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  • May 8, 2013

    The Divevets 9th Anniversary Dive and Celebration

    80-85% of all new divers quit diving shortly after their Open Water Certification (according to dive shops I frequent), and the number one complaint is, that they can’t find a diving buddy.

    Nine years ago today, May 8, 2004, Dan, Roland, Terry A. and others were debriefing in the Veterans Park parking lot and came up with the idea of forming a free local diving organization that would take any diver, regardless of experience, and keep them diving – thus continually making them better divers.

    Thus, The Divevets were born.

    Over the last nine years, many divers have come and gone – some have moved, some have died, some got pissed off and left.

    To this day, their motto still holds true – “You might get hurt, but we won’t let you drown.”

    I was to bring the ghetto grill and Budweiser, the King of Beers; others were to bring meat or some kind of side dish or beverage.

    I found out today, not only that Sea D Sea Dive Shop will not fill my tanks, but that they are also closing July 1, 2013.

    Wow, another era in diving is coming to an end.

    As far as my tank being refused a fill?

    Dive N Surf sent one old Aluminum tank out for a hydro test; it passed the electro-static test and then blew up under the hydro test.

    Now, pretty much all the local dive shops won’t fill any Aluminum tank that was made before 1989, when they changed the metal formulation – with Sea D Sea recently jumping on the band wagon.

    So, one tank – out of the millions that were made – blows up, and now all of them are bad?!

    I arrived around 6:30 PM, after buying a discount light at Sea D Sea.

    flagwave3673.jpg
    The wind was blowing, the sea was choppy, but there weren’t very many big waves.

    divevets9a75.jpg
    Some called the dive, some just showed up to debrief.

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    A diver emerged and gave a good dive report – 10 feet in the shallows, opening to 20 feet at depth.

    I decided diving was the best thing to do, instead of immediate debriefing.

    machodiversk677.jpg
    Chipper, Me and George geared up for another macho dive.

    Carl and Chris from Detroit joined us.

    The sun was setting; we all had lights.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #435

    Dove with Chipper, George, Chris from Detroit and Carl
    Veterans Park, Redondo Beach, California, USA

    In With: 2500 psi
    Out With: 600 psi
    Max depth: 60 feet
    Waves: Manageable chop
    Visibility: 10-20 feet
    Water Temperature: 52 degrees
    Air Temperature: 63 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 30 minutes or so

    We all made it out, and descended in 25 feet of water, as we were tired of fighting the chop.

    I believe Carl lead the dive – we went to the new “Monument” which is a collection of stacked cinder blocks.

    I did not bring my camera, but trust me, I didn’t miss anything.

    We saw crabs, small octopi, sardines, baby electric rays and lots of sand.

    We all stayed together, and stopped in 20 feet of water for several minutes.

    I thought, “Is this some test to see who floats to the surface first?”

    With my tank getting buoyant, I had a hard time staying down at that depth; I found out later that that was our safety stop.

    Chipper later said to the leader, “You know, you can still move on a safety stop?”

    It was dark when we surfaced; we all made an easy exit – well, of course, we are all macho.

    debriefsd3686.jpg
    Making it back to my truck, I found that its bed had been converted into a barbecue and buffet table.

    debrief3681.jpg
    Many people joined in the debriefing activities – beverages of their choice, hamburgers, hotdogs, macaroni and potato salad; I ate quite well.

    George was brave enough to admit that he reads this blog – I now officially have four readers!

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    The debriefing and celebration started to wind down around 9:30 PM.

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    Nobody wanted the last two hotdogs.

    Someone said, “I don’t like black weenies.”

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    Happy anniversary Divevets!

    I’m not sure why the stealth bomber is in the logo.

    May 2, 2013

    Chamber Night At The Aquarium Of The Pacific

    May 1, 2013

    Here I go again, another Chamber Night to benefit the USC Hyperbaric Chamber in Catalina – this time the Divevets had two full tables and a couple of really hot women in attendance.

    Professional Debriefer Paul and I took a taxi from the ghetto in Long Beach to the Aquarium, hopefully to prevent a DUI.

    Meeting at Bubba Gumps
    We met the group at Bubba Gump’s.

    Richard the Brit was nice enough to pick up the tab for everyone – I think he paid in English Pounds.

    Donna, PDP and Wrinkle
    PDP was so happy to be around hot diver chicks.

    Donna plans to score!
    Donna The Hot Biker Chick bought $100 worth of raffle tickets to try and score the diving trip to Yap, or something almost as cool.

    Tables packed like sardines.
    They packed the tables so tight, fat people had to sit on the outside, near the walls.

    The staff picks the winners.
    The staff dug through the tickets, to see who they wanted to win.

    Smuggled in beers.
    An anonymous, but VERY SMART Divevets Member back packed some Heinekens in.

    He was thrown against a wall, and harassed by security, for being a potential terrorist bomber – they searched his back pack, and apparently, they were looking just for bombs, and not the beer that was contained within.

    The last time this very smart person went to Chamber Night, they only served Heineken cans – that is why he brought Heineken cans, and not the King of Beers – Budweiser.

    Unfortunately, from years past, people got disgusted at the “beeramids” that the Divevets made, so the bar was selling only bottles.

    Ana and Donna with me.
    Hanging out with Donna The Hot Biker Chick and Wrinkles was worth the $90 admission for me.

    Conversing with table two
    The conversation goes between tables.

    Salad Dressing arrives after the salad.
    After most participants finished their salad, the salad dressing arrived.

    Dinner is served!
    Dinner is served! Chicken and mashed potatoes.

    A smile for the camera!
    Smiles for the camera!

    Again, way too much fun!
    Getting way too much fun, and we’re almost out of the discount beer!

    Talking between tables.
    Alcohol fueled arguments ensued between tables.

    Divevets table sponsors!
    Divevets get recognized for their contributions – as I remember it was like $50,000.

    The Master of Ceremonies
    At the raffle, I was amazed that my name actually got called!

    I need doubles and a dry suit, and they had neither.

    I hesitated, the MC said, “This is taking too long, what do you want?”

    “Uhm” … Something that had “Dry Suit” listed, I took.

    It was a Dry Suit inflator system – something that I found out later, I didn’t need for a dry suit, it is completely an option.

    Shit, I thought I was getting my dry suit stuff piece by piece!

    I got a DUI
    Yep, we took a Taxi, but I still got a DUI.

    $125,393 Raised for the chamber!!
    $125,393 raised for the Chamber!

    After the dinner, we were told we could walk around the Aquarium for an hour.

    Slimey crap in the water.
    PDP said, “Feel this, it is really gross.”

    “The sign says, ‘Don’t touch,’” I responded.

    “Oh, I didn’t see that”

    Lights out in the Aquarium
    Walking around the Aquarium in the dark really was only good for about ten minutes.

    Great event, great people and a great time!

    If I ever get bent here, the Chamber will be there for at least another year.

    PDP’s video:




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