Tony: "You’re Nuts if you are here on a day like this if you don’t have to be".
Me: "I have to be here; diving is part of my essence."
Tony: " ’Essence’? right ... You’re Still Nuts."
Okay, a day like today proves that I really enjoy diving. Yeah, I got up at zero o’dark and drove close to 100 miles to be at the gates when they opened at 8 am. But it was cold, really cold. Water temp wasn’t bad; mid 50’s. Even the air temp wasn’t bad; high 40’s. But the wind chill. Yikes! I kept my hood on between dives and used the hand dryer in the changing room to warm my fingers.
So, this was my last hurrah out at Dutch for 2008; I have other commitments next weekend and will be somewhere warmer on New Year’s Eve. I wanted to get three dives in; to be able to get to 220 by the end of the year. And, I wanted Matt to get at least one dive in to keep his skills current (in anticipation of a couple of dives over the holidays). Mission Accomplished!
Matt decided to sit out the first dive (to let the air warm up a bit ... yeah, right). So, a group of 5 hopped in; Jackie, Jon (welcome back), Fabio (congratulations), Mark, and myself. Took me a while to descend ... actually had to go back to the dock, get out of my fins and mask and hike back up the hill. It really does help to remember to load your weights pockets before getting in the water. Okay, back down, and off we go. I didn’t hear a single snicker ... Nice leisurely swim from the student side over to the pump house cove. Saw a couple of very nice koi up behind the stairs; they looked huge (one was orange with black stripes, pretty cool looking). I didn’t get many pictures, but a few.
Second dive was with Matt. We kept it simple; just tooled around the platforms on the student side and over to the boat on the north wall. Dive was short; I had a really light fill on my tank (1900 psi ...) after the tank was vip’d. Matt’s buoyancy and comfort level are pretty good, he’ll be fine on our holiday dives. Got some nice pictures of Matt underwater. Saw Jackie, Jon, Fabio, and Mark heading out as we were coming in. Matt decides that one dive is plenty on a day like today. So, I go looking for someone to partner with for dive three.
Dutch was pretty sparsely populated today; seemed like everyone on the student side was associated with the shop. So, Mike had one last dive to do with his AOW class, so I asked if I could tag along. No problem. Surface swim to the Replica Hell Diver, then nav back to the platform. I hover around while the dry suit divers practice their skills. They are also practicing shooting bags, so I decide to follow suit. Ahh... hanging from a bag doing my safety stop just lay back and watch my bubbles up to the surface. Life is good.