Posted by Elaine on September 25, 2004 at 21:06:57:
On Saturday September 25th 2004 the annual Chocolate Lobster Dive was held at Cabrillo Beach. The proceeds from this event support the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. This year the funding was directed to the Aquarium Fish Hospital.
This is a huge event. It is attended by hundreds of divers. This is an account of my day.
I arrived very early, 6am. I hoped to figure out how they get the Chocolate Lobsters into the water. I didnít have any luck. They must do it very early in the moring. Soon after I arrived, I ran into my Sea Divers trip report photo mascot Will Lemley. Here is Will giving it his best for the lobster dive. Maybe he was there early to try and spy on the lobster drop off too.
The first order of Chocolate Lobster Dive business is to check in. Next everyone congregates for the dive briefing.
This year we were informed that there were 400 solid chocolate lobsters planted in the water and that the "limit" per diver would be 1 lobster. This is what a "chocolate lobster" looks like. It is sealed in a food preservative bag along with a weight.
Each chocolate lobster also has a number that corresponds to a prize that can be claimed after the dive. This year I decided not to do the actual dive. In the previous three years I had been "skunked" on every dive - I never once found a Chocolate Lobster. I stayed topside and provided some "dive squire" services for friends instead.
After the dive briefing, everyone went to their cars to suit up. The parking lot looked like one huge dive tailgate party. If you are a diver who is thinking about buying a new car, this is a great place to see which cars make the best "dive mobiles".
At 10:00AM everyone gathered on the beach and prepared to enter the water at the sound of the horn.
Lifeguards stood ready, and for a while, there was even a helicopter circling overhead. I donít think that there were any serious incidents during the dive. Most divers found that they could only reach a maximum depth of about 25 feet during this beach dive.
After the dive, entrants showed off their catch. Divers who went over the limit gave their extras to divers who came up empty handed.
Someone even gave me one of their "extras" (thanks Eric), this is the first year that Iíve ever had my own delicious hunk of chocolate and been able to go and claim the associated prize. I guess that being "dive squire" has its rewards.
My "prize" was a certificate for two to enjoy a half day of fishing Aboard the Redondo Special.
Next it was lunch and a chance to visit some of the merchants in the tent area.
The last order of the day was the raffle and the auction. The grand prize for the raffle was a week on a Peter Hughes live aboard in Tobago. The other most coveted prize was a dive kayak. Pictured below are some of the lucky raffle winners.
I didnít make out too badly in the raffle myself. For a small ticket investment I won a spare air, a dry bag, and a certificate to complete a NAUI divemaster program. I think that I only had that certificate in my hands for two minutes before I was told "you know, actually we need a divemaster". Heck, I havenít even gone to school yet and I already have a job! Then, wait a minute - that would mean that I have to stay on the boat - maybe this isnít such a good thing.
This was a really fun way to spend the day. Many thanks to all of the volunteers and sponsors who make this very special event possible.
Until next time:
Story and Photos © Elaine Jobin
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