School’s Out

“If that don’t suit ya, that’s a drag”

Reef at School’s Out

It is always fun to dive new spots, especially when you are pretty sure that nobody else has ever dived them. In order to stay safe in the times of COVID-19, I have done a couple of private charters with DJ Mansfield @ Beach Cities Scuba on the Riviera out of Dana Point. (Note: I have no financial interest in either).

A few weeks ago we did a couple dives on the ACE wreck. This week, we decided to check out a couple of new reef structures that the captain had heard about from some fishermen (always a good source of information). They are located off the shoreline in the Emerald Bay area near Laguna Beach, California.

On the boat ride out, DJ had mentioned a rumor that Alice Cooper had owned one of the houses right on the coast near the dive spot.

We dropped in on the first site. Visibility wasn’t great at the surface (spring/summer in Southern California) and got a little better at depth. Sure enough, the captain had nailed the shot line and the anchor line. We dropped down onto a reef structure starting about 140′ fsw deep. We immediately saw quite a few abandoned lobster traps. The reef structure consisted of large blocks of boulders and was 10-15 feet high and covered with coral and a ton of small starfish. Definitely a nice reef to explore. Here are just a couple photos:

After diving the first reef and assuming nobody has ever been there, we decided to name it “School’s Out” after the famous Alice Cooper song and given the time of year we dived it (June).

Kindergarten Reef

We then went to the second reef site we had heard about. We located it in about 120′ of water very close to the first site. After dropping in, we discovered another nice structure. Not quite as big as the first reef, but chock full of nudibranch. I don’t think I’ve seen that many different nudibranch in the same small area — much less in Southern California.

Since it was a bit smaller and shallower than School’s Out, we decided to name it Kindergarten. Here are a few photos of the nudibranch:

Overall, a great day of diving to reefs that have possibly never seen another diver.

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