06 December 2014

Diving The Yankee Clipper Jacks with Anna-Kaisa and Luis

Got to the beach about 7:30 am, which was half an hour before Luis and I were supposed to meet.  He came a little early and we geared up and got in the water. Surf wasn't bad to enter. Must have been close to high tide. We just got in the water and it was deep, so I finned up and swam out. We descended just past the swim buoy and moved slowly to the East. Current was mild but set us or we over compensated. Hard to know. We missed the Jacks, though.  Luis did better on his air than I did and we turned the dive when I had 1200 psi.  Made it back to the beach just fine.  Found an anchor a little East of the swim buoy and North of Tower 2.  Want to try to find it later. It was a nice anchor.  Large Danforth and in good shape.

Dive time was 103 minutes; consumption was 26.42 psi/minute at an average depth of 19 feet; SAC rate was 156.76 psi/minute; RMV was 0.43 ft3/minute.

Anna-Kaisa Rantanen is in town with her parents and wants to dive before their cruise. She earned her AOW certification with me four years ago. We planned to meet at the Bridge then go to my apartment so she could try on gear. I met her parents, who spoke very little English and since I spoke no Finnish, our conversation was stilted at best.  AK has softened some and says she has quit soccer in favor of becoming a teacher. She still has a mega-watt smile: she got Luis to set up her gear without saying a word. Probably most guys help her out as much as they can. We headed for the water and she had a few difficulties. It was no longer high tide, so we had to fight the breakers in the shallower water before we could fin up. We swam out past the swim buoy to descend. Her first attempt to descent was aborted, but she took my hand and let me pull her down on the second try. We held hands as we swam because she seemed to need the extra weight, but as she calmed down and got used to breathing through the regulator, she let go and maintained her buoyancy on her own. Like the first dive, we swam East, but I wasn't trying to navigate. I just wanted her to swim some. Luis spotted a single Jack and then a pair and finally the whole line of them, so we cruised along the Jacks for a bit then swam over them to come back on the other side. AK had some trouble reading the pressure gauge, but we turned at about 1200 psi like the first dive and headed to the beach.  We did not see the anchor, but I'm pretty sure we were way too far South. We came up at Tower 1. AK and I shared my air for the last 9-10 minutes of the dive as she was low and I wanted her to have the 500 reserve in case we encountered problems exiting the water. We didn't, but I was glad we were ready just in case.

Dive time was only 95 minutes; SAC rate was 19.43 psi/minute; RMV was 0.50 ft3/minute.  Our average depth was only 15 ft compared to 19 ft on the first dive and my air consumption was greater, probably because I was sharing air with AK.  

05 December 2014

Solo Dive off Tower 15

I got to Birch State Park about 8:30 am and took my time gearing up since the gate didn't open until 9:00 am. I headed down to the beach then and swam out to the swim buoy. Surf was rough, but manageable. Current along the shore was surprisingly strong. I could make head way against it, but it was a fight. Descended just past the swim buoy, but had to go NE before I spotted the old pin and then swam to the Big Rock. Off to a good start. I headed South with the current and found the smaller rock, but when I swam out at 130 degrees, I missed the knee high coral head.  Didn't see the dead sea rod and never found the counter-weight. Think I might have gotten set to the South, or maybe I over corrected and went North, but I missed the knoll. Swam North to see if I could find anything familiar but I couldn't. Picked up some shells and golf balls and headed to the beach.  Ran right to the swim buoy and killed some time getting down to 500 psi then surfaced and swam in.

Dive Time was only 100 minutes; consumption was 24.51 psi/minute at an average depth of 18 feet; SAC rate was 15.86 psi/minute; RMV was 0.41 ft3/minute.

30 November 2014

Luis and I dive the Yankee Clipper Jacks

Met Luis at the South Beach lot about 8:00 am. We geared up and got in the water.  Large waves and rough surf, but we both got out okay. Swam out toward the Jacks, but couldn't see the bottom so we decided to descend and just try to enjoy what we could see. Found a lot of little shells and even some bigger ones. Need to figure out how to identify shells. We swam on the bottom out as far East as the Jacks but could see nothing. I started with a low tank and lost some gas going through the surf.  At 50 minutes I was down to half a tank. I signalled Luis and he indicated that he was low as well and we turned the dive. Swam back to the beach and came in at the rocks in front of Tower 2. Two Lifeguards came down to warm us off the rocks and we let the current take us South a little. Unfortunately, it got deeper and I had already taken my fins off. I bounced off the bottom and even tried swimming and finally got my feet on the bottom and came out.

Dive Time was only 83 minutes; SAC was 17.94 psi/minute; RMV was 0.46 ft3/minute.