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  • April 19, 2015

    Post-Apocalypse IRS Dive

    I have been stressing out on my taxes for the last four months, and was working on the last draft of my tax return up until last Wednesday.

    Somehow, my employer changed my deductions from nine plus $217 to just nine.

    Also, if you send an inmate pen pal money, she does not qualify to be claimed as your dependent.

    To make a long story short, I think this blog will all be about beach diving for the next year.

    And, the IRS works fast!

    I mailed in my return Wednesday and got a call on Saturday from someone claiming to be from the IRS.

    He said that if I didn’t wire him $1,200 immediately an agent would be over to arrest me.

    I asked, “Great! How much time should I ask off from work?”

    His threats grew stronger before I just hung up on him.

    I needed my Sunday dive.

    The swell maps made the diving look iffy, but not only did I show up, I showed up 15 minutes early.

    I met Reverend Al, Nice Bob, Mike and new diver to the group, Rob.

    Rob has been certified since the 1980s, but hasn’t done a lot of diving recently; this was his first dive here at Terranea.

    The Point looked a little rough, so we opted for the Cove.

    We make an easy entrance.
    We made an easy entrance and swam to the rocky finger for our descent.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #490

    Dove with Reverend Al Rob

    120 Reef, Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes, CA

    In With: 2900 psi
    Out With: 800 psi
    Max depth: 42 feet
    Waves: Manageable if you timed it right.
    Visibility: 10-20 feet
    Water Temperature: 58 degrees
    Air Temperature: 76 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 30 minutes

    Nice reef off of Terranea.

    Colorful reef.

    We spot a strange blob.
    We spotted some kind of a strange blob.

    Reef off of Terranea.

    Reef off of Terranea.

    Al collects sea shells.
    Al collects sea shells.

    Inside the kelp forest.
    Visibility was up to 20 feet in some places.

    An interesting reef.

    Visibility was good.
    Rob had an interested habit of going through the kelp.

    Inside the kelp forest.

    When we reached 1,000 psi, we signaled to Reverend Al; he started to lead us back, but Rob was very slow…

    Taking sea weed with him.
    I discovered Rob’s handicap… he was trying to take some kelp back with him.

    I broke him free.

    Al leads the way home.

    We surface right on spot.
    We surface right on spot.

    After timing the swells, we made a fairly easy exit.

    Reverend Al hands out shells.
    Reverend Al hands out shells.

    Dive debriefing.

    Debriefing was fairly quick today; Al was headed to the Long Beach Grand Prix and others had stuff to accomplish.

    April 5, 2015

    Easter Dive At Terranea Resort

    I was determined to get in the water today – I think everybody else was, too.

    I arrived at Terrenea Resort right at 8 AM to find the regulars already geared, or gearing up.

    And then I saw Chipper…”Don’t worry, conditions look like they already suck, it doesn’t have anything to do with me and you both being here,” he said.

    Thinking it may be crowded, a bunch of them had gotten here at 7:30 AM.

    They scoped out conditions, ruled out the Point, and decided to enter the milky waters off the Cove.

    Reverend Al then pulled up; I knew that they would wait for Al, but I didn’t care if I went solo.

    I spent the next 15 minutes gearing up as fast as I could; I felt like I was in a speed-gearing contest.

    I never had wrapped my zipper-less dive boots with duct tape so fast.

    We walked down to the Cove to find a shoreline that resembled a washing machine – normally, I would have called it, but I needed a dive and we have a somewhat sandy beach now.

    Everyone entered without problems.

    I surface swam, following the others.

    Swimming to Catalina
    Holy crap, are we swimming to Catalina?

    We decided to follow Reverend Al.

    We descended…

    Logged SCUBA Dive #489

    Dove with Chipper

    120 Reef, Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes, CA

    In With: 2800 psi
    Out With: 1400 psi
    Max depth: 36 feet
    Waves: Choppy with annoying shore waves
    Visibility: 5-8 feet
    Water Temperature: 60 degrees
    Air Temperature: 74 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 30 minutes

    Reef at Terranea Resort
    Visibility sort of sucked.

    Somehow, I ended up following Chipper, and we lost the rest.

    Reef at Terranea Resort

    Regardless of the visibility, I was glad to get wet again.

    Reef at Terranea Resort

    Reef at Terranea Resort

    Reef at Terranea Resort

    Chipper’s air-integrated diving computer took a crap on him; he had no idea how much air he had.

    Instead of doing the macho thing and continue the dive until it got hard to breathe and then just surface, he started heading back.

    I followed.

    A new form of sea life?
    A new and strange form of sea life?

    A fishing lure!
    A fishing lure!

    I depended on Chipper’s navigation and hoped we would surface close to the exit point.

    Right on target!
    We surfaced right on target!

    Thanks Chipper!

    Donna the hot biker chick meets us at shore
    Donna The Hot Biker Chick and the guy she likes more than me, Kevin, met us on the shore.

    Donna said, “I wanted to go diving, but I showed up at 8:20 and you guys were already going into the water.”

    Let the debriefing begin!
    Let the debriefing begin!

    Group shot
    Group shot from left to right – Me, Nice Bob, Jeff, Randy (kneeling), Reverend Al, Chipper and Mike.

    As Summer approaches, there was talk about bringing the ghetto grill back into debriefing service.

    Reserved barbecue area
    Management even marked off a spot where we could set up a barbecue and chairs.

    All the secret parking spots in the free lot are now painted red; coincidentally, I’m sure, they also raised the parking rate at the hotel from $5 to $10.

    Chipper took the battery out of his computer and put it back in – it worked!

    His computer must be running Windows 95?

    Debriefing lasted until noon for the diehards.

    Even though conditions sort of sucked, I was glad to have dove again.

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