09 November 2014

Navigation Dive on the Tower 2 Algae Patch

Milton came to my apartment at 7:30 am and we headed for the beach at about 8:00 am.  There was a race or some event for which the police closed FLL Beach Blvd, so we got to the South Beach parking lot about 8:25 am.  We waited for Daryn, who left his boat at 8:30 am and had to negotiate the same heavy traffic that we had.

We briefly discussed the compass and how to use it, then walked through the out 'n back and the square patterns the students were required to navigate. Then we geared up and got in the water. We swam on the surface out past the swim buoys and descended. The two students buddied up and I sent them out at 100 degrees, with Luis tagging along with a flag. Daryn was in charge of the bearing and Milton was supposed to count kick cycles, but obviously had some problems. I expected them back in 5 or 10 minutes and surfaced after 9 minutes, but I could not see the flag. Fifteen minutes after they left I surfaced again and spotted them on the surface about 30 yards NE, so I swam to them. We discussed the problem, shortened the distance and descended again. This time, Milton was on the bearing, but he headed off to the NE, not SE, as I had asked. They came back in about 6 minutes, this time, though, which certainly counts for something. Daryn ran a second Out 'n Back and executed it well. Then Milton ran a square pattern and finally, Daryn did, as well. Then we went diving.

We headed East and spotted several single jacks, then finally, the beginning of the Wall of Jacks.  About that same time, Milton was down to 1100 psi, so we turned the dive and headed West. Daryn was disappointed, but he came with us. As we left the tiered reef, Milton was down to about 500 psi, so I gave him my alternate and we swam together over the sand to the algae patch and then across the algae to the sand, where I indicated to him that he should get back on his own tank, which he did.  I had lots of air, but the flag and flag line were getting to be a problem. We weren't well paired. The alternate hose was pressing into my head and I couldn't feel Milton, so I kept having to contort myself to look back and see him without winding the flag line around my legs. Need to work on that.  

Dive Time was 79 minutes; Consumption rate at an average 15 ft of depth was 29.57 psi/minute; SAC rate was 20.33 psi/minute.  Water temperature was 78 degrees.

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