15 November 2014

First Two Open Water Dives with Tommy Olbe

Milton Tinoco, who lives in Homestead, took my open water class during the Spring of 2012 and got OW certified in May of that year. This year, Milton brought his son, Tommy, to Fort Lauderdale to take the course. He as finished the classroom work, including all the quizzes and did fine performing the skills in the pool.  This morning, he would make his first two dives in the ocean.

Our first dive involved no skills, but was designed to get him properly weighted and maybe a little more comfortable in the water. Milton and Tommy drove up from Homestead and arrived at the apartment just a little after 7:30 am.  We headed down to the South Beach parking lot, geared up and got in. I put 10 pounds on Tommy and carried 10 myself so I could swap 3's for 2's or vice versa.  He seemed heavy at first, but it could also be that he just wasn't breathing well.  Later, over the 3-tiered reef, I swapped one of his 3s for one of my 2 pound weights, and that seemed to help.  He didn't want to swap the others, so he dived with 9 pounds.  We went East, but may have gotten set to the North, as well.  I did not recognize the area, but when I went up to look, it appeared as if we were pretty much East of the beach, where we should have been.  I decided to turn the dive anyway, rather than search for the Jacks. We got back to the swim buoys and I signaled for Tommy and Milton to surface with me.  We tested Tommy's weight there and he was just a little heavy, but not much.  After testing his weight, we descended and swam in to the beach.

Dive time  was 70 minutes, which was pretty remarkable for a first dive. My consumption rate was 31.10 psi/minute at an average depth of 16 feet; SAC rate was 20.94 psi/minute and RMV was 0.54 ft3/minute.

During our surface interval and just before our second dive, Tommy and I went over the decompression problems. He obviously had spent some time on them and seemed to understand the tables. We got geared up and headed for the water.  The plan was to get to 20 feet and then run through the skills, which we did. Tommy did fine, except he had a little trouble hovering. I got him to lie horizontal and lift off the sand, but his legs brought him down. We worked at it and got him to actually hover without putting air in his inner tube. Then we headed back to the beach so Tommy could take the final and we could make his third dive and be done.  Milton had to head North to buy a dirt bike and wanted to leave by 1:00 pm.  I pointed out that Tommy was tired and would need about an hour to take the final, so Milton opted to make only two dives today and to make two tomorrow, even though that meant Milton would miss a NASCAR race in Homestead.  So that's what we did.  Tommy passed the final, but just barely.  Should finish his certification tomorrow morning.

Dive time was 37 minutes; consumption rate was 25 psi/minute at an average depth of 15 feet; SAC rate was 17.19 with an 80 ft3 aluminum tank; RMV was 0.44 ft3/minute.

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