16 March 2014

Lennon Shannon's first two Open Water dives

Leo Paez, Luis Monroy, Lennon Shannon and I were supposed to meet at Tower 17 at 8:00 am to make the first two of the four open water dives Lennon needed to get certified.  Unfortunately, there was a foot race and the police had A1A blocked off from the Pelican to the Yankee Clipper.  We regrouped and went to Vista Park.

Leo served as divemaster and Luis accompanied us. After the pool session yesterday, I decided to put 10 pounds on Lennon.  He is active and athletic, but obviously inexperienced and a little hesitant.  We made it out through the surf, finned up and swam out to the swim buoy.  We descended just a bit further East, but were still over sand.  Shortly, we did hit a reef with a fair amount of life.  Visibility was not good and it was cold and overcast.

We got to the other side of the reef, which was not far, then swam South for 10-15 minutes.  When Lennon hit 1500 psi, we turned for the beach.  Lennon's air usage fell apart and he was down to 500 psi  several minutes before we got off the reef.  He took my alternate air source at 1600 psi and we shared air to the beach.  The surf was rough and we all had problems exiting.

The weather had warmed up a bit.  We enjoyed hanging out in the park, but we were still a little chilly when it was time to make the second dive. Lennon did not hesitate a moment getting through the surf.  We descended just past the swim buoy, as before, then headed East across the reef and North on the sand.

 Lennon seemed to be doing better on air and had no problems clearing his regulator or his mask.  He did have some trouble with his buoyancy.  He had to try several times to hover, but he did fine with the fin pivot.
I plan to re-test him after the ascents, when he has made the dives and is a little more comfortable in the water.

 He took his gear off and replaced it just fine.    We headed back when he hit 1500 psi.  Like before, he got 40 minutes or more on the first 1500 psi then dropped to 500 psi in about 10 minutes.  I think the gauge may be inaccurate.  Again, we headed back after about 40 minutes when he hit 1500 psi, but he was out of gas fewer than 15 minutes later.  We all did a little better getting out the second time, though the currents were strong and varied.  I had thought about making three dives, but we were cold and I decided it was better to end the dives on a high note rather than get one more in.  

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