We had a great weekend down at the lake this weekend. Steve and I went down on Friday and got a couple of dives in over at the north dam site. The first we dropped down to around 105` and then came across a sunfish sail boat at about 77` on our way up. We diddled around the boat for a while before continuing up and following terrain around for safety stop depth. The next dive in that sequence we set 80` as our hard deck level. Where we went in we ran out of down at 63` though. It was definitely a murky area there... likely eddies or something like that stirring up the area. There were some really cool trees sticking up and around in that area. Was somewhat surreal actually. We went around in circles a couple of times before I realized that I needed to just stop and take a bearing to the exit shore and go out to where we could have visual references.
Steve and I were doing divecon for the weekend so we headed back to the house to settle everyone in as they arrived. We got the boat in the morning and headed out to the bluffs site. There was only one open water student on the trip and several fun divers. I did deck duties, getting everyone in the water and safety for the first dive. When the fun divers came back from their first dive Jim and Varn indicated they would like to do some bouyancy work. I took them out to the shelfs and introduced them to several horizontal point and vertical point exercises for fine tuning bouyancy. When we started out I realized that using the full dump was the method being used to descend, so I changed that and tasked that we would never touch the bottom on the descent, but rather plane out just above the floor. As we followed along the shelf we practiced the exercises several times. Then we went to using the small branches from the submerged trees. We got to where everyone was able to hold their position without breaking the branches. We then went to inverted viewing over bluffs and rocks. Amazingly, one of the large rock structures that I chose to demonstrate the skill was holding quite a large catfish underneath, so we got some good practical application of the exercise as well.
In the afternoon we headed out to the foundations. Jim and Varn wanted to go a bit deep, but Jim wanted to conserve air to do some additional diving. With that we set the hard deck at 50` and headed out to the channel. We surface swam out toward the channel and dropped with the same "not touching the bottom" goal as we had done in the morning. We dropped down into the channel and had great opportunities to do bouyancy exercises on the wall with a hundred or so feet below. We followed along for a while and started back up following azimuth and terrain back to the boat. We came up next to the dive entry platforms of the boat.
We spent the rest of our air going down to the bus. We had Mat (the OW Student) lead us down to the bus as he had just finished working with Sage and Steve on navigation. It was a bit cloudy down by the bus, but was still a good bouyuancy and diminished clearance exercise. We headed back to the house and feasted and chatted into the evening.
Sunday morning we headed out to C&J cove. Sage and Steve worked with Mat and I took the fun divers out to the submerged wrecks connected with cave line. I anticipated that Sandra wasn`t going to go as deep as we were because she only had a 3mil suit, so we planned for her and Zach to go back up when we made the turn down deep. We found the stacked boats and followed the line down to the helicopter. That was where they chose to break off, it was pretty cold there. I took Jim and Varn on down to the airplane. Varn indicated 1400psi (prearranged pressure notice) so we headed back up taking our safety stop near one of the many submerged trees. We came up the tree and found it was the one we had used for descent, not bad nav. I discovered on the surface that Varn had banged into the tail rotor of the helicopter and it had caused a bruise and opened one side so it was bleeding. We cleaned it up and put on a dressing to help it close... he was done diving for that as it was in a place that the mask would continue to irritate it. Jim and I finished off air doing bouyancy exercises above the 20` mark.
We headed back to the house and feasted once again before heading back home. I didn`t stay and dive that afternoon because Robert was down in Texas... We`ll get some dives in next time I`m down that way. Thinking of hitting a Table Rock trip sometime soon... haven`t decided when yet... Thinking the week of Sept 4-7.... I`ll see.