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Me diving

Saturday, February 17, 2007

GUE Fundamentals, Day 4

This was our first real in-water session. We met at the outdoor pool (heated to a balmy 70F) at 8am to do 2 dives. This is about the perfect pool temperature for a long day's exposure as we were wearing the same undergarments we normally do in Monterey (55F) in the pool, and were neither cool nor warm at the end of the day. We set up our tables and went over some pre-dive procedures, team roles, team positioning, signalling and did land-drills for the basic 5. We changed into our drysuits and started getting geared up. For this dive, Beto was team leader, and ran us through GUE-EDGE. The plan was to do a 30min dive, max-depth 9ft, spend a few minutes working on bouyancy and trim and then run through each of the kicks (flutter, mod. flutter, frog, mod. frog and backkick). After a mod-valve and mod-S, we got in the water. Beto showed us a way on the surface to make sure that there was enough flexibility in the drysuit. We did some bubble-checks and then began our dive.

We worked a little bit on holding trim and buoyancy and in the process, made some quick adjustments to weighting and harness positioning. That was a convenient thing about being in the pool. We practiced each kick and swam each kick around in a lap for the camera to see. We finished each kick and then called the dive, doing a 1min. stop at 5ft.

For Dive 2, we made some minor adjustments to harness positioning and weight distribution. I was team captain for this dive and took us through the pre-dive sequence. The plan was for a 30 min dive. We were going to go for a short 5 minute dive around the pool, then work on buoyancy/trim and the backward kick some more, the helicopter turn and the basic 5.

We each did the kicks, and my majestic backward kick returned, although I tended to move up a little on the backwards kick, due to being slightly head heavy. We then started in on the basic 5. Rob went first, and then noticed that 29min. had past, so we agreed to a 10min. extension. Then I did my basic 5 and then we called the dive.

We had "practiced" each of these skills before, in the sense of "let's spend a few minutes at the end of a fun-dive to do them", but it really didn't help any. It was almost embarassing how much difficulty was involved in just running through those drills, regardless of how supportive Beto was during the in-water debrief. It's also surprising that you tend to mess up things that you have never messed up before, such as forgetting to clip off the long-hose. None of that went unnoticed either, and it didn't take the video to point it out :P

After the debrief, we dumped our remaining gas down to 500psi and went down to do a weight check. We were both pretty close to neutral, so no real adjustments were made.

We packed up our gear and headed back to the classroom for some video review and lecture, stopping on the way to pick up some sandwiches.

The video review picked up some small interesting details in general that I would never noticed before, but I won't bore you with them here. We went over each of the dives analyzing the kicks and the basic 5. One thing that we noticed, and this was true throughout the class, is that things that feel frenetic or spazzy underwater, actually don't always look that bad on video.

The lecture covered min deco and gas choices. We finished up around 8pm, went home and fell asleep.

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