Let me tell you about the best dive day I’ve ever had. On one particularly fine and rare occasion, I was invited to go diving with Ken Okutake, Lance Takehara, and Mike Millard. Not only are they great divers and even better guys, but to go with all of them on the same day… man oh man! AND, to a secret spot that was producing moss-back-bruisers to boot!
It started with an unspoken knowledge from all that I would keep the “most amazing secret spot” secret, enough equipment to sink the boat, and a 150-quart cooler FULL of IPA’s that I knew we were (sadly) capable of drinking. I could hardly contain my excitement as we launched our craft from a long line of wakeboard boats overladen with red-LED-trimmed speakers piled high on welded aluminum towers, double pontoon boats adorned with wet-bars, pool weenies, and BBQs, along with an amazing array of bowling ball sparkled bass boats complete with NASCAR-like jersey-wearing captains and rod-toting passengers ready to snag their floating fluorescent cheese baits on tulles with every cast.
I didn’t care. I couldn’t even complain or be impatient considering the information I had racing through my brain. We were headed to a spot where, just the day before, Lance had taken a forty-two-pound yellowtail, Ken a nice pair of thirty-seven & thirty-nine pound “twins”, and Mike a whopping forty-eight-pound single that swam right in front of him.
On the drive they had relayed the stories from the previous day of multiple sightings of large pairs, singles, and schools of thirty-pounders. Lance even saw a white sea bass down deep. All had passed up dozens of fish in search of a yellowtail that would break the fifty-pound mark.
While Jay Kakinami, who was suddenly at the helm, motored us out past the kids in inner-tubes and puffy-clad life jackets and amateur paddle boarders, the guys started handing the lobster traps that were stored in the forward hold to me to rig. I hadn’t been briefed on this part of the plan but considering that we were running really early for “prime time”, it was not lost on me that all four of my diving compatriots were simply demonstrating an innate characteristic of efficiency concerning a possible future feast.
We dropped the traps and with a quick stop at a small, car-sized, pine tree sprinkled, slightly grassy and rocky island littered with inflatable dragon and duck rafts (complete with cup holders), to pick up Mori.
Masahiro Mori. Hugs and handshakes and we were finally headed to the magical spot.
Before I could blink an eye, we were there. With suits suddenly on, we all slipped into the water with obvious expectations of a repeat performance. It was going to be a day to remember. One in a thousand kind of dive days.
And that’s it. It’s as if time skipped a beat. No memory of time in the water…The next thing I knew, we were back at the boat launch minus any fish and without having picked up our lobster traps.
Having been on the wrong side of a few skunk trips, I was calm and rational and understood that it was just part of the game. At the time, the fact that all five guys had forgotten the traps didn’t even register.
It didn’t matter. Little did I know I was soon to forget. And like a kid with a shiny object, Ken was about to teach me an amazing trick.
As I asked him if he wanted me to go jump in the truck (all the others had somehow disappeared into thin air), his truck & boat trailer had somehow appeared, driverless and in perfect alignment, directly in front of us, he looked at me, smiled and said, “No dude, this is way easier”. I couldn’t believe it as he put the boat in gear, steered it onto the trailer perfectly, and proceeded to drive the boat/trailer/truck 300 feet up the rough concrete ramp to the freshwater wash. “See?”
Yup, I see. I see that dreams are a motherf*#&er, mainly spearfishing dreams. I NEVER get any fish in a spearfishing dream. EVER. Yeah, it’s great that I now know how to get the boat from the water to the coin rinse without getting out of it but should it ever get to that? Should it ever go beyond dropping lobster traps twenty feet past a mom who’s up to her ankles in clear, fresh water splashing a toddler wearing inflatable water-wings decorated with smiling turtles while her father films it with his iPhone before you wake yourself up with a fat inquisitive grin on your face and go back to sleep with a giggle?
And, WTF with all the Japanese guys in my dreams? Freud would have a f*&$ing field day with that s*&t. How long before I start to believe that I’m a gullible idiot in real life? FURTHERMORE, the cooler?
The only true and realistic part of the dream? Jesus. I’d make a shrink’s head explode inside of five seconds if I laid down on his leather couch with this one.
And FU Ken Okutake! The next time I’m looking down from above at a fifty-six-pound halibut in four feet of gin-clear water from a pier, but can’t find the wetsuit, mask, weight-belt and fins that I KNOW I packed in the back of my truck and then see you walking down the bike path only to tear off your long flowing white robes and massive dreadlock wig to reveal your huge grin and 7mm camouflage wetsuit, we are no longer friends!
Time to Say Goodbye