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Three abalone in a single dive

Rocks, Rips, and Reefs program this Saturday

3Rs class entering Emerald Cave
3Rs class entering Emerald Cave

Before World War II there were San Diegans who would feed their families with what they could scratch up from the ocean bottom. This was when few went more than waist deep. The first “goggle swimmers” in our waters could see game fish cruising the reefs and kelp forests along the coast, and fresh fish, lobster, and abalone drew a few people into the sea. To join the San Diego Bottom Scratchers (organized in 1931) you had to dive to 30 feet and bring up three abalone in a single dive; dive to 20 feet and bring up a lobster over three feet long; and bring up a horn shark tail-first. Only nine members made the mark in the club’s first dozen years.

That’s about when my parents started free-diving the La Jolla Cove in the 1950s when equipment was scarce. Dad and mom bought patterns and cut and glued their wetsuits and hit the water with spears in hand.

Those free-diving hunters of broomtail grouper, black seabass, and halibut had to learn the hard way about dive safety. First, they adopted the single-pane glass of the Japanese pearl divers. Then came the fins that gave more speed and agility, and later, the snorkel. Wetsuits allowed more time in the water.

Past Event

Watch Out for Rocks, Rips, and Reefs

  • Saturday, July 30, 2016, 8 a.m.
  • Hospital Point, 350 Coast Blvd., La Jolla 92037
  • Free

In 1951, the San Diego Council of Divers was founded. The club has initiated safety programs including the Rocks, Rips, and Reefs. The 3Rs is free and open to the public.  Experienced snorkelers and swimmers are welcome. The next 3Rs course is this Saturday, July 30, 8 a.m. at Hospital Point in La Jolla.

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3Rs class entering Emerald Cave
3Rs class entering Emerald Cave

Before World War II there were San Diegans who would feed their families with what they could scratch up from the ocean bottom. This was when few went more than waist deep. The first “goggle swimmers” in our waters could see game fish cruising the reefs and kelp forests along the coast, and fresh fish, lobster, and abalone drew a few people into the sea. To join the San Diego Bottom Scratchers (organized in 1931) you had to dive to 30 feet and bring up three abalone in a single dive; dive to 20 feet and bring up a lobster over three feet long; and bring up a horn shark tail-first. Only nine members made the mark in the club’s first dozen years.

That’s about when my parents started free-diving the La Jolla Cove in the 1950s when equipment was scarce. Dad and mom bought patterns and cut and glued their wetsuits and hit the water with spears in hand.

Those free-diving hunters of broomtail grouper, black seabass, and halibut had to learn the hard way about dive safety. First, they adopted the single-pane glass of the Japanese pearl divers. Then came the fins that gave more speed and agility, and later, the snorkel. Wetsuits allowed more time in the water.

Past Event

Watch Out for Rocks, Rips, and Reefs

  • Saturday, July 30, 2016, 8 a.m.
  • Hospital Point, 350 Coast Blvd., La Jolla 92037
  • Free

In 1951, the San Diego Council of Divers was founded. The club has initiated safety programs including the Rocks, Rips, and Reefs. The 3Rs is free and open to the public.  Experienced snorkelers and swimmers are welcome. The next 3Rs course is this Saturday, July 30, 8 a.m. at Hospital Point in La Jolla.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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