Monday, June 25, 2012

Dives 217 And 218: Negative Viz And A Positive Attitude

Dive 217 took place last Wednesday and it was rather interesting.

Jeremy and I arrived at the boat launch to find the parking lot packed to the gills with trucks and trailers. They were even parked in the conspicuously labeled no parking zone. This led to much fun later when said trucks and trailers tried to leave the parking lot. They quickly found out they didn't have room to make a turn around in the lot due to the goofballs parking in the turning area and had to back through the lot in reverse, missing the parked trailers while doing so, and enter the quite busy Union Lake road trailer first - smooth move there guys.

Unbeknownst to us, it turns out there was a bass fishing tournament going on which accounted for the congestion.

We parked in a spot that opened up and got in the water.

The viz was terrible with an extra serving of boat prop churned suck. Think 1-2 feet of visibility max. often Jeremy could only see me by the glow of my light and vice-versa - and we were only an arms-length away!

We made it to the pontoon boat, tied off our flag and did some valve drills, basic six drills, stage bottle gas switch/deploy/stow drills and mask off line drills. We quickly noticed that if you had your mask off and eyes shut or your mask on and eyes open there wasn't much difference in what you could see.

Meanwhile boats were getting pretty darn close overhead so we were glad to be hanging out at 25 feet or so, as a prop from a boat will wreck your day in a hurry.

So we then headed back to our entry point and got out of the water.

We then learned about the bass tournament, and we also learned from one of the fisherman that we do show up on fish finders.

Luckily for us they didn't mistake us for prize-wining bass and try to catch us.

I would think the dive flag would have been a clue that we were there but you never know, most boaters seem to use it as a slalom marker.

So not a bad dive - excellent trim and buoyancy control all the way through and good practice.

Dive 218 started off yesterday on a calm Sunday morning.

Keith, Maki, Chad, Terry, Jeremy and I met up at the boat parking lot and there were few boats to be seen which was quite happy making.

After gearing up we got in and the viz was better than Wednesday night by far.

Jeremy and I did some valve drills then joined everyone else. Chad and Jeremy passed a stage bottle back and forth and I did the same with Keith and it went quite well.

Everything was going great and then Chad threw and out of air signal and was swimming right by me with no reg in his mouth.

I then did the smoothest air share long hose deployment ever - perfectly in trim and buoyancy and wham I had the regulator right out there where he needed it.

Perfect, perfect, perfect.

He then waved it off.

He was meaning to trip Terry or Maki with the out of air drill as they weren't aware of what he was doing. Damn, a perfect donation and its spurned.

So I then switched back to my longhose and momentarily threw an out of air at Jeremy as he was busy watching Chad et al do an airshare.

Heh, I'm evil that way. Jeremy did it just fine and we then cut that drill and after a bit more swimming around headed back to end a great dive.

So two great dives in one week, and life underwater is good.

Jeremy and I are considering taking the Overhead protocol class and then going on for cave certification later this year and it looks like we'll be ready. With luck Rob will join us and we'll have a very capable team assembled.

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