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Old 11 November 2014, 02:12   #11
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Update: I guess it IS the same Mendocino County. A quick search on Wikipedia shows only one Mendocino County in the US. I find it kind of surprising that Willie Nelson ......

jky

That's the one


.....sh1t happens.......
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Old 11 November 2014, 02:30   #12
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Nice write up Peter.

Computer guys eh... no use to man nor beast!
Nope, I work on a computer too Owning a house that needs restoration, that is in the woods, means I get to do lots of physical work, especially now, when I am working on it full time +.

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There's a song that features the "Mendocino Highway" but I'm buggered if I can remember what it is.



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Nice write up, I've never eaten Abalone, what's it like?
It tastes better going down than coming up! I am allergic to abalone, although it is a great way to clear the intestines.

The texture is kinda rubbery even if it is well pounded. The taste is more about the sauce/spices that is put on it. Abalone is kinda tasteless really. It has a small fishy taste to it though. Often it is breaded and fried. Sometimes it is made into a ceviche.

The funniest thing is camping during abalone season, as you can hear from one end of the campgrounds to the other all the pounding of the meat. Thump, thump, thump, whack, whack, whack...

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Fun times! Reminds me of some late October beach launches on Lake Winnipeg, less the snow flurries.
We launched out of Albion last winter and the ride out to the coast was white from the frost. The dock was completely frozen. Fortunately we only get snow about once every 25 years.

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More jealous than proud. I've lost the anchor line a few times myself.
Sometimes I just don't care if I loose the anchor line. Other times it is good to surface near the boat. Still I prefer to re-find the anchor line. Kinda hard though when vis is 20ft or less. I have found clipping a strobe to a DAN sausage at the end of the chain helps me to spot it

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Well, as I recall, it was more Jeff laughing at you guys; I think you were too far away for me to see.
LOL I could have actually gotten us pretty close to the boat, but my dive buddy was very low on gas. *Sigh* Unfortunately it happens a little to often.

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Wise move. Jeff and Carol generally give me grief over it, but I won't dive in fog. Too many potential problems, from losing the boat, to losing other divers, to getting run over by other boats (either divers or anchored boat), to losing orientation in transit. Always another day to get wet.
I am pretty quick to call a dive, and often it is from shore.

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Great report, Pete, thanks. You should throw that on BA_Diving; Not enough reports showing up there.

jky
Stories on BA seem to not be appreciated. If you noticed I quite posting on it about a year or two ago. Sometimes I send direct emails though.

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Diving in fog must be terrible! You can hardly see what's around you on the boat never mind when you under the water!
You don't notice the fog underwater. More than a few times we have surfaced to very limited vis. It can be eery on a beach dive, and scary in hindsight.

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Apshutt: the bigger problem is that when you surface and are not sure where you are in relation to the boat (happens to me quite a bit in low vis), you then have no idea whatsoever which way to go to get back to it. Can be avoided by using a reel, but as a photographer, I have enough to keep my hands busy without having to worry about a spool and a few hundred feet of string.


jky
We did one dive at a site South of Albion (Jim named it "Hall of Walls"), and descended when the fog bank was miles offshore, and surfaced to fog so thick we couldn't see 50 yards. We headed back to Albion and ate lunch. The fog never really cleared, and since we really wanted to do a second dive (Vis was awesome with over 50ft, see note above about frozen docks), so we weighed our options. The decision was made to run line inside Albion Bay. Vis was decent at about 30ft, and when we were pretty close to the end of my 400ft reel, we got slammed hard by strong surge. It was right as we were watching a 2ft octopus free swimming. At that point the vis dropped to about 15ft, and it scared me enough to turn the dive at a pretty good clip back to the boat. Must have been some kind of rogue wave as it was powerful! The surge moved us probably 15ft sideways, and I later found out my dive buddy hit a rock pretty hard. When we got to the surface it was totally calm again. Of course the fog was present, but not thick as we could see the bridge.
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Old 11 November 2014, 11:37   #13
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The texture is kinda rubbery even if it is well pounded. The taste is more about the sauce/spices that is put on it. Abalone is kinda tasteless really. It has a small fishy taste to it though. Often it is breaded and fried. Sometimes it is made into a ceviche.
Disagree with the first. Well tenderized, it will be plastic-fork-cuttable.

As to the sauces and lack of flavor, abalone sushi highlights the flavor. I've had that prepared a couple of a couple of ways: tenderized, and sliced thin, with a few incisions to break the slab down a bit. The first is like normal fish sushi, the latter has a bit of snap to it.


Quote:
The funniest thing is camping during abalone season, as you can hear from one end of the campgrounds to the other all the pounding of the meat. Thump, thump, thump, whack, whack, whack...
Abalone symphony.



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I have found clipping a strobe to a DAN sausage at the end of the chain helps me to spot it [anchor line]
I've tried that; I find that unless there's a pretty heavy top layer in the water, the strobe is not very very visible during the day. It's great on night dives though (I just use a strobe attached about 10 feet off the bottom - no sausage.)


Quote:
LOL I could have actually gotten us pretty close to the boat, but my dive buddy was very low on gas.
He had 200 cf of gas, didn't he?


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We did one dive at a site South of Albion (Jim named it "Hall of Walls"), [snip] Vis was decent at about 30ft,
30 feet inside the bay at Albion is really good, what with the tidal river dumping in there every 12 hours.

