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  • November 30, 2009

    Operation: Enduring Lobster Freedom

    After several days of bad conditions, we’re finally back in the water to rescue more lobsters from their watery hell that they call life.

    Instructor John and I loaded the Red October and made a ride out to one of our secret deep lobster spots – about a quarter acre of man made reefs, i.e. dumped heavy construction material.

    The wind was barely blowing, but the surface chop was in excess of five feet and steadily rolling; if I wasn’t so macho, I would have gotten sea sick.

    We anchored perfectly on target, after trolling with a GPS for ten minutes.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #364

    SECRET LOCATION: 4a 75 73 74 20 6c 69 6b 65 20 74 68 65 20 6c 61 73 74 2c 20 6f 66 66 20 74 68 65 20 53 70 61 6e 69 73 68 20 52 65 64 20 42 65 61 63 68 2c 20 74 68 65 72 65 20 69 73 20 61 20 66 61 72 6d 20 74 68 61 74 20 67 72 6f 77 73 20 6f 6e 6c 79 20 70 69 70 65 73 2e, Redondo Beach (I think), CA

    Solo Diving, SoCal Buddy Diving

    In With: 2800 psi
    Out With: 500 psi
    Max depth: 80 feet
    Waves: Nauseating surface chop with light wind
    Visibility: 10-15 feet
    Water Temperature: About 58 degrees, slightly colder at depth
    Total Bottom Time: About 22 minutes

    The water seemed cold, especially after discovering a new ass rip in my wet suit – the consequences of too much underwater peeing.

    For the first five minutes, I didn’t see one bug, but as I found structure, I spotted lots of shorts.

    I pinned a legal looking bug on the gravel but it turned out to be short – it was released unharmed, along with an apology.

    There was a big reef structure in 75 feet of water, lined with monster bugs inside – the big ones are still staying home?

    I guess that’s how they got so big.

    I could not reach them.

    Along the side of a pipe, I spotted a large bug, pinned it and put it in the lobster liberation bag.

    Now the anxiety of getting skunked was over.

    I came across another large pipe – like a six foot diameter drainage pipe – with bugs underneath the hollows.

    One large lobster caught my eye; I shoved my lights at him and he shot back.

    I swam over the pipe; he was right there in the open, standing on the gravel.

    I moved my light to the side and pinned his silhouette.

    Yet another lobster who will soon no longer wallow in misery!

    I was down to 1000 psi and decided to troll around until I got to 800 psi.

    That last lobster that I liberated was flapping around in my bag really hard and then it went calm.

    I checked my bag and only felt one bug.

    Where was the second one?

    Did he crawl out of my escape-proof, spring-loaded bag?

    I felt again; the second bug was right at the top, waiting for me to open it once I rescued another lobster.

    I shook him down to the bottom of the bag and started my ascent to the surface.

    I came up slowly, but did not do a safety stop in the open water – I didn’t want a potential current to sweep me away from the boat.

    I hit the surface and looked for the boat.

    Where’s the boat?

    I did several 360s in the rolling swells trying to spot the boat – a 14 foot rubber zodiac has a low profile.

    Luckily, Instructor John has an extremely bright LED light mounted on board when we’re in the water, and as soon as I was in the right direction and as soon as a swell passed, I got a heading for the boat.

    I submerged to 15 feet and swam in that direction.

    John came back with one five pound bug – three lobsters total for the night.

    We literally surfed back to King Harbor, riding the incoming waves.

    No pictures tonight; my batteries died and besides, people tell me that one picture of me holding lobsters looks like all the rest after a while.

    Now, remember when I mentioned in my last post that we called the lobster dive Friday night due to high swells and wind?

    I found out that a friend of a friend actually went out that night because, “We needed lobsters for a barbecue on Saturday.”

    Apparently, visibility sucked, and someone ended up dislocating their shoulder climbing back into the boat.

    I hope those were some tasty lobsters, if they caught any at all!

    Speaking of bad conditions from last weekend, here again is another lesson on how not to exit Terranea Resort, presented by the famous Max Bottomtime.

    To view this video on YouTube, click here.

    We may go out Thursday night, conditions permitting.

    3 Comments

    1. Thanks for the good report. Deep diving for bugs is tough, Limited bottom time and worries about deco give precious little time to grab bugs. Dont let these people stop you from posting pics, they must be non divers.

      Comment by halibug — December 1, 2009 @ 10:13 am

    2. I laughed when you mentioned the bug in your bag moving around, then stopping. Several years ago I was bug diving off Pt. Fermin. I grabbed the only two legal bugs I saw right away, then nothing for the next hour. When I got back on the boat there were three bugs in my bag. I scratched my head wondering if I was narced at thirty feet and forgot about catching a third bug. When I emptied the bag I realized that one of them had molted in the bag. I dropped back down and let the soft shelled boy go under a ledge. I would have felt bad trying to tail him and crushing him with my Kung Fu Grip.

      Comment by Phil Garner — December 1, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

    3. All your recent video shots of divers flailing and getting pounded along that cobble beach at terranea have me worried about planning our first dive there Phil. I have dived all over P.V., mostly walking goat trails, dont know why We never dived Marineland. But We are going to wait for some really nice conditions to hit it this winter, thanks for the great footage.

      Comment by halibug — December 2, 2009 @ 1:48 am

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