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Saturday, June 27, 2009
Even though the swells were up and visibility was zero, I decided to poke around in the shallows. The sun was out and the weather was too nice and the cove was too pretty to not get in the water.
Unfortunately the visibility was so bad I could not even effectively employ the OMT (Old Man Technique). Instead I was forced to use the braille or BST ( Blind Squirrel Technique *) - just feeling around the rocks looking for something that felt like an ab. No luck. After about an hour the rising tide and growing swells sent me to shore.
That's where I found this perfect sea-washed and polished 4 point deer rack pictured at the top of the post. Not sure what I am going to do with it, but I like it. Maybe something to hang my hat on.
*Yes, Don - The BST is as applicable in Ab hunting as it is in golf skins.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I was craving abalone, but did not want to go through a complete abalone fry production. The smaller 7.5 inch abalone was more than enough for a nice sashimi plate, and enough abalone ceviche to last for a couple days as a side dish and snack.
This is the recipe I used as I guide:
1 pound abalone steaks
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1/4 cup green chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 drops Tabasco sauce
1 lime, thinly sliced
fresh coriander sprigs
Pound abalone lightly, then slice into thin strips about 1 inch wide and 1 1/2 inches long. Place in a small glass bowl. Mix together lime juice, oil, chili sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, sugar and Tabasco sauce. Pour this mixture over abalone and mix well. Cover and chill about 4 hours or overnight. At serving time, spoon into an abalone shell or scallop shells and garnish with lime and coriander sprigs. Makes 16.
This was about an hour after low tide. It got worse as the tide came up. I expect conditions to be similar at low tide tomorrow. My take: There will be no actual diving in the cove, but there is an opportunity to pick around the area of the usual rock for 45 minutes either side of the low.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Doug asks "Have you ever dived around that rock?" "No." I reply.
"Shame on you." he says.
I think I may be ahead of myself. Lets start a little earlier. Doug and I arrived at the cove and were checking out conditions.... We were several hours after the low tide. Wave action was not bad, but an occasional big swell would hammer the cove. Watching one, Doug says "Those will be increasing this afternoon, and that's all we'll see the rest of the month."
A mud line in the water bisected the cove. On this side: brown water and no visibility. On the other side: bluish water, and better(but not great) visibility. "It'll take us five minutes to kick over to the rock. I'll meet you over there." By the time I got my gear on and in the water, he was diving the rock and had his first ab.
He was right. It took five minutes of easy kicking. But I am still ahead of myself.
Earlier in the day I arrived at Sea Ranch, grabbed my gear, and drove to Doug's place. My regular dive buddies had flaked out. Doug is a local, a trophy ab diver, and has been living, working and diving in the area for more than 20 years. He said he would dive with me. I am not sure why. Doug and his wife run a thriving business. He had two appointments before I arrived, and three scheduled after our dive. I had a beer and a nap scheduled after the dive.
This is his Ab and fish cleaning station. It makes Zach's look somewhat... inadequate.
These are some of Doug's trophy 10" plus abs.
These are some of the abalone pearls he has found over the years.
Turns out you have to carefully feel through the abalone guts to find these. God knows how many we have thrown away.
Anyway, back to the cove. Doug got his limit on 9" abs. He needed some for a family barbecue. Like me was looking for meat, not trophies. After getting his limit, he dove along a the base of the rock and came up saying he had never seen anything like this before. When a twenty year trophy ab diver says that, you take note. Now, I am not saying exactly what he saw, but I asked him to go back and take a picture with my Olympus Stylus 1030 SW. This is a picture of what he saw:
Well... more accurately, this is what happens if you take an underwater flash picture in very low visibility conditions. We'll need to come back for a proper photo in better conditions.
The big swells were hitting more frequently, so caution being the better part, we called it a day. Doug was back up the hill and off to his afternoon appointments. I was a bit more lesurely and enjoyed a apres dive Red Seal Ale. And a nap. It was a great dive, and I learned some useful new things about diving the cove.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Pliny the Elder
... and begin planning the Fall Shag Lake trip. I think Sean wants to retrieve his bottle of The Audacity of Hop.