Dive #64: Dee Why Wide

Place:Dee Why Wide Buddy:Eithne
Weather:Fine Type:Boat (Sea Life V)
Max. depth (m):28.0 Visibility (m):10
Time down:09:26 Dive time (mins):36
Average depth (m):19.8 Water temp. (C):19.0

Notes: This was the first of a Pro Dive double dive, and the 3rd of 5 such trips that we bought in advance. The boat was pleasantly less packed than usual, though they still struggled to have enough weight for everyone. We four had never been to this site before so we dived as part of a sextet. The other two were the guide Nick and a remarkable man called Pete that dives despite not having the use of his legs.

Just off the boat, loitering by the mermaid line while the others got in, my spool became un-hooked so that the end of the cord was still attached to my BCD but the spool itself hovered about 2 metres below the water happily unwinding. I watched helplessly. After a few attempts to retrieve it I was inside a great knot with one fin tied to my head. Simon came to the help and it seemed like a week later when I was untangled and I sheepishly handing the giant bundle of cord to someone on the boat.

Down then at the bottom, Pete and Nick immediately began slapping each other. Nick was trying to hook a camera on to Pete who was having none of it. After a bit, Pete seemed to have won because Nick held on to it. A while later Eithne and I noticed the same camera floating up away from Nick, unnoticed by him. We motored over and conveyed the news. He looked alarmed, then indicated that Pete was now my buddy and swam off to try and recover the camera. He came back after a few minutes and we had a bit more of a look around before ascending by the anchor. The vis. was good but I was a bit too distracted to see much on this dive.

Overall then, not great. The spool management issue was something to be learned from; it needs to be really tightly wound and hooked properly. However, the rest of the dive was something to be avoided, not learnt from. I think safety was compromised. Firstly, Nick and Pete were a buddy pair. This seems a bit strange to me because it appeared that Pete would be unable to help if Nick got in trouble; he was to be very uncomfortable on the surface and needed assistance descending and ascending. There’s no way he could have performed a controlled ascent, for instance, if Nick was in trouble. Also, during the dive Nick headed off to get the camera and left Pete buddied with me when I had no idea what special attention Pete might need, not to mention the fact that I already had a buddy. He put equipment retrieval ahead of safety.

Equipment: All own gear except a Pro Dive tank. Ok airfill this time- 210 bar. Spool issues as mentioned above. Camera batteries were dead to begin with. Need new rechargeables.

Accumulated time underwater: 1 day, 16 hours and 13 minutes

Leave a Reply