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Dodging Hurricane Dean
georoc01 - 8/20/2007 8:58 PM
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Category: Personal
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Dodging Hurricane DeanWell, I took my first trip with this past week. And due to Dean, it turned into a 1 day dive trip. The night before I left, we could see that a named storm had formed in the Atlantic headed towards the caribbean. Flew in on Thursday. We did a shore dive off of Casa Del Mar was a tune up dive and was actually much better than I expected. There are a few of the catamarans that drop off their snorkelers, and we saw plenty of marine life. Casa Del Mar is just north of the International Pier, and across the street is both the dive op and a bar/beach club called Aqua. On Friday we did three dives. The three sites were Palancar Bricks, Delilah and Punta Tunich. All were good sites. Hopefully they will remain so after the hurricane. I dove with Scuba Sally and Kamala aka Wreck Wench as our Dive Master. The Dive master from Dive Palancar was Rocco. My dives went fairly well. The first dive I dove a 100cf tank and came up with everyone else. I knew they offered one and had put in a request. Dandy Don was nice enough to check on this the night before so they had it. Thanks Don! The 2nd and 3rd dives were done on AL80`s. I did fairly well on Dalilia, not as well on the 3rd dive with the strong current. just returned from a group trip where one of our divers got into serious decompression sickness. About an hour after the 3rd dive another diver collapsed. Looked like the classic symptoms of heat exhaustion. After spending an hour at the hospital, she began to show the signs on her skin that she was in trouble and they transported her to the chamber for the night. She did three dives. She is an experienced diver, with over 1000 dives and looked fine under water, came up at a normal ascent rate with the rest of us, did a 5 minute stop. All three dives never got below 60 feet. Everything looked fine. She was medi-evaced to Miami today and hopefully will be ok. And DAN has been great. We had a long discussion and the biggest factors they brought up were dehydration and a lack of sleep. She had pulled an all nighter in traveling to the trip the day before. And was physically out of shape, hadn`t dove in 3 years, and apparently has a history of diabetes that makes the conditions worse. Everyone associates getting the bends with coming up too fast or spending too long under in a dive, but don`t think about the other conditions that can lead to a deco situation that you don`t normally think about. By nightfall, The island went into a Tropical Storm Watch. I agreed to get up early on Saturday and check the conditions at that point. At this point the hurricane is still heading towards us just shy of Cat 5 status. So I booked a trip home that afternoon. I was out with 9 of the 15 divers on Saturday. We had one person turn around immediately and the others took flights either Sunday and a couple Monday morning. The plan is to try this trip again, next JULY. The problem is that the whalesharks seem to only hang out in Holbox during hurricane season. The Single group is a fun group to dive with. I will dive with them again!