My sister and I got deep last weekend on my first real day off in a long while.
  1. I might have been a bit hungover in the morning. Like I said, very few days off.
  2. I haven't been diving in 15 years, but @Beth20 had been just a week before and has three or four certifications above the one I got when I was 16, so she was gonna take care of me.
  3. On Catalina you can spend the whole day shore diving in a world-class marine preserve. No need to get on a small, bouncy boat (a godsend for the hungover).
    Just walk right in.
  4. We did three dives, maxing around 80 feet and averaging around 45.
    That's us (photo by dive guide Angela Malley).
  5. We had to do hour-long surface intervals in between to let some of the nitrogen out of our blood before heading back down.
  6. Before the dive, I asked our guide how often she saw sea lions in the park. She pointed out that a diver had to be looking at just the right place at just the right time and it hardly ever happened. We got lucky in the first minutes of our next dive.
    Photo borrowed from Daniel Mendoza, but it was pretty much like that.
  7. Taking off your wetsuit (and then putting it back on, wet) is such a pain that you just deal with being cold on a surface interval.
  8. We saw tons of fish, a few huge lobsters, two moray eels, the elusive sea lion, and in a big win for me, two octopi!
    I had never seen them before in the wild! Photo by Angela.
  9. But my favorite was this guy, hypselodoris californiensis (a nudibranch). He was like taking a shot of Jim Henson with an Henri Matisse chaser.
  10. It was an amazing day. I wish my sister and I lived closer to one another.