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Sea Urchin Diving 1979-1983

http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/002/cache/kelp-catalina-island_255_600x450.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             1979, canadian pharmacy viagra I began the greatest adventure of my life. Canadian pharmacy viagra For four years I dove Click here: Sea Urchins off the California Coast. Canadian pharmacy viagra I had fished commercially for 3 years prior to that time on the east coast. Canadian pharmacy viagra I started out fishing from Gloucester, canadian pharmacy viagra MA I began fishing Sea scallops on scallop Dredge boats as first a hookup man then a winchman for 3 years. Canadian pharmacy viagra We fished mainly Georges Banks and sometimes the Phebbenes. You may have heard of Georges Banks from the movie, canadian pharmacy viagra Perfect Storm? Three years and they were mostly years fishing scallops but I also fished on longline boats, canadian pharmacy viagra drag boats for shrimp and fluke, canadian pharmacy viagra (types of bottom fish similar to flounder)and black cod in Alaska. Canadian pharmacy viagra But that is another story. Urchins are considered a delicacy in Japan and are also eaten in other parts of the world. Canadian pharmacy viagra An urchin has 6 rows of eggs called uni in Japanese. Canadian pharmacy viagra They are invertabraes, canadian pharmacy viagra covered in spines and cling to the bottom of the ocean floor. Canadian pharmacy viagra They eat kelp. Canadian pharmacy viagra Urchins vary in weight and size. Canadian pharmacy viagra California urchins probably ranged between 1/4 pound to 1 and 1/2 pounds. Canadian pharmacy viagra At that time urchins brought a market price to the boat between 20 and up to possibly 30 cents a pound depending on quality and other factors. A good diver could pick 1000 to 2000 lbs of urchins in a good day at the channel islands and 500 lbs was a pretty fair day for the coast. Canadian pharmacy viagra Divers used what is called a hookah rig or hose which was usually 300 feet long or more. Canadian pharmacy viagra A compressor on the boat supplied the compressed air and through the hose or hookah, canadian pharmacy viagra the same principles of physics applied as if you were diving with bottles. Canadian pharmacy viagra We used 3/8 inch wetsuits. The best sea urchins are usually found in the thickest kelp ... Click here: kelp cutter Sea urchins are considered parasites to kelp cutters and can wipe out fields of kelp. Canadian pharmacy viagra Kelp is a very big industry and harvested for many uses. There are a couple types of tools used to pick urchins. Canadian pharmacy viagra They are basicly designed to keep the divers hand far enough away from the urchin to keep the diver from getting spined while he is in the process of picking. Canadian pharmacy viagra Invariably everyone was spined now and then primarily in the knees, canadian pharmacy viagra when starting out. Canadian pharmacy viagra I once drove a spine under my thumbnail to the bottom. Canadian pharmacy viagra It did not start to hurt until I came up from under the pressure. Canadian pharmacy viagra At 60 feet you are under a great deal of pressure and you have 3 lungfuls of pressurised air in your lungs, canadian pharmacy viagra which means if you surface quickly and hold your breath, canadian pharmacy viagra your lungs will explode in a very short period of time. Canadian pharmacy viagra We usually dove under 100 feet and tried to follow the dive tables by at least, canadian pharmacy viagra starting out deep, canadian pharmacy viagra and working in shallow to keep from getting bent or decompression sickness Click here: The Bends A metal hoop with a net suspended from it was used to collect the spineballs. Canadian pharmacy viagra An inner tube was used as a float bag and these bags could have anywhere between 200 to 500 hundred pounds in them. Canadian pharmacy viagra It is quite an art to learn how to navigate a 300 lb plus bag of urchins through kelp that is sometimes 3 foot deep. Canadian pharmacy viagra Once at San Nicholas Island I picked one bag of sea urchins that weighed 998 lbs. Canadian pharmacy viagra when it hit the dock. Canadian pharmacy viagra It took 2 float bags to get it to the surface. Canadian pharmacy viagra Much of the weight is lost during transportation because the urchin releases it's water. Diving the Channel Islands is absolutely amazingly beautiful and a lot of the time visibility is terrific. Canadian pharmacy viagra The coast, canadian pharmacy viagra however, canadian pharmacy viagra was usually murky. Canadian pharmacy viagra The many varied types of aquatic life is undescribable. My first day of diving urchins went some thing like