For the second year, I spent Thanksgiving with the dive club on the North California Coast in Ft. Bragg. I had such a great time last year I offered to lead the event this year. We were at a different campground than last year, one of our favorites, Green Acres. With its vast coastal access to the bike trail and the bluffs, there is great opportunity to walk or ride as much as you like. I took my bike in the hopes of taking Roxie for a nice long ride.
The Food: We had a small group with just six people for Thanksgiving dinner; Corinne & Holger, Cayle & Holly, Steve V. and myself… but OMG the food! Steve was in charge of the turkey this year and we ended up with a 20 lb turkey for just six people! This was Steve’s first turkey ever and with the help of Cayle, he seasoned the turkey by injecting it with Cajun garlic sauce in one half and the other half with creamy garlic sauce then fried the turkey to perfection (video forthcoming). In addition to the incredible turkey, we had all the fixin’s and by the time dinner was done, we were so stuffed that we rolled ourselves over to fire.
On Friday, a few other folks arrived for a nice weekend of camping and hopefully some diving. Saturday morning we had a potluck style pancake breakfast with blueberry and banana pancakes courtesy of Chef Steve. Saturday night, we were treated with abalone for appetizers and we all brought our leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner as well as a few new items (including pheasant which was hunted, shot, cleaned and cooked by yours truly) and once again, stuffed ourselves. In typical DDS fashion, no one went hungry on this trip!
The Weather: We had a variety of weather with perfect temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday and slightly foggy. Thursday night, it started to sprinkle while we were at the fire and eventually, we were all under umbrellas (reminiscent of last year’s President’s Day trip). It rained most of the night and into Friday morning but by mid morning the rain was gone and the sun tried to poke through. As the day wore on, the clouds went away thanks to the hefty breeze that hung around and made camp chilly all the way through to Saturday when it finally died down. Sunday, as usual the weather was perfect, no clouds no fog, no wind… just in time to go home.
The Diving: As for the diving, the surf was incredible… for surfers, not so much for divers. We drove around on Thursday and Friday looking for a place that was calm enough for the ab divers to brave the waters, but alas… none was found. However we learned later Friday night that one brave soul was able to find a place and get himself an abalone. So of course, on Saturday we packed up the dive gear, people and dogs and headed south to Van Damme State Park. We hung out for the day, watched as five divers headed into the water to try their luck. All but two people limited. After everyone was out of the water, we were treated with Corinne’s split pea soup while we hung out on the beach. The dogs ran, the people walked and it was a beautiful day.
All in all it was a great weekend spent in a great location with great people.
Below is a little video slideshow of some of the photos taken as well as video of the turkey fry and the stormy seas:
Be sure to click on the photos to see all the photos from the weekend. Or click on the Flickr link on the right.