17 April 2015

Open Water Dives 1 and 2 with Arantxa and Carlota

Carlota and Arantxa got a little lost and were about 10 minutes late when they got to the apartment. We packed up and headed to the beach. Carlota started off with 11 pounds, should have been 12, but one of the black packets was 2 and not 3 pounds. She was also concerned about getting in the water. She was breathing through her regulator while just swimming on the surface. Arantxa had 10 pounds. By 9:00 am, we had reached the swim buoy and descended. Carlota just sank, but Arantxa had trouble descending. She made it, slowly, and we headed off to the NE.
The current moved us right along and the girls stuck pretty close, though Arantxa would often strike out on her own only to stop and find we were swimming in a different direction. Arantxa was too light. I picked up some rocks for her to carry and though she was initially confused, she soon figured it out. The extra weight helped considerably and she relaxed more in the water.

Carlota spotted a little Southern Atlantic Stingray.

We also found a ledge with the two large Porcupinefish, which buzzed all around me this morning.

Before the algae flats, Arantxa ran out of air, but came to me and took my octopus. She also held onto my tank but was off to the side so I could kick. We made it to the beach.

Bottom temperature was 78 degrees; dive time was 69 minutes; consumption rate was 32.94 psi/minute at an average depth of 16 feet and my SAC rate was 22.19 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.

As we were swimming out to the swim buoy for our second dive, Colata spotted a Tarpon swimming beneath us and quickly asked what it was. I got my head in the water as it swam by. I haven't seen one of them for a while now.

I was more aware of the current and my need to adjust for it on this dive. The current was a little stronger.  We swam out quite a ways then stopped on the sand and went through the skills. Swam a bit more and took the gear off and put it back on underwater. Both women were competent and calm. Nice to see.

We turned the dive when Carlota hit 1600 psi and headed to the beach. It seemed to take forever to get to there, but that may be because we were swimming hard against the current and ended up in front of Tower 2 instead of Tower 4.

This time, Arantxa had another 2 pounds of weight and did not spend so much time and energy trying to stay down. She did much better on air. Colata seemed like she was light at the end of the dive, but was doing well for the first 2/3rds of the dive. We had taken only one pound off her: from 11 to 10 pounds. She has a shorty suit under the 1.5 mm skin, but she has no body fat to speak of. I think it is her breathing.

Bottom temperature was still 78 degrees; dive time was 81 minutes; consumption was down to 30.30 psi/minute at an average depth of 18 feet and my SAC rate was 19.60 psi/minute on an aluminum 80.

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