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Drysuit and Deep Specialties
georoc01 - 9/16/2007 8:17 PM
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Category: Personal
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This weekend I completed two more specialties. Dry Suit and Deep. I did this down at the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, NM. This was my 2nd time coming down to this town that bills itself as the dive mecca of the southwest. Some thoughts.. 1) Dry Suit didn`t seem to be totally dry. between perspiration, and the slightest issue with any seal, and some type of pin hole in the boots of my rental boots assured this. Wearing socks really didn`t seem to be wise given that my feet were fairly wet after every dive. 2) Suit squeeze is a unique experience. From the first time you step in the water, even in the shallow end of the pool, you feel it. It also pushes your bouyancy to another level in that you now have this air pocket to balance within your suit. My instructor wanted us to handle our bouyancy 100% with the suit, no adding air to your bcd. And with the dump valve on your left shoulder, you have to make sure this isn`t your highest point when trying to add air. I should add that she had us diving with the valve wide open. But I had one dive where I was adding air and couldn`t figure out why I was still decending. 3) Even with the squeeze, I can see why people prefer it over the thicker wetsuit combos. I was suprised how much your undergarments made a difference in your bouyancy and the amount of lead I needed. I had to add 10lbs going from the pool to the open water, due to the undergarments. It was a fun weekend learning about this type of diving, and will probably end up getting one if I continue to dive in the cold waters around here. The Deep Specialty involved three of the dives, with the dry suit specialty being the two others. Of course, I did all five dives in the dry suit, so the two classes essentially were merged. And with the new bouyancy challenges, it also adds more challenge to the safety stops. One the last of the deep dives, we had to simulate an emergency deco stop. Although the suprise was that there were two tanks lowered and I of course, first choose the wrong one. Then when I get over to the right bottle, I failed to clear the reg prior to switching from my primary. Took a shot of water in my lungs. while I scrambled to get back to my primary. I did manage to get it straightened out. We took down a tennis ball (imploded at 65 feet!), took an empty water bottle down (squeezed together, then tried to fill it at depth, which didn`t go too well and tried to explode it at the surface. Also took down Twinkies. They compress and decompress just fine. I hear they have a 50 year shelf life. These certainly survived! Other things.. I buddied with one of the AOW divers doing his underwater navigation. I remember when doing my underwater nav specialty that I would touch the ground. Well, they were struggling to not go deeper during their nav dives too. What it appears to be is that when you are keeping your compass level, you are looking down on it and thus begin to dive deeper. Without a frame of reference, like the bottom, it is very easy to swim down without realizing it. Of course in a dry suit, the suit squeeze is a dead giveaway. Josephs seems to be the resturant of choice among divers on Saturday night. We certainly overwhelmed them with the groups from Colorado. This happened on my last trip here as well. Santa Rosa is limited in its choices, so I can see why this is an issue. But the food is decent. Saw a tarantula at the blue hole for the first time. My instructor(Tammi) hadn`t seen one in her 12 years of going down there either. However, leaving open bags on the ground may not be a good idea, I could see how someone may bring a suprise home!