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Abalone Diving

Today I had the pleasure of accompanying a group of abalone divers to a dive site north of Fort Ross, a former Russian settlement in what is now Sonoma County.

Abalone diving is a relatively dangerous sport (see Sport Harvesting in this article), because it involves “free” diving, holding the breath (no scuba allowed), in cold and often turbulent rocky marine environments. It is common to take abalone in waters of a few inches to roughly 30 feet in depth. The harvesting of abalone is strictly regulated and closely monitored in California. The daily possession limit is 3 per person with a total of 24 allowed per year. In addition, there is a size minimum of 7 inches, measured across the shell, according to the Wikipedia article. Today, the divers caught the limit, in turbulent and rocky waters of about 25 feet in depth.

I am eager to examine the photographs that I took today, and to see those of another photographer in our party. The trip took us through Jenner, on the mouth of the Russian River, and through Bodega Bay, famous as the setting for Alfred Hitchcock’sThe Birds“. The coast was fairly foggy today, even through midday, and it will be interesting to see the photographic results.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo

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