Took a little break from fly fishing a couple weekends ago and went up the coast with the family for our annual abalone dive trip. Not the best timing seeing as we hit it right on the opener weekend, not to mention the triple (and sometimes quadruple) overhead seas; but what could we do, the boy's in school now and we've become slaves to the public school calendar.
Just a little wave action to prep us for what was to come...
Rained four out of the five days we camped (rained sideways for two of those four days), and the wind howled all day every day.
Stan and Louise braved the rain while we dove, and it shows.
Every river from Reedsport down to Monterey Bay was pumping chocolate milk into the ocean. Even the little dry creek beds through the reservation were raging. Needless to say, the visibility in the water was about 2 feet with patches of 5 to 10 inch visibility near the river mouths... I gotta hand it to Sam though, looking into 25 foot swells and pea green water is not easy to do, especially when it's your first time diving for abalone...
Sam did pretty good except that he kept spitting out his snorkel tube every time he surfaced. He started slow, but I can't blame him, the visibility sucked and he had no idea what he was looking for at first. After his first two or three, he started to find some keepers.
The only thing I like about diving in high seas is that there just aren't as many people in the water... That wasn't really the case last weekend. It's been a long time since I dove on the opener weekend, and I was quickly reminded why. Friday wasn't bad in terms of people, but Saturday was a different story. By the time Sam had pulled his last ab there were about thirty other divers all around us, with more walking in as we were leaving.
We had no problem getting our limits, but other people looked like they were having more trouble. Jenna and the Iversons watched as divers kept getting tossed into the rocks...
A man proud of his bounty.
Sam, now that you've experienced the worst, at least you know it'll only be better next time!
4 days ago