Zuma - Where it all started

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Posted by seahunt on July 02, 2011 at 08:10:53:

It's where I started. I used to go there as a kid, before I could really even handle waves.
It is a clean, beautiful, endless beach.

It's where I took my dive class and did my first free dive and where I did my first scuba
dive. I spent so much time there, hour after hour body surfing those nasty, throwing
breakers and free diving for big Pismo Clams. I occasionally used scuba and far off the
sand shore there are some surprisingly robust rocky reefs. The sand was alright though. It
is like a desert. There is life there, just not what we are most used to for California
diving and you have to look for it. It's very different and interesting. Occasionally
though, you'd stumble on a big halibut, Mola Mola or shark and there was no mistaking those
from a serious fish. I spent so much time there that I saw many very unexpected things
including a critter I don't think is identified. Heck, I met whales there. Oh yah, and
jellyfish... So long ago, so many dives, so many reefs, boats and offshore trips. Some
serious memories, such as the ocean gives us. I'd been away for long and the last time
I was there, it was way too wicked rough to even go in. It's beautiful though. We would
dive there on the days when it was too bad elsewhere, because rough or not, the vis would be OK
there. That's what I saw first when I got there this time too. That beautiful azure water
of a perfect breaking wave.

I needed to get in the water so I packed up the kids and went through the chapparel canyons
painted by beautiful yellow flowers from the rains of winter.
The rain has also given the giant oak trees a deep glossy green color. It's great for hiking.

You just don't know what you will find as you come over the last hill, but it looked sunny,
clear and nice. The turn off curves under PCH and I blasted through the creek for a splash.
Parking costs more now, but it was a bit early and I got a great spot sorta close to a
shower with a narrower part of the beach to keep the walk short. Yah, I know this place.
Zuma has always been here. It was just me that had left.

We unpacked. I didn't used to bring stuff for on the sand, but I do like those covered
folding chairs they make these days. The kids had wetsuits and Boogie Boards, but I wanted
to free dive. It was the first time I had brought an UW camera here and I wanted to get
pics of waves Some of the waves were probably real 4 footers, a bit big for the kids, but it was
low tide so after the deep pebbly trench along the shore, it went to knee deep sand out to
the breakers. I may have been a bit unfatherly as I took off, but didn't they go to Junior
Life Guard Camp last year? They'd be fine.

There was a lot of white water. At first I was getting hit a little, but as I got to the
waves, old body memories kicked in and I would just drop flat on my back as a breaker hit.
It barely touched me. I did try to remember I was older and not in the same shape. I bet
the lifeguards were just thrilled as I was hanging out in the break zone for a bit. I
stayed a while trying to get videos of breakers from underneath, but while blue, this is not
the vis of tropical waters. Also, my instincts betrayed me and as I would come up behind
the wave, I would let them pop me up instead of keeping my camera under the water. I looked
over some sand dollars, but didn't see any Pismo Clams where I was. I was looking in the
sand for what I think are called Sea Lillies, little, hidden patches of... something. . .
that filter the moving water for food. There are always some crabs moving about, but no big
ones like you occasionally find. I found schools of perch. It was so cool and comfortable.
Occasionally I adjusted my position with our stuff on shore, but I mostly ignored where I
was or where the current was taking me. After a while I headed back into the waves, but
then looking back I saw porpoises. Cool. So I headed out again. There were a number of them
passing by slowly. I got out there, but I think they were just staying past my visibility,
because try as I might, I never got to see them underwater. I checked the camera and they
weren't there either. It was fun though. . I did end up a bit offshore.

It was time to head on in. I played in the breakers a bit, but I decided to try to video
while body surfing in... even though I know better. I held on tight with both hands and
still almost swallowed the camera. I relaxed, drifting in. It was so comfortable. Time to
video the kids Boogie Boarding in the shallows. They're about the age I was when I first
started enjoying this playground. It won't be long... I'm not in shape so I was careful not
to way way over do it. It's OK to relax on the beach in a shaded chair and watching... and
listening to, the endless dance of the waves as all the pretty ladies walked past on the
warm white sand of Zuma Beach. (Good looking guys for the ladies to watch too)

Enjoy the diving seahunt - Diving For The Fun Of It

Joes gets taller everytime you look at him. Marissa was going to go to the Catalina Summer
Camp this year, but it will have to be next year. That means she will officially be getting
certified to dive.
I asked for a picture, but I'm afraid she just aimed a bit low. That's seems to be how it
always goes...

One other little thing. If you're seeing this on a Diving BBS, you've probably occasionally
heard me rant about studying human morality/survival/genetics. Well, I've been working on
a project for a few decades or so about human survival in a changing world. I finally put
up the introductry videos at PastToTheFuture.com.
I'm hoping that this is an extremely advanced philosophy (or something like it) based on
ecology and genetics. It's a very positive view of human potential. If you're interested in
it, please check it out and give me an opinion. Far more interesting stuff will follow soon.
Thanks, Mike

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