It’s hard to drive 4, 5 even 6 hours for a weekend of abalone diving, only to find the ocean is so wild only a fool would get in the water.
People diving in storming waters die, or risk the lives of volunteers who’ll do what it takes to rescue someone in trouble – even if they had no business getting in the water.
But sometimes it’s a judgment call… how rough is too rough? And you came all this way…
Not being a diver myself, I was fascinated by this post I found on Spearboard.com’s discussion board:
Fort Bragg report 4/2/10: Well in spite of the forecasts, we decided to head to the coast on the chance that we could get in and get our abs. We hit Bragg at about noon on Friday to rain, wind, and dirty choppy water. We drove down to Van Damm and found it pretty choppy and windy, but diveable. The north side looked pretty rough, but the south side looked a bit better, with waves of around 3′, along with some wind chop. There was a group coming out that said it wasn’t too bad, with vis of about 4′. We hopped in and kicked out to the rock, finding some surge and poor vis, but not as bad as we had feared.
It took use about an hour, including the kick out and back in, to get our abs and the one perch I managed to see, and by the time we got back in, conditions had gotten visibly worse. The rain was also coming down hard and sideways.
We drove to MacKerricher, dreading setting up camp in the downpour, but were happy to see the rain was south of town, and it was barely drizzling up at the park. We set up an ez-up and tarped the sides to keep the wind out, and by the time we were done the sun was actually shining a bit. We took a stroll out to the cove we usually dive, and were glad we hadn’t tried to dive it.
It was windy and cold all night, and poured at some point, but was just cloudy and cold this morning. However, the waves were huge! I drove around the various dive sites and there was no way I would have gotten in anywhere I saw. No ab is worth it. Sure glad we got our little window yesterday.
I’ll post pictures when I get home, but was a pretty storming ab opener… Ron