Between weather and family stuff and a new motorcycle, I haven’t been diving much at all this year. A couple of weeks ago, Andrew and I did Loblolly Cove; I knew I’d see some neat stuff as soon as I got to the dive site and realized I’d forgotten to put the battery in the camera. The second dive in particular was very nice, but I had to cut it short due to a severe freeflow in my regulator.
So when I saw that East Coast Divers was scheduled to do their shore dive this Sunday at Loblolly, I decided to go. Unfortunately, the tide was low Sunday morning, and the group decided to do Old Garden Beach instead.
Old Garden is a lovely spot. On shore, there’s a small residents-only parking area, and a small grassy area bounded by a tall retaining wall. There is a ramp leading down to the sandy beach, making for an easy entry. Underwater, the sand continues out a ways, and then becomes rocks and boulders further out. It’s where I first got certified 22 years ago.
Today, the surface conditions were better than the underwater conditions. The air was mild and dry, and absolutely clear; no haze at all. There was a bit of a swell in the water, though, and it stirred up a lot of stuff. Visibility was pretty poor, though being late summer, it was pretty comfortable. On the first dive, I distinctly remember thinking, “Boy, this water isn’t too cold at all”, and then hitting the thermocline a couple of minutes later.
Todays dives I mostly saw baby lobsters and crabs, and small brown fish, which I think are cunner. I’ve been trying to capture them photographically for a few years, but they move too fast.