2nd Annual North Coast Vandamme Party

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Posted by Eric S on June 08, 2002 at 21:54:17:

Well, it's less than 2 months to the N.C. Party so I wanted to give one more heads up. This will be the last post about this event so if you are going or are interested in going, WRITE IT DOWN!

Date: August 1st thru 4th, 2001.

Place: Vandamme State Park Campground, Mendocino Co. Ca.

How to get there: Go north on hwy 101 through Santa Rosa and continue north till you get to Cloverdale. From Cloverdale go west on Hwy 128 to Boonville/ Mendocino. This is a spectacular drive through forest then higher valleys then through the redwoods.
When you get to hwy 1 head north about 5-6 miles to Vandamme State Park Campground (well marked). There will also be a beach parking lot to the left on the ocean side that allows overflow RV parking if the campground is full.

For reservations go to reserveamerica.com and follow the links.

I will be getting to the campground on thursday the 1st.
I am going to try and get one of the lower campsites so that I am easy to find, can set up the homebase, and also have easy access to the beach. I suggest you try and get in the same area for convenience. It is the first set of sites to the left as you go through the gate. I will place a small sign in front of the camp with "DIVER.NET" and "FREEDIVELIST" on it so you know where I am.

My list of activities that I will provide:
Friday night: Eric's Beer battered fish / seafood and chips. I will bring all the burners, pots, oil, and batter. Most likely I will also have plenty of Abalone in case someone just arrives and does not have time to dive. Those that are already there can dive with me during the day to collect the dinner. Deep fried seaweed, mmmm.
Bring your own drinks.

Saturday night: Fancy ab recipe cookoff -and- Wierd thing from ocean eating contest.
This is where everyone cooks their best ab masterpiece and presents it buffet style at the party. While we dive that day we also get something completely unusual from the ocean (edible) and initiate the newcomers with the now famous Wierd Thing Eating Contest. This is a fun one! Last year the garlic sauted Black rock fish eye balls stole the show. Big and crunchy with liquid filled center, yummy.
Recommended: Bring some good wine of your liking. There are some fantastic wineries along the way in Anderson Valley around Boonville.

If you have a boat: Albion is in very poor shape these days and in terrible need of dredging. unless it is very high tide I do not recommend launching from there.
Instead I will be going ten miles north to Ft. Bragg to launch my boat. It is a very good FREE public launch facility and tides do not affect it. I know it"s further, but it's worth it.
To get there: Continue north on hwy 1 till you get to the hwy 20 turnoff to the right. (Mc Donalds on the corner) Turn right onto hwy 20 and go about 1000 feet and turn left on harbor drive. When you get to the bottom of the hill go right and follow the signs to the public ramp. We can arrange vehicle pick-ups later.
Small inflatables can be dragged accross Vandamme beach and launched right there.

During the day: There is plenty of good shore diving to be done all up and down the coast. If you like to kayak dive there is some world class kayaking with tunnels through he rocks in several locations around Vandamme and some great tank dives just off shore.
I seriously recommend getting Bruce Watkins' A divers guide to Northern California, published by california diving news.

Every morning the best bet is just to show up at my camsite if you don't know where to go and we can make a plan, or, make recommendations on where you can go if you want to be independent..
Dive shops: Sub Surface Progession on hwy 1 right at the south end of Ft. Bragg. Nitrox down at the harbor. They also have kayaks for rent.

Any one going (even if I know you're going) please e-mail me or call (707) 538-1276 and let me know so I can keep track for how much stuff to bring.

Of course volunteers are always welcome for setting up. cooking, helping me get rid of all that beer, etc...
giving me a ride back to the harbor to pick up my van?


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