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End of the 2006 Dive Season December 17, 2008

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log.
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While the Labour Day Weekend is a grand finale to the dive season and the best of the summer, I did finish out the season with some local diving at Big Bay Point. No shipwrecks (unless you count the little speedboat) to be found, but a good opportunity to get some time in the dry suit.

On September 17th I did a couple of dives, the first one being on Nitrox at Brad’s urging (still thinking about the stalled IANTD Advanced Nitrox course), with buddies Roger and Mike. Roger is a frequent buddy of mine but has been out for most of the 2008 season after a minor heart operation. He promises to be back in the spring. Mike is an RCMP officer and a police diving instructor. We see him from time to time but he gets drawn away by duty quite a bit.

The water temperature at a depth of 72 feet was a mere 12C (54F), actually fairly warm for the location due to the summer warmth. I wasn’t wearing a hood so I found it cold below the thermocline even in the dry suit. I had difficulty with the dry suit in the shallower water, finding that every time I stopped swimming my feet would start to float upwards. This can be a real problem with dry suits, especially when you’re shallow, because the air expands in your feet and they want to rise even more. Recovery involves doing a half somersault to get back into position, which is tiring after a while. With my struggles I used more air than the other guys and after 40 minutes of diving emerged with only 200 PSI left in the tank after my safety stop. With 34 pounds of lead in tow, I wasn’t underweighted, but it seemed to be in the wrong place.

For the second dive of the day, I borrowed a pair of ankle weights from Mike, while reducing my overall weight to 29 pounds. This dive down to 86 feet for 34 minutes, still without the hood, felt much better – and I had no problems with my feet drifting upwards. I also saw a 3 foot long sucker near the descent line, and the Crayfish were unusually aggressive. It’s laughable to see the 3″ long creatures snapping their claws at divers as they go by – it reminds me of a Monty Python movie I saw long ago.

On my way back into town I stopped by the dive shop and bought my own ankle weights. Brad actually tried to discourage me from using them, but I was so much more comfortable with them that I bought them anyway.

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Comments»

1. Stephen Carter - December 30, 2008

I have also had issues with my feet being too bouyant. I picked up a set of ankle weights and am looking forward to using them this year.

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deepstop - December 31, 2008

Ankle weights are useful, but not always the answer. If I need to weigh myself down (when I’m with students, for instance, where you want to be heavy enough to prevent them from ascending too quickly) I find them handy. When I’m diving for fun, I use less weight in my BC and find I don’t need the ankle weights at all.

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