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    November 19, 2013

    DFG Dives To Bust Poacher Underwater!

    Thank you Divevets and Diver Wrinkles for bringing this to my attention.

    You think you’re safe from the watch of the Department of Fish and Game while underwater?

    Here’s a story of a man off of Catalina who got busted underwater…


    From The California Department Of Fish And Wildlife News

    California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers cited a 46-year-old Ventura County man for using rubbing alcohol to force fish out of rocks and capturing them to sell.

    The diver was cited for two Fish and Game Code violations: use of chemical while collecting marine aquaria and unlawful take of marine aquaria at Catalina Island, which is prohibited by law.

    DFG busts poacher.

    On the afternoon of Nov. 13, officers from the patrol boat Thresher observed a large recreational sailboat with commercial fishing license numbers painted on the stern anchored in Emerald Bay on the northeast coast of Catalina Island.

    Officers boarded the boat and found a man sport fishing. The angler told the officers that his partner was SCUBA diving.

    Officers entered the 62-degree water and observed a diver squirting a liquid (later determined to be rubbing alcohol) from a bottle into cracks of rocks.

    The liquid was forcing small fish, Blue Banded Goby (Lythrypnus dalli), into the open water where the man then caught them with a small aquarium fish net and immediately put them in a small plastic receptacle attached to his SCUBA gear.

    The warden used a mask and snorkel from just below the water’s surface to watch the diver squirt the bottle twice.

    The warden then dove down, showed the diver his warden identification, and directed the diver to come to the surface.

    Before ascending, the diver left one of his squirt bottles on the rocks and attempted to drop a small, mesh bag containing another squirt bottle.

    A warden retrieved both squirt bottles and the mesh bag.

    The entire article can be found here:

    CDFW Officers Snag Diver off Catalina Island

    November 18, 2013

    Excellent Conditions On The Decline

    November 17, 2013

    My sister is in town from Reno and I have some birthday celebrations to attend in Palos Verdes, so there’s nothing like a morning dive to combat the upcoming stress.

    I arrived at 8:20 AM to find everyone almost geared up.

    Apparently, Reverend Al trusted the Pacific Wilderness guys who had already checked out the conditions and went straight to gearing up

    “They say it looks great,” Al said.

    I hurried and geared up.

    Reverend Al, Eric and myself walked to The Point, where it was really high tide with some rollers coming in.

    I dawned my fins and waited for a roller to come in so I could ride it out.

    I was sitting on a rock, snorkel in my mouth, when a roller swooshed in – I leaped off into the receding water, to land on my stomach, grounded on a boulder.

    I looked up to see an even bigger wave coming at me.

    “Oh, shit!”

    It picked me up, slammed me against another rock and rolled me around until I could ride the water out.

    “You picked the worst time to get in the water,” Eric said.

    We swam over the pinnacle and dropped.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #457

    Dove With Reverend Al and Eric

    Terranea Resort, Off The Point
    Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 600 psi
    Max depth: 64 feet
    Waves: Surface chop, some rollers
    Visibility: 15 feet at best
    Water Temperature: 61 degrees
    Air Temperature: 72 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 59 minutes or so

    Conditions look shittier.

    Visibility has declined since last week, so I’ll keep the underwater photos to a minimum.

    We spotted a few lobsters under the rocks – this is now a marine preserve, and I think a lot of the lobsters have moved here seeking sanctuary.

    Layered reef.

    Along certain reefs, there’s an interesting “layered” structure to them.

    We also noticed a lot of fish, including male Sheephead, that had disappeared before the fishing ban.

    I was diving with an Aluminum 80, Reverend Al had a steal 100 – he handed me his auxiliary regulator when I was down to 600 psi, and I continued my dive, holding onto his BCD and breathing off his tank.

    We surfaced just outside the cove; Al had 450 psi left.

    I think a big problem is that I need some maintenance on my gear – Eric noticed I had leaks coming out of my first stage and another leak out of my console – I have to take it in for service.

    There were some rollers in the cove – by far, it wasn’t the scariest exit that I’ve ever made, but it was not as easy as I was hoping.

    Group photo.
    Sunday’s Group.

    Non-diver Kate and Tina.
    My sister Kate and her friend Tina joined the debriefing.

    Me with my siblings.
    A group shot with my siblings – Me, Professional Debriefer Paul and Non-Diver Kate.

    Ever wonder why your car doesn’t get shit on by pigeons when you’re at Terranea Resort?

    It’s because the Falcon Man chases then away…

    The falcon dude at Terranea Resort
    The Falcon Guy.

    The Falcons.
    …and his falcons.

    Debriefing continued until 1 PM, with diving stories and a Pacific Wilderness rant against my Luxfer Aluminum tanks from the 1980s.

    “Those things could explode and hurt or kill someone,” I was warned.

    Tank replacement is on my list.

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