Chamber Day 2013 and Catalina Kelp Diving
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, marked the 25th annual Chamber Day on Catalina. The event benefits Catalina's hyperbaric chamber, the only hyperbaric chamber in Southern California that is exclusively dedicated to the treatment of diving accidents. The Chamber, which is staffed 24/7/365 by volunteers, derives over half of its annual budget from Chamber Day proceeds.
We arrived at Big Fisherman Cove on the west end of Catalina Island in the late morning for a walking tour of the facility. The Los Angeles County Port Police and Baywatch Lifeguards were in attendance, and visitors were permitted to board and view their boats. Finally, we hopped in the hyperbaric chamber for a shallow (one-foot) demonstration "dive".
And then we went diving for real! Local dive charter boats (including our host, the Pacific Star) donated their services for two dives in the Catalina kelp. We saw lots of the usual rock reef residents, fish and invertebrate critters alike.