THIS WEEK (Oct. 19-27) AT REEF SEEKERS DIVE
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REEF SEEKERS REPAIR DEPARTMENT
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I have no issues with postponing Fall . . .
GREAT WEEKEND TO GO DIVING - Buck and the Barnacles Busters were over at Catalina on Saturday and Buck tells me they had 100-foot visibility (you may recall I talked a few weeks ago about excellent fall viz) and 71º water temps. The downside of all of that is that the kelp is pretty much non-existent (too warm) and the Sargassum is flourishing in spots. When the water eventually cools down to normal temps that will reverse itself but for now, our kelp forests are thin to say the least. It'll also be interesting to see what happens throughout the winter as they're predicting at least a mild El Nino. That should give us much-needed rain but it may also keep the ocean water temps at a level that makes it tough for the kelp to make a full comeback. I remember an El Nino in the early 90s that also decimated the kelp. But the interesting thing was you got a totally different perspective on dive sites because now there was no kelp to hide topographical features. I remember vividly doing a dive with Dale Sheckler at The Arch at San Clemente and there wasn't a piece of kelp around. That meant you could also see how isolated the dive site was and why it was always covered with fish because there was nothing else close by. So while we don't want to "lose" our kelp, it does offer some interesting dive opportunities.
WE DIDN'T MAKE IT TO FARNSWORTH - Weather had nothing to do with it, although it looks like the swell picked up a bit which might have made Farnsworth a bit iffy. The problem was simply a lack of signups (we only had 3) to make the trip run. And while I'm willing to run a trip now and then at a loss, I can't run them ALL at a loss. So I'm going to be doing some serious thinking over the next few weeks about what we'll be doing in 2015 in terms of local dive trips. I really DO like going out with all of you and I think it's important for local shops to support the dive boats by booking charters. But there also comes a point where fiscal sanity rears it's ugly head. So we shall see. That being said . . .
ASANTE TO THE OIL RIGS DECEMBER 14 - I told Gary Jackson & Kevin Bell that we will run this trip regardless of number of passengers. And the way the conditions have held through mid-October, it's not unreasonable to assume that we'll have one of those spectacular days at the rigs that you'll talk about for years to come. Give us a call at 310/652-4990 to get signed up.
DITCHING WEIGHTS & OVER-WEIGHTING - I won't go into the whole rant again, but as we learn more about the fatalities we've had so far this lobster season, over-weighting and failure to ditch weights seems to have played a factor in at least two of the deaths. And so we'd like to again suggest to you that before you start your next dive, do a real weight-check (which doesn't just mean can you plummet like a stone to the bottom). In fact one thing you can try is to simply take 2 pounds off prior to your next dive. If that seems OK, take off another 2 pounds. Keep doing that each dive until you've taken off 2 pounds too much. Add it back and you're likely properly weighted. And if you get in trouble, whether you're on the bottom or at the surface, don't hesitate to ditch your weightbelt. Provided you're weighted correctly, that should give your flotation at the surface or give you enough buoyancy underwater that even if you pass out on ascent, you'll end up on the surface. And a diver spotted on the surface has a much better chance of being rescued than a diver who's missing on the bottom. But there's another factor to consider too . . .
WHERE'S YOUR WEIGHT? - I got a nice note discussing this from Glenn Fritzler, owner of Truth Aquatics, discussing the weight-ditching issue. (As a sidenote, Glenn tells me the Truth will again be berthed in Long Beach at Rainbow Harbor January- June next year). Glenn points out that they see a lot of people who have weights all over the place. Maybe they have some in their ditchable pockets, a few more in non-ditchable pockets, perhaps there are ankle or tank weights, and you may be diving with a steel tank that's very negative, or a backplate that's very negative. Depending on how much weight you're wearing (again, assuming it's the CORRECT amount of weight for you), ditching a belt or a weight pocket may not be enough. In the "good old days" when we wore weight belts and that's where ALL of our weight was (yeah, I know I'm now a dinosaur), one swipe of the hand ditched the belt and all your weight and that was that. Nowadays, you may have to release two weight pockets, some ankle weights, and other stuff to get positive. And accident analysis and failure analysis would tell us that the more steps you add to do something successfully, the more likely it is you'll skip a step or do something wrong. The point being to expand on what Glenn said, all of this re-distribution of weight may actually be making is harder to ditch weights in an accident, not easier. You shouldn't need an engineering degree and a checklist to be able to ditch your weights. So give some though to how you're diving and where things are, and see if you can make some changes to give yourself a better chance if there's a life-threatening problem.
I guess I just broke my non-rant promise, didn't I . . .
ENDING ON A FEEL-GOOD NOTE - How about a gal who dives down to free a Mobula Ray from a net? I don't have a link to the video on-line other than this gal's Facebook page but it'll bring a smile to your face: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1528853607337835&set=vb.1474921732731023&type=2&theater .
That'll do it for now. Have a great week and let's go diving soon!!!!
Owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.