Inch by Inch

By no fault of his own my instructor was 2 hours late this morning.  I used the time to read a good book and get a good feel for the conditions by observing from shore.  Also, at the last minute, the other instructor who was to be the “victim” and my buddy for the equipment exchange had to work for the shop. 

The swell we had been having the last few days finally abated and we were able to get into shark’s cove today. There are a few sand flats there that are ideal for training. Today I was completing the search and recovery portion of my divemaster training. I was required to lift an object from the bottom using a lift bag. In order to life the object, a weight belt, I had to secure it and then lift it. To secure it I had to learn 3 knots, a double half hitch, a bowline and a sheetbend. First I tied off with a double half hitch and I tested my knot before lifting. It wasn’t as secure as I thought and came untied and I wound up at the surface with a lift bag but no weight. The second time was more successful using a bowline. Once that was finished I had to demonstrate how I would search for an object using and expanding square pattern.

It was actually really nice to get in the water and just dive.  My instructor has discovered a new and fun way to dive in side mount.  He says he feels like he can move more freely and is waiting on some smaller tanks.  It’s a neat concept but requires 2 separate first stages and 2 regulators.  The most convenient way to track pressures is through a dive watch that will read more than one transmitter at a time.  It could be done manually but that would be a pain in the butt.  One of my tasks today was to take a few pictures of him under water with his side mount equipment.  I think he may use them to advertise for this specialty.  PADI just launched a side mount specialty and I know he says he plans to start teaching it. 

Having accomplished all of our objectives we headed out for a little bit of fun.  My instructor enjoys finding the little stuff and the more I dive with him the more I start to find it.  It’s not even that I can name what I find it’s just that I slow down and look.  I love that I’ve gotten my buoyancy fine tuned enough to just hover and look closely at something.  Most of the time you won’t find things unless you stop and really look around.  Seeing turtles and rays and sharks is great but there is a whole other world out there that one only needs to stop and observe.  We saw one turtle and an eel today along with all the little small stuff.  One of the swim throughs was covered in cup coral on the overhang as well as several types of sponge.  Shark’s cove never gets boring because there is something new to see each time, plus I love the swim throughs that are on the right hand side outside the cove. 

We ended our dive at 97 minutes and we were both frozen.  That hood I ordered can’t get here soon enough!


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