A request from the Isthmus

West Coast represent! Remember be vague on spots!

A request from the Isthmus

Postby 32juan » March 26th, 2020, 9:47 am

Hey folks,

I've been debating on posting this for a while, but I feel that it needs to be said. I'm sure that many of you will not like what I'm saying, but let me assure you, it's the truth.

Please stay away.

Here on the island, we have very limited resources. On the West End, we have only two rotating Baywatch Paramedics. No clinic. No hospital. A small general store that can easily run out of things, and only gets restocked once a week (if we're lucky.)

I've been seeing a large amount of boaters deciding to come over to escape the madness of the mainland. I understand the need to get away, but please don't come here. If you bring COVID-19 to the island, it will burn its way through our population just like it's doing elsewhere around the world, but here it would be especially devastating. Many steps have already been taken by the city of Avalon, and our town of Two Harbors, but we can't make any one do something they don't want to. The General Store here in the isthmus has posted requests for people to go back to the mainland if they are not locals. The warehouse has ceased receiving packages for non-residents. The Catalina Express has cancelled all boats to the isthmus.

On top of all this, some nefarious characters have been showing up ashore. Machete carrying derelicts are wandering around, spooking the locals. We are wary of people whom we don't know. We are wary of locals coming home from the mainland.

As I see many people posting about going out on the water, please understand that if you have an emergency, you put lives at risk. If you have to be rescued, you could expose our only emergency personnel to COVID-19. You might have to be taken to a hospital, then you may be exposed yourself. Risky behavior right now is unjustified.

I know many of you will just say that I can't make you do anything... you're right. This is a free country, and you can do whatever you want. Just please think of others that may be affected by your actions.

Thanks for your time, and your understanding.

As soon as this all blows over, we'll all be shooting big fish for years to come.

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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby dam » March 26th, 2020, 11:35 am

On top of all this, some nefarious characters have been showing up ashore. Machete carrying derelicts are wandering around, spooking the locals.

What the hell is this? I find this so ridiculous.

I assume you meant not coming over and setting foot on the island and we can still dive around it, right? Or, not come over at all?
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby 32juan » March 26th, 2020, 11:51 am

Not come over at all. The risk posed by people on their own boats coming over is small, but one we can't afford. Like I said, I can only encourage you not to come, I can't force anyone to stay away. One unforseen circumstance, and our only emergency personnel can be exposed.

I ask people to understand that we are all on the same team. I am a volunteer for the hyperbaric chamber, and if someone has an accident, I will have to go into an enclosed space with someone I don't know for a minimum of 5 hours. All because someone wanted to have fun with the fishies. Then I would have to be quarantined for 14 days. It's just easier to plead the masses to follow the orders given by health experts: stay home.
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby Bill McIntyre » March 26th, 2020, 1:45 pm

When Juan posted this on FB a few days ago my initial reaction was something “like come on, what are the chances that we would be injured and have to go ashore for treatment.” Then I talked to Joel and he reminded me that he cut his hand and had to get stitched up at the hospital in Avalon. Not many of us are as clumsy as Joel but shit can happen.

But now there is another reason for me to stay away. I don’t think it would be responsible for me to take other divers on my boat and it’s a long
expensive ride from Dana to Cat all by myself.
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby Freeryde » March 27th, 2020, 4:28 pm

I understand Juan posting this request I just don’t think it will help much. I think most people assume the risk is very low and will continue to come over to dive and fish. Take me for example. I have been going over to cat on average once per week or more for 23 years now and have only needed any “assistance” once. That was to get towed back. Even towing me back the towboat is from the mainland and towing me poses no risk to him at all. I have been self quarantined for two weeks and so the likelihood I am infected is almost zero anyway.
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby Bill McIntyre » March 27th, 2020, 7:19 pm

I get it Joe. I got towed home from the Isthmus just one and didn’t go ashore. The chances of my needing to go shore are almost infinitesimal. I guess it’s sort of a risk/reward ratio thing. How much will it hurt me if I don’t go to Cat, and how much will hurt cat if I bring the virus ashore?

I don’t know the right answer but it’s what we have to consider.

Of course I may be a bit more sensitive than the average guy here. I’m 81 and the death rate in
Italy for people my age is 24 percent. I don’t
like those odds.
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby 32juan » March 27th, 2020, 7:48 pm

FYI, our piers and beaches have been shut down. That means if you don't live here, you are not able to come ashore. The powers that be are concerned about our safety, and have taken steps to discourage people from coming over. Translation: stay away. I understand people think they are invincible or immune to the situation. But again I must reiterate, we can't support you. Don't be selfish. Stay away.

I've lived here for nearly 20 years. Not just visited. Lived. I have dealt with multiple incidents, accidents, medical evacuations, chamber cases, fatalities. Shit happens guys. Don't be naïve. It can happen to you too.

If you want to come here, that's not just on you. It's on everyone who may need to help you when things go awry. And yes, a tow job is still a risky situation. If the vessel assisting has issues, or the operator happens to get injured... Just no need to pose that risk.

