20 December 2013

Jamie McOwen's second Open Water dive

     Jamie and Fine did come diving today.  They met me at the apartment and we drove to the beach, geared up and got in.  There was a strong wind out of the SE and moderate surf, but not much current.  The tide was coming in, so I did not try to find the blocks.  Instead, we headed out slightly North of East and ran into the Big Coral Knoll at the 20 minute mark.

     Fine was better weighted for this dive.  Hard to know if she would have been light once she breathed out the bulk of her tank, but she was fine for the hour we were under.

     We spotted a small Green Turtle on the Southern edge of the Knoll, but I misunderstood Fine's signal regarding her air and we turned around with 2000 psi in her and Jamie's tanks.  We headed South to the Fish Camp Rocks, then West to the beach.  I saw a large crab in the sand, but could not get anyone's attention.  Not a bad dive, but not a great dive, either.

     I tried to get Jamie to make a second dive today so we could get the skills out of the way, but Fine was cold and wasn't going to make another dive.  That was that.

19 December 2013

Cameraless Solo Dive on the Big Coral Knoll

     Tried to get Jamie and Fine to come out, but they were beat after yesterday.  Cold, too.  Bottom temperature was 70 degrees yesterday, but only 69 today.  

     There was no current and good visibility.  I worked on my air, but a SAC of .44 ft3/minute was the best I could do.  I went through the gunsight and up to the Gray Mid-way Rock, then over to the Big Coral Knoll, to the English Garden, then back to the Knoll and finally back to the beach.  Nice dive.  No camera.  Bad breathing.  I was light and carrying a rock to stay down.

18 December 2013

Jamie McOwen's first Open Water dive

     Jamie is an athletic young guy who lives with family just up the road from my apartment.  Paul Albert met him at some bar and got my number to give to him.  We have been going over the classroom material and suffered through a couple of pool sessions last week.  His German girlfriend, Fine, is in town and has asked to make this dive with us.

     The ocean was flat, but there was a strong South surface current and an even stronger South current on the bottom.  We struggled, especially Fine, who was underweighted.  Jamie, in contrast, seemed heavy.

     We descended just past the sand bar and then stayed on the bottom as we slowly made our way to the beginning of the reef, where we turned back.  Jamie was at 1500 psi when we turned, but Fine must have been well under that.  She came up well before the beach with 700 psi. I sucked down air way too fast, as well, fighting the current, but I still had almost 2000 psi when we got to the truck.

     We did see a turtle, but no camera means no pictures.  Boo.    

15 December 2013

Luis and I miss the Jacks off the Yankee Clipper

     Still no camera, but I probably would not have taken it on this dive anyway.  Too rough and tumble.

     The current was strong and the water was rough.  Luis and I swam out from the rocks for 15 minutes then went down.  We headed due East to the sand past the shale reef, and then tried swimming South to find the Jacks.  We swam for several minutes with no luck, so we turned and went North.  I think now that we either were not far enough East to find the Jacks or we did not go far enough South.  In any event, we swam North for quite a wile.  I surfaced to see where we were and we were past the catamarans.  We swam East a bit before heading back to the beach.  We found some trenches and holes, but never did see the Jacks.