Quick north coast dive report

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Posted by Eric S on March 14, 2009 at 10:14:37:

Friday (yesterday) I had no work on the books so I decided to go diving. I called up a friend who is also self employed and also had nothing on the books for that day. He is very new to diving and has been hounding me to go ever since he got his open water.
What's really cool about this situation is that he consulted me and others not associated with a dive shop on what gear to get and how to save money before the dive shops got to him.
I saved him a ton of money and also got him into some great gear that he'll be using from here foreward.
He got a medium quality 7 mil one piece with attached hood, gloves, booties, the new Hollis vented paddle tech fins (they actually look really nice), one of my new 1/4" aluminum freedom plates with a Oxycheq 30# wing and hog harness, the little raider 1 light to keep on his rig, a plain glass and brass SPG, aqualung legend with apeks octo. I got all his hoses routed correctly and bungeed his second. He was all set with basic minimalist gear.
Someone also gave him a older steel 72 which he just hydroed so he was at least using a steel tank and not rented aluminums.

Gerstle cove was flat. There was only about a 6" shore slap at the beach. The vis was stellar at 30 - 40 feet. I couldn't have asked for a better day. Our first dive we went in and just cruised around the cove. I just wanted to see how he was weighted and get him oriented. This was only his 4th dive out of open water. His weighting was perfect, he did hid math and out of deduction and luck he nailed it right on. Pretty amazing considering everything he had on was brand new gear.
He also told me that he never even used his wing the whooe dive. We got down to about 35 feet on the first dive.

After we came back in I told him I needed to do a straight backpack dive to test the performance of the newest plate sans BC. He said he wanted to try backpack diving so that's what we did. I knew his weighting was perfect to do this, so I wasn't really worried about it. We snorkelled out to the middle of the cove and started our dive. He took to backpacking immediatly. He was buzzing around like a fish. He glided around with his arms to his sides and changed direction and steered using his body. He had more fun that any other newbie I've ever dove with.
The profile was about the same as the previous dive.
He already does have a year of freediving experience under his belt from last years ab season, so I'm sure this has a lot to do with his comfort level and his agility.

He loved backpacking so much he doesn't want to go back now. I told him that there is a time and place for backpacking but on some dives he'll need the wing.
I'm still can't get over how well he did at minimalist diving. Usaully it takes years for most people to wrap their head around this concept if they ever even get that far. He could have easily fallen victim to dive shop money sucking vacuum and been outfitted in the latest poodle jacket with way too much weight, ankle weights, dingley balls, doo dads, the latest top dollar computer, and all the rest of the fluff the keeps the doors open... I guess.
I know it's a necessary evil and somebody has to support the LDS's by paying top dollar for stuff they really don't need, but I just couldn't watch it happen to this guy.
But we saved him.

He made me proud.

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