It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, February 18, 2007

GUE Fundamentals, Day 5

We met back at the pool for dives 3 and 4. Dive 3, with me as team captain, was going to repeat the basic 5, and introduce the valve drill and the S-drill. We ran through each of these on land first, got dressed, ran through the pre-dive sequence and then hit the water. We also started doing a simulated controlled descent with a 1 minute stop at 5ft.

After a bubble check, we did a quick check at the surface to see if we could swim our rig in the event of a wing failure. My rig was fine, but Rob couldn't keep his afloat for longer than 15 seconds. Ditching his can light (his only ditchable weight), he could fight to keep his head above water. He was surprised by this, but I wasn't really. The way I felt the last time I was in doubles, I can't imagine keeping afloat with a dead wing.

The dive was pretty uneventful. Our basic 5 drills were much better today. Rob figured out that the high-volume mask (gasp the horror!) he was wearing caused him to sink if he tried to clear the mask in one breath. We then each did a valve drill, without noticeable difficulty. When we ran the S-drill, Rob got horribly confused when he was donating and was waiting for me to establish touch-contact to start moving toward the exit. We were both waiting for each, but of course, I was right :) Rob kept forgetting to clip off the longhose, but worse, I didn't notice and tell him to fix it. So Beto kept having to step in and tell him to clean it up. That is now Rob's favorite hand signal, and I don't just mean while diving :)

For the next dive, Rob was team leader. We ran through some land drills for shooting the bag (Rob's favorite) and talked about managing the line, and how line is evil, and that line will seek to strangle and kill you if it can (pay attention, this comes back later).

The plan was for us to go down, run through the valve and S-drills again, each do a no-mask swim, then shoot the bag and do an ascent reeling on the way up. Then we would go back down to do an unconscious diver rescue.

The valve drills went fine, and the S-drills better. Now, the bag shoot. Rob shot his bag, and that was fairly uneventful, but then after he clipped off the line to the spool, he just let it hang (just like in the 5thdx video). Beto gave him a look, and he was later chastised for this.

Then I shot my bag, and, after clipping off the line, let it hang also. I have this bad habit of moving forward a lot during drills. As a result, after I shot the bag, I was like "where is everyone?" and turned to see where they were (behind me). As soon as I did this, the line wrapped around my canister. Doh. So we untangled that, and then reeled up to the surface, where we were chastised about evil line and it's desire to strangle.

After two days in the pool, I was still having problems with being head heavy. As a result, I was constantly having to kick to keep the air out of my feet, which meant that I was moving forward during my drills. Susan had some suggestions for how to position myself to be less head heavy. So we went back down and she got me to the point where I could hover motionless, without going head down, but it really took all of my concentration.

After packing up, and grabbing some sandwiches, it was back to the classroom for video review. Dionna was at Aquan when we got there, with Mango (her bird), so they watched the video with us. The best part was that everytime one of us did something sufficiently dumb and we all started laughing, Mango would laugh along with us. His cackling at us was definitely amusing. The video review took a while so we didn't get to do any lecture.

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