22 March 2012

Open Water Divers in Rough Surf

 Had some cruise ship guests from the Bridge who wanted to learn to dive.  We went through the classroom work and the pool sessions and were ready for the ocean.
Unfortunately, the waves were 3 - 5 feet and breaking on the sand bar.  They were intimidating, but not terrible.  The wife quit on me before we even left for the beach.  The husband and I went diving.  We waded out as far as we could then finned up and swam the rest of the way.  We descended before the reef and the husband held onto my tank in the 3 ft visibility as we swam out to the reef.
  Once on the reef the visibility started to improve, but never got better than about 8 feet.  Still, that was enough for the husband to swim unassisted and he was getting the hang of buoyancy.
 He was a little light or, more likely, he was anxious and holding his breath.  Either way, he had to swim to stay down and that meant he quickly sucked his tank dry.
We swam West to the beach and surfaced in 5 feet of water on the sand bar, then just let the waves push us onto the beach.  The husband was slow to get his fins off and was toppled at the beach by a wave.  He had to crawl out. 
I got lucky and rode a wave up onto the beach, where I landed with both feet.  We sat out for a long surface interval before deciding to try a second dive. 
I put another 4 pounds on the husband and he panicked getting out through the breakers.  As soon as we got outside, he wanted to go back in.   He was adamant, so that's what we did. 
He did better getting out this time, but collapsed at the edge of the beach and jsut lay there resting.  I was getting a bit concerned, but could see that he was breathing and had good color, so I left him alone.  He got  up in a bit and we packed up and went home. 

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