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Diving the Kirkfield Quarry April 1, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Equipment.
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As is often the case, the Victoria Day weekend didn’t bring us the nicest weather. All too often, the weekend that follows, which is Memorial Day in the United States, has beautiful weather while we Canadians get stuck with the rain. May 18th, 2008 was no exception, with overcast skies and a high of 14C (57F).

Steve Irwin was my dive buddy for my trial dive with my new OMS backplate and wings. It took a while and some help from Brad to put it all together. A lot of force was required to squish everything down so the wing nuts could be tightened, although I’ve noticed that with more use it has becoming easier with time.

kirkfield-wide-angle

So the dive started at 10:54 AM with 2000 PSI of air in the doubles, and Steve Irwin and I ventured to the quarry’s maximum depth of 30 feet. I did have several issues which made this well-qualified to be a shakedown dive for my new equipment, and to refresh my skills after a 9 month layoff diving with the technical gear. My log book has the following notations.

  • Forgot necklace (on surface). Went anyway.
  • Pull valve on main bladder stuck open.
  • Dry suit hose a little short perhaps
  • Need 2nd LP hose for alternate bladder
  • Alternate bladder had air in it.
  • Saw some large bass

The last issue, air in the bladder, made it difficult to stay down after using up some of my air. I eventually solved the problem under water. Fortunately being a bit light was useful as I couldn’t get the main bladder to hold air because the valve was stuck open.

Deco - A Diver's Best Friend

Deco - A Diver's Best Friend

After using 800 PSI of air in only 36 minutes we headed back to shore. Visibility was about 5 feet and the water temperature was 12C (54F).

We didn’t go back into the water until a little after 1PM as the barbeque was going and it was time to eat. This time I was my often-time buddy Roger. The equipment was working better this time as I’d made some adjustments and I added 3 pounds of weight (my ankle weights). We wandered around a bit and found the airplane. I think it was a Bonanza but I didn’t make a note of the type. Visibility maxed out at 5 feet again, often deteriorating to zero. We enjoyed the dive though, and stayed under for 48 minutes.

After the diving was over out came the beer and in came the rain. It ended up with about 20 of us crammed under the awning in the picture below. I’m getting less inclined to drink these days and didn’t partake, and after hanging out for an hour or so head back home satisfied that I could dive safely with the new gear, although I still had some work to do on the hoses.

Despite the weather, we had a pretty good day of it, although there was much better weather and better diving to come later in the summer.

kirkfield-bbq

Brad mans the barbeque

Diving's all done

Diving's all done

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