Re: Cortez:

Great Dive Trips at Bargain Prices with the Sea Divers

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Posted by tommy on September 14, 2002 at 21:49:31:

In Reply to: Tommy posted by Jack on September 14, 2002 at 07:20:16:

Hi Jack,
What can I say and where do I start??
To put it into perspective this was my 1st trip on a boat to go freediving and we went to some really spectacular places.
We left Ventura harbor @ 9pm Sept.11th aboard the Peace. The sea was up from the recent hurricane and southern hemi swells. Although I don't usually get seasick I drank a beer as we left the harbor and it soon found it's way into the sea. The 1st night was a rough one for everyone and more than once did I think that I would be tossed from my rack onto the floor of the boat. Thursday morning I am not sure if I awoke or was still awake but we had stopped and people were scurying about, so I went up deck and got my gear on. The captain (Eric----great guy) was saying something about the depth and wind and cuurent and be back in two hours...oh yeah we were at Tanner's bank. So all these ppl started jumping off the back of the boat into no-where, I mean no land in site no island no kelp paddy and no bottom! I remembered the words of my dear mom "if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you"? Yeah there we were happily swimming into oblivion. The vis was about 40' the water the most beautiful aqua crystal blur color. I swam a little and started seeing life, first some jacks and then yellowtail about 4 groups of four. I dropped down and got two shots at two fish only to see my spear sink several feet in front of the target. The water was too clear and the fish were bigger than I thought. The waves were also big and the more I bobbed the worse I felt. When I reach the boat I was prety sick. After role call we left Tanner Bank for Cortez. Several guys had a fish and everyone had a story. Some had seen some bluefin tuna and others had seen black sea bass. When we got to Cortez we were happy to sea that the south swell hadn't cut down the kelp. This was more familiar to me but different because of the color of the water and the incredible kelp forest and all the wildlife made me feel like I was in an enchanted garden (please excuse romance) but I was overwelmed. I was sick too and each time I reached the boat I spent some time on the steps trying to vomit but couldn't even do that right. IWhen I was in the water I was focussed on the things around me, like covering some ground and seeing a kelp stalk that wasn't right and looking closer and making out a diver in the middle of it sitting there waiting and watching. As the afternoon wore on I found myself in about 40 feet of water and good vis to the botom where the grass and plants were seemingly blowing in the wind with large redwood like timbers growing strong to the surface and shiny walls of baitfish reflecting the sun's reys... It was heaven on earth, it will stay with me forever! And it was my birthday ;)
After another role call and a shower and some medicine I finally decided that food was ecentual. Wonderful....the more I ate the better I felt and at 6pm I slept. The next morning we were at Santa Barbra Island. It was said that the week before someone had seen the landlord. Well it did not seem to slow anyone down and we were off and swimming. Today I was feeling great and very hungry. I wanted the first dive to end so we could go back and eat breakfast and we did and it was great! Then we were moving to a new location when we spotted a boil of fish birds and seals, so once again we were scrambling to don our gear and get back into the water. after 45 minutes the ponga came around and said to get back to the boat (easy for him to say) as the boat was 300 yards up current. But we all made it back and a couple guys including "squiril-dog" got a yellowtail. The last dive was really cool, I was swimming in about 45' of water w/ 20' vis and decided to dive to the bottom (something most divers were doing reguarly) and when I reached the bottom and sat there for a couple of seconds a 200# bsb came swimming up to me...I think that I could have petted him if I had enough oxygen. The really cool thing was on almost every dive someone or several ppl saw giant sea bass and one diver saw five at once and another diver shot a yellowtail and had a bsb try to save him the trouble of cleaning and eating it.
It was my first trp but not my last. The Boat was great (the vibe between the crew and the captain and divers was A1) The food was top notch and the cook (sorry I never asked her name) is realy sweet!
There were about 21 yellowtail taken out of 21 divers (o for me) in two days of hard diving. Out of the 21 or so taken there wer four guys who got four fish. These guys deserved their catches because these were the guys who had trained for this moment, they did specific exercises and brought the right equipment and mindset to be successful. One guy is Scott Marlow (excuse me but i'm not sure of the spelling)and he made several of the spear guns on the boat. These guns are very beautiful... expensive but excelent craftmanship and very artistic..
The Captain "Eric" reminds me of a movie I saw as a kid of Dizzy Dean a pitcher who couldn't belive he could actually get paid for playing baseball...well this is already way too long.. To the Peace and all the guys (+1girl) who went Thanks! Tommy

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