Early Season Abalone Diving
The ocean forecast was good and the salmon bite too far south for my personal economics so we drove up to Timber Cove on for a go at abalone diving. Timber Cove was not providing boat launching services at that point so we suited up and swam out with our gear. John Scheaf, the guy I was diving with, had a preferred spot so I suggested we dive there. Unfortunately, the normal access to his secret spot was via boat and, of course, we did not have one. This resulted on one heck of a long swim maybe 400 or 500 yards. Notwithstanding, eventually we got there and started diving. It was quite beautiful with just enough kelp to tie off our floats. Later in the season, the kelp grows so thick that it becomes a danger to the divers who must swim down through it to get to the abalone. The visibility was 15 to 20 feet so we could sometimes spot an abalone while resting on the surface. The bigger abalone were notably wiser and were to be found deeper, in small caves, or overhangs among the rocks. In short order we had our limit and began the long swin back to the beach. At the beach, I had to crawl out of the surf because I did not have the energy left to stand up. This was somewhat embarassing until the other John showed up and had to crawl out as well. All in all a great day.