It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Corrupting Ted at Ginnie

Now that Ted's class was finally over, it was time for some real diving, bwahaha.  Antonio was in town, so Ted was moping about how if we wanted to go do some cooler dive with Antonio, he could take the day off and rest his ears.  What-ev!  So I dove with Ted, while Rob and Antonio went and did their own thing.  Step 1 was convincing Ted of the silliness of diving without stages.  I mean, really, why would you even bother? :)  Once we got past that, we took a look at the big map at EE, the one that shows the lines, and I bombarded Ted with options for the dive.  He started to look a little scared, so I figured I should just pick where I wanted to go.  So I decided to go up the double lines.  I love this area, and I was hoping we could make it to the change of arrows, so we'd get quite the variety of kinds of passage.  Then on the way out, I suggested we could recalculate at the Park Bench and head up that way, and either shoot for the Wonder Tunnel (which I've never been to) or the White Room, depending on our gas situation.  The downside of Ted going along with all of my crazy ideas was that he said I had to lead the dive.  Totally weak.

We got to Ginnie, not especially early, since we had to get gas and such in the morning.  It was really crowded.  Over by the Turkey Roost, where we always park, we basically all three had to park in that little ditch to the right, with the picnic tables.  And we had to park in such a way that we could only all get out if we exited in the exact right order.  The bigger parking area was no less crowded.  For some reason it took Ted forEVER to get ready.  I really don't know what was going on, but let's just say that Rob and Antonio ended up in the water before us.  But eventually we managed to get into the water, with all of our stuff.  We had agreed to go in through the ear.  Rob and I are pretty partial to the eye, from the deco perspective, though I really hate squishing through there with bottles.  But Ted was partial to the ear (weirdo), so I said I'd give it a try.  I'd actually never done a dive with any real deco through the ear.  So  I figured I should at least try it.  Plus I find running the reel into the ear easier, or well, at least more fun :)  We dropped down, by the stairs, and picked up our bottles underwater.  We were monkeying around with something, I don't exactly remember what, so it took us a few minutes to get going.  We swam over to the mouth of the ear, and I headed in.  Of course (considering the parking situation), there were already 4 lines running into the ear.  Sigh.  So my options for where to run it were a bit limited, but I did my best.  I was the 3rd line from the right, which pretty much put me in the middle of the room once I got to the bottom of the shoot.  We got tied into the mainline and ditched our deco bottles.  And we were off.

Or some approximation of "off" ;)  Actually, everything was going pretty smoothly.  We dropped our bottles on the mainline just a bit before the Hill 400 jump.  I don't know why we didn't just carry them to the jump, but that's how it worked out.  When we got to the jump, there was, of course, already someone else who had taken the jump.  So I had to settle for my second favorite way to install the jump :)  I confirmed with Ted how much gas he had and how much penetration we were doing before I continued on up the line.  Ted had started the dive with a not very exceptional fill (or maybe a not-very-exceptional SPG, who knows?) so we only got like 800 psi after the stage.  Typical Ted.  On the way up the line, I tried to point out the various landmarks to Ted.  I showed him the parallel lines through some of the holes where you can see it.  I didn't manage to see the pink koosh monster, so he didn't get to see that one.  When we got to the jump, I pulled my big spool, since I was going to jump directly to the double lines, as planned, and off I went.  It seemed like I was swimming forever before I got to the line.  Phew.  And then up we headed.  I was going not particularly quickly, and before we even made it to the low section, Ted called turned.  I think we were pretty close to that area though, as we were somewhere between 1300 and 1400.  So we'd been in the rounder passage just before the low passage for a while.  We headed out, and made it back to the spool pretty quickly.  It seemed to take me years to clean up that spool, but eventually that was done and we continued out.  Even though I always think of the flow as being so much lower once you are off the mainline, it really seemed like we were flying on the way out of both the double lines and the hill 400 line, at least compared to our pace on the way in.

When we got back to the mainline, I suggested we just pick up our stages and carry them to the Park Bench.  So that is what we did.  I put the jump in, and we dropped our bottles right on the bench.  Then I took over the lead again for this part of the dive.  We conferenced about how much gas we had for penetration, and it wasn't much, about 300 psi I think.  So I figured the Wonder Tunnel was not going to happen, but we should be able to make it to the White Room.  I headed up the line and man, I forgot how much flow there still is on this line.  It was kind of kicking my butt.  But (huff) eventually (puff) we got past (huff) the really bad (puff) part, and everything got a bit easier.  And before you know it, we were at the turn in the line by the white room.  I asked Ted what his gas situation was, and we agreed that we had just enough gas for a little trip up there.  Last time we went here, Rob ran the spool.  This time it was my job.  What a freakin' pain.  Well, running the spool up to the room was fine, but once again, spooling all that line back took for freakin' ever.  But we got to the room, had a little look around and then thumbed it.

The ride out was pretty uneventful.  When we got back to our reel, we agreed to leave it, for our next dive.  We each picked up our O2 bottles and doodled around with our stage bottles before heading up the chute.  From the bottom of the chute, I could see that our primary tie had been a bit molested, and there was a loop of line flapping in the flow.  Sigh.  I headed up the chute and sort of overshot the spot where I needed to stop to fix it.  So I got to the 30 foot alcove, and after recovering, I inched my way back down to the line and found a lovely little nub to wrap the excess loop of line around.  I was pretty pleased with how snug it was and how easy it was to fix.  Then I headed up to the log and Ted appeared shortly after that.  We negotiated deco, and to my surprise, Ted only asked for 2 minutes more deco than I had proposed, for a total of 20 minutes.  Deco on the log was not too bad, though I had the good spot :)  But Ted didn't seem to mind his spot, hanging off to the side, either.  I took some notes about the dive to pass the time, and passed some notes to Ted.  Before you know it, it was time to ascend.

We swam back to the steps and after removing our bottles, we finally surfaced.  Let's just say we had a rather interesting "debrief" about this dive.  It will have us laughing for years to come.  As I climbed out of the water and pulled my mask off my head, the little rubber part where the buckle attaches to the mask broke.  So I was left with a non-functional mask.  Weak!  Scubapro, grumble grumble.  After not that much longer, Rob and Antonio appeared, and we eventually managed to clean up all our stuff and head to lunch at the Station Bakery.  Profit.

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