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Vacation Date: 11th to 18th March 2006
Report Date: 29th March 2006
Author: Kris Przeor
This was our (wife and I) first dive trip and first diving outside of the lakes in Arizona. Prior to the trip we only have around 10 dives post certification I could go on all day about the service we received at the Laguna Beach Resort. Luciano and Romina, the resort managers, have things running very smoothly and attended to anything we needed-including extra homemade key lime and coconut creme pie (and flan and tres leches cake).
We had 4 or 6, including us, on our dive boat all week (thanks to the Lunar Fins and Sterling Silver Scuba dive clubs who filled up the other 2 boats) and enjoyed all the extra space and personal interaction with Janie our DM and John our Capt. We made sure Janie knew of our inexperience before hitting the water and she was more than happy to assist in anyway. She made a habit of pointing out lots of small critters for photos and being patient with my picture taking. John did an excellent job of finding whale sharks, dropping us right next to them and helping me score some great underwater clips.
I can't compare the diving to other spots around the world, but the diving on the island had it's own charm. The small critters were amazing, pipefish, sea slugs, tongues, etc. were abundant and became easier to spot as the week went on. We also saw lots of eels, green, spotted, golden tail, lots of burrfish/puffers, lots of turtles, including one chowing down on some coral. Saw some barracuda, lots of trumpetfish, juvenile drums, lobsters, and much more I can't remember and most of the veteran divers have probably all seen many times. The highlight of the week was being in the water with the whale sharks. I swam with them, have pictures and video of them and still can't quite comprehend just how big they were. We also got to jump in with a few dolphins, although they didn't stick around too long.
I'll keep it short, but if anyone wants any more info on Laguna Beach please PM on Scubaboard. I could go on and on about the people on the island, how you should spend a day exploring the downtown, going to Pigeon Cay, horseback riding, etc. etc..
And just a side note... I'd like to say that taking a camera diving is a little tricky for the first dive or so, but it sure as heck helped my buoyancy skill get better quickly. I was into topside photos before diving and figured I might as well continue underwater. I'd read on Scubaboard you should hold of with the camera until you gained experience diving. I guess it's a personal thing, but I would have to disagree. My breathing got better, my buoyancy got better and by the second day my pictures got a lot better... just my $.02 Plus without the camera I wouldn't have a 2 minute video of a whale shark !!!