October 21, 1997
Monterey, California, USA
There were three things I especially wanted to do on my way down the west coast of the US: rock-climbing in Yosemite, scuba diving in the kelp forest at Monterey Bay, and sky
diving over San Diego. Well.. two down.. one to go!
I was really fortunate to find a dive partner as easily as I did. The owner of Monterey
Bay Kayaks, Mike McNulty, offered to let an employee take a few hours off work to go
diving with me. Heather happened to be a dive master, and within 20 minutes of meeting, we were at Bamboo Reef dive shop picking up my rental equipment. The folks at the shop were
very kind and gave me a great deal: all the equipment and two tanks for 30 bucks!
After a two minute drive from the shop, we arrived at the dive site. As soon as Heather
stopped the car, a Seagull dropped out of the sky, onto the sidewalk, thirty feet in front
of us. The bird was alive, but it was unable to turn its head around. The Gull had landed
right at a ladys feet. She immediately picked it up, and carried it down to some
divers on the beach.
Extremely curious, I ran down the beach and saw that the Seagull had a fishing hook
straight through both the top and bottom of his beak. The line from the hook was tangled
around his body. Once the ladies got the hook free, I borrowed a bystanders dive knife to
cut away the line rapped around its foot. We let it loose on the beach and gave the poor
little fellow a round of applause as it flew away. Then we went diving!
The conditions today were perfect! On the first dive, we had 30 feet of visability, which
is excellent for this area. The marine life was phenomenal and we stayed down for over an
hour on our first dive. After only 5 minutes in the water, I saw something that blew me
away - a small flock of birds running along the bottom! I couldnt believe what I was
seeing. I had no idea any kind of bird could do that. I always thought birds dove down a
few feet.. then popped back up. The little guys I saw looked as though they belonged down
there. If I had been wearing socks, they definitely would have been knocked off!
We also saw tons of star-fish, crabs, and sea anenomies, as well as a few seals. Its
so impressive to see seals swim by when youre in their surf. They move so smoothly.
Its also cool to come face to face with fish. The biggest ones I saw, were about a
foot and a half long. They arent scared of you a bit, and dont swim away
unless you try to touch them.
On our second dive, we swam around in a forty foot high kelp forest. It was awesome to
swim on the bottom facing up, watching the sunbeams shoot down through the blanket of kelp
above. After half an hour, we still had lots of air left in our tanks, but it had been
almost four hours since we left Monterey Bay Kayaks, possibly twice as long as Mike had
intended Heather to be away from her job.