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Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

Huntington Beach...
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Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

I've done some research online and have the Laguna app ready to go, just wondering if any locals had any suggestions? It will be my first time snorkeling but I'll be in town for 12 days so I have some time to tip toe into it as it were. I'm staying at the S&S for four nights and want to do as much swimming and snorkeling as I can. (in between unwinding and relaxing of course) I've pre ordered an underwater Olympus TG-3 and fish eye lens and really want to capture (and experience) some marine life first hand. It would be a dream come true to snorkel or swim near sea lions or otters, will they be around and is that advisable? I read somewhere that if you find yourself swimming with a large group of sea lions you're just asking for potential shark trouble. (last August there were lots of Great White sightings, I don't need that kind of Marine interaction lol) I'm also planning on spending a day on Catalina island and (among other things) snorkeling lovers cove. I'm going to a dive shop to get a dry snorkel, mask and fins this week and start practicing in a friends pool so I can get comfortable breathing thru thru the snorkel. Also do you think waters will be warm enough the first week of august to swim without a wet suit? (I know a lot of the questions are subjective to weather ect) I will not be snorkeling or swimming alone at any time, my friend who lives in Stanton is going to join me) Other than the above activities I'll the that guy "medicating" in my corner room suite trying to take in the waves without ticking off the neighbors. lol Its cali hopefully people are chill. Thanks everyone!

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Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach
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1. Re: Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

Sea lions are enormous, nasty, animals and you should not go in water anywhere near them. No otters in this part of the state. Im sure someone will recommend a decent spot to snorkel, but there not really anywhere great. Most of the coast is too exposed so visibility is low. Catalina is great though.

Be careful with the medications. Even if you've heard the Californians are laid back, you're going to be in a hotel filled with families from all over the more uptight parts of the country.

Edited: 11:18 pm, May 18, 2014
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Huntington Beach...
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2. Re: Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

Thank you! RE: meds of course. I'm going to be polite and take measures to ensure I (hopefully) don't bother others. I understand everyone will have their patio doors open, if anything all they should smell is fabric softener sheets. I'd never want to ruin someone's family vacation. Thanks again!!

Grover Beach...
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3. Re: Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

Definitely stay away from seals and sea lions in the water or consider yourself bait for Great Whites. Seriously! A woman in the area where I live was attacked and killed by a Great White when swimming near seals a decade ago. Sharks can't distinguish between a human and a seal in the water. We look the same to them, especially when wearing a wetsuit.

Huntington Beach...
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4. Re: Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

Thank you. I'll be sure to steer clear of the seals and sea lions in the water. I'll just do the seal and dolphin charter from Catalina or Dana point and enjoy them from the deck of a boat rather than in the water. Thanks for the tips all!! I still hope to see some cool marine life while I'm out there. Perhaps I'll end up seeing more in tide pools than actually snorkeling. Either way I'm game!

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Dana Point
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5. Re: Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

Have fun in California, David.

Hopefully you can come another time and visit Northern California. Lots of great wildlife viewing up here. From otters to elephant seals to whatever is passing our way at the time. We just had a pod of Orcas's in Morro Bay last week!

Edited: 12:00 am, May 19, 2014
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Santa Clara...
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6. Re: Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

Are you going to La Jolla Cove in San Diego? Not too far for a daytrip from Orange County. That's the best snorkeling in SoCal IMO. You have to swim out a little past the surf to get clear water there. I usually snorkel in warmer parts of the world. La Jolla is the only place I go on a regular basis in CA. The water is very cold in the Pacific and I wouldn't go in unless I had a shortie wetsuit. If you are lucky, mid 70's would be warm. You can not stay in for long without a wetsuit.

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La Jolla Cove
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7. Re: Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

Thank you so much for your reply chinita415. We were not planning on visiting San Siego but we defiantly are now, I've some some more research online and La Jolla Cove sounds perfect. I've also decided thanks to your note that its silly/stupid for this Texan to buy a bunch of Snorkel gear for vacation once a year, I'm just going to rent the entire setup (once at La Jolla Cove via http://www.snorkelsandiegoscuba.com and once at Catalina) your comment about needing a wetsuit to stay in really sealed the deal. I'll spend the rest of my time (at the S&S) relaxing on the beach and going in the water just to cool off. One last question, I'm a big guy, 6'4, 250 with 40-42 waist, do you think that I will have a problem finding a rental wetsuit that fits? Should I start calling now? Is there any piece of gear that you'd recommend that I defiantly purchase rather than rent? (maybe a mash or goggles so that I can swim at ease at S&S for as long as I can take the cold water) I want to open my eyes as much as possible while I'm under water. :) Thanks so much for the great advice.

Edited: 6:41 am, May 19, 2014
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Santa Clara...
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8. Re: Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

I appreciate your enthusiasm. Believe you me I get the gearhead thing. We have our own snorkel mask (dive ones we bought over 14 years ago that fot great). The hubby has progressed from throw away underwater cameras to housing for point and shoot and now we own a waterproof point and shoot and a Go Pro. Latest gear? A snorkel mask with a GoPro attachment on top. ; )

If you do enjoy the experience in LJ, then do buy your own stuff. I am pretty certain you can rent stuff for your size in La Jolla but doesn't hurt to call or jump to the La Jolla forum.

If you really dig this, so many warmer places you can go to from Texas (Florida, other Caribbean places, Belize - home of rhe 2nd largest reef after Australia where I flew from Texas and met many Texans there as it's only a 2 hr flight) Hawai'i is closer to us in CA For great snorkeling.

Have fun!

eta - one to purchase equipment? Maybe the dive quality mask AFTER you go once. They rental prescription ones. Do not buy the cheap mask from Costco. They do not fit well.

Edited: 10:21 am, May 19, 2014
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Santa Clara...
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9. Re: Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

Augh... typos on the phone. Sorry.

If you do dig this and want to snorkel with sea lions, Galapagos is where you can do this. Start saving though as it's a sticker shock. (We are going in August!!).

There are marine mammals in La Jolla bothe sea lions and Harbor seals and otters though I have not swam with them. You can certainly see them. I have seen leopard sharks there though. You can swim with harmless sharks and skates in the Caribbean.

Edited: 10:30 am, May 19, 2014
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La Jolla
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Huntington Beach...
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10. Re: Best spots for snorkeling to see marine life in Laguna?

Cool, thanks again! Yeah i'm beyond stoked about this trip, in fact a big part of me wants to go all in and take a PADI cert class before my trip in August and really experience the ocean. (and do Scuba tours in La Jolla instead of snorkeling) Tho I suppose I'd better walk before I run tho huh? You only live once and life is too short

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La Jolla
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