A somewhat memorable Thanksgiving day Dive

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Posted by seahunt on November 22, 2000 at 13:50:15:

I don't even remember this Thanksgiving dive perfectly, but
there were some memorable moments, so I'll put it to pen (so
to speak).
Baby John and I went to the north side of Leo Carillo beach, at
the north end of Malibu, just before you get to the LA / Ventura
county line. It was a cold and slightly rainy day, but we
were about 17 and didn't generally notice cold.
I have to give a tiny bit of background to explain this. Baby
John was a special kind of diver. 'Baby', was 'Baby' as in
'Baby Huey'. John was a fantastically enthusiastic diver,
with a more child like demeanor than even I have. He was
dangerous at any depth and did much to cure me of buddy diving
including almost spearing me twice and trying to get us both
a DCS hit. They eventually found him on the bottom and after
three days in a chamber, told him not to dive anymore... Now,
to be honest, I was pretty sketchy at that age myself. This
was sort of a case of dumb and way dumber. I hope that gives a
bit of an idea of what was to come.
We first entered near the finger reefs at the south end of
the north beach. He had a speargun and I was just going to
look for bugs. We were using an innertube float for some
reason and it took him about 45 minutes to get geared up and
then we floundered around forever in the water with him having
gear problems. There was some wave action, but nothing big.
Eventually, we went back to shore and he exchanged his 3 band
speargun for a pole spear. Again, after too much time, we got
into the water, except this time for some reason, we were
bringing out a surfboard as a float.
We got down in 20 feet with maybe 20 feet of vis. It's a
pretty dive with lots of perch, bass and other smaller fish.
There are lots of invertebrates in the rocks. I saw a few
small lobsters, but nothing special. Then, out in the open on
the sand between some rocks, is this big flatty. This halibut
was over 30 pounds easily. Well, Johnny is in front of me
with his pole spear. Now this fish is a bit big for a pole
spear, but if shot well and pinned carefully, it could have
been taken. No way was Johnny going to shoot it, so I figured
what could I do. I moved up and was going to stab it with
my ab iron. Luckily, it left, cuz I was going to stab it in
the back and I would have almost certainly gotten chewed up
for it .
Well, on we go, no Lewis and Clark, but a couple of guys
having a fun dive.
Did I say that this was actually a cold rainy day and
that I was in my $10 dollar swap meet special beaver tail
wetsuit? When I finally came up, I was just a bit chilly. We
had been out diddling for 3 hours or more. I was coming in
on the surfboard and was about 120 feet from shore when a
large sea lion just popped his head up right in front of me.
He looked at me like he wondered what my problem was. After
a few seconds, he dropped straight back down with basically
no ripples. I was so cold that it could have just been a
hallucination. I looked again to make sure it had really
even been there and confirmed that there was a little ring of
foam where he had gone down. It was time to get in a warm car
and head home for turkey.
Ah, for those carefree days of youth with too much time on my
Happy Thanksgiving, seahunt

There are more and better stories like this at http://www.diver.net/seahunt

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