Posted by Patrick on September 19, 2009 at 21:30:40:|
The turnout this morning for the Santa Monica Pier UW cleanup was pretty good. I’d estimate that perhaps 35 or 40 divers showed up. The surf was maybe 3- to 4-foot with long calms between the sets. Phil and Merry showed up but decided that today was their day for lawn bowling or maybe it was rolling rocks up the cliffs in PV.
Since I lost my buddies, I found another, a young lady – Mary-Beth - to accompany me on the trash dive. We were the second buddy team in the water and the entrance was very easy. Vis on the swim out, over sand dollar-carpeted white sand was, was maybe three feet. Once in the shadow of the pier, vis was basically zero between the lack of light and the sediment stirred up by the surge. None the less, holding hands with my comely buddy, we began the hunt for environmental trash. Though I had no real problem with the hand-holding on this dive (I mean she was quite attractive) it wasn’t something I’d usually do, but the folks at Eco-Dive (who were running the event) insisted that I come back with the same buddy I left the beach with or there’d be big problems. And given the state of the world, who needs more problems.
In a short time we settled into a hell of an effective trash collecting team. Because of the hand holding deal, each of us only had one hand to snag litter; I used my left, she used her right, and I carried the oversized commercial goody bag. Plastic, plastic, plastic… In all forms from beach toys to (the majority) plastic grocery bags to various plastic bottles, a fair amount of Monofiliment line with the attendant hooks and sinkers went in the bag too. My find of a couple of very nice fishing poles somewhat curtailed my trash-gathering mode, but not by much. Vis for the whole dive was pretty much zero with momentary clearing on some of the surges opening up to as much as 2-feet!
Because of the limited vis we called the dive when Mary-Beth hit 750 PSI. The trip back in to the beach was a whole lot slower as I was dragging about 40-pounds of mostly plastic trash behind me. That drag actually came in handy when we got in really shallow water. Once on the beach, we were a bit surprised to find that we were the last pair in even though we’d had a relatively short 46-minute dive. Apparently every other team had decided the conditions were a bit more than they were willing to endure, and called their dives very early. I was really surprised when Mary-Beth complimented me on my excellent navigation in such poor conditions. I just stood there for a second amazed – I told her I thought SHE was navigating. After all, I was carrying all the trash… ;)
It wasn’t the best dive ever, but we were productive.
Thank you Mary-Beth it was great fun.
Thanks also to Ron and the crew at Eco Dive Center and the folks at Heal the Bay.