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    December 28, 2008

    End Of The Year SCUBA Dive At Long Point

    Logged SCUBA Dive #326
    Old Marineland (aka Long Point, Terranea Resort)

    Dove With Dennis G., Reverend Al and Ted

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 600 psi
    Max depth: 60 feet
    Waves: Pretty much, flat as a lake
    Visibility: 20 to 25 feet – Pretty damn good!
    Temperature: 54 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 50 minutes
    Notable Event: A Fellow Diver Had his Equipment Cart Taken

    With a storm earlier in the week, I arrived at Old Marineland surprised to see a repeat of the excellent conditions from last Sunday.

    We geared up fairly quickly, and after Dive Bum Don gave me a replacement O-ring for my first stage, we headed off to enter The Point.

    Midway through the switch-back trail, we cut through the opened fence that lead to The Point; a couple of divers were gearing up out of push carts near the new Terranea Hotel.

    The Point Off Old Marineland.

    As flat as a lake and a slight high tide made entrance almost too easy.

    Everyone made an easy and uneventful entrance.

    We swam out to drop on the statue at the Pinnacle.

    We descended; the vis was spectacular!

    We descended; the vis was spectacular!

    The Statue At The Pinnacle.

    We submerged right on target, although someone or something had stirred up the bottom.

    A Sunstar.

    A Sunstar enjoys the cold water.

    A colorful reef!

    Vis may have been slightly better than last week.

    Dennis and I broke away from the others, who had bigger tanks, and started to head for our planned exits at the Cove.

    We searched the rocks and reefs for any stupid, but legal lobsters that we could grab for.

    Again, the small ones were in reach, but the big ones were way back in the holes.

    Even some of my wide angle photos came out!

    Even some of my wide angle photos came out!

    We weaved through the kelp forest before reaching a slight stretch of sand.

    We weaved through the kelp forest before reaching a slight stretch of sand.

    We surfaced after 50 minutes and made a slight surface swim to an uneventful exit at The Cove.

    My brother brought me a beer right out of the water.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see my brother waiting to hand me a beer as soon as I crawled onto the dry rocks.

    Debriefing Begins!

    Dive Bum Don was nice enough to cook us some kind of meatless breakfast dish out of “Soyrizzo,” which, according to Don, “Is like Chorizzo but without the lips and ass of an animal.”

    Breakfast was good!

    My brother Paul tended the Bratwursts on my outdoor stove.

    A pair of divers soon emerged from the trail.

    One of them asked, “Did you see someone pushing a red cart?”

    Nobody had, but apparently when they finished their dive their cart had disappeared; it was parked right outside the new Terranea Hotel.

    Maybe Security took it?

    Maybe a super drunk fisherman?

    Instructor Ed stopped by to revisit the cast of characters here.

    Instructor Ed stopped by to revisit the cast of characters here.

    After about 15 minutes, one of the divers that was missing the cart came back to the lot and said he went to the main gates of Terranea, but that security wasn’t available because they were “chasing cats in their sewers.”

    Now the loss of the cart became even more apparent – the cart had strapped to it a bag containing car keys and a cell phone.

    Triple-A was called to break into the car, but the extra key for the diver’s truck was in San Diego.

    Just as a shot in the dark, Reverend Al, my brother Paul and I decided to walk back down the trail and see if we could find it.

    If we had to, we were all prepared to kick some ass to get the guy’s stuff back, just like OJ Simpson did in Las Vegas.

    Midway down the trail, I flagged over an approaching Security Guard; the fence was between us.

    “Excuse me, did you see a red cart?” I asked.

    “Hey, there’s a red cart sticking out of his trunk,” Reverend Al pointed out.

    The Security Guard asked, “Do you own this cart?”

    “No, but we know who does,” I said.

    “The owner of this cart is in serious trouble; every day you guys cut the fence and trespass on this property,” the guard said.

    “The fence was open, we just walked through it,” Reverend Al said.

    “You guys are lying to me; the person who owns this cart needs to come and see me… and make sure he brings his ID because I’m going to at least give him a ticket,” the Security Guard said.

    We walked back up to the parking lot where the owner of the cart was relieved to know who had it.

    Barney Fife Security Agency.

    The cart owner drove to the Terranea main gate where the asshole Security Guard basically said, “You can be charged with felony trespassing… you either admit to sneaking in or I’m going to call the Police right now and have you arrested.”

