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    September 30, 2008

    Lobster Hunting – Skunked Off Of Palos Verdes!

    Logged SCUBA Dive #308

    SECRET LOCATION: 41 74 20 74 68 65 20 67 61 74 65 73 20 6f 66 20 6d 61 72 2c 20 4e 6f 72 74 68 20 6f 66 20 74 68 65 20 6c 6f 6c 69 70 6f 70 20 74 72 65 65 2e, Palos Verdes, CA

    Solo Diving, SoCal Buddy Diving

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 500 psi
    Max depth: 35 feet
    Waves: Pretty Flat
    Visibility: 15 to 20 feet
    Water Temperature: 65 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 45 minutes

    This is the same spot that I went to Sunday for my second dive, where one of the divers caught six huge lobsters in 30 feet of water under the low lying kelp.

    Tonight was a one tank dive off of Instructor John’s zodiac with “Jim” and me; we arrived at this location around 8:30 PM.

    I submerged, determined to find some big bugs at 30 feet.

    There must be more left?

    I pinned, measured and bagged one within 10 minutes and continued on, not going shallower than 25 feet, nor deeper than 35 feet.

    I missed a few, maybe legal ones, but I am rusty in my technique with six months off.

    45 minutes later I surfaced and did a fairly short surface swim back to the zodiac where Jim was already aboard; I had bagged one lobster.

    Jim’s Lobsters

    Jim had four way-legal bugs.

    I boarded and took a picture with my bug, holding it as close to the camera as possible to make it look huge…

    Me and my bug.

    I set it down to remeasure… it was close.

    The gauge fit “snugly” over the carapace, which is a legal size bug.

    When Instructor John got aboard, we measured it with his gauge – hmmm.. is it worth a $1400 fine?

    I threw it back.

    John caught one, Jim four, I got skunked.

    It’s sort of like going to Las Vegas and watching your friends win fortunes while you lose your ass; what am I doing wrong?

    The bugs in this location have been spooked for the last few days and are well adapt at fleeing at the slightest detection of light.

    John and I agreed, we need to find another spot, but Jim gloated, “When you’re down there, just think to yourself, ‘Where would Jim go?’”

    Last season at this time, John had caught 21 bugs – this season, so far, only five.

    I’m getting the feeling that my problem is either old age, or I’m really unlucky, or really unskilled.

    Jim found his bugs in 15 to 20 feet of water, not under the kelp, but between the rocks.

    Next dive, I’m bringing garlic as a good luck charm.

    September 28, 2008

    Dive Number Two On The Island Diver For Lobsters!

    Logged SCUBA Dive #307

    SECRET LOCATION: 41 74 20 74 68 65 20 67 61 74 65 73 20 6f 66 20 6d 61 72 2c 20 4e 6f 72 74 68 20 6f 66 20 74 68 65 20 6c 6f 6c 69 70 6f 70 20 74 72 65 65 2e, Palos Verdes, CA

    Solo Diving, SoCal Buddy Diving

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 500 psi
    Max depth: 35 feet
    Waves: Three foot swells, sort of challenging
    Visibility: 15 to 20 feet
    Water Temperature: 65 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 45 minutes

    The next dive we went shallower, where we should have started to begin with!

    I again was the first overboard and checked the anchor, which rested at 30 feet; nothing this time.

    The kelp was thick, but not as thick as the place I went to on Opening Night.

    I looked under the low lying kelp and eel grass and pinned my first legal lobster of the dive about 10 minutes in.

    There are plenty of lobsters around here in the 25 to 30 foot range, but they would flee as soon as my light touched them.

    I had an idea to turn my light that is attached to my mask off; that way, I would only have one light that I could easily control.

    I could turn it to the side and not spook the next lobster while keeping a “dark eye” on it while I approached.

    Within five minutes, I pinned my next one.

    I surfaced to peak a few times; I wasn’t planning another marathon swim back on this dive, although I didn’t plan the last one.

    I was the first back on the boat; the rest of the group got delayed because some divers were busy throwing up… Ah! Lobster bait!

    I am so macho!  I can hold all of my lobsters with one arm and a beer in the other!

    I am so macho! I can hold all of my lobsters with one arm and a beer in the other!

    Bob cleaned up with some pretty big bugs.

    Bob cleaned up with some pretty big bugs and limited for the night.

    He overshot the boat on his way back, and caught three big ones under the kelp in 30 feet of water, within five minutes.

    Dan took some newbies out and came back with an empty bag;  everyone laughed.

    Dan took some newbies out and came back with an empty bag; everyone laughed.

    Total bugs caught on this trip was 22, amongst eight divers.

    The boat ride back was still rough; some drank beer, others threw up, supposedly to make room for more beer.

    As we passed by the Portofino Inn, I naked woman, standing on her balcony welcomed us back to the harbor.

    As we passed by the Portofino Inn, a naked woman, standing on her balcony, welcomed us back to the harbor.

    She was sort of ugly, but after a drinking a few beers on the open sea, she looked OK to me.

    Traditional debriefing continued in the parking lot until a little after midnight.

    Traditional debriefing continued in the parking lot until a little after midnight.

    I have some ideas about optimizing my catch in this area; I’m going to test it on my next outing… stay tuned!

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