Posted by North Coast Diver on May 19, 2005 at 16:00:12:
In Reply to: Amen posted by Walt on May 18, 2005 at 20:17:33:
Like any beach, Monastery (Carmel River State Beach, South Cove, North End) has flat days and roaring days. There are also days in between.
On the flat days, it can be like diving at a lake. Stroll in, brush your hair back, put on your hood, put on your mask, push off backwards, put on your fins, and swim out.
I have seen tall beautiful women do this and make it look easy.
On roaring days, you stand and listen to the surf, contemplate the power of nature and of Deity, consider the smallness of humankind on the scale of geology, and go somewhere else.
On days in between, it is a matter of getting through the surf zone within the interval that the breaking surf allows you. Whatever you are comfortable with, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, etc.
The main thing then is to have your mask on before your feet get wet, your fins in your hands, to time your entry, move through the water fast, then push off when its deep enough after a few steps and put on one fin quickly and start kicking out with that. When you are positive you are past the short surf zone, put on the other fin too and keep going.
Whether you have your reg or snorkel in your mouth is not going to help you if you get caught in the zone. It will strip you of your tanks and mask and gear and you will be rolling around until someone runs in from shore to help you back out. People have died in that situation. I have seen a person loose her front teeth there while her boyfriend was helpless to assist her because he was getting is rump kicked too. After the ambulance left with both of them we bystanders stacked up their gear for them which we had gathered from the wet sand. August 2000.
If you are one of these people who regardless of what all the training agencies say you still do not have a snorkel with you for diving around kelp, and so you obviously do not know what you are doing, putting your reg in your mouth is probably not a bad idea, but diving somewhere else or even off a boat is an even better idea. But the reg in your mouth is not going to help you, even if that is what your Instroketor told you to do.
If its a flat day you don't need a snorkel or reg in your mouth. And if you have any doubt, then the snorkel or reg is not going to do anything for you, if you go for a roll. Only the people on the beach can help you then. And then, maybe.
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