Beneath The Sea ~ March 28 – 30th, 2008

30 03 2008

James, Steve, and I hit the road on Friday morning. We arrived in time for Jarrod Jablonki’s seminar, “Lessons Learned.” There were so many interesting facts about the Turner Sink/Wakulla connection, that were amazing to hear…alot of filling in of the blanks, as far as location, and where/how they made the link. An amazing presentation, and we were able to meet and speak with him afterwards. We then headed over to the Tech party, where we met up with some of our dive industry friends.. Doug Arnberg, Adam, Julien, Jeff Pauze… and the list goes on…

Saturday, we hit the show! We met up with many faces… some familiar, some new. Everyone was in good spirits, and it was good that we had so many people down that contributed. We met up with Anne and Harold as well!

Tony S did a remarkable job, building the booth. It took us a while to get it together!

We even had some friends pose with Spike!

Sonya Tittle, from Halcyon…

Lisa & Saila

Andy H and I…

Pir8 and Lottie…

We had a draw for some fancy prizes, that none other than Jarrod Jablonski himself, was kind enough to do the draws for us!

Steve and I ran into Doppler as well, as his booth was very near ours. He didn’t have much time to say hello, but I did slip him a candy bracelet.

We all headed out for dinner, and had an absolute blast (James has more pics of dinner!)…

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel in Morristown, parked the cars, and decided to walk to the store, for some bevvies! Myself, Steve, Jeremy, and Jen B picked up some coolies, and Kevin and Jen E joined us all for some laughs and giggles about the day’s events.

Sunday, we checked out some of the booths of other Ontario board members, as well as some local friends…

Jeff was hiding (and hobbling)…

Terry A

Dan Da Man…

We even had Susan Long of DUI pose for some fun pics with Spike!

Susan and I…

More shots of people visiting the booth…

Alma and Spike…

Other cool stuff along the way…

…and packing up…

We had a long drive home, but were entertaining each other the whole way… Well.. except for the 60 minutes that I “rested my eyes.”  We crossed the border at about 1am, with Tony and friends towing the trade show booth. We had to stop in Gananoque, to pick up my car, then made the two hour trek back home. At 3am, my head beat the crap outta my pillow!!

It was a fantastic weekend! Tired, or not! I think I look like a deer in headlights, below…

Easter Weekend Diving Goodness!

23 03 2008

Friday, March 21st – Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 ~

Well, what better to do on a long weekend, than go for a few dives with some friends??

Friday ~

Steve and I packed up the dive gear transportation unit, picked up the Woofybeotch, and headed to the quarry, where we met up with our friends, Kevin and Jeremy. It was a blistery cold day, but the sun was out, and we were in good spirits! We brought the camera, and got some incredible footage. There were a couple of holes above, that were streaming sunlight down near the plane.. it was just amazing!! We gave the footage to Leigh, and he’ll be using it in an upcoming video, for sure!

Air Temp. ~ -22 with wind chill
Bottom Time ~ 46 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 22′
Water Temp. ~ 39

I used the SheP with a diaper, and was dry, except for my left leg. Upon further inspection at home, we noticed that the nut on the valve, on the inside of the P Valve was not sealed. We tightened it slightly (as if you overtighten this nut, you will ruin your P Valve).

We went back to Leigh’s, picked up Sarah, and went to Mexicala Rosas! It was a freakin’ cold walk back to Leigh and Sarah’s place, but we had a most excellent day! Then it was off to Steve’s parents’ place for cake!

Saturday ~

Steve, Leigh and I headed up to the quarry again!

Steve getting ready to cut the hole!

We did valve drills, surprise Out Of Airs, and had more fun. I backfinned some more, and we had a most excellent dive! We ran a line to the plane, then took a spool to the shark, on the other side of the quarry. We just about made it to the fin! We practiced swimming out an unconscious diver as well. It was still freakin’ cold out, but very slightly warmer than the day before! Another awesome dive!

Air Temp. ~ probably about -19 with wind chill
Bottom Time ~ 45 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 39′
Water Temp. ~ 39

I used a diaper with the SheP again, and was completely dry… even my leg!  Steve and I celebrated with a Sub from Quizno’s!

Sunday ~

Happy Easter! The Easter Bunny brought me a ship to wreck!

Steve and I met Kevin and Jeremy for yet another wonderful day of diving! The sun was shining even brighter than Friday, and the air was slightly warmer than the day before!

Steve, Jeremy, and Kevin getting gear ready…

Steve cut an extra big hole today, so we could all fit! We called it “The Pentagon!”

Blake and Steve S showed up as we were gearing up as well!

Kevin ran the reel out, and we all followed. We did valve drills, and swam out to the plane, where we did more valve drills, and had even more fun. We swam through the plane, backfinned some more, and ascended near the ice. We noticed that our friends were cutting holes above the plane (the free divers were back), so Steve was playing around, pushing the ice back in the hole. They knew it was us, as they saw our tanks through parts of the ice. Lmao… We saw their sticks poking through, trying to move this one big piece, and Steve had the other end of it, trying to push it back. We descended back down to the plane, had some more diving goodness, and then turned back.

Putting gear away…

Steve and I posed for a pic!

Although it was a bit bright… here’s the gang!

Air Temp. ~ -15 with wind
Bottom Time ~ 48 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 22′
Water Temp. ~ 39
Vis. ~ Stellar!!

I took off my training wheels today, and dived with the SheP alone… No diaper, and completely dry!! w0000000 h00000000!!!

Steve and I then headed to Steve’s parents’ place for some yummy Easter dinner!

I couldn’t have asked for a better long weekend of diving, and spending time with friends and family.

1st Test Dives With The Sheep!

