Diving Southern California with Stew Deats

This program was organized by Rich Mayfield, Member #1211.


At twelve years Stew went to Avalon on the S.S. Catalina, otherwise known as the Big White Steamship.

He was with a couple of kids from middle school, no parents, no supervision. It was summer and he had only two dollars, red swim trunks and a t-shirt.
As the ship pulled up to the pleasure pier, he saw kids in the water diving for coins tossed in by the tourists. An hour later he was in the water with them, diving for quarters.
Instantly a commercial diver!

With no mask they needed to act fast to catch the coins before they hit the sand on the bottom or they would be lost. Their swim trunks had no pockets so they kept the coins in their mouths.

An order of french fries cost 50 cents and never tasted so good. He lived like that for a week, sleeping where he could. Bonfires and sing alongs on the beach, a gallon of cheap wine passed around. It was heaven.

Stew will be talking about the beaches and islands of Southern California which he dives almost every week. Kelp forests, reefs, wrecks, caves, lobsters, fish, scallops, shrimp, camaraderie and great, great beauty. Join us for a little trip to adventure and beauty on our very doorstep.