Monday, September 8, 2008

Lots of divers, no actual diving

Not for me anyway.

Sunday was supposed to be another dive day at Vet's Park in Redondo Beach.

Manfriend and I got to the parking lot by 8:30.
We checked the surf and, since it looked no worse than the week before, decided to gear up and head down.

I am definitely getting faster with getting my gear together and getting into the wetsuit, etc.

Once we were both ready to go, we headed down the stairs to the sand.

Yep. It looked less surfy than the week before. The waves were crashing at waist high instead of head and shoulder high. There was a fair amount of surf, but since it was shallower, I felt fine with it.

The plan was to get out past where the surf was breaking, get the fins on and swim out.

I made it out and got one fin on while I was in a place where I could still touch bottom.
I was about to put the other fin on when MF, who had just passed the surf zone, raised his hands.

In one hand he had his fins. In the other hand, he had his camera... Oh wait...
No he didn't.


Crap, crap, crap.

Somehow in wading through the waist high waves, the camera had slipped from his hand and was nowhere to be seen.

The water-tight housing is clear, but with a lot of red all over it. And it is supposed to float.

We figured it would pop up.
It did not.

I took off the fin and we waded back to shore.

Scanning the shore and surfline we saw no sign of the camera.
In order to look for it, we dumped our BCs, tanks, weights and fins in the sand.
Back in the water with masks and snorkels, we tried to find the camera.

No luck.

All I saw was sand swirling around. Visability was bad, even in waist-high water.

Surf was still breaking, churning things up pretty good.

No camera.
And I was getting dizzy from looking through the mask at swirling sand.
We swam out a little further, past the surfline.
Still nothing.

Back on the sand we walked up and down the shore a little bit.
Still nothing.

Finally, MF decided that it was just gone.
Which totally sucked.

As he said, it's not that it was all that expensive of a camera. But the camera combined with the housing combined with the memory card, well that added up.

Not to mention the pictures on the card that he had not downloaded yet.

So, with that, and with the waves now picking up and me not feeling good anymore about making a dive, meant that we were done.

We rinsed off as best we could. Setting the gear in the sand meant that it was extra sandy and would require thorough soaking and cleaning later.

Back in the parking lot we got cleaned up and changed and packed everything back in the car.

Then we decided to go back to the shore to give one last look for the camera.

We saw nothing near where we had gone in the water.
Turning to the north, we saw a few divers coming out.

These people were hard-core. They had three tanks on their backs and one guy had another tank at his side. I wondered where they had been with all that air.

Then, just as I was ready to turn back toward the stairs, one of the divers held up a camera.

It took a second to register. It was MF's camera.


MF asked the guy, "Hey, where did you find that camera?"
The diver, who we later learned was named Jeff, said he had found it out well past the surf zone bobbing in the water.

Amazing. They came in a bit north of where we had gone in.

Lucky day for MF.
All the little crevices of the housing were pretty well crusted with sand. But the camera inside was intact and dry. Excellent.

After this little bit of good fortune, we headed back to the car and then to Old Marineland site (Long Point) to meet up with another group of divers who were barbecuing in honor of a couple of birthdays.

Some shrimp with a simple season and then grilled and
the pork tenderloin that I marinated all night before this. Yum!

My contribution, a cous cous salad and a couple of these pork tenderloins to throw on the grill.
Oh yeah, and beer and the fixing for some tasty screwdrivers.

Korean ribs and shrimp, in progress. There were two grills working
and plate after plate of meat: shrimp, beef, chicken, pork, sausages... Protein overload!

The feast also included Korean-style beef short ribs, kimchee, rice, hot links and shrimp.

It was a nice day to hang out, but after a couple hours it was getting warm and we had another party to go to.

More on that one later.

Right now, I have to get back to my household chores.


Psycho Solo Diver said...

How can you lump a real charcoal barbecue and an outdoor stove together and just say "There were two grills working?"

That's like calling a can of Old Milwaukee's Best and a bottle of Samuel Adams "two beers."

You also need to develop more debriefing stamina. Two hours is just not enough time.

But you do have the food part down and thanks to your vodka, it brought out Ed's Marine personality. You missed that part.

Jill said...

OK. Next time I will give proper credit to the real charcoal barbecue.
I was going for expediency.
I apologize for cutting corners.

And I have plenty of debriefing stamina. But I had another party to go to that afternoon. I had to conserve a bit for the long drive to Placentia.

Sorry to have missed Marine Ed. I will try to stay longer next time. But I might need to buy more vodka.