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What's up? It has been quite a long time since the my last post that's what's up. I must have... Did I drift off? I did didn't I. Balderdash. Not my fault. Nothing is f*cked here dude. It's perfectly normal delinquent behavior.  It's summer, the end all be all cause of delinquent activity. I caught it. Came down with it. Be warned. It's as contagious as it is deadly. It's a time of South swells and scorching afternoons that linger and yawn into just becoming mornings again, to the point of azure exhaustion. It's the dreamlike lull in responsibilities for the teacher and student, vacations for the parents, an opportunity to make time to travel, read up, write down, seek out, or for some... do nothing. We grow up, we walk different paths, sit in different chairs, climb different ladders, yet these things remain the same. Summer is... well. I know you know what I know I think you know. Summer will always make me feel like a kid. F*ck it, let's go diving.

This summer of twenty aught thirteen started out great, with the annual Big Sur send off of Spring in May. It was terrible. Simply diminishing. You should never go.

Then there was an actual cause for celebration, the reason being a person who looked sort of like me actually pulled off a successful booth at the Treasure Island Flea Market at the end of that month. That person was also very grateful to those who came out and supported his two day rebellion against the weekend, especially to those who nourished the worker bee with cold beers. That they did not recognize the person they had come to reinforce was understandably awkward. To some, he remains just too ninja.

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The dog of course, benefiting from his olfactory prowess, smelled out the real slim shady and blew his cover. And by 'successful' (paragraph 3, line 2, above) I mean to say it was really cool to see so many people who were so appreciative of all the imagination, time and effort it took to conceive and construct the teepee, or as one weirdo put it, 'conical tent' style stands for the frames. I think they liked the gyotakus too, but not enough, evidently. I can't say the same for the trellises, however, which garnished more than one bargain minded inquiry,which, in hindsight, given it was a flea market and nobody wanted to spend a lot, the average flea buyer willing to part with 'maybe $20', I probably should have entertained. IDIOT.  

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Back to the real business at hand. Yes. Summer. Summer is abalone season. Summer is Ab's for days. ZUES's BEARD are they tasty. Scrumtrulescent little snails they are. And yet, I'm not French, and some of them are not small. This one here was a hefty 10 pounds and nearly, oh so very nearly, 10" in diameter. OH ODEN'S RAVEN SO CLOSE! I'm still waiting for that elusive ten. Oh how I will boast to maybe five people about how lucky I got. By the way did you see the photo at the top of this post? That there represents one of the first ever Fishtaku transactions, and it is truly awesome to see it displayed so bodaciously on the wall of my great friend Cat's kiddies' rec room. Cath you rock!!!!!

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Summer is also that time of the year when swells seem to cease altogether interminably. These long periods of 'lake' are basically 'dreamweeks' for us divers as we are privileged for that time to experience the ocean when she is grooving at her very mellowest. With only the abundance and sheer magnitude of the kelp to hinder fins and catch on to the occasional weight belt, its been the perfect summer to blood a few newbies to the fold. These two finely dressed individuals are Ruth and Jun. And like a proud father I'm glad to announce that  Jun now has the bug!

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Ah, summer. Look at that lake. This is a spot called 'Lobos Rocks'. The resident Sea Lion chorus on the outer rock hunts the deeper kelp bed and the sandy troughs around it every morning and evening, dolphin pass by the edge of the kelp frequently and who knows what else. Oily poison oak and dicey scrambles to the water's edge serve only as  punctuation to yet another epic poem, the author being of course none other than the one and only, Big Sur.

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Ok, yes that was corny. Back to business and good business is good book keeping. To the left is the last photo taken with GoPro3 #1... It is Eric (insert nickname you like best) D, preparing to don his telltale electric blue garden gloves prior to entering the water on a fogtastic morning in Sonoma (I'll never tell where). Two weeks after this picture was taken, I returned to this very same spot in the hopes of repeating what had been an epic dive.  It could have gone worse, but not by much. [*pause* - Author takes long drink from beer glass and sighs as if the recollection he is about to dial up for you causes him to feel something terrible - then he resumes.] The sea was a raging bull in a china shop full of swaying kelp and muddy water that day. Guns, gauges, irons, watches, you name it, everything that could be dropped was dropped, some things more than once. Every diver in the sizable group that day got sick, myself on several occasions. On my way in, after nearly two hundred and forty minutes in the water, sixty of which I probably spent holding my breath and at least ten violently nauseated, the ocean saw fit to eject me with a final volley of 8 footers which rag-dolled me into the rocks, spilling the nearly $600 dollars worth of camera equipment that was on my head into the sea, along with what was left of my courage.  An earnest search began immediately, but the search party, exhausted and ill, was in no shape to battle the wavy torrent of the shallows, the effort aborted after a quarter of an hour lest the recovers become the objects of recovery themselves. 

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But, alas, not all was lost. That very day I dropped into the murk to discover the amazingly burly abalone (9.8") I showed you earlier. Suffice it to say, the sashimi that night was amazing. Not sure if it was worth $600, but paired with fried Lingcod, black rockfish, and fried abalone for entrees.. no complaints here.