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    August 27, 2017

    An American Dives In North Korea

    August 14, 2017

    When I say I’m going to do something, I do it.

    I used to have that kind of persistency with women, but restraining orders, jail and getting beaten up all the time made me pursue traveling as a safer option.

    However, this will also probably be the lamest dive report that I have ever posted.

    I knew the hotel had a pool, so I brought my mask to go diving there, so I can say “I went diving in North Korea.”

    The pool at the Yanggakdo International Hotel is in the basement next to the saunas and the “male only” massage parlor.

    Unlike the pools in the Capitalist west, it costs $4.50 to use the pool if you are a hotel guest.

    With my mask and underwater camera in hand I carefully entered the pool, making sure not to disturb the person doing laps on the other side.

    I could not detect any chlorine or salt in the water but it was cool and clear.

    Visibility was excellent – you could see all the way to the other side of the pool.

    I think this was the first time in a long time I did not have fins, and I forgot how awkward swimming in bare feet is; there is absolutely no momentum kicking without fins.

    As I swam from one side of the pool to the next, the temperature changed as I went by the jets of warm water that kept the pool warm.

    As I exited and left to go back to my hotel room, I had accidentally tracked water in to the lobby.

    Instead of giving me 15 years of hard labor, I was handed an extra towel.

    Video is here:

    DPRK Trip – An American Goes Diving In The DPRK – Part 11

    June 13, 2010

    Free Diving Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes, CA

    I had to get in the water today.

    I have been stressed out and sedate in my macho activities for too long.

    Just a swim in the ocean might be enough.

    I arrived at Terranea Resort around 8:30 AM; since I had no air, I was just going to free dive.

    Some of the regular SCUBA divers had already geared up and were walking down.

    The water looked pretty calm, but visibility remained to be seen.

    The water looked pretty calm, but visibility remained to be seen.

    Free diving Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes, CA

    Max depth: About 20 feet
    Waves: Predictable one to two feet swells
    Visibility: 5-15 feet
    Water Temperature: Maybe about 63 degrees
    Total Ocean Time: 35 minutes or so.

    Entrance was easy; I swam to the right side of the Cove.

    Kelp is very abundant now, which is quite a change from a few years back.

    Kelp is very abundant now, which is quite a change from a few years back.

    Visibility was OK;  I could see the bottom from 15 feet.

    Visibility was OK; I could see the bottom from 15 feet.

    I was perfectly neutrally buoyant with my very used 7 mm wetsuit and 16 pounds of weights.

    I held my breath and plunged down to 20 feet.

    I held my breath and plunged down to 20 feet…

    I touched the bottom.

    …I touched the bottom.

    I’m still sort of macho, I guess.

    The ocean water felt good, there was beer waiting for me in the car… and best of all – no psycho women!

    About 30 minutes later, a woman took a picture of me making my easy exit.

    I guess I’m that famous?

    It seems when you free dive here, people actually watch you from their hotel rooms and pool.

    I was asked what I was hunting, did I see any dolphins, how are the lobsters?

    I told the guys that I was simply out for a swim, but I told all the women that I was out hunting sharks.

    Beer in the parking lot washed the salt water out of my mouth.

    11 AM rolled by and I noticed none of the other divers had made it back from their dives.

    Was something wrong?

    The dive started on time, but by 10:30 AM, most divers would usually have returned.

    Two beers later, Nice Bob pulls up in his truck with Military Bob, Chipper and Jordan.

    It seems they planned and executed an extremely macho dive – going off the Point, diving one way, across two coves to make a beach exit at Cardiac Hill.

    Nice Bob had dropped his car off at Cardiac Hill earlier for the return trip.

    They had reports of five to 15 feet of visibility.

    They said it was a nice dive, but it kicked their asses – especially the walk up Cardiac Hill.

    Macho divers debrief.

    Debriefing continued as usual.

    It was sort of a light SCUBA diver turn out, but I noticed a lot of oriental free divers carrying big spear guns – maybe three groups of them.

    I didn’t notice anyone coming back with fish.

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