Yesterday Steph and I got up super early to head to Northern California to dive for abalone on the Sonoma Coast. We went up to a place called Salt Point State Park. Along the way we ran into the same traffic that I hit coming back from the Beer and BBQ festival. They had now closed the northbound lanes on 880, down to just 1 open lane. This made us at least 40 minutes slower. When we got the park we were a little late, but they were still getting set up. We talked to some of the people there and met an interesting bunch of people. After a safety briefing we got in the water around 11am. We went out in groups of 5; 2 buddy pairs and 1 instructor. Steph and I took about 15 dives each and ended up getting 3 abalone each for it. We quickly figured out how to find them, and how to get them off the rocks. I started cramping due to the long bike ride I took on Friday. I got one that was about 9 inches, and will need to have some people over to share it. There is a ton of meat to the 9 inch abalone.
When we got back in we tagged the abalone, and then got to learn how to prepare them for eating. It is a tough process to cut them up when they are so slimy, but it was fun for being a challenge. We had a nice picnic bbq there, and made some breaded and fried abalone steaks.
We then drove back, stopping by Stumptown Brewery on the way. I just got a couple diet cokes, and Steph got one of the beers. It was a relaxing time, and prepped me for the drive back. We went to her parents house for dinner of soup and cheesy bread. I showed them how to prepare the abalone on one, and Russell took over the other. He was so happy to be getting some abalone it was cute.
We then went home to clean our gear and go to sleep, it was a full day.
I’d be up for doing it again, but not sure when I’ll be able to find the time. I certainly don’t want to drive up to Northern California to do it. It is such a long drive, and hard to do when tired after diving.