Oct 2007

Device of Torture and Frustration

The Thing I Hate Most

I just need to take this moment to vent my spleen about this evil hateful device. For some ungodly reason, most of the certification agencies require students and professionals to wear a snorkel during class. I know, the purpose of having the snorkel in class is to aid the diver during long surface swims, but we train in a quarry! All I’m saying is that the rules should be more flexible!

I was assisting in the quarry this past weekend and I can truthfully say that this one low-tech device frustrated me more than I ever though anything could!

How doth it annoy me, let me count the ways:

1.When I reach for my inflator hose, I ALWAYS grab the mouthpiece of my snorkel first. It never fails. There is no place I can hang it on my left side where it doesn’t get in the way!
2.When wearing it with a hood, it is constantly being pushed forward and acts as a lever to pull the mask off my face.
3.When wearing it on the right, it interferes with my regulator hoses and I actually caught the damn thing twisting upside down like a propeller!

On the last dive, I had my mask off at the surface and was in the process of adjusting the snorkel clip, when it slipped from my fingers and fell down below me into the deep dark.

There goes $35 down the drain. I did not cry.

A More Relaxing Pool Session

Tonight was my first class assist. I have to say it was a lot of fun! Basically, I was the training dummy for the instructor. Beats the hell out of doing all the exercises I had to do last week!

Tonight was all about training a set of new Open Water (OW) divers in basic skills (mask removal, air-share, etc..). This reminded me of my own OW class, and how alien this all felt to me back then. Since then I’ve basically been obsessed with diving, and in my obsession I’ve collected a TON of useful tips; most of these from scubaboard.com posts.

I realized that I haven’t really seen a single place where all these great tips can be found. Sure, you can use the search function on scubaboard, but thats no fun. So, I’ve started a Tips section on this site, and I’ll be adding to it as I run across useful tips and tricks! You can use the Tips link up top to see what’s there so far.

Another Beat-Down at the Pool

Well, it certainly hasn’t gotten any easier. As I write this, I’m almost completely out of energy. Tonight was more DM pool work, and I think I actually got some stuff done.

I completed the scuba don at depth thingy, but the scuba ditch&don gave me some problems. The biggest problem was not being able to get down there fast enough, and expending too much effort on the way. This was solved by putting 26 lbs of weight on my weight belt. Wow! It was like being strapped to a boat anchor! Obviously this was going to be a one-way trip on the express elevator down, which was a BIG motivator to get it right the first time.

No Classes. No Tests.

With all these classes and all this pool-time, I wanted to take advantage of a free weekend and log some ME time. The plan was simple: Three friends and I would kill 2 tanks each out at Millbrook Quarry. The only requirement I had was that I not have to do much of anything, just muck around between platforms or wander around aimlessly.

We did just that, and it was everything I thought it could be. We had 2 relaxing dives where we just followed the wall around 30 ft. and enjoyed whatever scenery we could see. Of course we experienced some of the worst visibility I had ever seen there, but it still didn’t suck! :-)

One of the coolest things that we found in our wanderings was a HUGE bass. I swear this thing was around 2 1/2 feet long, and had a massive gaping maw! By the time I got the camera ready, he had decided to take off, but I was able to snap one shot of him (seen above) as he was departing.

So this week I have more DM class to deal with, starting with a pool session on Thursday. I have no doubt that I’ll sleep well on Thursday night...