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Me diving

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cave 1: Day 4: Ginnie Springs

We met at EE to pickup tanks and then headed to Ginnie. Doug gave us some tips on where to be at various points in the cave to dodge the flow. Once we met David at Ginnie and got signed in, he told us that for the first dive, Doug would lead us and run the line, and that we should just try to imitate Doug in terms of positioning in the cave. He also gave us tips on how to deal with specific areas, like the entry (we were entering through the ear) and the lips. I was super nervous before the dive, probably more than at any point during the class. I was pretty terrified as I dove head first down into the ear. The entry was difficult but actually kind of fun. I was "leading" behind Doug (I dubbed Doug #0 so I could still be 1 :) ). I did my best to zip around corners and across the cave the same way he did. We made it past the keyhole and just a bit beyond the left turn in the line before turning it. The ride back was pretty fun.

I noticed Doug's light was gone shortly after turning the dive, so I started doing the usual "where's my buddy" antics, and got the move along hand signal from David. Then I caught Doug in the corner of my light, with his light turned off. Apparently during the briefing when David said "Doug will lead you into the cave and be part of the team (muffle-muffle-mrph-blah)" (I was sporting the 12mm hood), he really said he wouldn't be part of the team on the way out. But I think Doug was amused that I cared enough to look for him. We had no failures on the way out, which was shocking. David said he never does that but was feeling nice (I bet he says that to all the ladies). When we got to the surface, I said it wasn't as bad as I expected, which got a laugh from David and Doug. We did two more dives, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with the usual assortment of failures.

During lunch, we did the lost line land drill where we closed our eyes, got spun around and had to search for the line. That was fun both to do and to watch the others do. While I was searching for a place to tie off to, I found the line. So I felt like I didn't quite get my money's worth on that one. On the last dive of the day, we practiced the lost line protocol in t. I totally sucked at it and took almost twice as long as Oleg and four times as long as Rob. But I eventually did find the line and was quite relieved. At some point after that David made some comment about how I seem to have spatial orientation issues, hehehe. Well at least I can find my way out of a carpark. Rob told me that it would have been more effective to spend the 18 minutes just waiting for the flow to spit me out of the cave :)

At the end of the day, David asked if we should do Friday here or at Peacock and I quickly said here, and got laughed at.

We had one funny incident today. At some point we all lost our primary lights in quick succession. I put my hand on the line as a reference and waited for Rob to get out his backup and cleanup the primary. When I looked up, he had two backups in his hands and was trying to give me one. I found this annoying, since it implied to me that I was too slow at deploying my backup, so he'd give me his (it's a lot like when he times my bag shoot, which is, you know, my favorite thing about diving with Rob).

We had the night "off" so that we could take the final exam together. We went to Great Outdoors for dinner and did the exam there. Oleg said he thought it was more of an English exam than a cave diving exam :) After that, we headed to the inn to get to sleep early, since we had the early swim test on Friday.

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