Tonight was my first class assist. I have to say it was a lot of fun! Basically, I was the training dummy for the instructor. Beats the hell out of doing all the exercises I had to do last week!
Tonight was all about training a set of new Open Water (OW) divers in basic skills (mask removal, air-share, etc..). This reminded me of my own OW class, and how alien this all felt to me back then. Since then I’ve basically been obsessed with diving, and in my obsession I’ve collected a TON of useful tips; most of these from scubaboard.com posts.
I realized that I haven’t really seen a single place where all these great tips can be found. Sure, you can use the search function on scubaboard, but thats no fun. So, I’ve started a Tips section on this site, and I’ll be adding to it as I run across useful tips and tricks! You can use the Tips link up top to see what’s there so far.
Well, it certainly hasn’t gotten any easier. As I write this, I’m almost completely out of energy. Tonight was more DM pool work, and I think I actually got some stuff done.
I completed the scuba don at depth thingy, but the scuba ditch&don gave me some problems. The biggest problem was not being able to get down there fast enough, and expending too much effort on the way. This was solved by putting 26 lbs of weight on my weight belt. Wow! It was like being strapped to a boat anchor! Obviously this was going to be a one-way trip on the express elevator down, which was a BIG motivator to get it right the first time.
Also completed was the buddy-breathing gear exchange. This worked a LOT better once I had a flat surface. By the way, this drill is just dumb. Here’s how it works: One person has on all their gear and sits on the bottom, while the other person only has fins and a weight-belt at the surface. The person at the surface dives down to the person on the bottom and they begin the old puff-puff-pass regulator share. The person one the bottom takes off their scuba unit and mask, and passes it to the skin diver who puts it on, all the while you are maintaining the puff-puff-pass rhythm. Once this is done, the pair must swim underwater 25 ft and then surface! I ask you, when in real life would this ever be required? Think about it: You have a complete equipment failure, so you put on your buddy’s gear leaving them with nothing. Oh, and after that, you keep swimming underwater! Ya, I don’t see this EVER happening.
I still suck at the 25 yard underwater swim and the skin diver ditch&don – basically I just need to work on my endurance on a single breath. Also I need to do the marathon 880 yard swim, as well as the 440 timed swim. Really not looking forward to those.
On another note, the pool we went to tonight was one of the oddest public pools I’ve ever seen! This ain’t no standard olympic pool! No sir. This damn thing had TWO water slides, hot tubs, and all kinds of craziness!
With all these classes and all this pool-time, I wanted to take advantage of a free weekend and log some ME time. The plan was simple: Three friends and I would kill 2 tanks each out at Millbrook Quarry. The only requirement I had was that I not have to do much of anything, just muck around between platforms or wander around aimlessly.
We did just that, and it was everything I thought it could be. We had 2 relaxing dives where we just followed the wall around 30 ft. and enjoyed whatever scenery we could see. Of course we experienced some of the worst visibility I had ever seen there, but it still didn’t suck! 🙂
One of the coolest things that we found in our wanderings was a HUGE bass. I swear this thing was around 2 1/2 feet long, and had a massive gaping maw! By the time I got the camera ready, he had decided to take off, but I was able to snap one shot of him (seen above) as he was departing.
So this week I have more DM class to deal with, starting with a pool session on Thursday. I have no doubt that I’ll sleep well on Thursday night…