Well I’m back again with another new story of the day.
I woke up at 5:30am to get ready to head out to the Mass Free Divers, Invitational Tournament on 5/31. I packed up my car and was ready to pick up my kayak at my friend’s house on the way to Sakonnet Point, Rhode Island. I always check the marine forecast for the day before I do any diving. It stated clouds and rain early morning then clearing up with sun, however, it stated winds picking up after 11am . I thought to myself, this could be a tough ride coming back from dive points.
The water looked calm when I arrived, but I knew winds would be picking up later. I unloaded my gear and was all set up so I could start registration for the divers coming in. I had some great help from Greg who was helping divers register as they arrived. At 8:45 a.m. we had are briefing about the rules and safety and we headed out at 9am.
I paddled out about half an hour on my red ocean beat up prowler 15 to my first spot. The water was clear and calm for now. I dropped my anchor, put on my Deep Apnea fins, my mask and grabbed my Wong spear gun and jumped in the water.
I shot my first decent tog and after diving about an hour I decided to get moving to my other spots before the winds picked up. I dove in my second spot and shot my second Tog. I needed one more tog then I need to start looking for stripe bass or other species in order to do well in this tournament. I hit my bag limit with Togs and began hunting for bass. I dove about 3 spots and had no luck. It is now 12:20 p.m. and my dive flag and was blowing real hard. I knew at this point I should get in my kayak and head back because it’s going to be a tough ride back to shore. After about half hour of strong paddling I began getting tired because the strong winds going against me. I was praying that I get back before 2pm (the cut off time) because I would hate to get disqualified from this tournament. After about 1 hour and 10 minutes I arrived at my destination safe and exhausted from fighting the strong winds. Despite the rough conditions everyone made it back safe to shore.
We started the weigh-in around 3 p.m. and most everyone brought in Togs. Only 2 divers brought in Bass. I was thinking this is going to be a hard tournament to place in the top 3. After the weigh in, Mass Free Divers had a cookout before giving out the awards. We also had a great table of prizes for all the divers that competed from our wonderful sponsors. One of them was a very generous donation from Ocean Kayak, thank you!
After everyone ate we start announcing who placed the top 3 and who shot the largest fish. When I heard my name being called for third place, I was very surprised and exited I made the top 3 after this very close weigh in. It turned out to be a great dive day and it was wonderful to see thirty nine divers attend our first Mass Free Divers Tournament of the season. Everyone left happy with their bellies full and wonderful prizes in hand.
I hope you enjoyed this story and will continue writing more as the season progresses.