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    August 11, 2007

    Logged Dive #247 – The Avalon Wreck

    The Avalon Wreck, Off of Palos Verdes, CA
    Diving off the Island Diver

    Sort of Solo Diving

    In With: 2800 psi
    Out With: 600 psi
    Max depth: 70 feet
    Waves: Minor chop
    Visibility: 15 feet plus
    Water Temperature: Cold
    Total Bottom Time: 35 minutes
    Notable Event: My BC Jacket ripped apart jumping overboard.

    Almost two hours out of the water, we anchored at the Avalon Wreck.

    One of the divers offered to run a line through the wreck for easy navigation.

    I jumped off the boat and felt my BC try and rip off my back.

    I checked the strap that holds the two air bladders together and one had ripped off.

    Fuck!

    I spent about five minutes tying the broken strap on to a D-ring that I have next to my BC pocket on the other side.

    I told Shanon and the other divers that I had equipment problems; nobody was surprised.

    I had been fighting a South current to stay next to the boat, so I decided to ascend to the wreck.

    The only problem was, I couldn’t find the wreck.

    I had to surface several times to get a bearing on where the boat was; it was anchored above the wreck.

    I eventually came across a freshly strung line that went somewhere.

    Ah, yes, this was the line that the diver laid for navigation.

    I followed it and ran in to the divers that were reeling it in.

    It was the whole group in one pack following the leader.

    I followed them and was given what must have been a pretty decent second half of a tour.

    The divers later reported that I had missed out on seeing a sheephead as “big as a Great Dane.”

    The wreck is strung out over, I would say, 50 yards, maybe.

    What is left of the deck is strung out over this area.

    Old cranes, large gears and miscellaneous debris from the ship are scattered all around.

    I followed the leader up the anchor line and did a safety stop before reaching the surface.

    I broke out my cooler of Samuel Adams Summer Ale and passed a few around.

    The Divevets are known for their beer filled debriefs, but without Dan on the boat the partiers were scarce.

    Shanon had some tequila that she mixed with some orange juice that I brought.

    The divers hung out on the bow of the boat and had an interesting conversation about solo diving and how both NAUI and PADI will not recognize the safe practice of solo diving.

    I believe Terry said that the buddy system in cave diving was responsible for two deaths instead on one, “because the buddy tried to haul the other diver’s body through the cave and ran out of air.”

    Everyone agreed that they would rather dive alone than with someone that they didn’t know.

    I shared a story about a Pac Wild charter where I was told that I must have a buddy and almost was forced to dive with an Open Water class!

    Once docked, the divers pretty much packed up and left.

    I stayed at the dock and drank a few beers while tanning.

    Logged Dive #246 – The Palawan Wreck Off The Island Diver

    The Palawan Wreck, Off Of Redondo Beach, CA
    Diving off the Island Diver

    Solo Diving

    In With: 2700 psi
    Out With: 1000 psi
    Max depth: 130 feet
    Waves: Minor chop
    Visibility: 20 feet or more
    Water Temperature: Cold
    Total Bottom Time: 12 minutes at the wreck, 12 minutes coming up; about 24 minutes total.

    We were 20 minutes late leaving the dock.

    Dan was waiting, hoping that Josh wouldn’t show up, so he could take his place.

    Dan seemed a little pissed when he finally made it.

    My wetsuit ripped at the seams in the back; I really need to start thinking about acquiring newer equipment.

    Two tech divers went over and were going to run a line to the boat.

    Captain Alec said that, if we wanted, we could just go down the anchor line and find the boat because, “we are pretty close to the wreck.”

    I jumped over and swam to the anchor line and followed it down; I touched bottom at 130 feet.

    I swam in the direction of where the boat was suppose to be and then the port side came in to view, about 20 feet from the anchor line.

    It is covered with strawberry anemones; the top deck has been removed, so you can view the interior of the hull without actually doing a penetration dive.

    I was getting really narced, really fast.

    It’s like feeling the effect of drinking 10 beers all at once, so I really enjoyed the feeling, but I had to keep my composure because the only one who could help me was me.

    I started to feel better once I got used to the pressure.

    However, this deep I didn’t have much bottom time without going in to decompression.

    I swam back towards the anchor line, but couldn’t find it; I started my accent slowly.

    Not having a reference point to check the current makes me nervous; but I knew there was not much current, so I took my time.

    The water coming up felt warmer and warmer and I felt better and better.

    Breaking the top, I had to surface swim about 60 yards to the boat.

    There was a debate when most of the non-decompression divers were on board as to where the next dive should be.

    According to my tables, I had seven minutes of bottom time for a second dive at the Palawan; if we chose the Avalon Wreck, I would have 44 minutes.

    We all agreed on the Avalon.

    The tech divers were done, so they didn’t care.

    Shanon was nice enough to take a marker and outline the increasing hole in the back of my wetsuit.

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