Posted by seahunt on January 03, 2005 at 21:23:14:
In Reply to: anyone have a point dume pinnacles story? (strong current) posted by scott gietler on January 03, 2005 at 13:49:58:
I know that current well. The long shore current along Zuma Beach really gets whipping at Point Dume. A lot of times if you go say 11:30 or 12:00, it may reverse direction some. Either way, you had better be ready for any exit, rock or sand because of that wicked current..
It is so cool to get into those pinnacles. I liked riding between them, sometimes 40 feet below the tops. You can see anything out there including the blue sharks and molas. The water can be amazingly blue there.
Still, those currents. They made for one of my most memorable dives ever and it was both currents and real strong Santana winds. It's probably not a case showing my best judgement, but I used to dive there weekly and had swam out of many currents. This time the currents were strong from different directions and things sort of just came together right.
My buddy Kevin and I went out from Pirates cove there, taking a large surf board and an innertube along for floats. We swam for a long time, but just got blown up the beach.
We went out again with the inner tube. We weren't that far from shore and we were already fighting the water. I told Kevin I would be right back. I went straight down to 30 feet and grabbed a 7 pound lobster out in the middle of the sand. If you think that a bit unusual, that was nothing compared to what followed. I've been called a liar for telling this story and I know why, but I'll tell it again and realize that at the time, about age 19, I could free dive over 100 feet.
I showed the lobster to Kevin. It was pretty good for a 2 minute dive, but it was getting nasty and we were getting blown from and along the shore in rough water. I told Kevin that I would take the gear and he could go in. I'd follow. So I had an inner tube with flag, a short spear gun, 3 goody bags and this mondo high school metal shop milled pry bar. Also a pretty good wind. I must have been blown somewhere over the canyon. I was re-arranging the gear when I dropped the lobster bag. I went down and found it immediately. I was at 180 feet by my ScubaPro capillary depth guage, but right next to the lobster was the biggest dungeness (I think) crab I had ever seen, so I grabbed it and went for the surface. ... It gets better...
I then was way offshore and needed to get my act together. I was afraid of having that huge crab on my belt in a mesh bag. I put the goody bags into each other and re-attached them to the float, badly. They fell and I made a lunge, but my fin came off my foot. I got my fin on, grabbed my regulator and went down. At the sand I saw nothing and my gauge said 180 feet again. I didn't know that much about narcosis, but I sure could dig that tunnel vision. Plus, a diver by habit swims towards the dark spot in the distance that should be the reef. In this case, it was the deep that was the dark. The sand slope of the canyon is steep. I swam fast. I looked at my gauge and said "go up or die".
Conditions were no better at the surface, but without all the extra gear I made it to shore OK on the west side of the cove. Kevin was there. he said that he had seen the float going south and was about to get the lifegaurds when I showed up right off shore.
I think I am reminded of why I respect currents so much.
So? Even I have questions about this dive. Was it as deep as I thought? Capillary gauges are accurate enough. I was past narced and that usually effects me mildly. First question is whether the water is deep enough. In the canyon it is, but how did I get there exactly. I should have been north of it.
The other thing about all that. It was all done with a single steel 72 tank.
Enjoy the diving, seahunt
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