It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cave 2, Day 1: Ginnie Springs

We arrived at EE a little early so we could fill tanks, and eventually David showed up. When he saw our rental car, a sedan, he was very disappointed in us. Strike 1. But we decided the (very large) premium to rent an SUV or van was not worth it, since we knew Antonio had a giant SUV, and told us we could stash tanks in there. We did some paperwork, and somehow managed to escape the dreaded "introductions" where we have to say who we are and why we are there. I despise this part of GUE classes; to me, it's like one step removed from sitting in a circle and talking about our feelings. I'm here because I want the training, do I really have to make it more flowery than that? Anyhoo, after getting all of our tanks and such, we headed to Ginnie. We started out doing a long field drill on installing jumps. Rob thought this drill was a bit too long, but I thought it was quite useful, at least after the fact. When it was my turn to install a jump for the first time, I remember thinking, I'm glad we did all that practice in the woods earlier.

By the time we were done with that, we decided to have lunch before getting in the water. Then David briefed us on the dive, and we looked at the map. The plan was to setup a circuit that involved four jumps. I was thinking this was a standard GUE class, where you go from never having done any jumps, to doing 4 jumps on the first dive :) But it wasn't too bad. The first jump was the one after the Cornflakes, which I have swam over and looked down many times. The last jump was back onto the mainline at about 650'. If we made it all the way there, we were then to recalculate gas and head further up the mainline (after noting the time and gas required to make it that far). Otherwise, we would drop a cookie on the line to mark how far we made it before turning. Oh and we brought O2 bottles too. We chatted about how we would typically plan deco for such a dive (since we were all T2), and I confessed that we had a rule for dives in this range, but that I could probably count on one hand how many times we'd actually done deco dives in this range (shallow and long with O2). We were going to enter through the Eye. David asked about what we had done on Sunday and who had run the reel, and after we told him that Rob had run the reel into the Eye, I was sure he would say one of the other of us would have to run it today. Instead, he said Rob could run the reel, since he had just practiced it. Phew. David is getting soft in his old age. That put Antonio in second and me in third, since that was the order we were in during our field drills. David assured me that he didn't put me in third because I'm a girl; I didn't know that was the customary position to put the girl, so I made no such assumption :)

The dive went pretty well, but then I didn't really have much to do :) My only complaint was that the pace was rather tiring to me. This was largely because I was swimming in passages were I would probably normally pull and glide, because I was in the back and saw the boys both swimming (frog kicking no less) without looking particularly tired by it, so I figured I should be able to swim too. That was pretty silly logic though :) We made it back to the mainline, and up the mainline another 200 psi before I turned it on gas. The exit involved a variety of failures, none of which were particularly tricky to deal with. When we got back to our bottles, we found a nice little area at 20 feet, which I had never really noticed before, to do our deco, such as it was. After surfacing and having a bit of debrief, we got out to switch tanks, etc. I realized that there was quite a bit of water sloshing around in my right boot. Grumble grumble. It had been completely dry the day before! We headed back in to complete the circuit, with Antonio leading this dive, so I was #2. Once again, we planned to recalculate gas when we got to the "last" jump of the circuit, and head further up the mainline. Once again we had about 200 psi to head up the line with. Once again, on the way out, we had a variety of failures, not too different from the first set of failures, except now we had some decisions to make about pulling spools and what-not. As #2 on the dive, I actually got to help with pulling spools and the like, and after some team reordering I even got to pull some spools myself. We did a bit more deco on this dive, since it was our second of the day, and then once again we had a bit of debrief after surfacing. By the time we got out, I was wet up to my hip on the right side. I figured I would dry out the suit as best I could overnight, and then hopefully someone at EE could do some magic the next morning.

We were finished surprisingly early, before 7, and agreed to meet at EE at 9 the next morning (giving us time to get there earlier and get fills), with the plan to head to Peacock. For dinner we went to the Springs Diner (formerly the Fleetwood Diner, formerly Floyd's Diner). Sadly, it basically sucked. We were all disappointed by what we had. The night before, at Great Outdoors, I mentioned my love of key lime pie, so we decided to get a slice at the diner. It was pretty good, so at least one thing we had did not disappoint.

No comments: