Friday, February 10, 2017

This ain't Fundies 2!! Yeah, but it is though

Day 2 was all about building confidence diving doubles and a drysuit while task loaded. I've dilly-dallied for over a year and a half after finishing Fundamentals 1 so there was a fair bit of new stuff for me - S drill, DSMB, deployment, no mask swim, etc. I had seen videos of all of this but it was really good to go over it step by step with an instructor and practice all of those in the water a couple of times. A bunch of skills run-throughs and ascents later, I was feeling a lot better about my ability to dive this setup.

Not a whole lot to say about the dive. Viz had dropped to a murky 15ft or so. We stayed inside the cove and didn't see much life until our swim back in the end when we happened upon a huge ling cod.
-> 2hr 9min, 48ft, 55F

We covered a lot of lecture material that's in Fundies that evening as well as a lot of details and dive profiles specific to our area that are now viable for me with doubles. Granite Point Wall, Sea Mount and the 3 Sisters are all within reach now. I still need to find Hole in the Wall but having this much gas now should give me plenty of time in the area.

New lessons learned (for me) from the dives and the ensuing video reviews -
  • Back kick - If your hips move significantly and it looks like you're humping an imaginary something, you're not going to move backwards.
  • Helicopter kick - Jerking your torso violently to the side and muscling the tanks into position kinda gets you moving in the right direction but is not recommended more than a couple of times a day. Also, if you rely on the frog kick half of the helicopter turn instead of the back kick half, you end up moving in a small circle instead of turning in place.
  • DSMB deployment - I am now extremely familiar with task fixation. Also, I have giant lungs or something. Even with a half breath from the reg to inflate the DSMB, I got it all the way full and was still going until I noticed Beto signaling me to stop and let it practically rocket out of my hand.
  • Valve drill - Staying within the vicinity of where you started the drill is preferable. Definitely do not end up 30ft away.
  • No mask swim - If you have your eyes open during this drill and look comfortable doing it, Beto will attempt to run you into a rock.
  • Stretch those legs out - Dual HP100s want to put you head down and having your heels touch your butt doesn't help.

After the debrief, Beto told me I had a good grasp of the steps for all the skills required in Fundies and should practice them for a couple of months so I can aim for a tech pass when I come back to finish the class.
The photos below are far more flattering than how I actually looked and felt in the water. Beto cherrypicks screen captures of moments when you look good and sends them to you post-class to make you feel better about yourself.

It was a great couple of days overall. Days with GUE instructors are long, jam packed and super busy but I got so much figured out with the doubles and drysuit with Beto that I don't think would have been possible on my own. Next stop - Fundamentals 2!

 - U