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    October 19, 2014

    Palos Verdes Diving Conditions Report

    I woke up this morning to a dismal swell map…

    SoCal Waves report

    However, sometimes the swell map is not so accurate.

    I’ve called dives after seeing similar maps, only to be told afterwards that conditions and visibility were great.

    I drove to Palos Verdes for a look, and hopefully a dive.

    I arrived at 8:03 AM; three other divers known as the “Set Builders” were gearing up.

    Apparently, they had checked the other places in Palos Verdes, and this was the least worst.

    I walked down to see the conditions for myself.

    The Point
    There was no way in hell anyone was going off the Point.

    I met Reverend Al, Randy and Eric as I was checking out the Point; Dash showed up later.

    Someone remarked, “I hear Redondo Beach is good, if you like looking at sand.”

    “I think I might go home and just do some push ups,” Reverend Al said.

    We checked the conditions.
    We studied the conditions at the Cove.

    The Cove

    The cove was divable, but the visibility was questionable – the foam on top and the fact that it had been pounded for the last day or so gave us doubts.

    After a rouge wave crashed against the Cove, we called it.

    We wished the Set Builders a good dive and watched them enter in a very unique way – they sat on a rock, put their fins on and crawled out, into the water.

    That’s actually the way I was originally taught to enter, but I quickly learned the stand up way after a wave threw me against a boulder.

    We went our separate ways.

    Driving home, I realized how dumb some of the laws in California are – they state Nazis have banned plastic bags and incandescent lights, and as of last month, a driver must give three feet of space when passing a bicyclist.

    Don’t get me wrong, as I am an avid bicyclist…

    Me on my bike.
    File Photo.

    But in Palos Verdes, it is impossible, and the law can easily turn into a money grab for the Police.

    Bicyclist rarely ride on the right side of the bike path, but mostly on or close to the line.

    The car lane is 9 feet wide, my truck is 6 feet wide, which doesn’t give me much leeway when I pass a bicyclist who is going 15 miles an hour, as I’m going 45.

    A bicyclist in Palos Verdes
    Which is the cheaper ticket – passing a bicyclist closer than three feet, or crossing the double yellow line?

    A bicyclist in Palos Verdes
    Sometimes it’s just a curb on the other side… slow traffic down to a bicyclist’s pace until there’s a way to pass?

    I don’t really think there’s a way to enforce this law, and if my radio worked, I probably wouldn’t have even been thinking about this.

    The Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest will be at Veterans Park this coming Saturday – stay tuned!

    October 12, 2014

    Sunday Diving With Instructor Ed

    My old friend and original SCUBA diving instructor, Instructor Ed, called me a few days ago wanting to dive.

    Ed in 2002
    Ed in 2002.

    He is now pretty much retired, but doesn’t want to sit around and let his arteries harden.

    He brought a potential future student with him by the name of Jo.

    Sunday is usually my dive at Terranea Resort, however, Ed wanted an easier dive just to practice and make sure he still knew how to dive.

    We decided on Veterans Park in Redondo Beach.

    When I first began to dive, Redondo Beach was part of my training – diving Veterans Park and then heavy debriefing at the pier.

    There’s nothing like trying to relive the past – when I remember life as being better.

    Me and Ed.
    Instructor Ed and I get ready for our first dive together in many years.

    I also needed to test my underwater housing that leaked a few weeks ago and ruined my camera.

    I am now down to my reserve camera that I bought for a backup on dive trips.

    I got a lot of compliments and comments on my custom wetsuit…

    The rip in my wetsuit.
    I have a rip in my wetsuit to allow pee to escape.

    I don’t normally have people take pictures of my butt, but I just wanted to see how bad the rip really is.

    At least my swim trunks sort of match my wet suit.

    The waves were sort of annoying, but manageable; we were off.

    I made it out, but Ed apparently dropped his snorkel upon entry.

    I swam back into the surf zone in a futile attempt to find it.

    Ed waved me on; I swam back out and waited for him.

    Ed entered and immediately went under.

    I waited, and waited… 10 minutes later I realized that the reason I learned to solo dive was because of Ed.

    I didn’t see any bodies floating around and nobody was yelling for help, so I continued the dive on my own.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #477

    SoCal Buddy Diving With Instructor Ed; a.k.a. Solo Diving

    Veterans Park, Redondo Beach, CA, USA

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 1000 psi
    Max depth: 100 feet
    Waves: Some annoying waves, but good once out
    Visibility: 15-18 feet
    Water Temperature: 68 degrees
    Air Temperature: 72 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 30 minutes

    I swam West and down the canyon; I pressed the buttons on my camera housing – all was fine.

    I got as deep as 100 feet and then turned around.

    I had thoroughly washed and resealed my camera housing prior to this dive – it was obvious to me that my camera got flooded due to my lack of housing maintenance.

    I made a perfect exit and once ashore I saw Instructor Ed.

    He was not comfortable surface swimming without a snorkel, so he just went under and continued on his own.

    I wish he would have told me first.

    He also forgot Vaseline to oil down his mustache, so his mask was constantly leaking.

    The waves started to pick up.

    Waves  were up.
    I saw a rouge wave toss an exiting class.

    I saw a lot of people who I have gotten to know over the years, but haven’t seen in a while because I don’t dive here regularly.

    Joe R, Penni and Sam
    Joe R. and his diving crew – Penni and Sam.

    I offered Joe and his group a beer, but Sam is on the wagon, so they all declined in a token of solidarity.

    Here is a shout out – Hi Joe, Penni and Sam!

    I now officially have seven readers of this blog!

    Now, it was on to debrief at Quality Seafood on the pier.

    Quality Sea Food
    Quality Sea Food at the Redondo Beach Pier.

    Local lobster is $33.90 a pound.
    Local lobster is $33.90 a pound!

    We debriefed with local crab, sea snails, mussels and oysters… oh, and beer.

    We haven’t been here for a long time and things have certainly changed.

    You now have to pay in advance to park, and the beer prices at Quality Seafood are now outrageous.

    Back in the day, a large bottle of Pacifico went for $2.50; since the founder Pete retired, the price is now $10 a bottle.

    Group Shot
    Instructor Ed, Jo and me.

    When we used to hang out there years ago, it was predominantly a Mexican crowd, complete with a mariachi band that would travel from table to table.

    Young people at Quality Sea Food

    Now, it seems like a younger crowd of European and Asian descent.

    Another perfect day of trying to relive the past!

    Next Page »




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