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February 24, 2007
Event Report and Photos
Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup

Story and Photos © Elaine Jobin, may not be reproduced in part or whole without advanced written permission

What special event was last weekend? The Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup. The one day of the year that we can dive in the Avalon Harbor.

Ken Kurtis, Photo by Elaine Jobin

On Saturday morning, I left Long Beach at 6:15 on a Catalina Express. It was a boat laden with dive gear and sleepy divers. (Just keep reading, you will figure out why no one was sleepy for long).
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
Arrival at Avalon was an easy wake up call. I enjoy going to annual cleanup. It is an opportunity to see friends, have fun, and recharge on the energy exuded by hundreds of like minded recreationalists.
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
I had a special job. I was a member of the Kayak Patrol. The Kayak Patrol is comprised of a group of volunteers who meet at Descanso Beach, paddle around the corner into the harbor, and try to serve as readily available support to any diver who might need it. I've done this for several years now. Usually I have to walk from the Express landing to Descanso, but this time we got lucky and a van took us there. This is a photo of some of us in the van and pre departure preparations.
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
My assigned area was at the Casino "dive site". This is what it looked like to me from the Kayak.
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
I had an enjoyable, and mostly uneventful time. No divers to rescue. My one surprise was someone who popped up in front of me with an old pitch fork. For a minute I thought I'd met Neptune.Yikes, maybe I did.
Photo by Elaine Jobin
We weren't alone alone on our Kayaks. Baywatch was there too.
Photo by Elaine Jobin
After the dive was over, it was time to reconnect with friends and get some lunch.
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
Next, most converged on downtown Avalon for the event prizes, awards presentations, and the lottery drawings.
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
Some notable faces in the crowd were Dale Sheckler - from California Diving News.
Dale Sheckler, Photo by Elaine Jobin
And, "Dr. Bill" Bushing. I couldn't help but notice his unusual method of holding his video camera. He does such great video, who am I to question.... but....ummmm.....go figure.
Dr. Bill Bushing, Photo by Elaine Jobin Dr. Bill Bushing, Photo by Elaine Jobin
One of the sociological oddities of this event is the "Crowd Chumming". Fun things like hats, T-shirts, etc. are tossed to the audience. It is seems as much fun for the chummers, as it is for the chumees
A couple of "chummer" shots
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
And, a couple of "chumee" shots
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
It is probably one of the things that makes this event so much fun for all age groups. Where else can you stick your hand in the air and maybe something fun will actually land in it?
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
In the "trash awards", there are too many categories for me to remember off the top of my head. I do remember that "Most Valuable Trash" went to a diver who found a Rolex Watch, no wrist band, that was still working. All trash award winners received a plaque.
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
The "Jon Hardy Safety Award" went to Derek Smith, the dive safety officer at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Derek Smith, Photo by Elaine Jobin
Fiona Macfarlane, Doug Iverson, and Mark Tulin - Volunteer Crew members at the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber received recognition plaques for 15 years of service.
Fiona Macfarlane, Doug Iverson, and Mark Tulin, Photo by Elaine Jobin Doug Iverson, Photo by Elaine Jobin
And, Jill Boivinm a major organizer of this Clean Up for many years received an award. Good job Jill!.
Photo by Elaine Jobin
As usual, there were lots of terrific prizes in the lottery. Dive computers, regulators, trips, dive equipment etc. . The "Grand Prize" - was a super special painted dive tank. I bought some lottery tickets and won a trip for two on the King Neptune out of Avalon. Yipee. Another dive trip, I can bring a friend, and yes, I get to do another "trip report and photos" afterwards.
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
The President of the Catalina Island Conservancy gave a short speech.
Photo by Elaine Jobin
The Mayor of Avalon, Bob Kennedy, also presented a speech. Bob also happens to own and run Catalina Scuba Luv - YES!
Bob Kennedy, Photo by Elaine Jobin
The "Silver Tongue" award contestants amused us with their tall tales and lies about their trash. Tim Fitzhugh, the editor of the Sea Divers newsletter, won this award.
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin Tim Fitzhugh, Photo by Elaine Jobin
The posters for Chamber Day 2007 were publicly displayed for the first time. Both photos were taken in tanks at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Don't forget Chamber Day/Evening is Wednesday May 2, 2007.
Photo by Elaine Jobin Photo by Elaine Jobin
Whew, it was a jam packed day. Thanks to the organizers, all of the Prize contributors, and everyone who showed up for the event. Totally awesome.
Until next time........
Elaine Jobin, Photo by Diona Macfarlane