CopyRight @ 1997
These are stories in word and picture of what I think of as dive adventures. I have tried to focus on dives that will be special. While discussing photography, spearfishing, dive tips, dive sites, seafood recipes, safety and some sight seeing (maybe even some skiing or a page of bodysurfing), anything fun, this focuses around the most exciting aspects of diving, especially hunting and exploring. Though sometimes, the adventure and exploring occur before you ever get to the water.
The section on California diving is meant to be a contrast to what is most commonly said about diving. You know, stories about leisurely sight seeing with a buddy in warm water and coral. See a pretty fish and wave at it. Sure, I take pictures of fish, but then I usually try to eat them. Sure, I'm always calm and cautious, but I'm rampaging when I hunt bug. I am not a tourist when under water. I am a denizen. I wrote this largely because most diving is just not like much of what is described here. I am a dive nut, so this is from a dive nuts perspective. It may not even be completely politically correct. This is meant to be about dives and divers that most people don't meet. The divers in California produced their own culture. They were great dives and great divers.
The section on diving outside of California talks more about the challenges of getting to the dive site. It is a bit of a different proposition than in California. These are the kind of places that get only one flight a week, if that. Places like Bikini or Truk are pretty much only visited by divers that are devoted to their sport. These essays speak of their devotion.
Doing a good job of telling a story about diving, in a way that is interesting enough to read on a web site, is a challenge. Some people are going to like the stories, some will miss the splash. I am forming some ideas for some images that would look really good here, but it will take more time. You'll have to drop me a line and tell me how I have done.
It is also really hard to get a diving picture to look good on the net. Most pictures come through darker than they should. I had to play with image preparation to get my pictures to show even decently. I intend to write a page on what I have figured out that works, but at this point, the most important thing seems to be to start with a good flatbed scanner.
There is a fair amount of subtlety to how this is arranged. There is a lot of information and technique dispersed through it, but I try hard not to repeat myself much. For example, I always say how much I like rough water and other nasty places, but only in one place in "A Time To Dive - The Golden Doubloon" do I say why I started doing it.
I will try to do some fair intertidal animal taxonomy in here somewhere. "The Frontside", is my only attempt so far and that is not developed very far. The "Seaweeds and Kelp" page gives a divers eye view of the plants, though there are a few fairly common algae that I have yet to include.
Realize that though this talks about dive trips with great conditions and hunting, these were the best days. There were more days that were not so good. Sometimes, you just smell skunk or in my case, puke.
Oh, seahunt... In the 60's was a television show called Sea Hunt that starred Lloyd Bridges as this intrepid underwater investigator. Some of it was filmed at Catalina and some of it was filmed in the big tank at Marineland. The action consisted of many weird plots thought up by the writers. Relatively innocuous critters became aggressive killers, whenever Mike Nelson needed some adrenalin. The favorite episode, on dive boats that show that kind of thing, is about the Underwater Satellite. This was just after Sputnik. Anyway... Yes, well, I may be dating myself, but I was the right age to think that that was really cool, about the time that show came out. Now, I was too young to dive at the time, but I know that it influenced me later. Really though, that name of this web site was almost a coincidence. I had been using that name as an email logon name long before I thought of this web site, but it sure did seem appropriate. I hope that I can match the spirit of diving that the show had. It might have been a bit hokey at times, but usually it was an adventure. Besides, it was California diving.
In the list of over 160 topics, over 60 links to pages and the rest are topics with no link... yet. I hope that you will not look at this and say that "the site is half empty". There is over 250 pages of text behind the topics that currently have links. The topics with no link yet, are simply reminders to me and something for a reader to look forward to. The present content should take you awhile to read. The pages titled "A Time To Dive" will be the most difficult to finish, because the intent of those pages is to convey what diving was at that time and place. I hope I can do it some justice. At present, some of them just contain information on the boat and its operation.
I hope that you enjoy reading this.