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Posted by Eric S on May 15, 2004 at 23:43:24:

Take a sip of whatever you're drinking and follow me on this little trip...

You wake up, the air is cool and clean. You're staring at the roof of nylon that has become your home for the next 4 days. It is 6:30 in the morning and dawn has begun. You can hear people in their camps start to stir. You get up and get your clothes on and poke your head out of your tent. You see a little rabbit in the grass across from the camp and the birds are chirping almost to a deafening tone. The esspresso is on and a great breakfast is on the grill. Pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, fresh fruit. The camp already has people milling around. "Hey Dude! Mornin'", someone calls and you shoot a grin back that says "This is sooooo cool!"

After some eats you get down to the beach with your gear and a big bald guy in a dory yells "Hey man, come on, Colby ain't gonna wait all day"
You get on board and wonder, who the hell is Colby? The pirate flag is up and you take a big deep breath of that crystal clean northern california salt air.
When the boat gets to Colby reef and you jump in and get your butt down that line and take a look you realize what "Colby" is!
35 feet to 150, and all of it in between.
There is food taken. Scallops to be had, and a BIG ling. Yes hunting is allowed up here and at this party this is what it's all about.

You get back to the camp and have a quick lunch. The ocean calls and you can't wait to get back in. There's a guy at the beach who rents yaks and it seems he has one saved just for you. You eagerly paddle out to the outer reefs to freedive for abalone. As soon as you make your first dive you are overcome by the diversity in sealife, almost like no one else has ever dove this spot before. You are hipnotized for a moment and it feels like hours. Your freedives are effortless and it is as if you could stay at this spot for ever. You get your abs with ease but continue to dive because you just can't leave yet. The shear beauty of this place almost brings you to tears.
In 3 days you must head back south and suck smog and battle traffic once again so you don't want this glimps of paradise to ever end.
As you paddle back to the beach you notice some caves to your left that are accessible by kayak so you just can't help yourself.

Once back at camp, everyone is there from their dive day with stories to tell. The grills are starting up and the garlic is getting chopped. The echo of ab pounding is heard throughout the entire campground. Beers are being popped and the party is starting.
Scallops are searing in hot pans being flipped by gourmet chefs. Fish is being filleted and Abalone in being prepared ten different ways with exotic sauces and seasonings. The absolute best local wines are uncorked as this is a very special event, afterall it is the NORTH COAST PARTY (did I mention this is ground zero for the best wines in the world bar none? and many are limited private reserve that are only available at the winery.). While it seems that such an event would only be reserved for for the elite, actually not, anyone is welcome!

After an award winning feast the evening proceeds to the fire pit where a huge bon fire accompanies dive tales and stories of cool dives that you would NEVER get in any dive magazine.

You retire into your nylon house with a pleasant heat on and think about how cool the days diving will be. God don't let this end!!

Come to the 4th annual North Coast Party, August 5 thru 8th 2004
At Van Damme State Campground way up in Northern California.
Call Eric at (707)538-1276 if you want more info

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