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    May 25, 2009

    Memorial Day Rafting The Upper Kern River

    I wish a personal thank you to all those who are serving and have served this country. I wish to express a personal thank you to all the men and women who are serving and have served the armed forces of this country.

    Thank you!

    The water level is falling at what is suppose to be the beginning of rafting season.

    The water level at the upper Kern was measured at 1,910 square feet per second; this is probably the last good weekend to raft up here.

    Jane, Professional Debriefer Paul, Jeff W., Instructor John and myself set out to do four runs from the Powerhouse rapids to Frandy campground.

    The Kern River death count still read 242 – they apparently are no longer updating the sign.

    John gives his safety speach.

    John gave his safety and procedure lecture to refresh Paul’s memory on how to raft – he had not been rafting for almost 30 years.

    Paul was so afraid, he started to chew his fingernails off.

    Paul was so nervous, he started biting his fingernails off.

    The first crew is ready to go.

    The first crew is ready to go – from left to right, Debriefer Paul (who actually is shorter than me), Me, Instructor John and Jane.

    We're off!

    We’re off!

    We made it through powerhouse.

    We made it through the Powerhouse rapids.

    I don’t have any really exciting rafting pictures on this trip – the professional photographers were apparently so burned out from the Memorial Day weekend, they had packed up and left by Monday afternoon.

    We made it through the first run without a problem, even though the raft was lopsided on power with only three paddlers and the guide.

    On the second run, Jeff W. switched with John; John ran shuttle.

    The back of the boat from my perspective.

    The back of the boat from my perspective.

    The front of the boat from Jeff's perspective.

    The front of the boat from Jeff’s perspective.

    The second run was flawless – a real nice ride!

    Jane complimented Paul and I for blocking the water so she wouldn’t get so wet.

    The third run was pretty routine despite Jane telling John after we had launched, “I think we might flip this time because I had a beer for lunch and I’m sort of buzzed.”

    The third run went smoothly as well.

    While launching our fourth and final run of the day, I witnessed a truly spectacular example of Darwinism at it’s best:

    Darwinism at its best.

    A young girl who apparently couldn’t swim, but desiring to play in the river, was tied with a string around her arm with the other end held by an adult – probably her mother.

    “She doesn’t know how to swim, so I want something to pull her back up to shore,” she told the other person in her party.

    The water level had fallen since the first couple of earlier runs in the day, but the fourth went smoothly and without incident.

    Another day of rafting comes to an end.

    Another day of rafting comes to an end.

    We hit Memorial Day traffic coming back in to Los Angeles.

    We hit Memorial Day traffic coming back in to Los Angeles; with a few shortcuts on side roads by Magic Mountain, we still got home in decent time.

    Apparently, there were two water rescues today above the Powerhouse rapids by the Fire Department; we were not provided any details.

    May 24, 2009

    Back In The Water Again At Terranea Resort

    With little hassle, I was allowed beach access to Terranea Resort; Reverend Al, SCJoe, Nice Bob, Frank, Charlie and Todd showed up to check out the conditions.

    The waves were flat, but the water looked sort of green; some stayed to dive, while others chose to check out Christmas Tree and Honeymoon Cove.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #341

    Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

    Dove With SCJoe

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 500 psi
    Max depth: 43 feet
    Waves: Pretty flat with surge on the bottom
    Visibility: 5 to 10 feet, sort of green
    Temperature: 58 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 45 minutes

    We geared up; I buddied with SCJoe for a planned dive to the 120 reef.

    Reverend Al and Nice Bob chose to surface swim towards The Point.

    Terranea Resort is near completion.

    Terranea Resort is near completion.

    Chairs are out, the pool is filled and some people were seen walking around.

    Chairs are out, the pool is filled and some people were seen walking around.

    We walked past the picnic nodes to the cove.

    We walked past the “picnic nodes” to the cove.

    The man-made sandy beach, as we see it for the first time.

    We spotted the man-made sandy beach for the first time.

    There was foam on the water towards shore, and a dive boat anchored a few hundred feet off the coast.

    There was foam on the water towards shore, and a dive boat was anchored a few hundred feet off the coast.

    We made an uneventful entrance into the water; visibility really sucked towards shore, but cleared up as we swam out.

    Me off of Terranea Resort.

    Me off of Terranea Resort.

    We ascended…

    Vis sort of sucked, well it really did suck - shadows and no definition.

    Visibility sort of sucked, well it really did suck – shadows and no definition – probably 10 feet at best.

    My mask was twisted, kept leaking and I had a hard time equalizing – it was though I hadn’t been in the water for a year.

    I had to surface to fix my mask; I hope SCJoe wasn’t too concerned, but I was a little uncomfortable at first.

    We swam out at a 120 heading; stupid me didn’t take a reading at the surface and we missed the reef.

    We surfaced, corrected course and headed towards the reef.

    An Opal Eye....I  think?

    An Opal Eye….I think?

    The typical 120 reef.

    The typical 120 reef.

    There was surge at the bottom, and I kept moving from side to side when I focused on anything of interest; my battery was running low too, so I didn’t get too many underwater shots that were worth anything.

    SCJoe in the kelp bed.

    SCJoe in the kelp bed.

    We made it back after a nice and uneventful 40 something minute dive.

    I broke in the new shower at Terranea.

    I broke in the new shower at Terranea.

    The facades and greenery are pretty much done around the casitas at Terranea Resort.

    The facades and greenery are pretty much done around the casitas at Terranea Resort.

    Workers wheel in a cart full of mixed drinks.

    We were debriefing with a few beers when two guys with a cart full of booze rolled up, and passed us.

    We had thought it was a welcoming committee, but as it turned out, there are actually guests staying at the resort for what they call, the “soft opening.”

    The staff at Terranea were quite nice and talked to us at extent; one was even a diver.

    Rent for a casita for the weekend?

    About $2,000.

    The pools are all for the guests at the hotel and resort, but the restaurants and bars will serve anyone who shows up.

    Will us divers be a pain in the ass when the resort opens?

    We will see June 12th, when Terranea Resort opens to “The Public.”

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