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    February 20, 2008

    Rain, Run Off and Swells Are Keeping Me Dry

    The weather has been sort of rough the last week and, not only did it rain this morning, rain is forecast on and off until Sunday.

    Yahoo Weather Forecast.

    The swell maps on the internet make the diving look rough, too…

    The swell maps on the internet make the diving look rough, too…

    I’m not going to complain about being out of the water for more than a week; we need the rain, or more specifically the snow up in the mountains.

    A bonus is the erosion that the snowmelt will cause up in the San Gabriel East Fork.

    My sluice box is all ready to find some Gold this Spring – I REALLY need to buy new SCUBA gear!

    People often ask me why I don’t beach dive in the rain since I’m going to get wet anyway.

    In Southern California, the storm drains lead straight to the ocean.

    So when it rains, all the motor oil, dog shit, fertilizer and various toxic substances drain into ocean near the shore – this is called “run off.”

    Also, a storm tends to churn the swells making conditions hazardous and – in addition to the run off – visibility crappy.

    Depending on whom you ask, the water clears within one to three days.

    Beach diving shortly after a rainstorm is called a “poo dive.”

    If it doesn’t rain too hard Saturday, I might try and dive Old Marineland Sunday morning.

    February 13, 2008

    Cave / Tech Diving Speech With Terry A.

    I just got back from the Pacific Wilderness Dive Club meeting at an El Torito here in Long Beach.

    The service at this El Torito was slow and the beers outrageously expensive – but as they pointed out at the end, the club has the worst tippers.

    I had no idea how different the technical equipment is compared to recreational equipment.

    The fins, tank set up, lights are all different, higher quality and a lot more expensive; the training is intensive and expensive also; you don’t need a snorkel when you cave dive for obvious reasons.

    Terry has been more than a mile into a cave from the nearest entrance.

    He’s dove in Florida where the cave diving is all fresh water, underground rivers and in Mexico where they’re salt water caves that have stalagmites and stalactites in them.

    Cave navigation is done with running lines, following existing lines with arrows on them and “setting cookies” at T marks, or forks in the road.

    You must have perfect trim and perfect buoyancy and be able to do a “helicopter” turn without stirring up the bottom.

    Squeezing through the crevices requires side mounted tanks.

    I’ll have to postpone cave diving until I strike it rich.

    It was an interesting night with new faces.

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