Hall of Walls, eh? Do you have numbers for the site (not that I'll get back there before next April...)?


jky
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Old 11 November 2014, 12:06   #14
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Disagree with the first. Well tenderized, it will be plastic-fork-cuttable.
Abelone is often described as having a tofu texture. To me that is rubbery even if it can be cut with a fork.

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He had 200 cf of gas, didn't he?
No he dives single HP130's per my requirement, but he may have only had an HP100 that day. I was in a single tank also.

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Hall of Walls, eh? Do you have numbers for the site (not that I'll get back there before next April...)?
Sure. The site is pretty cool and has steep walls all around with a shallow reef above. If I remember the top came up to 15ft from the surface, and dropped to over 90ft. Run your plotter around the area for safe anchorage, as the swells could put a standing wave over the top. More inshore the urchin boats seem to do pretty well.

Hall of Walls N 39* 12.747' W 123* 46.749'
Colby Reef N 39* 14.983' W 123* 47.797'
Ice Cream Cone N 39* 15.459' W 123* 47.275'
Bull Rock N 39* 13.528' W 123* 45.932'

Along with any spot you happen to pull up to and want to dive. Off of Russian Gulch there are a couple of pinnacles also just on the North side of the cove past the opening. No numbers as it is covered in kelp often. Your plotter should have the topography and they are easy to find. My sonar went from 100'+ to 35' in less than 20 ft
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Old 12 November 2014, 11:06   #15
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Thanks, Pete. I've dove Colby and Bull Rock. Bull often has a pretty good current running, so, although it's a quick run from Albion, it's not for inexperienced divers.

The site we dove that day your buddies decided to exercise their legs (New Years, wasn't it?) was chosen for the same "big relief on the sonar" kind of thing. Jeff checked it out, I didn't - a drop off from something like 30 feet to over a hundred. Interestingly, we've been back there a couple of times, and couldn't find the drop off again.

jky
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Old 29 June 2015, 16:30   #16
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May I ask, why would they be arrested for taking 6 abalone if only 1 bloke did the dive? Can you only get 1 each? seems odd, but it is California. Frank Zappa did mention 'Emindacino beano' in one track, 'Titties and Beers' from memory.
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Old 29 June 2015, 18:45   #17
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Regs state that abalone must be taken by the person holding the license. Wardens sit on hills (as Pete stated) and watch for violations, of which there are many:

Limit is 3 per person per day, 3 in posession (at any time); don't recall the yearly limit, but it's either 18 or 24. First 3 legal abs constitute being done for the day - no "hi-grading" (which is trading a legal ab for a larger legal ab. Done as they are haemophiliacs, and will die from a small cut inflicted while removing them from the rock.)

Violations:

Someone collecting abs for someone else.

Not tagging your abalone as soon as you hit the surface (or beach if shore diving.) Stopping to light a cigarette or to break out lunch will be deemed a violation.

Too small of a shell - must be 7" somewhere across the shell, not counting external growth (barnacles, worm tubes, etc.)

Too many abalone.

Hi Graded abalone.

Using an incorrect tool (no sharp edges, less than 36" long, a defined max amount of curve, don't remember what else.) Done to minimize cutting the abs.

Not having a gauge capable of measuring the minimum size. (I've heard of guys diving with 9" gauges and taking only those that gauge to that, but still being cited for not being able to measure 7". No good reason for this one, as far as I can tell.)

Not replacing a too-small abalone on the rock from which it was taken (generally enforced as "if it doesn't gauge legal, and you toss it back in the water, you're in violation.)

Removing an abalone from its shell without being ready to prepare it for consumption. A warden told me that the general way they look at it is "If you're cleaning an abalone, the oil should already be hot." I think they've eased up on this one from years ago.

Probably a bunch more I'm forgetting about, but these are the more common ones.

jky

Edit, as I was stupid and forgot to include it earlier:

Pete hinted at it, but to clarify:

Wardens have discretion in determining how malicious a violation was; if they feel it is warranted, they have the legal right to confiscate any equipment used to take or transport illegal abalone. This includes dive gear used while taking (generally applied to any violation beyond a single count), kayaks/boats used to bring the abalone back, coolers used to hold the abalone, and vehicles used to transport them from the dive site.

Bottom line: The wardens take this stuff seriously, and so should the divers (unless they have really deep pockets and don't care.)
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Old 29 June 2015, 19:15   #18
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We head out for abalone or lobsters a couple of times a week where I live, our bag limit is two, must admit they are very overrated unless you find one with a pearl so we mainly give them away.

Just like your part of the world they fetch a very high price which attracts poachers who also lose all their gear often including the tow vehicle too.

The harder to get to places hold the biggest abbs, so getting smashed over breaking rocks losing masks and tearing wetsuits is all part of the thrill. Must admit at 50 Im now becoming a little more cautious, especially as i do this with my kids.

Yesterday we had glassy flat looking conditions but the ground swells over the shallow reef stopped us entering. In these two pics less than 1km apart you can see how flat the water looks with the humpback compared to where it peaked up on the reef we wanted to free-dive.

Jon



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Old 30 June 2015, 05:11   #19
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You should have surfed that one.
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Old 30 June 2015, 18:58   #20
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You should have surfed that one.
Broke most bones in my body from surfing and motor bikes (including my neck) over the years which is all catching up with me now, so no more surfing for me

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