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    October 26, 2014

    The Divevets Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest

    October 25, 2014

    This is the annual Divevets Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest.

    It gives participants a chance to do something fun and productive when they aren’t admiring the sand and trash.

    The event was lightly promoted this year, and ECO Dive Center, having kicked our butts last year, did not participate this time.

    Participation was rather low, comprising less than a dozen divers and shore support.

    Dan's Debriefing
    Dan gave several dive briefings as divers showed up.

    TwinDuct has reappeared after his trip to seek riches in Alaska; he was paired up with a diver named – I hope I’m right – Carmella?

    Group Shot
    Me, TwinDUct, Carmella and Walt are ready…

    Redondo Beach
    Visibility from the surface sucked ass, we went further out before submerging.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #478

    Dove with Walt and Dennis G. the first part; solo on the second half.

    Veterans Park, Redondo Beach, CA, USA

    In With: 2800 psi
    Out With: 900 psi
    Max depth: 80 feet
    Waves: Annoying shore surge, but good once out
    Visibility: 8-10 feet
    Water Temperature: 68 degrees
    Air Temperature: 76 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 25 minutes

    We chose a nice spot in 30 feet of water.

    I started taking pictures…

    Underwater Pumpkin Carving

    Underwater Pumpkin Carving

    Then, I noticed my camera case leaking again!

    FUCK! This is getting to be too expensive!

    I shut the camera off immediately.

    I showed Walt what was going on and immediately surfaced, with an eighth of an inch of water in my case.

    I went ashore and wrapped my camera in paper towels and set it in the sun.

    Donna The Hot Biker Chick made a non-diving appearance.

    I asked her if I should stay up there and drink beer with her, or go back in and finish my pumpkin.

    She said, “Go back in and finish your pumpkin.”

    So another trek down the stairs and in to the surf, I was off to finish my task.

    I spent a whole one minute on my creation before heading down the shelf to 80 feet.

    I headed in and exited without incident; seeing other divers struggle in the surf zone made me feel macho.

    My entry
    My entry.

    More entries…

    Underwater Carved Pumpkin

    Underwater Carved Pumpkin

    Having taken longer than most, by the time I de-geared, the winners were already announced.

    I won for “Worst Pumpkin.”

    Judging Pumpkins

    The winner!
    Chis From Detroit won Best Pumpkin with this creation – it fumed dry ice.

    A UFO
    A UFO buzzed us – it looks like the same one that stalks Terranea Resort.

    For some reason, not many people have been going out lobster hunting this season.

    Maybe it’s because they are harder to get, or maybe because of the weather lately.

    October 19, 2014

    Palos Verdes Diving Conditions Report

    I woke up this morning to a dismal swell map…

    SoCal Waves report

    However, sometimes the swell map is not so accurate.

    I’ve called dives after seeing similar maps, only to be told afterwards that conditions and visibility were great.

    I drove to Palos Verdes for a look, and hopefully a dive.

    I arrived at 8:03 AM; three other divers known as the “Set Builders” were gearing up.

    Apparently, they had checked the other places in Palos Verdes, and this was the least worst.

    I walked down to see the conditions for myself.

    The Point
    There was no way in hell anyone was going off the Point.

    I met Reverend Al, Randy and Eric as I was checking out the Point; Dash showed up later.

    Someone remarked, “I hear Redondo Beach is good, if you like looking at sand.”

    “I think I might go home and just do some push ups,” Reverend Al said.

    We checked the conditions.
    We studied the conditions at the Cove.

    The Cove

    The cove was divable, but the visibility was questionable – the foam on top and the fact that it had been pounded for the last day or so gave us doubts.

    After a rouge wave crashed against the Cove, we called it.

    We wished the Set Builders a good dive and watched them enter in a very unique way – they sat on a rock, put their fins on and crawled out, into the water.

    That’s actually the way I was originally taught to enter, but I quickly learned the stand up way after a wave threw me against a boulder.

    We went our separate ways.

    Driving home, I realized how dumb some of the laws in California are – they state Nazis have banned plastic bags and incandescent lights, and as of last month, a driver must give three feet of space when passing a bicyclist.

    Don’t get me wrong, as I am an avid bicyclist…

    Me on my bike.
    File Photo.

    But in Palos Verdes, it is impossible, and the law can easily turn into a money grab for the Police.

    Bicyclist rarely ride on the right side of the bike path, but mostly on or close to the line.

    The car lane is 9 feet wide, my truck is 6 feet wide, which doesn’t give me much leeway when I pass a bicyclist who is going 15 miles an hour, as I’m going 45.

    A bicyclist in Palos Verdes
    Which is the cheaper ticket – passing a bicyclist closer than three feet, or crossing the double yellow line?

    A bicyclist in Palos Verdes
    Sometimes it’s just a curb on the other side… slow traffic down to a bicyclist’s pace until there’s a way to pass?

    I don’t really think there’s a way to enforce this law, and if my radio worked, I probably wouldn’t have even been thinking about this.

    The Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest will be at Veterans Park this coming Saturday – stay tuned!

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