Archive for July 2016

Dive #181: Cove 2, West Seattle, WA

Place:Cove 2 Buddy:Doug
Weather:Fine Type:Shore
Max. depth (m):31.4 Visibility (m):10
Time down:09:19 Dive time (mins):51
Average depth (m):17.1 Water temp. (C):13.4

Notes: Earlyish dive on a Sunday to do some skills: S-drills; shot a bag; did a decent enough, but slow, ascent. Found the monolith too, and also a metal cross that looked like it was marking something.

Equipment: All own stuff as previously. The battery cap of my Liquivision Xen, came apart as I took the unit out of the tub where I was rinsing it. Also during washing, some fresh water got inside one of my first stages. No idea how as I did not submerge it. Anyway, some things to attend to there.

Accumulated time underwater: 5 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes.

Dive #179, 180: HMCS Annapolis, Horseshoe Bay, BC, Canada

 Dive 1Dive 2  Dive 1Dive 2
Place:HMCS AnnapolisHMCS Annapolis Buddy:Doug
Weather:Fine, Sunny Type:Boat (Topline)
Max. depth (m):29.925.9 Visibility (m):1010
Time down:09:2611:24 Dive time (mins):3752
Average depth (m):18.616.3 Water temp. (C):10.410.4

Notes: I went to Canada with Doug to dive the HMCS Annapolis. We drove up on the Friday evening and stayed in Vancouver; very pleasant late dinner at the Blue Water Cofe. Up early then on Saturday to go to Horseshoe Bay and check in with Sea Dragon Charters at 7.30am, to be ready for a boat departure at 8am (CA$110 for two dives, back at 1pm). The boat was called Topline.

We had only one set of doubles each for the trip so we kept the first dive relatively short, aiming to come up with about 2200 PSI for the following one. It was a bit unsatisfactory. We did a brief shallow penetration at about 90 feet that used up a good bit of gas and then worked our way back to the line but we didn’t get a good feel for the layout of the ship. The second dive was much better. We did a nice controlled circumnavigation of the main decks of the ship along with a closer look at a helicopter hangar (no helicopter) and the bridge.

Equipment: As previous dive with my HP-100s. I should switch the ports to which my alternate second stage and drysuit inflator hoses are connected. This would slightly improve the routing of my short hose. I still need to shorten the bungee on my alternate second stage by an inch or two. My mask leaked a bit again on the first dive. Not sure why this is. My recently adjusted harness was ok getting in, fine underwater but very difficult to get out of. It turns out my light malfunction (intermittently turning itself off) on the previous dive is a known heat-related issue with Halcyon EOS Mini lights. It needs to be sent back to Halcyon for some small modification. It was ok on these dives though. These were my first dives using my own 10-lb v-weight (didn’t need to borrow from Doug). I have not done a proper weight check with this configuration but this seems to to be fine. Must do a proper weight check at some point. My long hose tends slip out after being tucked into the harness. Until I get a canister light, it might be worth while picking up a canister light simulator like this one.

IMG_0384.JPG IMG_0378.JPG IMG_0365.JPG IMG_0364.JPG IMG_0363.JPG

Accumulated time underwater: 5 days, 1 hour and 57 minutes.

Dive #177, 178: Sund Rock, Hood Canal, WA

 Dive 1Dive 2  Dive 1Dive 2
Place:Sund Rock North WallSund Rock South Wall Buddy:Doug
Weather:Fine Type:Shore
Max. depth (m):22.925.3 Visibility (m):1010
Time down:11:1113:53 Dive time (mins):3852
Average depth (m):14.013.4 Water temp. (C):11.010.9

Notes: Another two very nice dives at Sund Rock. North wall on first dive. Having explored this fairly thoroughly before, we went to try and find the wreck to the north after the wall ends. We swam north from the end of the wall a few hundred feet, perhaps, at about 70 ft and didn’t find it. Turned around and swam back south at about 50 ft and ran straight into it, bigger than I expected and crumbling, lots of life. Short enough dive to conserve air (we had 1 full and 2 partly full sets of doubles between us for the two dives). Mask was a bit leaky.

Second dive on the South wall. The primary goal was to find a biggish octopus that we’d been told about. Look for crab shells and other remains at about 50 ft, we were told. There it was. Probably the biggest octopus I’ve ever seen happily hanging out under a rock, an impassive eye looking out. Lots of big eels too and other fish. The wall is impressive and there were some lovely vistas, watching it disappear up into the green gloom. Jeremy F was buzzing around on a scooter with another guy. My primary light gave out about 2/3 of the way into the dive. I assumed it was the battery and moved to a backup (actually I took one of Doug’s backups because mine was woefully ineffective). I spent a small bit of the dive swimming with one hand hanging on to my tank valve (a good exercise, I’m told). Need to do more of this.

Equipment: As previous dive but used Doug’s spare doubles for second dive to have more gas. I found later that the primary light battery was not dead. It just goes went off for no apparent reason. When cleaning later I turned it on again and left it submerged. It turned itself off again. Need to look into this. Still should shorten bungee a shade. Otherwise, gear was pretty good.

Accumulated time underwater: 5 days, 0 hours and 28 minutes.

Dive #176: Cove 2, West Seattle, WA

Place:Cove 2 Buddy:Doug
Weather:Fine Type:Shore
Max. depth (m):17.7 Visibility (m):5
Time down:17:54 Dive time (mins):25
Average depth (m):10.0 Water temp. (C):13.0

Notes: Joined for the Wednesday ‘tweak’ dive (what does this mean? does it refer to making equipment tweaks or technique tweaks, or something else completeley?). Andrea P and Mike B were there too. Guy S had been doing a tech 1 course and was good enough to hang around and come with us for a bit of critical evaluation. Generally it was encouraging: trim ok and kicks ok (those he saw) though for the modified flutter I could be clapping the soles of my feet together (crude description) a bit more. He emphasised the importance of focusing on descents and ascents. We did a really good simple exercise which was to try and descend and ascend together in 10-ft steps: Take 30 seconds to move 10 ft, pause for 30 seconds, move again. Attempt to stay in position in your quadrant around the line (not swim around), facing your buddy. Attempt to be level with your buddy at all times. It’s tough! At the end of the dive Guy adjusted our harnesses. This should improve the chance of reaching valves in future. Legged it then, a little late, for dinner with the visiting in-laws.

Equipment: As previous dive but with 26-inch short hose (better) and a slightly longer bungee (perhaps a shade too long: the alternative second stage sits almost on top of dry suit inflator).

Accumulated time underwater: 4 days, 22 hours and 58 minutes.

Dive #175: Redondo Beach, WA

Place:Redondo Beach Buddy:Doug
Weather:Fine Type:Shore
Max. depth (m):23.8 Visibility (m):10
Time down:12:00 Dive time (mins):51
Average depth (m):12.5 Water temp. (C):13.0

Notes: Leisurely dive at Redondo Beach with Doug, Andrea P and a buddy of hers. After dive, went to shallows for back for some attempted valve drills and then a bit deeper for an SMB ascent. I couldn’t get to my valves at all. Next for me: GUE EDGE practise and also practise getting to valves.

Equipment: First dive with my new double Faber HP-100s, Light Monkey bands and manifold. I’ve gotten rid of the Miflex hoses too, in favour of rubber ones. 24-inch short hose is a bit too short with the hose routing that is necessary due to port placement on Apeks XTX-200s. Weight: 10-lb v-weight (that’s with usual BZ-400x undergarments).

Accumulated time underwater: 4 days, 22 hours and 33 minutes.