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    September 28, 2008

    Bug Quest On Day Number Two Of California Lobster Season!

    Logged SCUBA Dive #307

    SECRET LOCATION: 22 54 68 65 20 43 72 61 6e 65 22 20 6e 65 61 72 20 74 68 65 20 72 6f 63 6b 20 74 68 61 74 27 73 20 66 6c 61 74 2e, Palos Verdes, CA

    Solo Diving, SoCal Buddy Diving

    In With: 3200 psi
    Out With: 500 psi
    Max depth: 50 feet
    Waves: Three foot swells, sort of challenging
    Visibility: 15 to 20 feet
    Water Temperature: 65 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 30 minutes

    This is my first trip this season on the Island Diver; after being embarrassed with one bug on Opening Night, I was hoping to make up for it on this trip.

    The mighty Island Diver!

    The mighty Island Diver awaits its next assignment!

    The divers were all from Divevets and, with the exception of one hot chick, was a stag boat.

    Opening Night proved that the lobsters are shallow, but the Captain and charter organizer decided to try a spot in 50 feet of water; the same spot last year really sucked.

    The rough ride over.

    The boat tossed in the fairly large and rough swells; some non-macho divers were starting to get sea sick.

    Once at the location, I was the first one overboard; when I surfaced from my giant stride, I was 15 feet away from the boat… then 20 feet…

    Dan asked, “Is there a current?”

    “Hell, yes, there’s a current!” I yelled.

    I swam to the anchor line and submerged to the ocean floor at 50 feet and followed the chain to the anchor.

    I spotted a lobster and pinned it, but it was pitifully short.

    I was told, “Go towards shore where it’s shallower.”

    I thought, “If the lobsters are at 25 feet, why the fuck did we anchor in 50 feet of water?”

    I swam South East, towards the beach and spotted only a few shorts, no legal bugs.

    I swam and swam but didn’t get any shallower than 45 feet – WHY ARE WE THIS DEEP?

    I surfaced a few times to spot the boat and make sure I was swimming up current; the boat was getting smaller, but the shore didn’t appear to get any larger.

    The kelp in this area was insignificant, but my mask kept leaking which was slightly annoying.

    In 45 feet of water I spotted a legal bug and pinned it!

    Finally, I have one, so the anxiety of getting skunked tonight was over.

    I surfaced when I got down to 1000 psi and looked for the boat…

    Where’s the boat?

    The swells were rolling…

    Where the fuck is the boat?

    About 100+ yards away I saw it; I was down current but way over between me and the shore.

    I started the long swim back, knowing I couldn’t swim directly there because of the current.

    I surface swam for twenty minutes before making it 30 yards directly in front of the bow; exhausted, I let the current take me to the boat.

    The first thing I said to the boat Captain was, “This place fucking sucks!”

    My experience was common with the other divers… very few legal lobsters and a hell of a swim back, as everyone was trying to get shallower!

    September 27, 2008

    A Frustrating Dive – Dive Number Two On Opening Night Of Lobster Season

    Logged SCUBA Dive #305

    SECRET LOCATION: 54 68 65 20 67 61 74 65 73 20 6f 66 20 6d 61 72 2c 20 6e 65 61 72 20 74 68 65 20 74 68 72 65 65 20 63 68 69 6d 6e 65 79 73 – Palos Verdes

    Solo Diving/SoCal Buddy Diving

    In With: 2900 psi
    Out With: 500 psi
    Max depth: 35 feet
    Waves: Minor chop
    Visibility: 15 to 20 feet
    Water Temperature: 67 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 45 minutes
    Notable Event: This was my most frustrating lobster dive ever!

    Half the boats that were nearby pulled anchor and left.

    I asked the my two buddies, “Why would someone leave so early?”

    Jim said, “They probably started early; at least we follow the rules.”

    John said jokingly, “They probably all limited.”

    Now, this dive was just like the last dive, just a lot more frustrating…

    I got tangled in kelp on numerous occasions and I either caught shorts or couldn’t pin the legal ones.

    I noticed that the puny, totally illegal bugs will actually charge my light, while the big ones – through Darwinism – flee as soon as the light hits them.

    More than three times,  after spotting a good sized lobster, I thought, “OK, here comes lobster number two…” only to be frustrated by me getting stuck in kelp or missing it in the pin.

    This was the most frustrating lobster dive I can remember; I should have at least four, but ended up with zero!

    I surfaced with 500 psi and bitch crawled about 25 yards over kelp to the boat; I wasn’t going to risk swimming under and getting caught that low on air.

    Enjoying beer on the ride back.

    Jim and I enjoyed our post dive beers on the way back, as John turned the boat randomly to make us spill; there’s no radio on board, so that’s his entertainment.

    Jim with his lobsters.

    Jim with his monster lobsters.

    At the dock, the Department Of Fish And Game checked our lobsters and our lobster report cards.

    Getting hassled by the DFG.

    After figuring out we were all legal, they decided to mess with Jim by giving him a sobriety test.

    Dive N Surf

    It was off to Dive N Surf for the annual “Monster Lobster Contest.”

    The Lobster Monster Contest

    Prizes are awarded to the top three biggest lobsters, but everyone who preregistered and brought in a legal lobster, got a free T-shirt – I got a T-shirt.

    Divers pose with their catch

    Divers posed with their stash of bugs; I soon realized how badly I did this morning.

    Dive Bum Don interviews two lobster hunters.

    Dive Bum Don interviewed two of the guys from a group who did really well.

    “Where did you find these?” Don asked.

    “The Malibu area,” one responded.

    “Wait, I thought we were in Catalina?” the other asked.

    The next question was, “How deep did you catch them?”

    “15 feet,” was the answer.

    Dog vs Lobster

    Dog vs Lobster?

    This other guy pulls up with a cooler and a bag full of HUGE bugs!

    One lucky dude brings in his lobsters.

    Looking at his bugs, I had the same thought as when I saw my first porno flick…”How big do those things get?”

    A guy poses with his huge lobsters.

    As big as his bugs were, he couldn’t beat the 12.3 pound bug that was brought in earlier.

    Dive Bum Don interviews a lobster hunter.

    The guy agreed to an interview with Dive Bum Don.

    Basically, he caught his bugs in the “Marina Del Rey” area in “10 feet of water.”

    The bugs appear to be shallow – really shallow right now, but someone else brought in a lobster that he supposedly caught at 85 feet.

    We caught our bugs in 25 feet of water.

    56 pounds pf lobster!

    The guy weighed his entire catch – 56 pounds of lobster!

    So, totals for this morning in the group I went out with:

    Me: 1
    John: 4
    Jim: 4

    I will regain my title as Lobster Liberator Number One!

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