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Divemaster Open Water Weekend #2 January 5, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Training.
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On June 16 and 17, 2007 Len was instructing a class at Big Bay Point. The first day went well, with training dives 1 and 2 out of the way quickly, although we’d gotten to a late start. Sometimes these things happen – students arrive late, they forget stuff, we run out weights, etc., etc. Len is an ex-Navy guy (don’t know what he did in the Navy – I must ask him) and a pleasure to work with. Like many I find in the professional Scuba world, he smokes – even during the surface interval between training dives. At the office where I work with over 60 other people, we have exactly one smoker, but around the dive shop the tobacco industry definitely has more than 50% penetration. Strange.

The second day was marred by losing track of students, especially on the underwater tours. The silt can be pretty bad in Lake Simcoe and there was so much of it that the two I was with simply disappeared. They were hitting the bottom too much and I tried to get them to swim out of murk, and was perhaps 5 feet ahead of them. They never emerged and I went back in to hunt for them but didn’t find them until I surfaced (which they, sensibly, had done for themselves). I felt bad about that, but everyone else supervising the dives had the same problem. We regrouped, got through the skills, and from then on took the student buddy teams in separate directions so we wouldn’t lose them in each other’s silt.

Len, in true military fashion, called the experience a “Charlie Foxtrot”. He didn’t use those words exactly, but knew what I meant weeks later when I used them to refer to the day. Still, he gave me a half-decent mark for the weekend. My only other dives that weekend were to install and retrieve the dive flags. Two are used, a big one about 150 feet out from the dock near the log where we line up the students to do their drills, and a smaller float about half way out.

By this time I was using the Notes section in Log Book #2, which I’d acquired on my PADI Advanced course in Ocho Rios in February 2005, to log my dives, as I’d run out of pages. The final entry was on July 8th, was a training dive in my doubles and dry suit, also at Big Bay Point, with Dave, one the assistant instructors. My intent was to practice valve shutdowns but I couldn’t reach them while wearing the dry suit. I was worried about this because being able to shut off your air by yourself is a requirement for technical diving. Of course, there are knob extensions – fondly referred to as “slob knobs” – but I certainly didn’t want to have to use them. Eventually I figured out how to do it, but on this dive I exited the water still unable to reach them.

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