this. Canadian pharmacy viagra I dove to about 35 or 40 feet and there was maybe 6 inches of visibility. Canadian pharmacy viagra A strong surge made it seem like I was in a washing machine. Canadian pharmacy viagra I was disoriented and felt very uncomfortable, canadian pharmacy viagra so I went up to the boat and dropped my picking tool. Canadian pharmacy viagra The rest of the day was spent looking for my picking tool and prying urchins of the rocks with adiving knife. Canadian pharmacy viagra Most of the time I was wrapped up in kelp, canadian pharmacy viagra disorientated and a few times ended up in my picking bag. At the end of the day I had picked about 50 lbs of urchins and made 5 dollars. Canadian pharmacy viagra I was exhausted and discouraged. The next day I dove on another boat and did not fair much better. Canadian pharmacy viagra We were diving for Sea Agar, canadian pharmacy viagra a type of seaweed. Canadian pharmacy viagra We were diving right off the breakwater in very shallow water and with a very strong surge, canadian pharmacy viagra like a washing machine. Canadian pharmacy viagra Things were going along fine when I felt a tug on my mask and noticed somehowfishing line had looped around my mask, canadian pharmacy viagra you know the clear monofilament. Canadian pharmacy viagra I did not have a knife and so I was having to unloop it from my mask when I felt a tug and realized it was also wrapped around my flipper. Canadian pharmacy viagra I knew if I panicked I was dead. Canadian pharmacy viagra After what seemed like eternity I unravelled myself from thefishing line and almost instantly found myself being dragged along the bottom by the hose hooked to my regulator and tied to my weightbelt. Canadian pharmacy viagra The boat was dragging anchor and to make it worse we had a dive tender someone who's topside and supposed to be tending the boat. Canadian pharmacy viagra He was laid back without a clue. Canadian pharmacy viagra Needless to say that was his last trip. Canadian pharmacy viagra I worked all day and picked 2 hundred pounds that day and made 20 dollars. Canadian pharmacy viagra Needless to say I was discouraged. On my third day I was at Santa Barbara Island and picked 600 pounds of urchins and was estatic. Canadian pharmacy viagra The best day I had, canadian pharmacy viagra many years later, canadian pharmacy viagra was at San Nicholas Island and I brought up 2, canadian pharmacy viagra998 lbs of urchins. Canadian pharmacy viagra We hit what was called a blackout. Canadian pharmacy viagra But that pales in comparison to my good friend and mentor who is stilldiving and fishing in Alaska. Canadian pharmacy viagra He once dove 5000 pounds a day for 3 days. If I had not met Mark I would have never dove. Canadian pharmacy viagra Here is a picture of his boat in Alaska 29 years later. Click here: Ketchikan Daily News | Mark's Boat During those years we dove Catalina and San Clemente, canadian pharmacy viagra Santa Cruz Island, canadian pharmacy viagra Santa Rosa Island, canadian pharmacy viagraAnd San Miguel. But under the water was always best.. We encountered every type of sea creature almost everyday. Canadian pharmacy viagra They claim the the sheepshead fish eats urchins and I once swam with them in caves off San miguel Island. Canadian pharmacy viagra They were twice the size of me!! A Click here: Sea Elephant swam straight toward me once at San Nicholas Island, canadian pharmacy viagra I just froze and he just swam on by Thankfully. Click here: Garibaldi are beautiful fish But the Giant Moray Eel are fun to feed and they will follow you around. Canadian pharmacy viagra All the fish love urchins and when you accidentally break one open the fish swarm like crazy. Canadian pharmacy viagra As vicious as the eels look, canadian pharmacy viagra these morey eels are rather friendly , canadian pharmacy viagra but don't stick your hand in some dark hole!! My best friends under water were the seals . Canadian pharmacy viagra They are like playful little dogs. Canadian pharmacy viagra Some of them liked to pull stunts like pulling on the dive hoses or trying to untie your bag full of urchins. Canadian pharmacy viagra They would swim straight at you then veer off a second before they hit you. Canadian pharmacy viagra Sometimes they would blow bubbles in our face as if mimicking us. Canadian pharmacy viagra This seal looks friendly enough. Canadian pharmacy viagra By the way Ever seen an underwater bug? The first day that I actually dove was a little rough. Canadian pharmacy viagra I went under the boat with shark attack Jack and swam around with one of the divers at a depth of around 35 feet. Canadian pharmacy viagra It was great.  The rest of the article can be found at: http://www.squidoo.com/Pugs1