|Trip Report and Photos: Avalon Harbor Clean Up - 02-24-07|
Posted by Elaine on February 26, 2007 at 23:47:21:|
Event Report and Photos
Avalon Underwater Cleanup
February 24, 2007
Story and Photos © Elaine Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced written permission
What special event was last weekend? The Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup. The one day of the year that we can dive in the Avalon Harbor.
On Saturday morning, I left Long Beach at 6:15 on a Catalina Express. It was a boat laden with dive gear and sleepy divers. (Just keep reading, you will figure out why no one was sleepy for long).
Arrival at Avalon was an easy wake up call. I enjoy going to annual cleanup. It is an opportunely to see friends, have fun, and recharge on the energy exuded by hundreds of like minded recreationalists.
I had a special job. I was a member of the Kayak Patrol. The Kayak Patrol is comprised of a group of volunteers who meet at Descanso Beach, paddle around the corner into the harbor, and try to serve as readily available support to any diver who might need it. I've done this for several years now. Usually I have to walk from the Express landing to Descanso, but this time we got lucky and a van took us there. This is a photo of some of us in the van and pre departure preparations.
My assigned area was at the Casino "dive site". This is what it looked like to me from the Kayak.
I had an enjoyable, and mostly uneventful time. No divers to rescue. My one surprise was someone who popped up in front of me with an old pitch fork. For a minute I thought I'd met Neptune.Yikes, maybe I did.
After the dive was over, it was time to reconnect with friends and get some lunch.
Next, most converged on downtown Avalon for the event prizes, awards presentations, and the lottery drawings.
Some notable faces in the crowd were Dale Sheckler - from California Diving News.
And, "Dr. Bill" Bushing. I couldn't help but notice his unusual method of holding his video camera. He does such great video, who am I to question.... but....ummmm.....go figure.
One of the sociological oddities of this event is the "Crowd Chumming". Fun things like hats, T-shirts, etc. are tossed to the audience. It is seems as much fun for the chummers, as it is for the chumees
A couple of "chummer" shots
And, a couple of "chumee" shots
It is probably one of the things that makes this event so much fun for all age groups. Where else can you stick your hand in the air and maybe something fun will actually land in it?
In the "trash awards", there are too many categories for me to remember off the top of my head. I do remember that "Most Valuable Trash" went to a diver who found a Rolex Watch, no wrist band, that was still working. All trash award winners received a plaque.
The "Jon Hardy Safety Award" went to Derek Smith, the dive safety officer at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Fiona Macfarlane, Doug Iverson, and Mark Tulin - Volunteer Crew members at the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber received recognition plaques for 15 years of service.
And, Jill Boivinm a major organizer of this Clean Up for many years received an award. Good job Jill!.
As usual, there were lots of terrific prizes in the lottery. Dive computers, regulators, trips, dive equipment etc. . The "Grand Prize" - was a super special painted dive tank. I bought some lottery tickets and won a trip for two on the King Neptune out of Avalon. Yipee. Another dive trip, I can bring a friend, and yes, I get to do another "trip report and photos" afterwards.
The President of the Catalina Island Conservancy gave a short speech.
The Mayor of Avalon, Bob Kennedy, also presented a speech. Bob also happens to own and run Catalina Scuba Luv - YES!
The "Silver Tongue" award contestants amused us with their tall tales and lies about their trash. Tim Fitzhugh, the editor of the Sea Divers newsletter, won this award.
The posters for Chamber Day 2007 were publicly displayed for the first time. Both photos were taken in tanks at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Don't forget Chamber Day/Evening is Wednesday May 2, 2007.
Whew, it was a jam packed day. Thanks to the organizers, all of the Prize contributors, and everyone who showed up for the event. Totally awesome.
Until next time........
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