Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Snorkeling at Laguna Beach

Though we arrived in Laguna Beach to morning fog and a forecast of low visibility, the weather cleared and the water calmed, yielding a perfect day for snorkeling.  As always, under Mr. Lawrence's expert guidance, the students on the trip had an educational adventure, learning about ecosystems and then seeing them firsthand as Mr. Lawrence explored the depths for creatures to share.  He inspired many of us to dive for our own specimens, and even led a couple of us through an underwater tunnel.  We're lucky to have his experience and encyclopedic knowledge on trips like this -- he literally brings his subject to life.

 Aliso Beach, south of Laguna.

 Mr. Lawrence instructs the group on the basics of snorkeling. Austin really enjoys how he looks in a wetsuit.

 Austin and Kevin with a snail


 The garibaldi is the California state fish, and is only found along the state's coast.

 The wavy-topped turban is only found between Laguna Beach and San Diego.  The cove where we swam has some of the largest in the world.

 Johnathan brought his GoPro for some underwater filming.

Mr. Lawrence wears special gloves for "hunting," and always manages to share his catch with the students on the trip.  Below, a young lobster (no, not quite ready for butter).

 Katie and Kate were a little nervous at first, but they warmed up to it.

 Spotted Damselfish

 Melissa and one of the many sea urchins in the area.

 The urchins have exploded in recent years, depleting the colorful forests of algae (below).

After the snorkel, several students took a leap off a nearby rock.  Cole launches himself here, right through a water spot on the lens (sorry!).

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