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    August 31, 2020

    Conception Dive Boat Disaster: Feds To Reveal Cause Of Blaze That Killed 34

    On September 2nd, it will be the one year anniversary of the Conception dive boat tragedy.

    I found an interesting article from the Los Angeles Times that states the NTSB will be announcing their findings soon…

    By Richard Winton Staff Writer  Aug. 31, 20204:30 PM

    As the anniversary of California’s deadliest maritime disaster in modern history nears, the National Transportation Safety Board announced it will hold a hearing in October to reveal the results of its investigation into the Conception dive boat fire that killed 34 people off Santa Cruz Island.

    A preliminary NTSB investigation concluded that five members of the crew were asleep in the wheelhouse and that there was no roving watch on the vessel operated by Santa Barbara-based Truth Aquatics as required by the U.S. Coast Guard during the hours when passengers were asleep below deck.

    But the more extensive examination of the origins, cause and events leading up to the Conception being burned to the waterline has taken months of investigation led by NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy. The board will vote on findings, probable cause and recommendations for changes to small passenger vessels to avoid a repeat of what its chairman called a “horrible, horrible tragedy.”

    “We have substantially completed our investigation,” said Eric Weiss, an NTSB spokesman. Weiss said that in the coming weeks NTSB staff will make public interviews, research and other investigative materials before the public hearing.

    The entire article can be found here: Conception dive boat disaster: Feds to reveal cause of blaze that killed 34

    June 28, 2020

    The Best Diving In Over Three Months!

    It used to be that I was diligent enough to write at least one post a month, but since this blog has jumped the shark a year or two ago, I do not find it necessary now.

    Just as things were getting back to normal for me, the world has gone insane.

    The coronavirus made it to the USA and now is spreading like wild fire, or so we are lead to believe.

    Millions have been laid off or forced to stay home, and that’s what I have been doing… staying home and contemplating all the mistakes that I have made in life.

    Compound that, with the Black Lives Matter protests and riots all over the country (and world) and the fact that a lot of people that I meet seem to be irrationally on edge, makes me think that 2020 is one of the worst years that I could imagine to live through.

    In the last two months, the few times I’ve driven, a car cut me off and slammed on their brakes hoping to get into an accident; this happened in two separate incidents.

    I drive everywhere with a dash-cam now.

    The CVS, Walgreens, 7-11, wine bar, weed shop and 25 other businesses in my neighborhood were looted two weeks ago.

    I won’t even go into the constant explosions from M-80s and M-100s that are heard in my neighborhood.

    And there’s some people out there that want to get rid of the police – yeah, let’s see how that will work out.

    The highlight of my last three months on house arrest was a “social distancing party” where you bring your own beer and food and stay six feet away from everyone.

    Mandatory Masks Must Be Worn
    Mandatory Masks Must Be Worn
    April's Social Distancing Party
    April’s Social Distancing Party
    Stay Six Feet Away!
    Stay Six Feet Away!

    Businesses like bars and sit-in restaurants have been closed since mid-March, but are now opening back up, with social distancing and other restrictions.

    Things hardly feel like they are getting back to normal.

    With Terranea Resort back open, I made an attempt to get in the water.

    It was raining lightly when I arrived.

    The Cove At Terranea Resort Was Pretty Flat
    The Cove At Terranea Resort Was Pretty Flat

    The Cove looked pretty flat, the Point looked like it was at low tide.

    Since I did not want to climb over slime, I opted for the Cove.

    Ben’s group was there, so was another diving group.

    The sandy part of the beach that was next to Pigeon Shit cave has been washed away; what remains is an entire beach full of uneven rocks.

    My entry into the water was not graceful.

    Back In The Water!
    Back In The Water!

    I swam to the rocky finger, submerged and started heading to 120 reef.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #520

    Solo Diving

    Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 1500 psi
    Max depth: 40 feet
    Waves: Pretty calm with occasional light surge
    Visibility: 10-15 feet, silty.
    Water Temperature: 54 degrees
    Air Temperature: 68 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 28 minutes

    Visibility was not great, but it was the best visibility that I have seen in over three months.

    An orange blob Off Of Terranea Resort
    An orange blob.

    My camera with the red filter for underwater photography made the pictures come out better than what I saw in person.

    Garibaldi Off Of Terranea Resort
    A Garibaldi checks me out.

    At the end of 120 reef, in 40 feet of water…

    Am I seeing things?  What the hell is this?
    Am I seeing things? What the hell is this?
    A diver's torso sitting at a desk.
    A diver’s torso sitting at a desk.

    It looks like “Our Lady Of The Garden” has a rival at 120 reef.

    It’s been here for a bit, but not for long.

    This is the first time I saw this structure.

    A reef off Terranea Resort.
    A reef off Terranea Resort.
    Another Garibaldi!
    Another Garibaldi!
    A reef off Terranea Resort.

    After about 20 minutes or so, I got a bit bored and headed in.

    I washed up on a rock and flailed while I removed my fins – I should be better at this by now.

    Debriefing... sort of, not like before.
    Debriefing… sort of, not like before.

    Apparently, some older divers are opting to stay away for now, others are recovering from surgery.

    Debriefing will no longer include shared snacks, but small, individual chip bags will be fine.

    Keeping my distance with the King of Beers and my quarantine beard.
    Keeping my distance with the King of Beers and my quarantine beard.

    All the stress is making me look old; people no longer think I look 35.

    I just got word that they are closing all the bars again.

    Two weeks after all the protests and riots, there is a huge spike in new coronavirus cases, so they are closing all the bars?

    In a world where being required to wear a face mask violates your constitutional rights, Uncle Ben’s minute rice is racist and the police are more dangerous than the criminals, I am signing off until my next dive.

    Stay safe my three readers!

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