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    October 18, 2009

    Free Diving (Well, maybe just snorkeling) Terranea Resort

    Finally, I was able to get Brother Paul (aka Professional Debriefer Paul) into the water for more of a snorkel voyage than a free dive.

    I offered to provide a weight belt, but he declined.

    “You’re going to float like a cork,” I advised him.

    “That’s fine by me,” he said.

    Debriefer Paul

    Paul could barely fit into my old wet suit, and wasn’t able to put on an old pair of gloves.

    Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes, CA

    Free diving (more like snorkeling) With Brother Paul

    Max depth: About 15 feet
    Waves: Lots of surface chop, tricky swells crashing on shore
    Visibility: 10-15 feet, pretty good
    Water Temperature: Maybe about 60 degrees
    Total Ocean Time: 35 minutes or so.

    I briefed him on the way to get out and reminded him, “Spend the least amount if time in the surf zone.”

    Paul made it out with no problems, but he started coughing, or gagging once outside of the surf zone.

    “Man, it’s really hard to breathe,” he complained.

    He later told me that he had the same problem at Baja Reef, 20 years ago when we worked at Marineland.

    The wind chop made the waves crash against us as we bobbed up and down on the surface like a couple of corks; Paul kept getting mouthfuls of water.

    “Don’t do that, breathe air, not water,” I advised.

    We swam out to 120 reef, but couldn’t see the bottom; we went shallower, towards the other side of Pigeon Shit Cave.

    We could see the bottom reef structures in 20 feet of water; I practiced some breath holding dives – I am out of practice and couldn’t stay down very long.

    Dive Terranea

    Having hung out here for years, but only on shore, this was a view of the property that he had never seen before.

    Coming in, I said, “You can either take your fins off and walk ashore, or crawl ashore and behind a rock – but don’t spend too much time in the surf zone.”

    Paul rushed his exit, hanging on to a boulder as a swell was trying to suck him back out.

    Another swell came in and slammed him hard against a rock; he’s probably going to have a big bruise on his chest tomorrow.

    Making the mistake of leaving our beer locked in Reverend Al’s cooler, Dive Bum Don gave us some Rolling Rock while we waited for Al’s crew to return.

    Chris and his grill.

    It was a typical debriefing Sunday – quiet, low key, beer drinking and grilling in the parking lot.

    Cyber The Attack Dog blocked part of the parking lot so nobody would run over the grill or equipment.

    Cyber The Attack Dog blocked part of the parking lot so nobody would run over the grill or equipment.

    Debriefing at Terranea.

    It was going to happen eventually…

    Getting hassled.

    “Hey guys, you can’t do the barbecue thing… we don’t let our guests grill, so you can’t either,” an undercover Terranea security guard said.

    Someone must have complained; he also told us not to park in the hotel parking lot, but up in the public area.

    He didn’t act like he wanted to tell us that.

    Of course, Brother Paul has documented the day on Youtube:

    To view the video on Youtube, click here.

    August 19, 2007

    Free Diving Pt Vicente Fishing Access

    Point Vicente Fishing Access, Palos Verdes, CA
    (aka Cardiac Hill)

    Free diving With Ed

    Max depth: About 20 feet
    Waves: 1-3 foot swells where we went in
    Visibility: 10-15 feet
    Water Temperature: Maybe about 60 degrees
    Total Ocean Time: 35 minutes or so.

    I spent a great yesterday with my girlfriend and needed to cool off with some free diving today.

    I picked Ed up around 8 AM and headed for Cardiac Hill.

    We geared up and walked down the main trail and entered the water from the rocks to the right.

    To the left, where there is a pebble beach, was getting pounded with some fairly rough swells.

    We both trolled around the reefs and rocks towards the East.

    Aside from a few Garibaldi, we didn’t see any fish.

    I practiced breath hold diving and am getting better and better at it.

    I need a depth gauge and timer to see how long and how deep I can hold my breath.

    I think I may have been a little too buoyant as it was sort of a challenge getting down.

    Ed collected a Sea Cucumber.

    Even though the rocks were slippery, with the ocean being fairly calm on this end and the fact we had no tanks we both exited fairly quickly with no problems.

    Walking out and up, the nearby fishermen were discouraged and packing up, with no fish caught.

    We walked up the trail, giving our fish report to would-be fishermen.

    “What? There’s no fish down there,” they would respond in shock.

    Downing a few beers in the parking lot, we moved to the Old Marineland access lot where there was a big party and barbecue amongst the local divers.

    I believe the “Reef check” group was doing some counting.

    I stopped by Ed’s place for a Korean lunch (steak, rice, kim chi and sea cucumber) and made it home to my really pissed off girlfriend.

    She was suppose to go to church this morning but decided to stay home and wait for me.

    “Diving shouldn’t take seven hours!

    We’ll see what happens.

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