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    July 24, 2011

    Sunday Services – Diving Terranea Resort

    I’m on a diving roll – I got my tank filled on the Sand Dollar (I paid the deck hand $5) yesterday, after three dives in Catalina, and now for Sunday services – my traditional shore dive from Terranea Resort.

    As I approached Palos Verdes, driving in my chick magnet, I realized that I left my regulator soaking in a five gallon fresh water bucket at home.

    However, I did luck out.

    Since I was prepared for a boat dive yesterday, I still had my emergency backup regulator in my bag – perfect!

    Another saved dive!

    I arrived a little late, but there were a lot of divers there.

    Not only the regular Diveveters were there, but Dive N Surf was having a club dive – there must have been 30 divers in the parking lot.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #385

    The Cove, Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
    Dove with Jordan and Jordan Senior

    In With: 2500 psi
    Out With: 600 psi
    Max depth: 35 feet
    Waves: Pretty flat with a few challenging swells
    Visibility: 8 – 18 feet
    Water Temperature: 66 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 50 minutes

    I teamed up with Jordon and his father; we all had about 2500 psi in our tanks, so we decided to go off of the Cove.

    A lot of people dove off the Point as the water was extremely calm, at least, for the most part.

    I made it out with no problems, but the swells kicked up a bit as my buddies entered.

    Jordan and his Dad make it out.

    We surface swam to 120 reef and descended.

    SCUBA descent

    Visibility was great!

    Visibility was good!

    We trolled around 120 reef…

    Starfish.

    Sunstar.

    A sunstar.

    A SCUBA Diver tours 120 reef.

    About 15 minutes into the dive, my camera froze – it wouldn’t turn off and the buttons were not responsive.

    Of course, that’s when we had a seal encounter.

    We started back when I hit 1000 psi and surfaced at the finger that leads to the cave.

    There were some psychos diving off the rocks near the cave (see the below video) where it’s “shallow and pointy;” luckily they apparently quit before anyone got hurt.

    I made a perfect exit, so did Jordan and his Dad.

    Dive N Surf was nice enough to DM our exits.

    Reports from divers going off the Point were – “Visibility was about eight feet and we had to fight one hell of a current.”

    The current was so bad, that some SCUBA chicks from the Dive N Surf club exited the Point – something that not many divers do.

    But, they were new divers and didn’t realize that most divers avoid a Point exit.

    SCUBA Debriefing.

    We took over part of the parking lot for our debriefing.

    Chef Chris.

    Chris fired up his grill for hotdogs and Texas style bread.

    Professional Debriefer Paul made a short video:

    To watch this video on YouTube, click here.

    Another perfect Sunday service!

    July 23, 2011

    Compensation Dive For Helping Crazy Ivan

    The boat moved to Geiger at Catalina.

    Most of Crazy Ivan’s students are now certified with that last dive – it’s now time for my reward dive.

    One thing, I left my compass at home – that sucks!

    I have a wrist mounted compass that I keep forgetting to bring sometimes – I’m just going to tape the damn thing to my console, like I did previously.

    I came up with an ingenious way of navigating without using a compass – there was a mildly strong current that made the kelp lean in one direction.

    I planned to swim against the current, turn around midway through the dive and go with the current until I reached the depth that the boat was at.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #384

    Geiger, Catalina, CA
    Solo Diving/SoCal Buddy Diving

    In With: 2600 psi
    Out With:500 psi
    Max depth: 40 feet
    Waves: Mild chop
    Visibility: 15-20 feet
    Water Temperature: 65 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 45 minutes

    I grabbed my camera and jumped over – I was the first one over, as usual.

    My camera started to fog up – SHIT!

    I climbed back onto the swim step of the boat and asked the Dive Master for a rag.

    He had no problem catering to my request – I opened the camera casing and carefully dried the inside.

    I jumped back into the water, and some sort of haze now covered the inside – it looked like wipe marks…

    The back of the Sand Dollar

    OK, I should have dried the case out with a paper towel and had some of those “do not eats” to put in the case.

    I handed the camera back up to the Dive Master and asked him to just hold it until I returned.

    I descended and swam directly against the current.

    Of course, I saw a Leopard Shark and was unable to take it’s picture.

    I also collected an abalone shell – they make good soap dishes.

    So, for 20 minutes I slowly swam up current, enjoying the interesting view of the reef structure, sheep crabs, lobsters and horn sharks.

    Coming back was easy and I ascended about 20 feet away from the boat – perfect navigation without a compass!

    Horn Shark Egg

    One of the Diving Instructors brought up a horn shark egg.

    Horn Shark Embryo

    It looks like a kelp bubble, but you can see the shark embryo when you hold it up to the Sun.

    The egg was returned to the ocean, to hopefully hatch.

    This was a nice, uneventful trip and this was the first time that I dove off the Sand Dollar.

    The crew was helpful, nice, competent and the Captain has an entertaining personality.

    He said during the initial introduction that, “The skiff that we tow behind the boat is for emergencies only, it’s not to pick you up after you see how far down current you can swim.”

    He also elaborated on what your foot would look like if a SCUBA tank fell on it from the rack.

    They fed us constantly throughout the day, and aside from one course of hotdogs (aka “Death Sticks”), the food was descent – it was standard dive boat food.

    Dinner on the Sand Dollar

    Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs.

    Since this was a free trip for me, I tipped the crew well.

    The only things that I didn’t like about The Sand Dollar was that their air fills only go up to 2400 psi, and their refreshments don’t include beer – but, you can bring your own.

    Having been originally scheduled for the Mr. C, I did bring a six pack of Budweiser with me – it would have been a boring ride back if I didn’t at least have my traditional debrief.

    I would definitely take a trip on the Sand Dollar again.

    Driving home I heard on the radio that a fellow SCUBA diver died – Amy Winehouse was found dead in her apartment.

    Amy Winehouse credits SCUBA diving with saving her life.

    I wonder how long she had been out of the water?

    I guess for a while.

    I’m already hearing people speculate that it was a drug overdose – I will wait for the autopsy results.

    R.I.P. – Amy Winehouse.

    Amy Winehouse on a SCUBA Boat

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