It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cave 1: Day 3: Peacock Springs

We met at EE in the morning to fill tanks, then headed to Peacock. I was pretty terrified to go into a real cave. We looked at the water and had a briefing. The plan was to dive, lunch, land drill, dive. But at the end of the briefing we inundated David with questions about cookies and line arrows, so he decided to do land drills first since, as he put it, we were apparently all afraid he was going to leave us in the cave :) We went over lost line and lost diver protocols. Doug did the presentation, then we practiced it a bit on land. By the time we were finished, it was lunchtime, so we ate and then got in the water. Peacock does not have civilized facilities, just a port-a-potty, which I found surprisingly un-gross. On the other hand, they have a gorgeous wooden deck path to the water which is better than having to step over tree roots (and they have those cool tank benches too, though they are too tall for me). When we got in the water, the basin was pretty green. But it wasn't as yucky as David had described it and had a distinct lack of dead animals floating in the water (he thought it would be worse, from the rain).

The diving was pretty much like the day before, with us doing a dive as usual and then being hit with failures on the way out. It was pretty spooky in there. David estimated the viz at 40 feet. He said the viz there is usually like 100 feet. It was very brown and dark feeling in there (yes, I realize all caves are dark, but this was more mucky feeling). There was also a touch of flow -- enough to notice, but no more than that. We did two dives and managed to not foobar anything up too badly (and remember our flow checks!). We did have one memorable blooper. At about 25 feet, right at the cavern exit, I lost my second post and went on Oleg's long hose. When we got to our 20 foot stop, suddenly I see Rob's reg in my face. He wanted me to switch onto it, because he had more gas. Afterward I told Rob that I was wondering for a moment if that was his reason, or if he just didn't trust Oleg to bring me up on his long hose. Rob was not very pleased when I told him that during the debrief. We finished the day with yet another round of valve and S-drills, right at the cave opening, to get experience with the flow. Rob had to be a showoff and orient himself so he was back kicking against the flow.

After that, we headed to EE for lecture and gas. Before we left Peacock, David asked if we wanted to do another day there before we headed to Devil's to dive in flow. I said I would rather do Peacock. I let it be known that I was terrified of the flow. Doug did the lectures that evening, on dive planning, deco, emergency procedures, blah blah blah. At the end of the lecture, David re-proposed going to Devil's the next day, and said that Rob had said "we" wanted to train in FL to learn to deal with flow (I think Rob botched the communication on that one) and assured us that they would show us how to deal with it, and if we didn't like it, we could go back to Peacock on Friday. Then they left the room and let the team decided. We decided to go to Devil's, since we knew we would have more time in the water on Thursday than on Friday, and wanted a full day to work with high flow. This meant that Doug had to refill the tanks, since we wanted 30/30 (we're so high maintenance). So David used that time to finish up the lectures.

When that was finished, we headed to the Fleetwood Diner for dinner. Because of class nervousness, I had trouble eating normally up to this point in the week, but on Wednesday this reached a tipping point where I was feeling totally hungry and ate a ton of food for dinner plus this adorable little chocolate cream pie that I found at Winn Dixie, and finally felt like I had some energy!

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