even though I was trying to keep shallow. We ended up on the wrong side of the cove, and had to surface swim back against the current and wind. Fortunately, the cove is shallow, and François soon realized we could walk back through the water more easily.
So, how cold was it diving in November? Definitely chilly, but not too bad. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it on a cold day, but with the warmth we had, it wasn’t bad. It was around 50° underwater, and bearable once we were out and the sun was on us.