Posts Tagged ‘non noodled catfish’

Dive Cert Day 2

December 11, 2008

After collapsing from the day one certification activities highlighted in the last post, I was quite pleased to wake up… yeah, I was tempted to just put a ‘period’ right there and stop.  But, I need to add “…and still have control over most of my muscle groups.”  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I. Hurt.  I was sore in places I didn’t know could be sore.  I was shuffling around getting ready for the morning like a man 20 years older than me.  But, ultimately, I got ready for the second (and last) day.

Day 2 dives were to be done at another spring close to the first we dove at – – Devil’s Den.  Still not sure how it got its name, but it was a very interesting place.  Sort of like a big bubble with just a 15 foot hole at the top for light to get into the chamber (okay, they did have electric lights down there as well, to brighten things up some).  Entry into the dive site was through a narrow, low-ceiling cave.  Even though it was like a cave, I didn’t have that sense of claustrophobia I’d had the day prior.  And the water was beautifully clear.  Two full flights of steps to go up and down with the equipment.  But these steps were more consistently spaced, so it wasn’t quite so painful climbing them.

dd7a

The first dive of the day was yet another repetition of all the emergency skills we need to survive underwater.  Yes, the water was still on the chilly side, but the fact that I was closing in certification seemed to warm me up (a much better method than the one I mentioned last post). 

I was still buddy-ed up with Mega-Marine-Man for my checkout.  I was a bit surprised…happily so…to learn that his butt was kicked by the day prior as well.  Not remotely near as much as mine was, but to hear that he was affected by the day made my aches and pains seem less.  Either because of that…or maybe he’d just drank heavily the night before…he was much more subdued and running at my speed for skills demonstrations.  Made it less stressful.

As we worked our way down into the water to the dive platform, I was amazed to see catfish swimming lazily nearby.  Big ones.  Now, I know that things appear bigger in water (hmmm…that gives me an idea for dating….), but these guys were big.  The smallest cat I saw was about a bit more than a foot long.  The biggest?  My guess it was pushing three feet long.

Working through the skills demonstrations, we had to practice something new…underwater navigation.  Having worked with compasses for my flying, I thought I was comfortable with their use.  But, in this new environment, I think my path looked like the path of a drunken snail with severe vertigo. 

A key point missed in the last post was the condition of the bottom of each spring.  The Blue Grotto had fine silt throughout most of its bottom.  We were cautioned to avoid kicking it up because it would hamper water visibility.  And, of course, every one of the students had a moment or seven where the silt was accidentally kicked up.  Water visibility was never really bad, but always not great due to the silt in the water.  However!  The majority of the bottom of the Devil’s Den was just rock.  Because of that, the visibility was wondrous.  Had there been more light, we likely could have seen all the way across the spring. 

dd7b

I was getting more jazzed about how fun this scuba stuff will be.  And more so because, at the end of the first of two dives for the day, the instructor informed us that we were effectively done.  After numerous repetitions of survival skills and the added navigation skill, he was confident in our abilities.  The last dive of the day would be on our own.  What a rush of adrenalin that news was.  All the more so because I would have my first full buddy dive with Dear Friend, who had come along to get some dive time and brush up skills. 

The last dive was wonderful.  The spring had limited places where we could get in trouble.  The water was clear and not too cold.  There were things to see and do. 

Aside from sight seeing the catfish, we started learning how to be buddy divers together.  I was very pleased (and a bit relieved) to find that Dear Friend was ‘just my speed’ for where we went, how fast we swam, and how deep we dove.  We have some procedures to practice together… for example, I let myself drift about 5 feet above her at one point as we swam lazily around the spring.  Then I noticed her looking for something, turning this way and that… oops.  Yeah, she was looking for me.  There wasn’t a problem, she just wanted to make sure, as buddies are supposed to, we kept an eye on each other.  That operating in three dimensions thing will take some getting used to as we maintain contact.  But I also saw a lot of compatibility.  There are a couple ‘mini’-caves that an over curious diver could go wander off into (and we were warned about them ahead of time).  All are blocked off and have warning signs.  Dear Friend pointed out one that had a (hopefully) fake skull at its entrance.  No worries.  While both of us share a sense of adventure, it is easily tempered by a sense of survival.  I think we’re going to dive well together.

…and I’ll keep saying it…

This is DEFINITELY going to be fun. 

(and pictures are coming…)

 

Advertisement