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    December 30, 2015

    Female SCUBA Diver Missing Off Of Ship Rock, Catalina Island

    Thank you, Professional Debriefer Paul for bringing these articles to my attention.

    Apparently, a 45 year old woman was diving off of the Sundiver Express on Tuesday at Ship Rock and went missing.

    She was wearing, according to one of the articles, a black wet suit and a white tank.

    Quotes from the two articles, listed below:

    “The diver was reported missing just before noon about three miles away off the island near Ship Rock, an area popular with divers, according to Lifeguard Specialist Lidia Barillas of the Lifeguards Division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.”

    “The Coast Guard sent a 45-foot patrol boat, a helicopter and the cutter Narwhal to assist in the search for the woman, whose name was not released.”

    The articles goes on to state that you should never solo dive and to always dive within your limits and have your equipment serviced.

    However, there was no speculation that she was diving alone or comments on her equipment or skill level.

    For those of you who are not familiar with the California diving culture, the Dive Masters do not conduct underwater tours – on any boat that I have been on.

    You simply check out when you jump overboard and check in when you come back; the Dive Master simply accounts for the divers and responds to any emergency on the surface, or reports anyone who doesn’t come back.

    I am not going to speculate, and hope she is found alive and well.

    Original articles are here:

    Search continues for female scuba diver missing off Catalina Island

    Scuba Diver Missing Off Catalina Island

    Update January 1, 2016:

    Search launched for woman diving near Catalina Island

    Authorities searched Thursday for a Tustin woman missing since Tuesday while scuba diving near Catalina Island.

    Laurel Silver-Valker, 45, dove into the waters off Ship Rock looking for lobsters when she disappeared, said Sgt. Dave Carver of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

    December 27, 2015

    Last Dive Of The Year – Maybe

    This holiday season is getting to me.

    I have gained so much fucking weight – four pounds – that I really wanted to go diving to at least get some exercise.

    Saturday was rough for me; I tried to get some things done and ended up helping a hot chick friend move.

    Why, I have no idea; I busted my ass, because I was dumb enough to tell her I own a truck, and the end result was that she doesn’t have a boyfriend but a “friend who fucks” but she would never go out with me because I don’t have a house and there would be no place for the kids that she wants to play.

    Surprisingly, I have heard that shit so many times before, that I did not go on a drunken depression that night.

    Well, I woke up at 6 AM and looked at the swell map.

    It looked too flat for me not to go to my regular Sunday diving spot.

    The seas were calm.
    The seas were calm!

    Nobody was around.

    Seriously, no divers and the other Terranea Resort patrons were very sparse.

    I was prepared to do another solo dive, like I did last month.

    I was checking out the swells at The Point when Reverend Al came walking down.

    I haven’t seen the Rev since May!

    He was suppose to meet and Dive with Eric (a.k.a. The Professor), who moved to Kansas, but his flight was cancelled.

    We decided to do an easy dive off the Cove.

    We made an easy entrance.

    Me and Reverend Al.
    Me and Reverend Al.

    Pigeon shit cave - Terranea Resort.

    Al said, “Since you are taking pictures, you can navigate.”

    Crap!

    As many times as I have dove here, I still don’t know where I’m going.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #496

    Dove with Reverend Al

    The Cove, Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA

    In With: 2800 psi
    Out With: 1200 psi
    Max depth: 42 feet
    Waves: Pretty flat with some waves breaking against the rocks
    Visibility: 10-15 feet
    Water Temperature: 56 degrees
    Air Temperature: 50 degrees, warming to 70 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 35 minutes

    A reef off of Terranea.

    Visibility was OK, and the water was REALLY cool.

    Kelp forest.

    I had no idea where I was going.

    Diving Terranea.

    As the Sun came out, visibility improved in the shallower parts of the dive.

    Our friends pass by.

    The fish are coming back.

    The fish are really coming back since this was made a fishing preserve.

    Diving Terranea

    Kelp forest.

    After 30 minutes, I lead us back to the Cove; we had seen all there was to see.

    Well, not really, but I was getting cold.

    We made an easy exit, even though there was a lack of sand on the rocky beach.

    The debrief.

    Debriefing was short and to the point and consisted of my surplus Christmas Heineken, Reverend Al’s stash of Guinness Blonde American Lager and another beer that I can’t pronounce.

    As we were standing in the parking lot, holding our beers as we compared diving notes, a guy in a suit drove past us in a Cushman and gave us one hell of a stare.

    We held our beers up and wished him a “Happy Kwanzaa” – since it is after Christmas and before New Year’s.

    I’m still wondering why we’re having a decline in divers.

    Maybe it’s because of lobster season, the crappy weather lately or the fact that nobody uses the “new and improved” Divets Forum?

    I haven’t been around enough to chase anyone off.

    To all six of my readers, I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year with lots of safe diving!

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