Posted by Ross-O on March 10, 2003 at 16:14:57:
One of my buddies is getting ready for a trimix class in Hawaii and has recently made a bunch of changes to his doubles rig in preperation for the class. He wanted to shake everything down before getting to Hawaii so I convinced him that Vet's park is the perfect place for beach diving with doubles :-)
We dropped in 30fsw with about 20 ft vis. We dropped right on a little memorial plaque regarding the 1 year anniversary of 9-11 that was left by Hollywood divers. I cleaned it off with my glove.
Next we did a bubble check and then practiced an "s-drill". I don't know the abbreviation, but an s-drill is an out of air practice where you hand off the long hose, go to your bungied backup, show your OOA buddy your SPG, and then have him lead the dive back to the surface, upline, or whatever safe exit you've previously discussed. We just swam a few ft for the drill. It's good practice b/c it makes sure your long hose is deployable, makes sure you can find your octo, and gives you practice doing all of this while remaining neutral (not on your knees!) so you can better control bouyancy if you get into an OOA situation at the rigs or somewhere deep. My long hose was actually hung up on my weight belt so it was good to know this before any real OOA situation happened. Back to the dive...
After screwing around with simulated OOA, we quickly headed downslope to 70fsw. The vis was easily 30 ft! We found all the usual suspects - octopus in a bottle, sarcastic frindgehead in a bottle, lots of flatties, etc. We stopped at 70fsw so my buddy could practice valve drills. It's important that you be able to shut down gas flow from one of your tanks if there's a problem when you're diving doubles. I've leave the explanation of this one to someone with better knowledge and training than me. Anyway, I stuck close by in case my buddy screwed up and needed air in a hurry. All went well with his drill and we again headed down slope. We leveled off and headed parallel to the slope at 80-90 fsw. We found a plastic trash can with a lobster inside. The lobster was taunting me so I caught him to teach him a lesson. He looked legal, but I didn't bring a gauge or bag so I released him back inside his plastic drum. We goofed around at depth until my computer reached the NDL. I had tons of air left so we goofed around a bit more. We headed upslope about 6-7 mins later and found a thornback ray hiding in the sand. We also found a BIG sarcastic frindgehead hiding in a gatoraid bottle so we checked him out for a while.
The slope levels off at about 20 ft. I had a few mins of deco obligation (according to Suunto) so we decided to head back underwater instead of just doing a long safety stop and then a long surface swim. During the swim back, my buddy and I spotted a $1 bill floating along the bottom! I went for it, but he was a bit closer so he won. We found our parking money. You can't beat 30 ft vis AND finding parking money!
I finished the dive up by doing a weight check at 15ft with 500psi left in the tank and then we did a easy exit out of the 1-2 ft surf.
Oh yeah, we did see a few clusters of squid eggs but nothing like it was a few months ago. I saw a cluster the size of a tire at 80fsw and another smaller one at about 65fsw as we were headed up slope.
All in all, it was incredible way to spend a long lunch hour!
Conditions ROCK. Get out there if you possibly can!
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