It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cave 1: Day 1: Blue Grotto

We met at Blue Grotto at 9 on Monday morning. We did our introductions and then did some gear review. David randomly asked us questions like "why do we put this on this post?". It's a good thing I sat in on one of Rob's practice lectures on equipment recently, or I totally would have made a fool of myself (and maybe still did). Then we did some line drills on land and practiced following a line in touch contact with our eyes closed. We also each practiced running the primary reel to the fake mainline that was setup. By the time we were finished, it was about time for lunch, so we ate lunch (or for those of us with first-day-of-class jitters, nibbled on a little piece of sandwich) before gearing up and getting in the water. I think Doug was a little worried I wasn't going to make it to the water in the 104s, but I was just pacing myself for a long week of walks to the water :)

Doug and David ran a little course in open water and we practiced all of our kicks around the course, plus back kick and helicopter turn on one of the platforms, while Doug video'd us. It was like fundies all over again! Then we did valve and S-drills and came up to debrief. After that, we did 3 short dives into the overhead, so that we could each get some practice running the reel. During these dives, there were some minor failures in the cavern zone (e.g. lights going out). After that, we practiced line following in touch contact in "zero viz". That was simulated by taking our masks off and flipping them around so the straps covered our eyes. I was mildly terrified of this drill, since I am not a big no-mask fan, even less so when I can't see. Between that and how long we'd been in the water, I figured there was a 50/50 chance I would pee my pants during the dive :) The no-mask thing actually didn't bother me -- I guess there's a big difference between 70 degree freshwater and 50 degree sea water. The drill was, however, a total cluster and took forever. When I felt the reel as we got to the end, I think I yelled "thank god" through my reg.

After a debrief, we cleaned up and headed to the parking lot to watch the video in Doug's van. I was shocked to find that my trim in 104s is actually reasonably good. But David said I extend my legs too far back (which I think is because I feel like I'm about to do a headstand in 104s, but I realize this is probably 90% psychological). After the video debrief, we were done for the night (shocking). We stopped at the BBQ place in Newberry for dinner and then headed back to the country inn. Doug was kind enough to take our empty doubles back to EE and fill them for tomorrow.

Somehow we managed to spend two days at Blue Grotto without getting any pictures -- lame, I know, but talk to the team photogs. So I am reusing this pic from T2 :)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

No comments??? People can be so cruel.

Is that Doug of the gorgeous blue eyes? 'haven't seen him for awhile. Ah the Ginnie land drills sound familiar.

Excellent choice for an instructor, Dave Rhea. Does he still have his Hummer?

'Looks like you're getting to know the local flora/fauna/folks. Ginnie Springs turtles might take a little nibble, but don't pet the gators. Steve Gamble is THE man for suits. Kazbor's often hosts "wings night" or "ribs night" on Thursdays---all (or most) dive politics are cast aside and the lions and lambs lay down together to gnaw their prey (as a vegetarian, I nibble on a black bean taco and enjoy the show). Check out the pizza across the street from the Inn (up the road away, near the subway).

I keep telling Vic and Sam at the Inn that they need to have cats for the guests. My two (Sheck and Fannie) used to make the trip before kitty airfares went through the roof.

Will need to pick this blog up "tomorrow" meaning later today!