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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, discount celadrin online I began the greatest adventure of my life. Discount celadrin online For four years I dove Click here: Sea Urchins off the California Coast. Discount celadrin online I had fished commercially for 3 years prior to that time on the east coast. Discount celadrin online I started out fishing from Gloucester, discount celadrin online MA I began fishing Sea scallops on scallop Dredge boats as first a hookup man then a winchman for 3 years. Discount celadrin online We fished mainly Georges Banks and sometimes the Phebbenes. You may have heard of Georges Banks from the movie, discount celadrin online Perfect Storm? Three years and they were mostly years fishing scallops but I also fished on longline boats, discount celadrin online drag boats for shrimp and fluke, discount celadrin online (types of bottom fish similar to flounder)and black cod in Alaska. Discount celadrin online But that is another story. Urchins are considered a delicacy in Japan and are also eaten in other parts of the world. Discount celadrin online An urchin has 6 rows of eggs called uni in Japanese. Discount celadrin online They are invertabraes, discount celadrin online covered in spines and cling to the bottom of the ocean floor. Discount celadrin online They eat kelp. Discount celadrin online Urchins vary in weight and size. Discount celadrin online California urchins probably ranged between 1/4 pound to 1 and 1/2 pounds. Discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online Divers used what is called a hookah rig or hose which was usually 300 feet long or more. Discount celadrin online A compressor on the boat supplied the compressed air and through the hose or hookah, discount celadrin online the same principles of physics applied as if you were diving with bottles. Discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online Kelp is a very big industry and harvested for many uses. There are a couple types of tools used to pick urchins. Discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online Invariably everyone was spined now and then primarily in the knees, discount celadrin online when starting out. Discount celadrin online I once drove a spine under my thumbnail to the bottom. Discount celadrin online It did not start to hurt until I came up from under the pressure. Discount celadrin online At 60 feet you are under a great deal of pressure and you have 3 lungfuls of pressurised air in your lungs, discount celadrin online which means if you surface quickly and hold your breath, discount celadrin online your lungs will explode in a very short period of time. Discount celadrin online We usually dove under 100 feet and tried to follow the dive tables by at least, discount celadrin online starting out deep, discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online An inner tube was used as a float bag and these bags could have anywhere between 200 to 500 hundred pounds in them. Discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online Once at San Nicholas Island I picked one bag of sea urchins that weighed 998 lbs. Discount celadrin online when it hit the dock. Discount celadrin online It took 2 float bags to get it to the surface. Discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online The coast, discount celadrin online however, discount celadrin online was usually murky. Discount celadrin online The many varied types of aquatic life is undescribable. My first day of diving urchins went some thing like this. Discount celadrin online I dove to about 35 or 40 feet and there was maybe 6 inches of visibility. Discount celadrin online A strong surge made it seem like I was in a washing machine. Discount celadrin online I was disoriented and felt very uncomfortable, discount celadrin online so I went up to the boat and dropped my picking tool. Discount celadrin online The rest of the day was spent looking for my picking tool and prying urchins of the rocks with adiving knife. Discount celadrin online Most of the time I was wrapped up in kelp, discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online I was exhausted and discouraged. The next day I dove on another boat and did not fair much better. Discount celadrin online We were diving for Sea Agar, discount celadrin online a type of seaweed. Discount celadrin online We were diving right off the breakwater in very shallow water and with a very strong surge, discount celadrin online like a washing machine. Discount celadrin online Things were going along fine when I felt a tug on my mask and noticed somehowfishing line had looped around my mask, discount celadrin online you know the clear monofilament. Discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online I knew if I panicked I was dead. Discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online He was laid back without a clue. Discount celadrin online Needless to say that was his last trip. Discount celadrin online I worked all day and picked 2 hundred pounds that day and made 20 dollars. Discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online The best day I had, discount celadrin online many years later, discount celadrin online was at San Nicholas Island and I brought up 2, discount celadrin online998 lbs of urchins. Discount celadrin online We hit what was called a blackout. Discount celadrin online But that pales in comparison to my good friend and mentor who is stilldiving and fishing in Alaska. Discount celadrin online He once dove 5000 pounds a day for 3 days. If I had not met Mark I would have never dove. Discount celadrin online 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, discount celadrin online Santa Cruz Island, discount celadrin online Santa Rosa Island, discount celadrin onlineAnd San Miguel. But under the water was always best.. We encountered every type of sea creature almost everyday. Discount celadrin online They claim the the sheepshead fish eats urchins and I once swam with them in caves off San miguel Island. Discount celadrin online They were twice the size of me!! A Click here: Sea Elephant swam straight toward me once at San Nicholas Island, discount celadrin online 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. Discount celadrin online All the fish love urchins and when you accidentally break one open the fish swarm like crazy. Discount celadrin online As vicious as the eels look, discount celadrin online these morey eels are rather friendly , discount celadrin online but don't stick your hand in some dark hole!! My best friends under water were the seals . Discount celadrin online They are like playful little dogs. Discount celadrin online Some of them liked to pull stunts like pulling on the dive hoses or trying to untie your bag full of urchins. Discount celadrin online They would swim straight at you then veer off a second before they hit you. Discount celadrin online Sometimes they would blow bubbles in our face as if mimicking us. Discount celadrin online This seal looks friendly enough. Discount celadrin online By the way Ever seen an underwater bug? The first day that I actually dove was a little rough. Discount celadrin online I went under the boat with shark attack Jack and swam around with one of the divers at a depth of around 35 feet. Discount celadrin online It was great.  The rest of the article can be found at: http://www.squidoo.com/Pugs1