Saturday, April 27, 2013

Day 6 - A Despiration Dive

The weekend is finally here and the weather has been quite good so far.  In fact, it was so nice today that I decided to brush off all of my spearfishing gear and jump into the ocean in search of some fish.  Brrrrrrrr! Guess how cold? It was a frigid 49 degrees.  That initial plunge into the water sent shockwaves of chills running throughout my body.

It was high tide and the surf had some pretty big waves.
  I jumped in and the chill hit me so hard I had trouble catching my breath.  I knew it was just a matter of time before me wetsuit kicked in and gave my body the warmth it needed but I wasn't prepared for the waves.  I got hit pretty hard a few times and because I couldn't quite catch my breath yet I could not dive under to avoid the crashing waves.  When they hit, they sometimes would knock my mask and snorkel off my face and this made it all the more difficult to compose myself and regulate my breathing.  I didn't feel like I was in any danger yet but it was a struggle to get past the breakers.  I just kept thinking how it was all going to be worth it when I start finding fish.

I eventually got out far enough that the waves were a non-factor and the sea calmed down nicely.  I also started to warm up a bit and this allowed me to regulate my breathing.  I looked up a few times towards the beach and I noticed now that the current was sweeping me down the beach.  I hate when that happens.  No matter what I could do, I was going to end up a few hundred yards down beach from where I started (and left my dive bag on the beach).  There's no sense swimming against the current at this point - it's just an energy drain to do that.

I finally got ready for my first dive after taking some time to compose myself.  With anticipation of seeing some fish, I started my descent.  The water was cloudy at the top but usually clears up as you get close to the bottom.  Well, I went 22 feet down blind as a bat.  It just never cleared up.  I kept looking and looking for the bottom and then "smack" - my speargun tip whacked into a rock on the bottom.  I couldn't even see the rock it hit.  I couldn't even see the end of my speargun 30 inches away.  I've been in low visibility before but this was downright awful!  I tried moving around and looking for better visibility but after about 4 blind dive attempts I had to abort the mission.  I had such grand expectations and I was shot down at every turn.

It REALLY sucks to get in full dive gear and make such an exhausting effort for nothing.  I took some photos and video for what it's worth.  Maybe you will be able to see my struggles,

More clams, asparagus, rice, water.  The asparagus have been nothing short of amazing.  The grow to full size in like a day!  And more are on the way.

We made a cool backyard fire in the pit in the evening and I thought of some ideas in trying to make a survivor style primitive fire at some point in the near future.  I should do one survival tactic each week.  I will work on that.

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