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Posted by Eric S on August 25, 2000 at 21:54:16:

In Reply to: Editors Sea Ranch Trip 2000 - My Version - Part 2 posted by seahunt on August 25, 2000 at 19:54:19:

With the ab float, I use a small anchor and a line on a winding handle to keep my ab float in place. If I want to check out a real rough area where few dare to dive, I use a game hook strung through a clorox bottle which I have a 20' line attached to. If need be I can hang on to the line while I take a dive, or tie it off on something and I know my rig will be there when I get back up. The advantage of this set up is that there is a lot less air space bulk to get picked up and blasted into shore if a big set of sleepers was to come in.
I once almost got my arm torn off my body trying to hang on to a tube when a 10' sleeper snuck up on us and ripped my tube out of my hand, tearing the handle off. My partner got slammed upside down onto a rock so hard that it knocked the wind out of him, leaving him laying upside down dry docked a huge wash rock floundering like a big beached whale. The next wave to come in was about a 12 footer. Neither he or I had time to do anything about his situation. When I saw this one coming I forgot about everything and dove straight down. This wave hit with such force that it blew my buddy right off the rock, down over the other side, and stripped his fins right off his feet! When it was all over and I came up and couldn't find him. I was panicked! After a few minutes of searching, I saw him sitting on a rock, waving. My float was gone,> back at shore somewhere, and the ocean had calmed back down to the normal 4' to 6' swell that we had started the dive with. When I got over to my buddy he said " That was fun, now let me borrow your fins so I can get my damn abs!" the whole episode was just a minor inconvenience to him! Boy I'll tell you, Mike's a tough old salty SOB and at 60 years old (diving for 45 of them) he's got some tales to tell.
On the North coast this is what we deal with on a regular basis. I have never seen such unpredictable sneaker waves anywhere else, especially on a really low tide when there is not much of a water layer to carry the swell into shore further before it breaks. The best way to deal with this kind of ocean is not to fight it. Just let it take you where it wants to go. Learn to use swell and surge to your strategic advantage. Or, just don't dive on days like that. However if you do that, your not going to get wet to much, at least not up here.

Have fun gettin' them "hogs"!

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