I don't make these statements lightly. I have always encouraged people to come and enjoy themselves. However, now is not the time to be cavalier about the impact of your actions.
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby mikeme » March 31st, 2020, 10:04 am

Very well said, and makes a lot of sense. The risk of injury in our sport is very high, so It's best to stay away for know.
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby db1 » April 6th, 2020, 7:11 am

Hey Juan,

I completely get the request. And I completely get that guys are saying the risk is low.

FWIW, I've been to Cat many, many times with no incident, as have most of us. But I was also there once with my family when my son fell on the boat and broke his wrist. The responders on the island were amazing with him. But he came into contact with many people that day. The 2 lifeguards who first responded, the 2 firefighters that came next, the doctor, the nurses, the cop who drove him back to the isthmus and bought him ice-cream, etc...

The risk is low, but the fallout could be catastrophic for the island.

In the beginning I was very against all the "don't come here" requests... but I have converted. I get it. Right now I think we have to respond with an altruistic attitude and remember we are all in it together. If this goes on too long, and they keep ticketing dudes alone on a paddle board in the ocean, I can see it going to hell and people getting selfish. For me, it isn't there yet.

So, as much as I am jonesing for a Cat run, I am down with the struggle and I'll stay local. Fingers crossed things return to post-COVID-normal (whatever that turns out to be) soon. I have to say I am worried that there will be a lingering attitude of skepticism towards tourists and non-locals the world over... but that remains to be seen.

And I am hoping that the more respectful tourists are today, the more respect they will be given when we come out the other side. For the karma alone, I am planning to respect the request.

Best of luck to you and all the island residents.
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby Bill McIntyre » April 6th, 2020, 12:32 pm

Meanwhile, frigging Bob Ballew is over on Spearboard saying that seabass are showing on three backside spots.

Jesus H. Christ! Can't someone shut him up?
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby db1 » April 6th, 2020, 3:19 pm

ooooh... then nevermind about what I just said! haha.. just kidding.
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby dam » April 6th, 2020, 3:23 pm

db1 wrote:ooooh... then nevermind about what I just said! haha.. just kidding.

LOL! :bowrofl:
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby John Hughes » April 6th, 2020, 6:53 pm

Bill Fkn McIntyre wrote:Meanwhile, frigging Bob Ballew is over on Spearboard saying that seabass are showing on three backside spots.

Jesus H. Christ! Can't someone shut him up?


I certainly wish Bill but I think the answer to that is a solid NO. The guys ego is too big and DEMANDS attention. Unfortunately, the new Gen feeds the ego. :ugh:
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby Matthew Rice » April 7th, 2020, 6:08 pm

John,

Don't want to go and speak ill of a man I've never met, and I am a huge proponent of second chances in this world. That said, thirty seconds searching on google certainly yields a wealth of knowledge. I just hope we will be turning the corner on this pandemic sooner than later so we can go back to taking pictures of dead fish. Worrying about this pandemic is a whole lot less fun. It's clear that the island is one of the most isolated communities in coastal Southern California. Having their medical resources overrun by somebody coming over on the express, the barge, or by somebody on a private boat out there when they don't absolutely have to be is a potential tragedy we can and should avoid.
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby John Hughes » April 7th, 2020, 7:12 pm

Matthew Rice wrote:John,

Don't want to go and speak ill of a man I've never met, and I am a huge proponent of second chances in this world. That said, thirty seconds searching on google certainly yields a wealth of knowledge. I just hope we will be turning the corner on this pandemic sooner than later so we can go back to taking pictures of dead fish. Worrying about this pandemic is a whole lot less fun. It's clear that the island is one of the most isolated communities in coastal Southern California. Having their medical resources overrun by somebody coming over on the express, the barge, or by somebody on a private boat out there when they don't absolutely have to be is a potential tragedy we can and should avoid.


Agree completely. :)
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby chris oak » April 7th, 2020, 8:07 pm

That is a gigantic bummer Juan, I hope it was contained right away.

As for Bob, he's a legend in his own mind and the reason he got the boot here was because he was copying and pasting info from fishdope and some other online media. We asked him politely twice not to not specifically name spots and he got mad and said some nasty remarks. I know he lurks here but it's a free country. I'm sure he has a nice boat and has a lot of helpful knowledge about spearing. I'm also sure he hasn't dove nor shot a fish in a quite a long time regardless of what he says because otherwise you'd see pictures.
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby Bill McIntyre » April 8th, 2020, 10:55 am

And now the Great Ballew pretends that we're bitching about him blowing up spots when he knows damn well that the concern is about his posts are about attracting people to the island. Here is the latest:

"...There are more large seabass out there than anytime in the past 40 years. I think there is plenty to go around..."

Good work Bob. I know you are reading this. Now man up and quit pretending that you don't know that this about saving lives rather than protecting spots.
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Re: A request from the Isthmus

Postby Donzi Paul » April 8th, 2020, 5:48 pm

I have been drinking a little...back pain self med. I will not be coming to the island till legal passage and welcome. I, like my old friend Bob have not shot a fish this year and only a few last year. I don't give a F what the posts are over at the other place, I don't visit there. I left that forum because the drama and BS was not fun anymore. I hope it doesn't breed here.

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