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    September 29, 2019

    Fifth Dive Off The Pacific Star – Night Diving Sutil Island

    September 21, 2019*

    I rested in my bunk for an hour or so until I heard the announcement that dinner was ready.

    I made it to the galley and was greeted by Captain Dave who asked me, “Would you like to try our vegetarian meatloaf?”

    “What, no I like meat in my meatloaf,” I replied.

    Captain Dave smiled and said, “Good for you.”

    And that’s exactly what dinner consisted of: meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans.

    To kill time, I went to the upper deck to kick it with my fellow divers.

    There was a couple from Portugal, who live in Los Angeles.

    Two brothers, Tony and Nick, who were comic relief for the trip, told us about their diving adventures around the world.

    One time in Australia, when they were kids, they had the bright idea of putting shrimp in their pockets to feed the fish when they went swimming.

    Everyone laughed and thought it was a great idea; they laughed even harder when they jumped in the water and were attacked by every fish in their proximity.

    I talked to a diver named Tai from Singapore.

    Yes, in Singapore, chewing gum is illegal and possession of it is a high crime.

    Tai said, “People would throw their gum all over the place.

    “Even here, try and find a restaurant that doesn’t have gum stuck underneath their tables.

    “Our subway system was shutdown for hours because a piece of gum got stuck into some equipment and ended up costing the economy $38 million in lost productivity.

    “It doesn’t make sense to risk that much over a 30 cent piece of gum, so they outlawed it.”

    I also gained some insight into the canning of Michael P.Fay in 1994.

    Tai said, “When we were kids, we would go around and steal car emblems from Mercedes Benz and Rolls Royce cars; we stole the Judge’s emblem off of his Rolls Royce, so the judge put security cameras up and caught Michael Fay vandalizing his car.

    “When he went in front of the judge, the judge also demanded that his car emblem be returned, too.

    “But Michael Faye said that he didn’t have it, the judge didn’t believe him, got upset and sentenced him to canning.

    “Small crimes are handled with fines and canning, and that seems to deter petty crimes, but if you physically hurt someone, they throw you in prison for 15 years and your whole life is ruined.

    “Our justice system works very well.”

    I had brought a case of Budweiser, the King of Beers, for this trip, with the idea that I would hang them in a bag, in the water, to keep them cold.

    Captain Dave told me, “That’s a pretty dumb idea. The water is almost 70 degrees; why don’t you just put them in the refrigerator?”

    And so I did…

    The King Of Beers fills the Pac Star's refrigerator.
    The King Of Beers fills the Pac Star’s refrigerator.

    I told everyone on the boat, “Hey guys, after the next dive, help yourself to a Budweiser.”

    Someone said, “I’d rather drink monkey piss.”

    The Sun sets off of Sutil Island.
    The Sun sets off of Sutil Island.
    The boat seemed to have drifted closer to the island.
    The boat seemed to have drifted closer to the island in a short period of time.

    There was a brief debate as to why Sutil is called an island and not a rock.

    Someone said, “Then Bird Rock off of Catalina should be called Bird Island.”

    Well, to me, Pluto is still a planet.

    At 7:30 PM, the gates opened for our night dive off of Sutil Island.
    At 7:30 PM, the gates opened for our night dive off of Sutil Island.

    Again, I was the first diver overboard.

    I had to juggle my light and my camera, making sure not to lose either one.

    I started to submerge, and realized that I couldn’t breathe!

    I surfaced, and quickly figured out that I still had my snorkel in my mouth.

    After a quick switch to my regulator, I descended for the last dive of the day.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #515

    Solo Diving, SoCal Buddy Diving

    Sutil Island, CA

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 600 psi
    Max depth: 60 feet
    Waves: Pretty calm
    Visibility: 20-50 feet depending on where you were.
    Water Temperature: 62 degrees at depth
    Air Temperature: 74 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 36 minutes

    Night diving Sutil Island.

    I have to say, if you think my daytime photos suck, my underwater nighttime pictures are worse.

    Maybe I needed a better light?

    Night diving Sutil Island.

    Contrary to what other divers saw, I didn’t see any lobsters on this dive; I guess my reputation still follows me – they were all afraid and hiding.

    Night diving Sutil Island.

    There was more to see, my nighttime photo skills just need to be refined.

    This dive was pretty much like the last dive, but just darker, and less “spooky,” believe it or not.

    Night diving Sutil Island.

    I made it down to 60 feet, which was quite amazing, as the last dive was further away from the island and I never got deeper than 45 feet.

    With a light in one hand and a camera in the other, I didn’t pay too much attention to my compass., which didn’t work out very well when trying to get back to the boat.

    Other divers are spotted in the distance.
    Other divers are spotted in the distance.

    Some other divers were following me for a bit; I hope they didn’t think I knew where the boat was, because I was lost.

    After a quick surface trip to get my compass headings back to the boat, I submerged and headed back to an easy exit.

    After five dives, I relaxed with Budweiser, the King of Beers.
    Divers relax on the Pacific Star after a long day of diving.
    Divers relax on the Pacific Star after a long day of diving.

    Some divers reviewed their pictures from the day, while others played a high stakes game of Cards Against Humanity.

    Some divers drank “craft beer,” others had Rum, others had wine and one macho diver drank Budweiser.

    Captain Dave headed off to Catalina for the next day of diving.

    *Due to lack of internet access, and too much to do to write while it is happening, there has been a delay in these posts. Pretend you are in 1990.

    November 21, 2016

    Second Lobster Diver Of The Night

    November 18, 2016

    Once everyone was back on board, Nice Bob decided to move to a better spot a few minutes down the coast.

    The visibility looked good on the surface; I was the first one over board.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #504

    Solo Diving

    SECRET LOCATION: 41 73 20 74 68 65 20 43 61 70 61 74 61 69 6e 20 74 6f 6c 64 20 75 73 20 6f 66 66 20 74 68 65 20 49 6e 64 69 63 61 74 6f 72 2e , Palos Verdes, CA

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 2100 psi
    Max depth: 41 feet
    Waves: Surface was flat, some surge at the bottom
    Visibility: 0-3 feet, very silty
    Water Temperature: 62 degrees
    Air Temperature: 66 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 12 minutes

    Visibility was really good, until I got down to the ocean floor, where it turned to three feet at best.

    I swam towards the shore, but I really couldn’t see.

    I surfaced and yelled back to the people on the boat, “Hey, you know the vis is only three feet!”

    Someone gave me the finger, so a submerged and went the other way, away from the shore.

    It got worse – I mean three feet was the best visibility, sometimes I had zero feet.

    After a few more minutes, I really didn’t think I was going to be so lucky as to just stumble upon a lobster already within grabbing distance.

    I called the dive and surfaced.

    Back at the boat, I told the Captain about the conditions.

    He said, “I bet there will be three more lobsters before the night ends.”

    I said, “There won’t be any lobsters coming back, unless someone is very lucky.”

    Called Dive
    Waiting for the other divers.

    Divers made their way back in early.

    Lucky Bob
    Nice Bob was very lucky and stumbled on two lobsters with the crappy visibility.

    Everyone else got skunked on this dive.

    Debriefing started as divers came back.

    Thanks to a donation by Nice Bob to someone who got skunked and was unable to make the second dive, everyone went home with at least one lobster.

    Debriefing continued in the parking lot of Rocky Point.

    A $100 boat trip and I only caught one lobster on my first dive.

    However, local lobsters are going for $42 a pound at the fish market – so I don’t feel so bad.

    I paid $100 for a $65 lobster, but had fun doing it.

    Until next time, dive safe and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!

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