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    June 30, 2012

    Cee Ray Rescues Doomed Boaters

    On a casual excursion back from an excellent three dive day at Catalina, we came across a drifting boat a few miles outside of Catalina.

    They were waving frantically for assistance.

    They could have been out there for minutes, hours or days…

    One of the deck hands told me, “The Magician was ahead of us and just drove by them.”

    The Cee Ray pulled up and asked what was wrong.

    “We are out of gas! We need help!”

    They didn’t have “Vessel Assist.”

    If we didn’t render assistance, they may have just drifted towards Japan, wasting away due to starvation, dehydration and over exposure.

    Captain Mike did the right thing and towed them in.

    Now, how the hell do you run out of gas that close from Catalina?

    As we were towing them, we started to speculate that they may have really been coming from Mexico – their hull filled with drugs and guns…

    Who the hell knows?

    However, they did know that the entire boat was “talking shit” about them on the ride back.

    Regardless, they were extremely grateful for our assistance.

    And, even though it probably added almost two hours to our trip back, you have to do, what you’ve got to do, to render assistance on the open seas.

    Raw footage of the rescue is here:

    To view this video on YouTube,

    Second Dive at Lula, off The Cee Ray

    After a spectacular lunch of chicken and broccoli, rice and Italian bread, the next dive spot was undetermined.

    I went to the top deck of the boat and fell asleep.

    The boat never started, but I was awakened by people jumping off the side.

    I climbed down on to the main deck and asked one of the deck hands, “I guess this is our next spot, too?”


    I geared up and went over.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #412

    Solo Diving

    “Lula” , Catalina, CA

    In With: 2900 psi
    Out With: 600 psi
    Max depth: 72 feet
    Waves: Pretty flat
    Visibility: Up to 20 feet, but more like 15 feet
    Water Temperature: 65 degrees, colder at depth
    Air Temperature: 84 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 40 minutes or so

    I went a little more North than before, and ran into the reef that I was suppose to last time.

    Stuck anchor

    I came across an anchor that was wedged between two rocks.

    Ha! Ha! Money!

    Chain stuck between rocks.

    There was a chain attached to it, so I decided to see how much of a chain – I followed it, and followed it and the chain went right up to the Cee Ray.

    I surfaced and told Jensen, one of the deck hands, “You know that the anchor is wedged between two rocks?”

    “Yeah, we’ll get it out, we anchor here all the time.”

    I continued my dive, sticking shallower.

    I lost my way back to the boat, but as I was surfacing, I saw divers on the surface – more than a couple.

    Students swimming back to Cee Ray.

    I assumed it was students making their way back to the boat, so I stalked them at depth, making my way back to underneath the swim step, where I waited my turn – hoping to loot any gear that may be dropped in the water upon boarding.

    I wasn’t fortunate enough to get any more gear, but did make it back with no issues.

    Review of the Cee Ray:

    I really like the way the boat is run.

    They don’t rush the gate, the boat goes some places that no other boats go to, and the food is really good – breakfast, several snacks and a gourmet lunch.

    The Cee Ray’s swim step was a little awkward for me; I am used to just taking my fins off and either walking to shore or climbing up a ladder.

    Cee Ray swim step.

    Their swim step rests about a foot or two underwater; so, you sort of have to flail onto the step and then climb up the ladder.

    However, it’s good for students who aren’t used to the weight of SCUBA gear.

    The Cee Ray Galley

    After a great day of diving, the galley sells Pacifico and New Castle – no Budweiser!

    I am partially responsible for drinking their beer supply dry.

    Also, I have to say, even though I don’t agree with a lot of Sports Chalet’s business practices, their Divemasters and Instructors have great personalities and are very professional.

    Captain Mike of The Cee Ray

    Captain Mike runs a great dive boat – I hope to be back soon.

    Speaking of coming soon…

    Coming Soon!

    A great video of today’s dives, plus Rescue at Sea!

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