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    March 16, 2009

    Maybe The Last Lobster Dive For The Season?

    Logged SCUBA Dive #336

    Secret Location: 4f 66 66 20 74 68 65 20 67 61 74 65 73 20 6f 66 20 4d 61 72 2c 20 61 72 6f 75 6e 64 20 74 68 72 65 65 20 6c 6f 6c 6c 69 70 6f 70 73 2e 20, Palos Verdes

    Solo Diving/ SoCal Buddy Diving

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 200 psi
    Max depth: 40 feet
    Waves: Annoyingly choppy, but calmer towards the end
    Visibility: 10 to 15 feet
    Temperature: 58 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 35 minutes

    I was corrected earlier this morning – lobster season ends at 11:59 PM this Wednesday, March 18, 2009, not at midnight on the 18th.

    Not being scheduled on any boat Wednesday and too busy tomorrow, Instructor John and I took the mighty zodiac out for what might be the last lobster dive of the season.

    The sun sets over Redondo Beach.

    The sun sets over Redondo Beach.

    The wind was really blowing, but calmed down after sunset; the ride out was pretty choppy, but since both of us are pretty damn macho, we continued on to our secret destination.

    A few dive and hoop netters were out trying to make a catch at the tail end of this season – no pun intended.

    We submerged down the anchor line that was in 45 feet of water; I headed to 35 feet.

    The tide was fairly low and the kelp was annoyingly thick.

    I ran by a black sea bass and a few horn sharks.

    Midway through my dive, I ran across, and was able to easily catch, two legal lobsters – they were like grabbing beer cans, but I measured them just to be be sure.

    At 40 feet, I came across a huge six pound bug that was wedged in a reef; the foolish lobster started to crawl towards the light…

    Yes, go towards the light… go towards the light…

    I grabbed for it and it shot back deeper into the hole.

    I had 800 psi left and didn’t want to waste time getting back to the boat.

    I surfaced with 500 psi and looked for the boat.

    The zodiac has such a low profile in the water, that even from 40 yards away, it looks like a half a mile.

    I managed to breathe down to 200 psi, swimming under the kelp and did a short bitch crawl over to the boat.

    Instructor John and I made it back at the same time.

    My two prize bugs that I liberated from this dive.

    My two prize bugs that I liberated from this dive; John came up with one.

    With little problem, we pulled anchor and started the engine.

    The ride back was surprising smooth; I didn’t spill my beer once.

    I may be able to get out Wednesday night, but again this may be it for me for this lobster season.

    March 15, 2009

    Ticking Down To The End Of Lobster Season

    Logged SCUBA Dive #335

    Secret Location: 4f 66 66 20 74 68 65 20 67 61 74 65 73 20 6f 66 20 4d 61 72 2c 20 61 72 6f 75 6e 64 20 74 68 72 65 65 20 6c 6f 6c 6c 69 70 6f 70 73 2e 20, Palos Verdes

    Solo Diving/ SoCal Buddy Diving

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 200 psi
    Max depth: 40 feet
    Waves: Pretty flat with minor swells
    Visibility: 10 to 15 feet
    Temperature: 59 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 35 minutes

    Well, I never made it to the Kern River this weekend for various reasons.

    Instructor John and I dove off the mighty zodiac to try our hand on one of the last remaining nights of lobster season.

    We anchored in 40 feet of water, several hundred yards away from another apparent dive boat.

    I descended and went towards shore, hoping to find seven lobsters in 30 or 35 feet of water; at least that’s where they seemed to be when I dove Old Marineland last Sunday.

    I pinned a few “monsters” until my gauge told me that they still have another few seasons to grow; they were released unharmed.

    I thought that I was probably going to get skunked as I turned around at 25 feet, with 1500 psi left in my tank.

    I came across a trench, covered with kelp that had a few obviously short bugs crawling around in it.

    I spotted a bug that was hopefully legal and pinned it.

    Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a huge lobster leg; I looked up and saw a four pound giant bug!

    I dropped what I had in my hand, swam over and shoved my palm against it’s carapace; I couldn’t grab around it, so I dropped my light and put the lobster into a choke hold with my other arm.

    No need to measure that one!

    After a few minutes worth of a violent death-defying struggle, I successfully shoved the bug into my lobster liberation bag; I was at 35 feet.

    Running low on air, I continued on, back to the boat.

    I grabbed and pinned another legal, but much smaller lobster before surfacing to get my bearings on the boat’s location.

    The kelp was extremely thick, so I made it a point to go straight to the boat while swimming under the kelp death trap; I was running critically low on air.

    Surfacing 10 yards away from the boat, I did a short bitch crawl over the kelp and back in to the mighty zodiac.

    John surfaced a few minutes later with two bugs.

    My catch for the night.

    My catch for the night.

    We made a smooth and uneventful ride back to King Harbor.

    We are planning another trip out tomorrow, but Instructor John will be unavailable Tuesday night.

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