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    January 29, 2012

    Diving Terranea Resort – And Actually Seeing Stuff!

    REMINDER: You have until Tuesday January 31, 2012 to send in your 2011 lobster report card to the California DFG or face a $100 fine – and unlike previous years, they know who you are.

    Reports from yesterday didn’t leave me to believe conditions would be very good today, but unlike yesterday, we didn’t have a high surf or wind advisory.

    The waves were nonexistent and it was fairly high tide – all the divers went off The Point.

    The entry was probably as easy as entering a lake.

    Air Force Chris and I swam under the kelp to our final submerge point.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #402

    Dove with Air Force Chris
    “The Point” Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA USA

    In With: 2800 psi
    Out With: 500 psi
    Max depth: 54 feet
    Waves: Flat – REALLY flat!
    Visibility: 20+ feet, maybe as high as 30 feet!
    Water Temperature: 55 degrees
    Air Temperature: 69 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 50 minutes

    Chris had a short fill, and I sucked 500 psi swimming under the kelp, so we decided to stay fairly shallow, reaching a maximum of 54 feet during the dive.

    Visibility was spectacular – I had no idea conditions could change as quickly as they did.

    I took a series of videos and stills with my camera.

    Reef off of Terranea.

    A fish sleeps in a reef.

    A collection of Uni.

    We spotted a lobster – probably a shorty – hiding in a reef, but I could tell he knew he was now in a protected area.

    We came across an abandoned lobster trap – others in our group turned it upside down so nothing could get caught in it.

    I surfaced when I got down to 500 psi and made a 100 yard surface swim to an easy exit.

    The Great Escape diving boat was anchored half way between 120 reef and the sunken barge.

    Some beach goers asked if “that boat” dropped us off?

    “If we could afford to go on a boat, I would expect them to pick us up,” I replied.

    Again, another spectacular video is to be seen.

    Yes, it really is in 3D – if you don’t have glasses, turn the 3D off.

    A diver told me today, “I thought you were being funny when you said your videos were in 3D, but then I wondered why they looked so strange – then I realized they really were in 3D.”

    I’m going to have to start passing out 3D glasses at debriefings.

    To watch this video on YouTube, click here.

    Group shot of today’s Divers.

    From left to right – Me, Tim, Jeff S., Air Force Chris, SCJoe, A Blonde Celebrity, Mike, Jordan, Dry Suit Greg, Ted and Reverend Al.

    January 18, 2012

    Wardens Bust Poacher Inside Marine Preserve

    By the California Department of Fish and Game

    California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) wardens cited a Southern California man early Sunday morning for poaching dozens of lobsters inside a Marine Protected Area (MPA).

    Wardens observed Marbel A. Para, 30, of Romoland (Riverside County) and a companion SCUBA diving in the Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve after midnight on Jan. 15.

    This location, which is in the Heisler Park area off the coast of Laguna Beach, has historically been closed to lobster fishing for years (even prior to the establishment of the MPA).

    After the divers left the water and returned to their vehicle, the wardens made contact with them and discovered 47 California spiny lobsters in their possession. In addition to illegally taking the lobsters from an MPA, the divers were well over the legal possession limit of seven lobsters per diver, and all but five of the lobsters were undersize.

    Para claimed that all the lobsters were his, and his companion was not cited.

    This is the first major violation that DFG wardens have cited in any of the Southern California MPAs since they went into effect in Southern California on Jan. 1, 2012.

    The MPAs were created through the Marine Life Protection Act in order to simplify and strengthen existing marine reserves and fishing regulations to allow recovery of fish populations that have been in severe decline.

    “The vast majority of our fishing and diving constituents are responsible and law-abiding,” said DFG Assistant Chief Paul Hamdorff. “It is always our goal to catch those who choose to intentionally abuse the resources of this state for their own benefit.”

    Wardens cited Para for several poaching violations including unlawful take and illegal possession of lobster, and possession of overlimits and undersized animals.

    A report will be filed with the Orange County District Attorney and Para may face additional charges related to this case.
    All the lobsters were confiscated, photographed as evidence and then safely returned to the ocean.

    To view the original article, click here.

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