Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Scuba weekend

So after friday off to recover, (Diving three times in a day takes it out of you) I had to drop Fabian home for his plans for sunday. Poor kid wanted to dive with us.

Saturday Heath and I were going to pick up his middle child, Kelsea, and do our advanced course with a lady Heath had dived with before, Donna. I heard good things about her and her quality of training but mediocre about the shop she worked at.

We arrived at 8 as arranged and met Donna. The reviews about the shop was correct. The counter was cluttered, there was ancient crap in the display cabinet and some of the stuff were surly. Oh dear....
Donna took us to the class room, and we settled into the theory parts of the course. Heath HAD finshed his theory questions.. (heeheehee )

Saddling up, we had difficulty fitting three divers, 6 tanks, and three tubs of SCUBA gear in the little dualis. 4 divers would have  meant a trip to collect a trailer. If we all go to Sth West Rocks, we will have to be super prepared.

We were doing Nav and Peak performance Buoyancy. The lady with us was going todo Search and recovery but us three were not. At a place Heath called the Gravel loader.

Dive Instructor Donna


Heath 

Sitting around... :) sorta

Lots and lots of sea urchins and not much else. For under water it was zzzzzzzz Heath and I entertained ourselves by making silly faces or sleeping actions.Even some rude ones at times.. lol.  I discovered I could laugh and breath with a regulator.

The Peak performance Buoyancy proved I needed the men's bigger steel tank and 2 lbs more. I had 20.5lb on plus the steel tank weight to FINALLY get some control. I wasn't sucking at buoyancy, I was under-weighted.  YAY Happy that I could drift along happily, we had a snack in our break..I found it hard to get out and landed on some urchins.. OUCH and even got a spine in my hand, (its still there) We all  chatted and changed tanks and lept back in for navigation.
I used to navigate in my flying career so this was no challenge. I didn't like setting the Lubber line all the time and just used the bearings but I got us back to our start point. Heath also got use back to our origin. We even allowed for the current which someone else forgot. We had to have a chuckle.. the guy was trying.. :)

All in all we had two subjects towards our Advanced open water and had two to go.
Back at the shop, we had a de-brief and some Nitrox tanks to test and load into the car. This time we did fit in 6 tanks of Nitrox, gear and divers.

Thank you swimsuitsforall

For Sunday, Donna kindly picked up Kelsea from her home so Heath and I could sleep in and just collect her at the highway pull over lane.. It worked perfectly we were 30 seconds behind them .
The drive to Terrigal was quite nice, Kelsea had control of the music and this suited me. I was surprised I had a lot of the music on my phone.

Arriving at Terrigal, the day was FREEZING. Trust us to pick the coldest day in 5 years to go diving. GEEZ... Coffee and toilet first them the fastest car park strip ever. Our wet suits were wet from the previous day but once on, we were a lot warmer. Thank goodness for neoprene., We had seen all the roads west on our way up were closed due to snow.

Photo from the SMH



Got our gear all set up and waited for our boat to the dive site.  It was blowing a gale as we clambered across the car park.
Looks nice but it was COOOOOOLLLLLDDDDD

As elegant as whales on the beach, we loaded our BCDs onto the dingy and clambered on.. the boys had to push the runabout out before taking a leap in.
Zooming off the wind chill made my brain hurt. Brain freeze.. Ugh... please no headache please please please.. I pulled my hood over my mouth and nose. AHH they helped a bit. 

Arriving at the dive site, we suited up and I was told to roll in so.. nothing ventured, nothing gained. Holding my mask and regulator, I rolled backwards and yay! ended upright. :) Winning!! God it was warmer than being on the surface. I was instructed to swim out to the number 4 buoy and wait for the others. This was exciting. :)



Donna signalled to descend and down we went... We had to follow the buoy line to the anchor line then wait.. check all was ok then when Donna gave the signal, down the anchor line.





(Above Donna in black and Heath in Yellow)

I got to the top of the mast happily enough then.. I looked down and it was cloudy at best and black at the dark bits. I could see Donna waving at me and Heath next to her, but I froze. It was a LONG way down and even though I KNEW we were not far from the bottom, it was still scary. Eventually I hopped off my perch and down to the main deck of the Ex-HMAS Adelaide. YAY!!! Reunited with my favourite ship.
Donna took us two for our Deep dive training and Kelsea was up higher with Phil as she had ear problems. Our tasks over, we were sent up to Phil and Kelsea was able to get to the deck with no pain so she did her training with Donna and we did our ascent to the 5m mark, then, after the 3 minute stop, up to  the dive boat with Phil.
Heath on the deck of the Adelaide

Phil waited to take us up to the dive boat. 



A break whilst we waited for Donna and Kelsea who passed successfully, we returned to Terrigal for food and allow another set of divers to go out to the wreck. When we returned around 90 mins later, we stayed on the main deck. No penetration of the interior as it is not the full wreck course. BOOO Still, we dod not have torches so it was a safety thing anyway.
Heath and Phil chatted over lunch


Kelsea, poor thing found at the wreck site that her nitrox tank has emptied itself and Phil generously donated his tank to her so she could complete here Advanced course. This was extremely generous as he was essentially giving up his dive on his day off.


THANK YOU PHIL!!


I was happy to drift along and try to workout the new (to me) underwater sony camera. Did not do as miuch as I had wanted but its a learning curve. Next time!! Besides I have no strobe and its dark so my shutter speeds were far too slow.

Can you see the rock cod??


Too soon we had to head up. Heath sucks air faster than I do and I tend to breathe deeply.. The nitrox was a great help but at 22m we still only had 30 mins. I wanted more time. WHAAAA



3 mins safety stop all watching our computers, counting down....

Returning to the shore, we waited for the boat to be loaded onto the trailer and then unpacked the boat. Again the weather gods tried to freeze us to death but what is a little hypothermia??

Donna signed us off for advanced and Nitrox. Heath had to take the stuff back tomorrow as we had a long way to travel home and the store would be closed long before we got to Wollongong.
I was dropped off, Heath grabbed his car and took Kelsea home.

I collapsed in a heap and struggled with my go pro and totally lost in my world I forgot about the food in the car, the scuba gear sooooooooo

I was in trouble with Heath returned. OOPS.
Hmm I have to try to be less forgetful. Upset myself, marring a perfect day.
Sigh.

Anxiety is a bitch . ANYWAY.. happy to hide under the covers after a long hot shower.

xoxoox

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