Drove down to the LA area with StinkyPete last weekend and met up with my buddy Alí who lives down in Brentwood. If you think I sound crazy with all my insane online ramblings, just give Alí a few minutes.
Anyway, Alí has almost no experience freediving or scuba diving in California, but like a champ came out with us anyway. Pete, thank you for allowing us to commandeer the extra kayak in your garage that had already been sold.
Like the bumbling fools we are we found an area with no parking for an almost midnight kayak launch off a beach with chest high breakers. The launch did not go smoothly, the handle on Pete’s yak snapped and Alí was immediately rolled by a wave. I helped Alí get his kayak past the beakers and Alí helped Pete keep the yak straight while he punched through without a front handle to lift the bow over the waves.
We had initially intended to tank dive due to a healthy respect not of the ocean but of oblivious LA boaters. Unfortunately minutes before arriving at the launch we realized that only one tank was adapted to accept a yoke connection, Pete who provided the tanks prefers DIN. As a result I freedove.
Once arrived at the breakwall, I hopped in anchored everyone’s kayaks together and then used both hands to give Alí and Pete the finger before reminding them that they were on their own and see you in a couple hours. I dropped down into the surging blackness and found nothing but sand, it occurred to me that I would need to get much closer to the breakwall to find the structure that lobster inhabit. I dove a couple hours and after successfully grabbing a couple bugs my anxiety and fear of failure abated. After two hours of dropping down 30′ into blackness, hugging the wall to avoid the power boats, and screwing up on easy lobster grabs I had captured 6 and the guys were flashing me their lights for me to return to the kayaks. Alí had hardly dove and wasn’t feeling well, Pete had burned a tank but like myself had seen mostly shorts, still he had not returned empty handed. We paddled back this time looking for a boat ramp around the corner from the beach from which we had launched. Wow the ramp would have been much easier if we had just started there. We unloaded and a rather rude parking supervisor informed us we weren’t allowed to be parked even to load our cars at 3:30am. He then told us about the fines we would receive for the lobster we had caught explaining that just last week the DFW had been citing people. Apparently he wasn’t too well informed about the rules and the season for lobster, we politely ignored him and took our sweet time loading, lol.
The next day we attended a lobster opener party in Malibu at Bill Erhnst’s house. Josh, his wife Leslie, Rob’s wife Brenda, and many other’s were in attendance. Bill’s house was impressive to say the least, an entire side of the house full of first place plaques, beautiful gyotaku work, and massive white sea bass mounts. The amazing food spread and lobster cook off didn’t hurt either. But my favorite part I think was the urinal in the bathroom next to the kitchen, hahaha.
After the party we went straight back to the breakwall, and although the surge had picked up we proceeded to crush it once more. Pete did much better this night, Alí enjoyed himself, and I found a limit in only two hours of freediving. During the dive I saw large sleeping sand bass and a horn shark. Not having my spear with me but still wanting the sand bass I snuck up on him and grabbed at his head, for a second I had him pinned against the sand with my fingers pinching his eyes, it didn’t last and he wiggled free. On another drop I saw three decent sized lobster, I grabbed one spooking the bug next to him, with my right hand occupied and my left holding the flashlight I swam over to the third bug and closed in with the flashlight at the last minute I dropped it and grabbed the bug, success!!!
It was a lot of fun night diving and we didn’t get much sleep during the weekend, but lobsters were taken and the trip went down as a success in my book. Can’t wait to go back.