On Sunday, May 25 the Tri-State Skin Divers Club had their first Open Meet of the season in James Town, Rhode Island. The day started with heavy fog and cloudy skies.
I woke at 6 a.m. and was very excited to compete in the first meet of the season. I gathered my gear and red kayak and loaded it into my Toyota 4 runner, here I go. On my drive to James Town I was hoping the weather would clear up for this season’s first event. Upon arrival the weather had not changed, however, the ocean was calm and flat like glass, it made me smile. As I looked out to the sea mentally preparing for the days dive, I thought to myself, well, at least the waters are flat and it’s not raining, it will be a smooth ride!
Registration was at 8a.m. and the meet began at 9a.m.. I started paddling my kayak south to my first dive spot called Kettle Bottom Rock. I threw my anchor over board and prepared to dive. Fins, weight belt, mask and my north eastern spear gun made for me by the famous Daryl Wong of Hawaii. I was ready! I jumped in the waters and noted the visibility was about 8 feet. I began taking my deep breaths to make my first descent. When I reached the bottom I spotted some striped bass and a school of togs but they were too small to shoot. I headed to the surface and prepared for my next dive. I dove to the bottom and I saw a nice sized tog, I aimed, took my shot and got him. I returned to the surface to get him to my kayak on the stringer then went back down and shot my second tog. I then decided to head south to a different area called Beaver Tail. I anchored again and dove there for about an hour, shot my 3rd tog which put me at my limit of togs for this meet. My next species mission was to find bass. After gradually heading north hitting five different spots, I had no luck finding bass of the legal size. I was a bit disappointed but by this time, I decided I better start my trip back to shore for the weigh in.
There were thirty two divers who participated that day and only one shot a bass. All the other divers brought in togs for the weigh in. I knew it was going to be a tough tournament when all divers returned to the shore with togs. Now it becomes a competition of tog size and weight. After the final weigh in, they announced the three top winners of this competition.
All in all, this day was an exciting and happy time for me, I placed 10th out of thirty two divers and was glad I was able to compete with my fellow divers in the first tournament of the season.
I look forward to sharing more stories about my dives as the season progresses and more species of fish return to our waters. I hope you enjoyed my first story of the season.