    Under direst, he admitted to it and got his cart and all his belongings back.

    I guess things are that boring for some of the Terranea guards?

    Also, sometime during my dive or all the excitement, it appears someone used the Duster as a porno prop – Terranea Security is investigating the incident.

    December 21, 2008

    Winter Solstice Dive At The Old Marineland

    Logged SCUBA Dive #325

    Old Marineland (aka Long Point, Terranea Resort)

    Dove With Dennis G, Reverend Al, SCJoe and the Nice Bob

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 300 psi
    Max depth: 60 feet
    Waves: Pretty much, flat as a lake
    Visibility: 10 to 25 feet – Pretty damn good!
    Temperature: 56 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 45 minutes

    Reports from yesterday rated Old Marineland as “spectacular” with vis as good as 25 feet off The Point; looking at the swell maps, I was hoping for better conditions today.

    Pristine conditions are apparent from the top of the cliffs.

    Conditions appeared to be good peering down from the overlooking cliffs; the ocean was as flat as a lake with really blue water.

    I filled out my lobster report card and brought my game bag just in case we saw some lobsters that we were lucky enough to catch.

    We made an easy entry off The Point.

    I followed Reverend Al, SCJoe, Dennis G. and the Nice Bob off the calm Point.

    It was low tide and sort of a challenge to me not to get hit by rocks when the tide receded, but I managed a pretty much uneventful entrance.

    We swam a little West to try and find a wreck called the “Newburn” and descended.

    The plan was to follow Nice Bob to the Newburn wreck, then to the statue at the Pinnacle and then make our way to an exit at the Cove.

    Dennis G. was the only diver besides me that was diving with an Aluminum 80, everyone else had 100 to 120 cubic feet of air.

    I told Dennis that if we hung out around the Point for too long, I was probably going to exit at the Point.

    We checked under the rocks and between the reefs for lobsters.

    We checked under the rocks and between the reefs for lobsters.

    Apparently at one point in the dive, we did come across the Newburn wreck.

    Later, Reverend Al asked me, “Didn’t you see those two polls?”

    “Yeah, those two pipes,” I replied.

    “Well, that’s pretty much what’s left of the wreck; it has seen better days,” Al replied.

    A deadly, man-eating horn shark awaits his next victim.

    A deadly, man-eating horn shark awaits his next victim.

    Lobsters have been spotted!

    We spotted lobsters in 60 feet of water off the Point.

    We dug in the reefs to try and liberate lobsters.

    We tried to dig several lobsters out of the rocks; I caught one with my left hand, while holding my camera with my right – how macho is that?!

    Unfortunately, my lobster was short; Al caught another short – both were released unharmed.

    The legal lobsters were too far in to grab – another example of Darwinism.

    A fish off a reef.

    A fish on a reef.

    I tried taking most of my pictures without using the flash to see if they came out better than with using the flash – “flash back” was eliminated, but the pictures turned out a little blurry because of the exposure time.

    An albino nudibranch.

    Nice Bob pointed out some kind of albino nudibranch.

    An interesting reef structure.

    We passed by “Anvil Reef” – OK, I just made that name up right now.

    The statue at the pinnacle.

    We made it to the statue at the pinnacle.

    I was down to 800 psi and had lost the group while taking a few pictures.

    I decided to make a cautious exit at the Point, rather than do a long surface swim and exit the Cove.

    With 300 psi left, I inflated my BCD, switched to my snorkel and floated carefully back into the large boulders at the Point.

    I had to make my way over some slippery and barnacle encrusted rocks, but looking back, it was better than surface swimming and bitch crawling over kelp to the Cove.

    The rest of the group made a safe exit at the cove.

    The rest of the group made a safe exit at the Cove.

    The debriefing begins!

    The debriefing begins, even though most of the beer was mistakenly locked in someone’s car!

    That situation was remedied in about 30 minutes.

    My artistic shot of the Bratwursts with the debriefing lot behind.

    My artistic shot of the Bratwursts with the debriefing lot behind.

    Cyber The Attack Dog consumed the excess beer and bratwursts.

    With the crowd thinning out early, Cyber The Attack Dog consumed the excess beer and bratwursts.

    There are talks of doing a Pagan dive on the 25th, but it’s also suppose to rain and there’s a slight dispute over where it should take place – Old Marineland or Veteran’s Park?

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