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Setting up for an Advanced Course September 2, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Training.
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Matt & I conducted an advanced course last weekend (Aug 22/23 2009) consisting of Peak Performance Buoyancy, Navigation, Search & Recovery, Deep and Enriched Air Dives. Once again, logistics were the key. Our students were Les, Diana and Sarah with Sarah’s husband Darren along as a divemaster candidate. Les had started diving in the 70’s, stopped, and then decided to try again this summer, requalifying as a PADI Open Water Diver and now taking the Advanced Open Water course. Diana had recently done her Open Water course in Australia but hadn’t dived since. Sarah was comparatively more experienced having done a range of diving with her husband.

Before all the students had arrived, Matt and I were in the water to set up the course. First, our two standard dive flags were set up, with the first in about 8 feet of water about 100 feet from the dock, and the second, which included an ascent line, about another 100′ away at 30′ depth.

The next step was to set up the buoyancy game for the peak performance buoyancy dive. The shop has a set of 8 diamond shaped (actually they’re square but they’re turned 45 degrees) tubing assemblies about 4′ on each side. They’re connected with shock cord and in one corner the tubes abut, rather than connect, so when these are placed on top a diver can ascend without obstruction. Thus there is not the slightest concern about an overhead obstruction in an out of air emergency.

We attached these at about 10′ intervals on a line that runs west of the main dive flag buoy, and pointed them in slightly different directions. Each has a line attached for that purpose, and the tubes are hollow to admit air to make them positively buoyant so they “hang” from the bottom. I swam the course to make sure it was reasonably easy to do, which it was.

After that we laid out a timed underwater swim for the navigation dive. I recently purchased some large orange tent pegs (about 14″ long) that answered very well to the task of marking a position and holding a line in place. We used my penetration reel to mark the course between two of the pegs, and I’d tied a loop at 100′ on the line before we went in. Unfortunately the reel tangled as we deployed it, but it only took a few minutes to get it sorted out and we ended up with a nice run in about 20′ of water.

After 22 minutes underwater we emerged to greet our students and get ready for the first adventure dive.

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