TWARS (This Week at Reef Seekers) - August 2-9

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Ken Kurtis

Reaction score
Beverly Hills, CA
# of dives
5000 - ∞
Conditions, Socorro, Humpback, and more
(please scroll down for details)

With the return of the heat, it was a lovely weekend to go dive . . .

THOUGH POSSIBLY NOT AT VETS PARK - I don't have any first-hand reports but when I looked at the live cam on Friday, there were some HUGE waves rolling in. Saturday looked a little better but still questionable and Sunday might have been OK if you're comfortable with beach entries and timed it correctly. But it also always pays to check out various sites if you're hankering for a shore dive and your preferred site is no good. Just because one site is bad, it doesn't necessarily mean they all are. It depends on the direction in which the beach faces and how exposed it is to the swell. The nice thing about the Palos Verdes area - Vets/Redondo is just north of that - is that if one site is no good, drive a little ways around and perhaps you can find something that's more protected and diveable. Of course, with some sites - like the aptly named Cardiac Hill - there may be a hike involved. Going down isn't too bad. But coming back up . . .

THE AVALON UNDERWATER PARK WAS GOOD, THOUGH - Conditions in the Park have been fairly good lately. We got a late report last week (after we'd sent this out) from John Lumb, Jr., of 70-foot vis and fairly warm water. That's changed a bit for this week. Susy Horowitz just sent us this note about her Sunday diving in the Park: "I saw two BSBs at 50-60 feet in the kelp . . . My computer showed 66º above the thermocline which was at 40'. Below it was probably in the 50s . . . Viz was at least 50-60 feet . . . In town, there were outdoor tables set up along the street for restaurants . . .The (Park) got a little crowded later in the day. Most people didn't wear masks within their groups. It was pretty impossible to realistically stay 6' away from others. In town a lot of people weren't wearing masks . . . Express 25% capacity means 25% boats running. NOT uncrowded boats. Going over a lot of people weren't wearing masks correctly. Coming back the Captain made an everyone better have their mask on right or else announcement."

OUR PLAN - We've got the Park on our sked for August 22 and I really hope that we'll be able to do that. Of course, a lot of this just depends on how comfortable you are in this type of a setting. I'm still a bit on the fence. It certainly seems like Dr. Fauci and the CDC are suggesting that outdoors in fairly safe and there seems to be less concern now about touch contamination. Still, all it takes is one mistake. COVID infection is pass/fail and is not graded on a curve. Personally, I'd like to keep my passing grade.

SOCORRO SPOTS AVAILABLE - As I mentioned in the newsletter, there are still spots available on our Socorro January 14-22, 2021, trip (we'll fly down a day early on January 13 because the airfare is around $300 instead of $800). To be clear, we've filled all 12 spots in our 6 rooms on the boat (which holds 19). Two not-Reef-Seekers folks booked another room and that leaves a 2-person room (twin beds only) and a triple (slightly cheaper) open as of right now. I can grab spots to add to our reservation so if this is something that might interest you, let me know. Given that it's five months down the road, I'm very hopeful that we'll be in a better COVID position than we are at the moment overall.

DAN ANNUAL FATALITY & INCIDENT REPORT AVAILABLE - As I mentioned in the newsletter, this covers dive accidents that happened in 2017. You can download a PDF version for free through this link: DAN ANNUAL REPORTS.

NO MASK, NO PLANE TRAVEL - While some people think "freedom" includes freedom to be a thoughtless jackass, the airlines aren't having any of it. Here's the latest story of a plane turning around and going back to gate, kicking the non-compliant passengers off, and then banning them from flying Delta. Read all about it: WEAR YOUR MASK ON DELTA.

EXPENSIVE LUNCH - Humpback Whales are big. And they eat a LOT of fish. So what happens when a Humpback discovers a salmon hatchery and decides to stop in for a bite? The tab was estimated at $13 million. (Not a typo.) Check out the video. The first two minutes sets everything up and then it REALLY gets interesting: HUMPBACK LUNCH.

And that'll do it for now. Have a great week, stay safe, wear your mask, wash your hands, and let's go diving soon!!!

- Ken

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