Monday, April 23, 2007

Dive Report Saturday and Sunday

Diving in a wetsuit is much more pleasant when the sun is shining.

Saturday and Sunday both had excellent weathe - sunshine and temps in the 76 degree F plus range. The water was also a bit warmer at around 45-46 degrees, and that made all the diffefence in the dives comfort-wise.

On Saturday the dive went well - I did the basic 5 skills (1. reg out & in; 2. reg out, change, clip off and reverse; 3. Long hose deployment; 4. mask flood and clear; and 5. mask removal, replacement and clear). The buoyancy was getting better, but still plenty to work on.

And on Sunday it all went to hell. It was Earth Day and the divers go out and clear trash off the bottom of the lake. The plan was to do a dive working on the buoyancy skills, then make our way back picking up trash as we went.

It did not work out that way.

Sunday started off decent, get in the water, swim out and quickly lose sight of everybody in the silt, which after not nearly enough time looking, I surfaced. This was a sign and I should have understood right then that the dive was not going to get any better.

So off we went and at the designated spot I began the basic skills while hovering. Skills 1 and 2 went ok, with being a little too buoyant from taking too deep a breath.

Skill 3 began well enough - reg out, full longhose deployment, and as I went to switch back and stow the hose it all went to hell in the prverbial handbasket. I began a really wicked out of control spin towards the surface (we're talking full 360 degree circles here). With thoughts of WTF? Oh F!, oh F!, Oh F-ity F! (this is a family audience blog so I'll keep the exact transcript censored), I kept heading up, spinning all the way, dumping air like hell from the wing, finally I was able to get it under control and descended back down.

We called the dive shortly thereafter, cause it was not going to get any better, not to mention that all those gyrations caused me to go through air like crazy, dropping me down to turnaround pressure much too quickly.

Lessons learned - I suck at hovering, while ok during movement. As my instructor said, even a trained monkey can be neutral while moving, to which I reply - "oo, oo, oo, eek eek eek!"

More practice, lots more practice is needed, as this precision buoyancy stuff ain't easy, no matter how easy they make it look. The plus side, for the first time this dive season I was at a comfortable temperature both in the water and on departure.

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