Originally I was going to join a buddy down at lake Ouichita for a pumpkin carving contest. Wasn`t able to make it down that far... my dive buddy`s gf was very involved in activities at the university homecoming, so we couldn`t take off like that.
So we hit Beaver lake instead and got in some great diving. We started Friday night and figured we`d ledge out to around 100` and then progress back up the steps until we were at 15 for safety. When we got down to around 70` he signaled up. He told me later he was feeling nauseous. He was diving with one of those new panoramic view masks. We figured it might be the visual distortions of the mask that might be doing it. For the next dive we just chose 50` as our hard deck and were fine. That next dive was after sun down though, so was a great night dive. Catfish were out in droves.
On Saturday he was pretty tied up with his girlfriend most of the day for university activities. I took the time to go work out a leak problem I had with my drysuit. I had only dived the suit once and had a wet arm at the end. Hadn`t had the opportunity in water to work on my problems since then. This was a good chance. I started by heading up to C&J for air and to probe their minds to solution possibilities. I know they do a lot of technical diving in dry suits so figured any problem out there they have probably encountered.
I headed down to the swimming beach area. Figured it was deep enough to get what I needed and yet was a protected cove that was shallow enough that if something went wrong I could just surface without much problem. I`m not that much for solo diving, but this worked out pretty well. There were a couple of groups doing classes in the general vicinity and I chatted with them during prep and surface intervals. The group from Tulsa seemed pretty nice and I chatted with the instructor and several of the divers from that group. Back to the dry suit... I did get the problem resolved. One of the zip seals on the right sleeve wasn`t completely affixed. After working that seal into proper place, I headed out and stayed perfectly dry.
Then it was time for working on weighting. I was way too heavy on the first dive, so I dropped down considerably and found that with the fleece I was wearing under the dry suit I was pretty decent in weight with 24 pounds. I was still just a bit heavy, but not too bad. In a dry suit, I prefer to be a bit heavy than just on the balance point.
Met up with my buddy at C&J when I went up to refill tanks. We headed over to the bluffs area and dropped in. He wore a regular mask for this trip to see if that was a contributor or not. When we passed the 50` mark he got that feeling again, so we know it was not the mask. We just stayed above the 50` mark and enjoyed the excursions. Both of these dives were night dives. Gotta say, the dry suit was much more comfortable than the wet suit had been the night before.
On Sunday we headed out and tried deep again to see if whatever was bugging him had gone. We got down to a small sailboat at about 70` and he seemed alright, though signaled cold pretty quickly. Not sure what the temp there actually was, the cobra computer doesn`t update temp all that quickly.
One thing we decided to do was to catch up with the wholel pumpkin carving contest. We won since we were the only one`s entered.. haha We found an eagle statue at about 31 feet, so figured that was a good presentation place for our wonderful creation. It was pretty fun. Hadn`t really thought of carving a pumpkin underwater before the original invite to the comp down in hot springs. Ours was fun none the less. When we got topside there was a group who was asking us about the pumpkin so it made for a good story.
Once again, taking off the dry suit was much nicer in the cool air than messing with a wet suit. I think I`m going to be really happy about getting that dry suit after all. Be safe and have some great dives.