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The Three Stooges
ScottPadipro - 4/08/2007 12:00 AM
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Category: Travel
Comments: 1
I went diving today off Palm Beach with two other CCR divers on a private boat. Both of the other divers were on the Optima, one has about 80 hours on the rig but for the other fresh out of training and it was his first dive since the class. The current was running about 1.5 knots and the vis sucked but we just wanted to do a shallow reef dive to build up some more time. The seas were getting really rough by the time we splashed so I was into my 3rd shade of green when it occurred to me that I can`t puke through a closed loop like I have in the past through my OC reg so I`m going to be in a bit of trouble if I don`t hit the water soon. Thank God I made it in before I had to figure out how to get sick on a closed circuit. So the three of us descend to about 60 feet and are racing along with the current, I`m doing just fine but Marc, the new Optima diver is having a little trouble with things. Turns out the counter lungs are a little small for him so when he inhales the ADV (Automatic Diluent addition Valve) opens adding diluent to the loop which drops the PO2 and increases his buoyancy so the O2 solenoid fires to bring the PO2 back up which adds more gas to the loop increasing his buoyancy even more. Then when he exhales the OPV (Over Pressure Valve)opens and allows the excess gas in the breathing loop to vent which decreases his buoyancy and so on and so on and so on, it`s just a vicious circle. After about 5 minutes of this he bails out to OC (Open Circuit)and thumbs the dive leaving Howard and I to continue. Howard has his video camera and is planning on shooting the three of us on this nice reef dive so we can all check out our trim but Marc has bailed and the vis sucks so now he`s carrying the camera for no good reason when the LP hose to his brand new BOV (Bailout Valve) some how unscrews itself and starts blowing bubbles like Lawerance Welk on steroids. Holly crap I`ve never seen so much foam in the water as I did when I turned to check out what the ungodly racket was that was coming up from behind me. He goes from 2500 PSI to 500 PSI in about 30 seconds. Luckily he had installed an shut off valve on the LP hose so after I finally caught this flailing hose I was able to shut it off and at least save that last bit of diluent. Of course the first thing Howard did when the hose blew was to drop his camera, which was slightly negative, in a vain attempt to catch the LP hose and reconnect it all the while the current is screaming along at a knot and a half. By the time we had the problem solved we were at least 100 yards form the spot where he dropped the camera with no way of knowing exactly where it was or getting back there against that current even if we did. By this time I`m thinking things are going down hill fast and it`s now my turn again for some sort of malfunction so lets just call it a day and head back in for some pizza and beer, so I thumb the dive. We surfaced without any more trouble and aside from looking green again on our ride back in, and the lost video camera, everyone was safe and we learned a few things along the way. We all had a good laugh and thought of taking a picture of the three of us the next time we were in the water together then pasting on the faces of Larry, Mo and Curly on our bodies with the caption "The Three Stooges of Rebreather Diving". LOL


Greg - 4/10/2007 12:00 AM
Wow, what a dive. Thanks for sharing this with us.