William E. D'Anis's Dive Log
Monastery Beach North on 9/13/2002
William E. D'Anis
Sep 13, 2002, 12:00 AM
The California Congers skin diving club of Oakland, Calif., started diving the Monastery Beach area in 1954. We spent many a night sleeping on the beach and under Hwy 1 overpasses when it rained. Of course we all grew up. Now those days are gone. My deep dive of 275 feet was made with my friend Henry Reiswig (now Dr.) at Monastery Beach in era 1957. Red abalone were plentiful at the north end of the beach and, at that time, considered of less than premium value. Often we did not take the abalone. We spear fished for Ling Cod and Cabazone and had campfires at night on the beach. Our ages were young - 16 to 19 years for the most part. I was the oldest at 22, having just finished 4 years in the US Air Force. Now my diving years are over and my current hobby is radio controlled model gliders.
Monastery Beach South on 7/9/2003
William E. D'Anis
Jul 9, 2003, 12:00 AM
In 1954 I joined the Calif. Congers. Being a couple years older than the group I had the only car. We would sleep in the car or under an underpass on Hwy1 and snorkel Monastery Beach in dry suits. No one had an Aqua Lung! The convent Sisters would come down to watch us. Some of the Calif. Congers were Jim Coon, Henry Reiswig, Don Williamson, Matt Saunders, and Vern Peckham. There were 30 of us. Lingcod and cabazone were scarce then too. Abalone were not as prized as they are today. We would have fish and abalone fries on the beach. Jim Coon (Thaddeus Lingcod Coon, Jr.) was the president and Henry Reiswig went on to become a Dr. of Marine Biology. Now I am 70 and those days are gone. My diving was over by about 1984 but I got my son certified SCUBA and dove with him on his checkout at Cataline. Wonderful years!!!!!