Scuba Diving: Circumnavigating Naples Island

Columnist and underwater photographer Wade McDonald at Cherry Beach, Long Beach, California. Photo by Wade McDonald

Circumnavigating Naples Island

It’s 8 a.m. and I am brewing a fresh cup of Vietnamese coffee along with my usual breakfast, A bowl of fruit, some oatmeal, a high protein shake and my daily supplements. As I head out the door I double-check my pack for the day, yep it’s all there! Water, swim cap, sunscreen and swim goggles.

Today will be a fast paced 44 mile bicycle ride to “Marine Park” in (Long Beach), Where I will circumnavigate Naples Island. I carefully cycle my way through hordes of traffic along Pacific Coast Highway, eventually arriving at my destination.

The sky is a clear blue and the sun is shining bright, The warm balmy air is beckoning me to adventure. “Mothers Beach” is dotted with children splashing in the shallow water and families lounging underneath their beach umbrellas enjoying the summer weather.

As soon as I wade into salty Alamitos Bay to start my swim I immediately realize that I am up against the tide and I will probably have to shake some cramps along the way; this is nothing unusual.

After nearly a mile the current starts to transition to my favor and I start to swim even faster and work harder. My mind is constantly racing as I think about all the positive things that this life has to offer, I envision where I’ve been, where I am and where I want to go.

Soon I can see the fuel dock off in the distance, A fisherman has tied off and is gleefully casting his fishing pole. He curiously waves at me as I glide on by.

Finally I am next to the Long Beach Marine Institute’s black and white research vessel preparing to make my way underneath the 2nd Street bridge to the finish line.

As I near the roped off swim area of “Mothers Beach” People wave from shore and kids point and splash there way to the buoy.

Another successful swim, another beautiful day, I’m alive and I feel good.

And now for your official marine forecast for the Island….Today through Sunday expect plenty of sunshine with very warm summer temperatures,

We’re looking at a high of 82 degrees dipping down overnight into the mid 60s.

Never leave your animals or loved ones inside a car, during these intense heat episodes it is imminent that you use caution and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Always remember to check current weather conditions when planning your activities around the water. Know your limitations and swim near a lifeguard when possible, When In Doubt Don’t Go Out!


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