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    September 25, 2016

    Another Dive, Another Trip and Lobster Season

    Having not been able to put a SCUBA diving trip together for several years, I stumbled onto the diving trip of a life time.

    It is a group tour in July 2017 that originates in Vladivostok, Russia… and after eight days, ends back in Vladivostok, Russia.

    I wired my deposit last week.

    Other than that, I really shouldn’t say anything else – but I’m sure it will be an adventure.

    Lobster season is coming up, and I’m doing my final preparations – renewing all by licenses, making sure my lights are good and practicing my lobster death grip.

    I’ll be on the Bottom Scratcher this Friday night – yeah, I don’t like big boats for lobster hunting, but it’s slim pickings this year.

    Having stayed the night in Palos Verdes, it was easy for me to show up right on time at 8 am in the public spot of Terranea Resort.

    We went down and checked the conditions.

    Reverend Al and I would have easily made it out from the Point, however, it was high tide and the receding swells and the pounding waves were intimidating.

    Since we didn’t want to perform any rescues, we decided to go off the Cove.

    The crew consisted of Me, Reverend Al, Nice Bob, the other Jeff, Rob and Blue Steel.

    On the way down, Rob blew an O-ring and had to turn back.

    It was an easy entrance and visibility looked promising…

    Going out.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #502

    Dove with Nice Bob and the other Jeff

    120 Reef, Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 1500 psi
    Max depth: 43 feet
    Waves: Flat with some extreme rouge waves
    Visibility: 10 feet with some silt
    Water Temperature: 64 degrees
    Air Temperature: 80 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 31 minutes

    We swam to the rocky finger just off of the cave and submerged.

    Vis seemed to be good.

    I followed Nice Bob and the other Jeff.

    The reef

    Visibility was not great and there was a large amount of surge on the bottom.

    Throwing a pass with a sea hare
    Throwing a pass with a sea hare.

    Diving Terranea

    After touring the 120 reef for about 20 minutes, Bob started leading us back.

    It was an all-sand dive similar to Veterans Park; the visibility really sucked – 5 feet at best.

    But, Bob lead us right to the Cove; we all made easy exits.

    As we were walking back, a HUGE rouge wave started towards the beach and crashed into the rocks; every rock on that beach was wet.

    Rouge Wave
    A second smaller wave started to form and I was able to get a picture of that one.

    If we were delayed by five minutes, someone would have gotten hurt during their exit.

    Two minutes later, some people who were sitting on the rocks came up soaking wet.

    We did our traditional debrief in the parking lot…

    Group Shot
    The other Jeff, Me, Nice Bob, Reverend Al and Blue Steel.

    Let’s get ready for Lobster Season!

    Happy Hunting!

    December 30, 2015

    Female SCUBA Diver Missing Off Of Ship Rock, Catalina Island

    Thank you, Professional Debriefer Paul for bringing these articles to my attention.

    Apparently, a 45 year old woman was diving off of the Sundiver Express on Tuesday at Ship Rock and went missing.

    She was wearing, according to one of the articles, a black wet suit and a white tank.

    Quotes from the two articles, listed below:

    “The diver was reported missing just before noon about three miles away off the island near Ship Rock, an area popular with divers, according to Lifeguard Specialist Lidia Barillas of the Lifeguards Division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.”

    “The Coast Guard sent a 45-foot patrol boat, a helicopter and the cutter Narwhal to assist in the search for the woman, whose name was not released.”

    The articles goes on to state that you should never solo dive and to always dive within your limits and have your equipment serviced.

    However, there was no speculation that she was diving alone or comments on her equipment or skill level.

    For those of you who are not familiar with the California diving culture, the Dive Masters do not conduct underwater tours – on any boat that I have been on.

    You simply check out when you jump overboard and check in when you come back; the Dive Master simply accounts for the divers and responds to any emergency on the surface, or reports anyone who doesn’t come back.

    I am not going to speculate, and hope she is found alive and well.

    Original articles are here:

    Search continues for female scuba diver missing off Catalina Island

    Scuba Diver Missing Off Catalina Island

    Update January 1, 2016:

    Search launched for woman diving near Catalina Island

    Authorities searched Thursday for a Tustin woman missing since Tuesday while scuba diving near Catalina Island.

    Laurel Silver-Valker, 45, dove into the waters off Ship Rock looking for lobsters when she disappeared, said Sgt. Dave Carver of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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