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Dives 12 and 13

On September 8th we did our first dives in our new wetsuits in Puget Sound at Alki Cove 2. We’d originally planned to dive Three Tree but there were about a dozen fishermen doing some sort of shore fishing. Best bet is that they were fishing for the running salmon, but they were so close to shore that I’d be really surprised if they caught anything.

First dive
There was a class at the site doing their open water certs, we avoided them and the silt they were kicking up by surface swimming to the buoy. I had a bit of trouble with buoyancy on swim (feet breaching surface), and sinking off buoy because of the new, unfamiliar drysuit. I also managed to get my mask mis-positioned over my hood so it leaked like crazy. But I was able to overcome these and the resulting freakout1at the buoy to continue the dive. I struggled a bit with getting the buoyancy right in the new suit, leading to a few issues with being too low and bumping along the bottom. As a result, and with the poor vipent most of the dive hanging on to our dive master. Our route too u out to the bins, penguin, then back along the lines to the honey bear and back to the buoy. We saw a few rock cod and a nudibranch. The tide started to come Ina’s we were returning to shore.

Second dive
This was a major improvement over the first dive. I had a few buoyancy issues, none on surface swim out and I sorted them out on my own. I was even able to descend right away and was able to get horizontal and hover. Went to explore honey bear – saw shrimp, anemones, giant ling cod. Highlight was great pacific octopus hidden under a log. We turned back up to bins along the line. We avoided student making major mess and killing visibility. My husband guided us back from the bins. This dive was much more relaxed and so felt more successful. I had a couple of really big successes in being able to recover from a couple of unexpected scenarios: 1) almost corking and 2) being turned on back by my husband who was stuck and trying to rotate to free himself.

Lessons:

Use car window to ensure hood centering
Oral inflate for surface swim
Be sure BC is fully inflated for surface swim
4 point stance for fins on & off in water
Wet hood is easier to put on, pull down part way then seat fully by pushing from top
Have buddy check mask is under hood
Sinking is all about breathing out & BC
Take off squeeze as you sink
Inflate BC to slow descent
Viz is better below thermocline
To get feet down: fetal position, then push feet straight down
To right self: spin like top
It will take 10-20 dives to get buoyancy sorted
Buddy head at shoulder
Dianna uses Sola (Rob doesn’t like it)
Unload & load out basement
Talc on wrist & neck

Specs:

24lbs
Drysuit
Tights, polypropylene socks, smartwool socks, polypropylene pants, 2 polypropylene shirts
Hood, gloves
Good temp, not cold at all
Took cocoa, didn’t need it
Used hot water cooler
Water between dives, food after, breakfast before leaving
Packed night before -awesome

  1. Lots of water streaming in my mask triggers something in my brain that isn’t pretty. Some water in the mask isn’t a problem though. []
Crossposted from Journey to the Center, comment here or there with OpenID.
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  • 1
That sounds really fun. The chance sighting of an octopus makes it even better.

It sounds like we just missed a huge gathering by being a week or two late. There's some pretty amazing stuff out there, and really close to shore.

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