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    May 18, 2008

    Conditions Suck! Red Tide Alert!

    I heard that diving Malaga Cove yesterday was pretty decent, and with the air temperature in the Long Beach ghetto being in the 90’s, I decided a nice cold dive at Long Point would be appropriate.

    Red Tide Foam

    The sure signs of low vis – foam on the water.

    The air is hot and the water cold – it’s that time of the year again – RED TIDE!

    Some free divers stopped by to check the scene and informed us that the whole peninsula looks like crap… Malaga Cove, Honeymoon Cove, etc.

    We walked to the Point

    Chris, Reverend Al, Dive Bum Don, Cyber the killer guard dog and myself walked down to check out the Point – I had already canceled today, so I had beer in hand.

    This is where the bar will be when Terranea opens in 2009.

    This is where the bar will be when Terranea opens in 2009.

    We check out the Point.

    We checked out the Point – not much to see here either.

    We just started to debrief early.

    Barbecue at Terranea.

    Don sparked up the outdoor stove and we started to consume mass quantities of beer.

    Cyber is run over.

    Once the word that free beer and hot dogs were in the parking lot, someone carelessly rushed in and ran over Cyber the attack dog.

    Luckily, everyone there knew CPR and mouth to mouth resuscitation, so we traded off until Cyber revived.

    I walked in to the resort to find a nice tree to water and took the following pictures:

    Terranea Resort

    Terranea Resort

    Terranea Resort is coming along.

    The parking lot from above.

    The public access parking lot from above.

    No diving, but the ocean air and good company made the trip worth it.

    May 10, 2008

    Rafting The Kern River – First Trip This Season

    Instructor John scouted the Kern and bought the river permits last week.

    We met in Torrance and got a 30 minute late start; a woman in the group got lost and couldn’t find the meeting spot.

    I can’t believe John let a woman try and navigate by herself.

    Kern River Death Count

    We stopped by the Kern River death count; the death count rose by 16 since the last time we were up here two years ago.

    After the three hour drive up to Kernville, we met the rest of the party – we had six in all.

    Five were to raft and the sixth was to rotate out and drive the van back down river.

    John inflates the raft.

    John inflates the raft.

    John gives his safety and proceedures speech.

    John gives his safety and procedures speech.

    We loaded the raft on top of the van, drove up river just passed the power plant, cooled the raft and did the final inflation.

    The first run.

    So, for the first run of this season, from left to right – John, Darnell, Jose, Jim and me; do I look macho, or what?

    Ryan drove the van.

    We initially practiced commands and steering.

    Jose and John at the back of the boat.

    Jose and John at the back of the boat.

    Jose, Jim and me.

    Darnell, Jim and me.

    We made it through the class three rapids above the Power House without a problem.

    The ride wasn’t as thrilling as in years past…

    The flow at the upper Kern is about 1400 (gallons a minute, I think?), the lower Kern is unraftable at about 850.

    It has been in the 70s and 80s up in the mountains, so the snow melt has not been abundant.

    Right now, the upper Kern is deep enough for rafting, but apparently not deep enough for the wild rides of previous trips.

    When it gets in the 90s or 100s, the snow melts faster and the rafting is much better – it takes three days for the water to rise once it gets that hot.

    We finished the first run with no problems; John takes the first few pretty conservatively until he knows the season’s terrain.

    Jim takes a swim.

    Jim either had to cool off after the run, or didn’t want to walk to the toilets.

    I made two more runs down…

    Some chick decided to sunbathe on the launching ramp…

    A guard dog keeps watch over a sunbather.

    …her ferocious dog kept guard to make sure nobody messed with her.

    The problem with rafting on a paddle boat?

    You can only take pictures before and after the rapids – and when the guide tells you to paddle, you don’t have much time to put your camera down…

    Approaching deadly rapids.

    Approaching deadly rapids.

    Leaving deadly rapids.

    Leaving deadly rapids.

    Between rapids, there’s plenty of scenery to enjoy.

    A chick dips her pole off of the Power House.

    A chick gets her pole wet off of the Power House.

    I rotated out on the fourth run down to drive the chase vehicle; I had a feeling this would be the last run – some of the non-macho people were getting tired.

    I used this opportunity to try and take some pictures of the raft…

    Me, with the rafters in the background.

    The raft shoves off for the fourth run.

    Hasta La Vista, Baby!

    Hasta La Vista, Baby!

    I drove down river and found a spot over looking the last trecherous, deadly rapid just outside of Kernville…

    Tretcherous rapid.

    Each run took about 50 minutes; the beer was locked in Jose’s truck and I had to wait another 15 minutes for the raft.

    Rafting is harder than most people think!

    The raft approaches!

    The raft approaches!

    I put my high end digital camera on video mode and documented their run on this rapid.

    To download the RealPlayer file, Click Here!

    John tried to navigate over the last rocks, but the paddlers were tired and the boat was pushed into an eddy below the trees.

    The boat emerges!

    The boat emerges!

    The end of the day.

    Jose unlocked his truck and I was finally able to wash the river water out of my mouth – I still think salt water tastes better.

    The ceremonial rolling up of the raft.

    The ceremonial rolling up of the raft.

    So, on this trip, nobody died, only one person (not me) fell out of the boat, and the only injury was that John hurt his wrist as he got catapulted to the front of the boat.

    Another excellent day of cheating death!

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