37th Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup design, 2018 winner J. Gurantz
Looking to get out in the water this weekend? Want to combine that opportunity with the chance to raise funds for both the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber and the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies’ Scientific Diving Program? Then make plans to head on over to Catalina this weekend to take part in the the Avalon Underwater Clean Up. This annual event regularly brings together the California dive and scientific community to gather and discover the amazing world that is “Yachtie” trash dumping. You never know what you’ll find, though booze bottles and beer cans will certainly be the majority of it.
You never know what you’ll find. Last Year somebody threw away a perfectly good poodle.
The great thing is you’ll have a chance to help protect and explore a pretty unique ecosystem in Avalon Harbor proper that is almost always off limits to divers while being continually impacted by human actions. The fish you save may be your own.
Follow the link to sign up or get more information on how you can get involved.
There are few things in life that a true Waterman loves more than diving. God, country, and mother do not immediately come to mind. Neither does holding hands nor long, reflective walks on the beach. A dive bar on the other hand is a part of the genetic make-up of every great diver. There is “B-A-R” in their DNA. That’s why I feel like a little piece of me died this week when word came down that the legendary Mermaid Bar in Hermosa Beach has shuttered it’s doors after 70 years.
Smelling of beach sweat and desperation with a decor that probably could give you tetanus just by looking at it, The Mermaid was your one stop shop for ice cold beer and a place to put your feet up and your butt down after a long day on the water. It wasn’t just a smarmy and poorly lit bar either. It was also a place of innovations. There was quarter beer night, dollar pitcher night, and pretty much everyone’s favorite, Blackout night. It was magnificent.
Now I know a lot of you never went to The Mermaid and now, sadly, you never will. I guess the point of this getting all nostalgic and crap is that places like this are where you make memories. Horrible,awful memories. You also make some fun ones as well I suppose but I digress. So let’s say so long to “The Old Maid.” I never figured she’d go out of business. I always assumed she would be torched for the insurance money. Just remember to enjoy your own special dives while you can and then take one last look at The Mermaid.
The main attraction. I think you could get a Flaming Moe here. And Pediculosis.
Bartender Oz with two of most popular things in the place. Greyhounds of course.
This guy is going to need to find a new place to sleep
The “Old Maid.”
Just a reminder that lobster season opens on September 30th. There are some changes in the regulations this year so check them out at the offical DFW site. License and report cards are still needed so don’t wait until the last minute to pick yours up. Also, in a very big change, opening time is no longer midnight. It is now 6:00 am. So go to bed and set your alarms for zero bug thirty.
See you out there.
Somebody looks like they need a hot bath.
An early attempt in the science of creating artificial reefs for Throwback Thursday. Here’s a shot from out in Santa Monica Bay from the late 1950’s showing an abundance of Pile Perch on one of the many artificial reefs created by a variety of groups and municipalities out of a variety of materials during the 1950’s.
When the Red Car Line was phased out of existence in Los Angeles, the old cars were simply pushed into the Santa Monica Bay to create new aggregation spots for recreational fishing purposes. Public transportation’s loss was going to be the oceans gain. Not surprisingly, these artificial reefs didn’t hold up long against the forces of the ocean and are entirely erased from the Bay now. It was however, creative thinking to help enhance the quality of habitat in the Southern California bight.
Earlier this year the California diving community lost a true original as Max Von Klein passed away after a short illness. A NAUI and LA County Underwater Instructor, Max was also the master volunteer at the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber. He was in short one of those guys you met diving that you would never forget. What a lot of people don’t know is that Max was also a quality photographer who wanted people to see what was out there and that it needed to be cherished and protected from overuse. That’s why he left me his slides to share. This is just a sample of what he saw in North County as the “King of the Beach Divers.” Enjoy a few of his shots.
We’ll see you out there.
Just as getting the right gear together for a dive needs to be a deliberate and thoughtful process to ensure a safe and enjoyable outcome, so does picking the right post-dive libations. To help you along to that end, we offer up these three decompression delights from 3 different regions of California:
- Green Flash Brewing West Coast IPA – While it is brewery described as “a tantalizing menagerie of hops. Simcoe for tropical and grapefruit zest, Columbus for hop pungency, Centennial for pine notes,” it’s doesn’t taste as lame hipster as that. It’s actually a nice slow-drink IPA that is surprisingly light despite the 8.1% alcohol content. With it’s grapefruit juice like hue, you can almost convince yourself that you are getting your RDA allowance of vitamin c. You’re not but you won’t mind.
2) Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA – A heralded hop-head from Healdsburg, this Northern California suggestion is the writers favorite. It has a great chew and a big hoppy flavor that drinks like a champ. It is the diver equivalent of Irish-food, satisfying and filling, perfect for a post-dive deco stop with an alcohol content of 7.5%.
3) Firestone Brewery Double Barrel Ale – The old hand on the list, this tasty beer has been brewed on the central coast for almost 20 years. Other craft brews have come and gone but this classic holds up very well and goes down very smooth. A full bodied ale with a great finish, this is the beer you want to crawl into after a boat out to Anacapa or Santa Cruz. With only a 5.0% alcohol content, you have to work pretty hard to do serious damage.
We know you have a lot to choose from when picking a end-of-the-day refreshment and wanted to share with you some of our favorites from over the years. Just remember that any beer shared with dive buddies is a good one. Except for Bud. Bud sucks.
CFD Editorial team hard at work tasting beer so you don’t have to!