It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cave 2, Day 0: Ginnie Spring Shakeout Dive

When we met Antonio during our trip in December, it was at the end of our last diving day, so we unfortunately didn't get to dive together. Instead, we planned to meet up on Sunday before class and dive at Ginnie. This plan was put in jeopardy when we got screwed by American Airlines and ended up staying overnight in Dallas. But we got to High Springs around noon with plenty of time to do an afternoon dive at Ginnie. We were relieved to find all of the gear that we expected at EE, including two shiny new sets of 104s -- the shiniest sets I've ever seen! Actually I think they are technically HP130s. We also each left a drysuit there in January. I left mine with Steve Gamble for a new zipper, and he was kind enough to drop it off at EE; Rob left his in a bin in Doug's garage, and the bag it was in had some interesting new flora growing on it. And we'd shipped a couple of boxes of gear there as well. Once we found everything, we headed to Ginnie.

It was kind of toasty, a bit warm for being on the surface in a drysuit with a 400gm undergarment. We specifically picked February to avoid the heat, but it was unseasonably warm. Still, 80 degrees was a lot better than the 95+ we had in July (or the 90 degrees in T2). Antonio had been diving the day before, and had practiced running the reel into both the Ear and the Eye, so he left the joy of reel running to us. I said I wanted to practice running it into the Ear, and Rob wanted to practice running it into the Eye. So we planned to do two dives, one through the Eye (first) and one through the Ear (second).

I hate the Eye, because it takes so dang long to get through there, even though it is a bit more gentle of an entry than the Ear. But we went in there without too much drama, and when we got to the Gallery, it seemed like the flow was a bit down, although I think I made up for that with poor technique :) The first dive was pretty uneventful, other than Rob doing his best to leave me in his dust, and stopping every now and then, giving me an okay, and after I had NOT returned it (because I wanted a moment to catch my breath), continuing on anyway. Classic Rob. We got up to the Maple Leaf-ish area, though I don't think we actually made it to the Leaf before turning. But we definitely made it to at least 800 feet. (I knew during and after the dive where we made it, I swear, but some time has passed and now it's foggy.) Once we were past the Cornflakes, I could pretty much frog kick most of the way, which I typically can't, so that tells you how much the flow was down.

After a brief chat on the surface, we swam over to the Ear, and it was my turn to lead. The brown river water was covering part of the Ear, which is too bad, since last time it was totally clear which was really cool. I dropped down to the little alcove at 30 feet, and proceeded to flounder while trying to do a primary tie here and there. Then Rob pointed out the best primary tie ever (which I will henceforth remember, because it's that good) and I tied to that. I made a second tie before heading down the chute, and it would actually have made a pretty decent primary tie too. Once I got down the chute, running the reel was pretty uneventful. We got to the main line and we were off. I felt like a monkey humping a football, as Doug would say, in the Gallery. I wasn't quite high enough, even though I was trying to be as high as I could, there is always more room above me than I think! I really prefer not leading through the Gallery, so I can watch and follow my more spatially-aware buddies :) We made it somewhere beyond the Cornflakes, but obviously not as far as the first dive, since we had less gas. Pulling the reel went pretty well, which was good, since the last time I did this at the ear, it was mildly traumatic. This time, the only drama was when I got almost to 30 feet, Rob was trying to be a little too helpful, and I eventually had to shoo him away so I could have the 30 foot spot while I did some final cleanup of the reel. I guess he didn't want to head to the log until he was sure I would not need his assistance. I met them on the log, and found that the log is kind of annoying with 3 people. I was flopping around next to the log even though Antonio had offered me a spot on his end of the log. Then he offered again and I took him up on it that time :)

After that, we did some valve drills and S-drills in the spring run. Then we ran a bit of line, and we practiced gas sharing on the line, and crossing the line with the long hose. Rob and I had practiced that a bunch a few weeks before at the SJSU pool (along with quite a bit of no-mask breath hold practice, since I epic failed that drill in C1), so it went pretty well. After that, we packed up and headed to dinner at the Great Outdoors. We sat on the patio, which I've never done before. I got soup and salad. I don't recommend the French onion soup; it was super salty.

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