Being a CA diver its how I started and I think it is some of the best diving on the planet. Pictures don't do it justice, it is a must experience way of diving. I have never done the kelp crawl because you learn how to dive in kelp. If you surface and the boat is a ways out and there is thick kelp -drop down 10ft and swim via compass setting right thru the kelp and to the boat. Even low on air at 10ft it is a better approach. I guess it comes with comfort and experience. I have seen many divers get in trouble and kelp+ panic= trouble. Keep calm be aware dive streamlined avoid really tight openings and always carry a knife.