What a blast the dive was today! It was an early start at 6am so needless to say I didn`t do a whole lot of celebrating when the ball dropped at midnight last night. The weather was supposed to be fairly extreme for the day and that just made it more interesting for me. However, after it was all said and done, the 4"-6" of snow never made it. There was just a dusting on the ground with a few flurries. The temperature was 30 degrees with wind gusts up to 30mph.
It was a 2 hour drive to the Gilboa quarry, and when I got there it was snowing just a bit. I set up my tent to stay out of the weather, but forgot to bring the tent stakes. So I ended up tying a corner to a tree to keep it from blowing away! I put down the carpet and set up the chairs inside. All the comforts of home. The rest of the group arrived and we started making plans for the dive.
We got geared up and ready to hit the water. I dove wet with a 7mm Henderson two piece and a 5/3mm hooded vest. I also took an old hood and cut the bib off to make it into a beanie. I wore that under the hooded vest and it worked really well. I have 7mm boots and 1mm socks for a second layer. 3 others in the group were dry and one had a semi dry wet suit. The water temp was a balmy 42 degrees, which was better than expected by about 4 degrees.
We did the usual route around the quarry. We started at the airplane and then the helicopter. We went out to the tubes and then came back. My max depth was 46 feet. Three of the divers were ready to hit the surface at that point, so we split the group and me and one of the dry suit divers continued on with the dive. Bottom time was 46 minutes. When we surfaced, I was ready to get out. My fingers had started to go numb and my lips were just about useless! But the rest of me was very comfortable. No one wanted to brave a second dive so we called it a day. The surface interval would have been murderous anyway. The wind was wicked cold and the temp was dropping too.
So a hot bowl of chilly and some frozen dive gear later, I was on the road home. The first dive of the New Year, notched in the log book.