Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dives # 119 and 120 at Gilboa

Two good dives at Gilboa Saturday.

After a 2 and a half hour drive after getting up an ugly early hour for a Saturday, I got to Gilboa Quarry at 9am, the scheduled start time for our dust-off dives....

And joined the group of my fellow divers for this dive waiting outside the gate as it didn't open till 10. Sadly the website did not mention the late starts for March.


Well, James knows the owner of the quarry who came and opened it up at about 9:45 and after the world's longest waiver and paying the entrance fee, off to the diving spot we went.

Dive 1 : Basic skills and train wrecks.

And a train wreck it was. We all went down to the platform at 28 feet and started working on some basic skills - kicks, regulator removal and retrieval, and valve drills for those of us in doubletanks.

I sucked. Ok kicks but buoyancy control was off as was the valve drill. I need to practice more later.

On the good side, all the gear worked fine after the maintenance overhaul and the regulators breathed perfectly.

Dive 2 supposed to be an 8 minute skill dive - 1 minute descent per ten feet, stop at 40, come up ten feet each minute. Should be easy right? Not so much.

I'm in a team with Wes and John Mills for this exercise. John is in double tanks as am I, and Wes is in a single. Down we go and at 30 feet, here comes James. First he simulates Wes having an Out-Of-Air, so Wes swims to John and gets his long hose.

James then fails John's right valve post by blowing bubbles on that side.

The right valve post is where Wes happends to be breathing from.

John starts to shut it down, recalls Wes is on it, signals to Wes that he's out of air and points him to me. I then give Wes my long hose and he breathes off my tanks as we resume the ascent.

All of this is on video, and I swear the camera adds 10 pounds of lift! The extra lift of course messes up your buoyancy control nicely.

After the two skill dives we had a lesurely dive around the area- through the jet plane, in through the cargo jhatch of thehelicopter and up into the crew compartment - all good stuff.

By then the 43 degree water was getting a little chilly so it was time to get out.

We then went to a local restaurant, took over one of the TVs and hooked James' video camera to it and critiqued the dives. A decent learning experience and lots of points on where to improve.

The drive home sucked, especially due to construction on 275, with the signs warning of the construction and multiple lane closures happening right after the last possible exit before themess (thanks MDOT!). Of course no construction was occuring but two lanes were shut and about 35 minutes later I got past that couple miles of mess, having killed my return time completely. The things we do to get a good dive in.


Murphy's Law said...

Who needs buoyancy control when you got a nice bottom to land on? This quarry, it does have a bottom, no?

Aaron said...

Yes, but you don't want to walk on it and kill the visibility. Not to mention sometimes the bottom is farther down than you want to be, or you need to hold your spot while doing deco.

The idea is to keep in control and avoid silting out the place.