Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dive #164 - Watching the Ovehead Protocol Class in Union Lake

Today I went to watch a few of the dives in the UTD Overhead Protocol class. Unfortunately Mills and Keith forgot to tell me they were doing an overhead class with James and began without me. Had I but known, I would have been in it with them. Now I have to wait until we can get another group of divers together to do it. Sigh.

The Overhead Protocol class gives you the skill set you need to advance to take a cave or shipwreck penetration class - it involves a lot of no-mask or dark mask (taped over masks that you cannot see through) and line work.

On the upside, the weather was sunny and warm, the water 59 degrees and I got to come along on some of their final dives and watch James kick their butts all over the place. I was following Maki who was handling the video of the class dives and it was quite interesting. I had it pretty easy - just working on keeping perfect trim and buoyancy and keeping out of the camera's way -- not easy when the action kept shifting as things kept happening.

When Keith and John both had their dark masks on and were doing a line drill they both hammered into the silt releasing a massive and spreading dark cloud (I figure I'll do the same when my time comes) that soon separated myself from Maki and everyone else. Viz dropped so much you couldn't see anything, so I just stayed by a line so I wouldn't get lost and eventually they made it through the silt.

After that it was easy - watching and following ascent drills and keeping out of the way on lost line drills - they look like fun and I can't wait to take the class. Keith and Mills did great on the dives so I'll really have to work at it to get to their level in the class when it happens.

Dive time: 2 hours.
Average Depth: 28 feet.
Viz: very good with occasional bursts of silt.

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