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2011-03-26: Stoney Cove

Once again we arrived at 8:30 and parked on the bottom car park. There were plenty of free spaces. Weird.

I had just OD5 as an exercise to complete the formal Ocean Diver drills. Have completed two of the required specific types of dives, and will be able to perform several more during the Plymouth trip. Paul therefore suggested we also perform a Sport Diver drill.

Dive #005

The first exercise was SD2, the use of a surface marker buoy. After a briefing and dry-run explanation we kitted up and buddy checked. The objective was to go around from the bus stop to the helicopter, because there are a few slight ups and downs along the way to give practice winding in and out. The viz was poor, no more than 2m, so we stayed close together. I did well all the way to the helicopter, where we tied off the reel while having a look around. After untying the reel we made a slow and well controlled ascent to do a 3 min stop by the Nautilus. For 2 mins all went well but then while going round the front of the Nautilus I put a puff of air into my suit, lost control of buoyancy, and before I could dump enough went to the surface.

Paul had joked in the briefing about loose line coming to life just to entangle divers - the 4m or so that Matt was not able to reel in had a good go at doing just that!

During the 2 hour surface interval we talked over this excursion. I think that, in putting in a puff of air to avoid contact with the bottom, I might well have also simultaneously breathed in thus becoming more buoyant than intended.

Dive #006

The second exercise was OD5; Paul briefed Mme to lead me from the bus stop to the helicopter, with all the "looking after" a leader must do. The visibility was perhaps worse, and after looking away from the wall to check on me, I found I had lost contact with the wall. However, we continued and went in approximately the right direction - Paul saw no reason to call a halt to the dive, because he had a delayed SMB with him. Paul did not need to use that because we came across the wreck of a flatbed truck, so he knew exactly where we were, and moved towards the helicopter. There he sneakily pretended not to notice that gas supplies were getting low, but I was right on the ball and quite rightly jogged me, pointed to his gauge and indicated "up". Nice one me. The ascent up the wall and the 3 min stop by Nautilus went well.

Eric has often said it is good that something goes astray now and then, provided nothing serious results. Paul agrees, and he knows me well enough to know I will be thinking over the excursion to the surface, and will be "quicker off the mark" with my shoulder dump as soon as I have any incling I am getting light.