February 2, 2014*
It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and I have the same opportunity as I did last year – Go on the Pacific Star for two SCUBA dives under the oil rigs and be back by the game.
This was suppose to be a divevets function, but I only knew a handful of people.
Either I’m losing touch with the group, or there are a lot of new members recently.
Just like last year, we had to go through an extensive background security check to be anywhere close to the oil rigs.
The first dive I planned to collect some scallops for a Super Bowl party and test my camera housing for leaks – I replaced the gasket and re-greased the housing.
I did take the housing on a test dive, but only to 40 feet – this is the ultimate test.
We got a short briefing on the dives and dive procedures, including a bit about scallop gathering – “We are going to ask you to cut the meat out of the shell, don’t bring the whole thing up – you’ll have 50 unneeded pounds of shell with you.”
The San Pedro Light House.
The Eureka Oil Rig.
After the short ride out, it was time to dive.
The rigs are in 600 feet of water, so the boat has to drop and pickup without anchoring.
I jumped over and swam underneath the rig before submerging.
Logged SCUBA Dive #460
Solo Diving/SoCal Buddy Diving
Eureka Oil Rig
Between Catalina and San Pedro, CA, USA
In With: 2900 psi
Out With: 500 psi
Max depth: 101 feet
Waves: Slightly choppy
Visibility: 40 to 60 feet!
Water Temperature: 59 degrees
Air Temperature: 67 degrees
Total Bottom Time: 24 minutes
The water was choppy, but as soon as I went under, it calmed down – visibility was excellent!
I would say 50 to 60 feet of visibility – perfect for spotting scallops, that are literally all over the columns under the rig.
I found a big ass scallop at 60 feet, took my knife out and jabbed it into the scallop to dig the meat out.
The scallop closed, I twisted it, and my knife broke in half!
They asked me to cut the meat out before coming back to the boat – that’s like when the cops ask you if they can search your car.
It’s not mandatory.
OK, I might be a little heavy, but what they hell, I started prying the scallops off, whole, and putting them in my lobster bag.
After 20 minutes, I had a heavy bag full of scallops.
I reached the surface and gave the OK sign about 20 times to the Dive Master who was waving a hard hat at me – I found out later he was trying to return a hard hat that one of the workmen on the rig had dropped.
The boat picked me up, and the Dive Master was not very happy to see whole scallops coming up on the boat – he sort of bitched me out.
The King of Scallops
My broken dive knife.
I checked my camera housing – and it didn’t leak!
Stay tuned for the second dive post, with underwater pictures of the Ellen Oil Rig.
*Posting has been delayed due to the Super Bowl, the Super Bowl Party and the needed recovery from the events.