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PADI Pro Weekend: Daryaw Drift Dive June 23, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Shipwrecks.
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The final dive of a fabulous weekend of diving started down the line to the Daryaw for the third time that day. This one, though, was different as the whole team of 11 gathered at the stern (it probably would have made a good picture to see all us hanging there) awaiting the signal to let go. While the current appeared to be quite strong at the surface, at depth I was surprised how slowly we drifted away. The river certainly wasn’t at its peak flow this time.

At a depth of 90 to 100 feet we moseyed along the bottom with a rock wall to our left and a fairly flat bottom below. At one point I found a bottle of Bawls (a highly caffeinated soft drink) and wondered if it was the same bottled I’d found the previous year and then released the previous summer. I placed it on a rock ledge and maybe I’ll find it again next year. Steve found the rear wheels and axle from a tricyle lying in the mud, played with it a while, and then put it down again. Here’s some not very good video of that.

After 25 minutes or so I was surprised that we had not drifted any shallower, and as we were all getting low on air, in a rather ragged fashion we started working our way up the rock wall, where it flattened out at about 30 feet. I shot my signalling tube from that depth and hung for 3 minutes at 15′ before surfacing, to see divers and signalling tubes scattered about here and there. The visibility under water had dropped way down and I’d lost sight of everyone until then.

I floated on the river until it was my turn to be picked up. Lawrence swung the boat around perfectly so that the ladder appeared directly in front of me, and all I didn’t have to swim at all to climb aboard. On the way back I got all my gear packed and stowed so that I could make a quick exit, and after Ed gave us all the paperwork for the specialty Instructor ratings (for me Deep, Wreck, Enriched Air, O2 Provider, Drift, Dry Suit and Digital Underwater Photographer) I was on my way home in reasonably light traffic.

It was a great weekend with a bunch of excellent divers. I learned more about the local shipwrecks, and used some new equipment combinations successfully, including my single tank adapter.

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