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Cozumel -- Nov 24 to Dec 1, Rescue Diving (part 2)
jfhuard - 1/03/2008 9:48 PM
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Category: Travel
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Cozumel -- Nov 24 to Dec 1, Rescue Diving (part 2)Part 1

Tuesday, November 27th (multiple short training dives) Today is the big day. I`ve been preparing for the last few weeks taking my EFR (CPR / AED / First Aid / Care for children) and DAN DEMP and Neuro. Alison has buddied me with David for the class. After meeting him and chatting for a few minutes, we realized that we live about 10 miles away from each other in Fairfax county, Northern Virginia. What a coincidence!

We spent the entire day at Paradise tied off to the mooring buoy with Ted and Jeannie, the other two rescue diver candidates. We completed about half of the Rescue Diver course. It was hard work and tiring. However, it was very satisfying as well. In particular, we tried different way of hauling an unconscious diver on Alison`s new boat, but nothing is working quite perfectly yet. David`s BC doesn`t have quick release on the harness, so it`s much more difficult to get him out of it... To compensate, I played some trick on him: I disconnected my low pressure inflator hose from my BC so he couldn`t inflate the BC to keep me afloat, so he needed to drop my integrated weights... We also did a couple search patterns to find a missing diver. Alison had hidden a weight belt with 5 ponds or so, and we could never find it... after she went down, we realized that a group of diver that passed by earlier must have taken it, thinking someone had lost the belt...

Wednesday, November 28th (multiple short training dives) Once again, we spent the entire day from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm on Paradise near shore almost completing the Rescue Diver course. We got tired after hours of giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a non-breathing diver and then towing each other back to the boat. The really hard part was getting the diver on board the boat after we arrived. Fortunately, our boat captain, Carlos, is a strong man and was helping us. To get a diver back on board the boat, it always took one rescue diver and Carlos pulling hard. We were exhausted at the end of the day. In the final scenario, it took us 4 mins 30 secs after we heard a distressed diver about 100yds from the boat to don our gears, descent to 30 ft to rescue the drowning divers, and hauling back the unconscious diver back in the boat while doing mouth-to-mouth... After this scenario, I felt that I could manage to rescue someone if this situation ever happen.

Thursday, November 29th (4 dives: 1:01, 1:09, 1:02, 0:57) Now that we were done with all our rescue excercies and scenarios, we were ready to go out and have some fun. Alison took the four of us with Joe, Roberta, Annette and Mike to Colombia Deep. We saw a turtle with a funny looking dome shaped shell. I found a hungry toadfish in a hole. Mike and Roberta completed the Deep Adventure dive for the advanced certification. While they were doing math problem near 100ft, I went swimming at 117ft for a couple minutes with David.

During our surface interval, we completed some rescue exercices (exiting with an unconscious diver on the beach). Ted and Jeannie were having a hard time to pull me out of the water, but managed it successfully. Back to the boat, we finished the revision of our knowledge reviews.

Our second stop in the morning was on San Francisco Wall where we saw a couple of southern stingrays in the sand and a peacock flounder on the bottom. This was a pretty long dive.

In the afternoon, David and I went diving with Chucho for an intermediate to advanced dive. I dove on ENX36 to avoid being to tired at night as we`re planning for a night dive after sundown. We couldn`t do this until now since we always had some new divers training either for their open water or advanced. We went to Punta Tunich for a drift dive at about 3 knots. It was really fun to fly over the reefs at that speed with an awesome visibility. After we came out, our boat was probably half a mile away.... the new captain could not follow us at the speed we were drifting and lost us... Chucho was not very happy about this and gave him a hard time... We waited for 15-20 minutes at the surface, waving our safety sausage until another boat stopped and called our boat by radio... After Hugo picked us up, we headed back to the marina to get Ted and Jeannie for our night dive.

We descended at about 6pm for an hour dive. We saw lots of underwater life, 3 octopus, many lobster, crabs, sting rays and puffer fish. Chucho even teased one of the small puffer fish until it puffed. We all ascended together when the first one reached about 600 psi.

This was another great day of diving and found a new dive buddy. David is a good diver which I feel very comfortable buddying up with. We`re already making plan for a future trip after we get back to NoVa.

Friday, November 30th (2 dives: 0:50, 1:16) This is the last day, and I can only do 2 morning dives since I flying back to the US tomorrow afternoon. I buddy up with David again today.

Our first dive was at Santa Rosa Wall with Ted, Jeannie, Joe and Roberta. We descended upon two turtles doing the wild thing. It was quite a show. At first, I thought they were fighting as one was nibbling on the other’s flipper. They didn’t care that we were all watching them. Later another turtle swam right up to join us. I did another deep dive going down to 108ft on this one.

For my final dive, I requested Yucab, since I had never been there before. I`ve done all the other reefs in the area. A feisty toad fish took the bait of Alison`s lure. Of course there is no hook on it, so no harm done. David, Joe and I were having fun taking pictures. In particular, a banded coral shrimp and a black long-spined sea urchin under an overhang. We were surrounded by colorful encrusting sponges.

Saturday, December 1st Bye bye Cozumel... Although I`m happy to go back home see Nathalie and the kids, I`m already looking forward to my next trip in a few months to Honduras with Louis. I cannot figure out how I will manage to wait until then...

I`ve logged 14 dives totaling about 14 hours underwater during this trip (not counting the training dives and scenarios). This brings me to around 70 logged dives, 8 specialties and I just completed my Rescue Diving. Upon my return, I`m planning to file for my PADI Master Scuba Diver and DAN Diving Emergency Specialist certifications... :)

Part 1