Saturday, July 27, 2013

Scuba checkout dives: Day 1: Dive 2

After dive 1 was complete we waited on the surface for all the other groups to do their first dive. We didn't actually get out of the water between dives.   Even though the water was very warm up there, it got quite cold on the surface with the wind blowing.  It almost would have been better to just wait 3 feet under water.  It was probably a 40 minute wait, since multiple other groups had to go down.  And I don't think ANY of the groups managed to stay together as a group of 6. That made us feel a little better.

Dive 2 is the first dive to test skills.
We did fin pivot, a partial mask flood, a full mask flood, regulator recovery, and air sharing.

I couldn't do the fin pivot. In fact, at this point, when I got down to the platform, I couldn't get myself to stay kneeling on the platform, I just kept floating.  They kept telling me to dump air from my BCD, but there was none in it.  I'm going to add 4 pounds of weight tomorrow, I clearly didn't have enough.  So I do a BS little hover in front of them, he gives me a so-so sign, and I'm cleared on the skill.  I think the fact that I was able to hover in the same position is actually a bit better than planting my fins onto the platform and going up and I'm not too bothered that I didn't do the actual skill...  We do it again tomorrow with oral inflate, so hopefully with proper weighting, I'll be fine.

The partial mask flood was the skill I had problems on. Ridiculous. I never had problems with these mask skills in the pool.  I flooded my mask, and immediately got a nose full. I must have been inhaling when I did it and am still inhaling a bit through my nose without realizing.  I put my mask back on, get it cleared, but still have too much water in my nose.  I thumb up at my instructor and he holds my shoulders and shakes his head no. I blow out my nose a million times, I cough like crazy, and I'm able to get a good clean breath and signal ok.  I really did want to go up when I thumbed the dive, but unlike in the pool, I didn't start kicking in panic to get there.  It was more of a "I have a problem and would like to surface" and he said no, and I solved the problem.  That was good and productive.

Full mask flood was no problem at all.

I misunderstood the instruction for the regulator recovery, because the kept talking about regulator clearing, so I thought we were supposed to take it out, put in our mouth, clear it, and then do the other skills separately.  So I take the regulator out of my mouth, breath for a second, and put it back in. The instructor looks at me like I'm an idiot, takes it out of my mouth (this caught me off guard! Thankfully, I wasn't inhaling when he did it) and tosses it away, and I recover it. No problem at all.  I was pleased to see my buddy did the exact same thing as me, so the instructions weren't clear :) it wasn't just me.

Air sharing was happily no problem at all.  I still don't like doing it. By the time I take the octo out of the holder, I've taken a second breath. It seems like that won't really be an option if I'm out of air...  Buddy and I surfaced swimming together no problem.  Kevin's buddy nearly pulled the octo out of his mouth with a quick ascent, so I'm glad I didn't have that problem.

On the surface we did some skills: tired diver tow, BCD doff/don, snorkel/regulator exchange.  I can take the snorkel out of my mouth and put the regulator in, but regulator out and snorkel in took me 3 tries to be able to breath, despite blowing hard to clear the snorkel. And I supposedly have a dump valve in the snorkel.  Bah.  I hate snorkels.  Also, I'm not clear why I can't just pull my head out of the water- even if there are waves, I can hold my breath while I take the regulator out and shove the snorkel in, and it won't get flooded...  But I did it, so it's all good.

I now have a post dive headache and jaw pain.  Oh fun.  But I am happy today went well. I think tomorrow should too- and then I'll be certified.

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