16 03 2008

Sunday, March 16th, 2008~

Steve and I headed to the Quarry for our skillz dive, and I was giving the Sheep a trial run in the water. When we arrived, the place was packed with people from Quebec, doing a course. We took our time gearing up, as there were others meeting up to film some free divers. I hadn’t seen free diving before, and was interested in watching.

I had applied the Sheep at home, and actually did a “test” before leaving.. it was definitely in the right place.

When I suited up, I had a bit of an issue connecting the P Valve hose to the Sheep. Steve gave me a couple of tips, and I kept at it, and finally I was.. er… connected…

The gang arrived at the quarry, but the free divers hadn’t, so Steve and I went for our dive. I backfinned backfinned backfinned… like a backfinnin’ fool, we did our valve drills and air shares, and headed to the plane for some more backfinning and happy dances! Steve was trying out his new heated vest that he concocted as well. Well… we both started to get a bit of a chill, and we headed back..

Pffttt!! I didn’t have to go!!!

When we got to the surface, the moment of truth had arrived. It was time to go!!! I made sure the P Valve was open…………………

Ugh… it seems during my fumbled attempt at hooking up, the seal of the Sheep had come up in the front. I hadn’t used as much of the adhesive spray as I did for the “dry run,” as I thought it was a bit too much. I guess too much is better than not enough!

Well… all I can say is that I am soooooo glad I had a diaper on for good luck!!! I would have gotten myself into a bit of a stinky situation…

I peed myself…  but at least I had backup!

Steve’s vest was working, but he had gotten a bit chilled on his dive, and we exited, so he could check it. By this time, the free divers had arrived and were gearing up. For some reason, I was a bit chilled, and sat in the van to warm up.

Alright! Let’s go back in! We both figured we’d be in for a short dive, but we just wanted to check out the free diving peeps! Back down we went! The others had also descended, and we ducked off to the side, for the show! Absolutely amazing! I know these guys train hard both mentally and physically for this kind of thing, but I just couldn’t imagine it. They would dive down to the plane, tool around a bit, then back up to one of their holes. One even went down to the sub, at 60′.


Our friend took some video!…ead.php?t=8043

Ok.. I was right.. we didn’t last long… about 16 minutes…

When I geared down, it appeared I was soaked in the left leg (same leg as my P Valve). We checked the installation of the valve, and it seems fine, so we will have to do the “blow up” test later on, to make sure there are no leaks..

…and no… my undies don’t stink!

Dive #1
Bottom Time ~ 26 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 21′
Water Temp. ~ 39
Vis. ~ Great!

Dive #2
Bottom Time ~ 16 mins
Max. Depth ~ 16′
Water Temp. ~ 39
Vis. ~ Great!

Test Run Of The SheP

14 03 2008

March 14th, 2008 ~
Ok.. Here goes…

I just had to give the sheep a test go, before making the irreversible hole in the DUI. I glued it in place with the adhesive spray, and prayed that I had it in the right spot… I didn’t use any tape. Now… all I had to do was wait, and drink alot of water. I drank and drank and drank… nothing… An hour and a half had passed, and nothing. I think the anticipation of having to go, was making me not go! Steve walked by with a Corona, that I quickly confiscated, and helped him finish. Finally after another half hour or so had passed, it was time! I had to go!!!!

So.. hmm… how to do this?? I didn’t want to just try to stand in front of the bowl, just in case I didn’t have it in the right place. Er… the only other option was the tub.. ugh… ah well… it’s worth it if it means this thing would work!

While trying to hold back the childish giggles as I stood like a man to pee, I was pleased as punch. Holy smokes!! No leaks! This thing rocks!! I was now laughing my buns off.. I’m guessing partly from the novelty of going like this, as well as the joy that I won’t have to worry about having to go while diving.

Ok… removal…Thanks to Laura’s video, removal wasn’t as tough as I thought it might have been. As I haven’t yet explored the laser option, I had just used the crappy clippers that I had, and it was not exactly smooth, so I cringed at the thought of a bit of “pull.” I peeled the edge gently, and started to very gradually take it off. It was tender, but not excruciating…I just had to take my time… No.. I don’t think you could do the quick Band Aid pull on this one… The adhesive spray is definitely very effective, and you really don’t need as much as I put on.. which I didn’t think was all that much to begin with. The bit of stubble really wasn’t a problem at all.

Cleaning the sheep was a bit more work with the alcohol swabs that I had ~ They were pretty small, so it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. I will definitely be going out to get a bigger container of alcohol. All in all, a success!

Now was the tough part…Having to put a hole in my drysuit. It’s almost a sickening feeling, but at the same time, exciting. Thank goodness I had Steve’s help, as I’m sure I would have put it on the wrong side or something…Murphy’s Law for me… I put my suit on a few times, and we measured, placed, remeasured, replaced etc. etc.. We finally marked the spot with a little “x,” and then it was time…

We put a piece of wood inside the leg of the suit, and something soft underneath it (happened to be a GUE toque ), so there wouldn’t be any splinters going into the bottom of the suit. Put the concocted 3/4″ punch on top of the “x,” and Steve got out the hammer…

I couldn’t help it.. “Oh sheet,” was all I could say… “Whack whack whack whack whack!”

Doh.. half a hole…

Replace punch.. “Whack whack whack whack..” some more! We had to place the “x” in the double layer, above the knee, so there were two little pieces of material that were now no longer a part of my suit…

Now the fun part… glue! We put a bit of aquaseal in between the two layers of the material, to prevent the possibility of leakage in between, then installed the P-Valve (er.. overboard discharge valve).

I think I will probably use either a diaper or a sanitary napkin the first few times I dive it, just to ensure that I have the right spot on a consistant basis. Ahh… the days of stripping down in between dives are hopefully a thing of the past!