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Cozumel 2011 Day 5 – Palancar Windows March 5, 2011

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log.
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Joe and Grunt had left for their respective homes leaving just Jackie and me, but we were joined by two new divers, Lee and Sheri. Lee was a reasonably experienced diver but his wife Sheri had learned to dive last December and had not dived since. Both were well equipped with wireless air-integrated computers (like this one) and backup second stages integrated with the BC inflators – two technologies I’m not particularly fond of due to the additional complexity. Lee ran through some procedures with Sheri before the dive and pointed out to her that she was using the purge on the second stage rather than the correct button to let air out of her BC.

Pedro told them that they were to go to a maximum of 80’ on the first dive, although as it was a wall dive it was OK for Jackie and me to go to 100’. Back roll entry was uneventful and Pedro asked Jackie and me to descend while he helped the others. So we were hanging out at about 60’ for a couple of minutes while descent and ear problems were worked out, but eventually go going for a normal dive.

The site had plenty of swim-throughs, but Sheri’s buoyancy was understandably shaky and they avoided most of them. As Jackie and I went deeper I noticed that Sheri was following us and was now at almost 100’. I pointed to the depth on my computer but she didn’t seem to understand me. Finally Pedro was trying to get her attention but couldn’t so I swam over to her, grabbed her shoulder strap, and pushed her in the direction of Pedro while pointing at him. She got the message and swam to him and I noticed him communicating to her to remember the maximum depth. I figure she was a little narked as she reacted slowly to all our signals.

For the next 20-30 minutes the dive was uneventful as we drifted along photographing this and that, although I kept a close eye on Sheri just in case she ran into more trouble. Sure enough, she suddenly turned around and started swimming toward me repeatedly giving the low on air signal (closed fist against the chest). Not knowing how low she was I pulled out my backup second stage and swam directly to her, but she waved it off and then signaled she had 700 PSI left. We hooked her up with Lee and they headed for the surface together while the rest of us continued the dive. She admitted later that she was a little too dramatic with the low-on-air signal.

Being new to the sport, a deep dive in the currents of Cozumel has got to be intimidating, and despite some of the glitches in this dive, I think she’ll end up being a very good diver.



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