Tech 1 Report!

29 08 2008

Monday, August 25th – Friday, August 29th, 2008 ~

Jacob, Dmitri, and I convened at Northern Tech Diver, in Kingston, to start our Tech 1 course. Dan MacKay was our instructor.

Day 1 ~

We met in the classroom for our introductions, dive planning, risk assessment, line formations, and many other subjects.

We also did dives 1 and 2 at the Brule Road Quarry. Dive 1 was the final Fundies dive, which I led.

~ Descend ~ 1 min. stop @ 10′, then down to 20′
~ Valve Drills, S Drills, Backfin, Heli turns
~ Demonstrate finning techniques, then an emergency/failure
~ Timed ascent to the surface, with third blowing a bag

This dive went really well… but… I’ve been doing valve drills over the last year, not only in our skills dives, but also every night before I go to sleep, I do one in my head… (yes, you can call me a geek)…I swear, it must have been the Dan Effect… This was the first time I had forgotten to switch back to my primary reg, after turning it back on. Yes.. I did it… I shut down my left post while still breathing it… I thumped myself in the head, turned it back on, switched to my primary, and carried on.

Can you say… duhhhhhh? Although I would have loved to have blamed it on doing the “old” valve drill, I came clean and admitted that I had never learned the “old” one. 

I guess I’ll have to follow what Leigh says… “I shall be ridiculed in the locker room for years to come.”

Bottom Time ~ 45 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 24′
Water Temp. ~ 75
Vis. ~ 20′

We surfaced and discussed, then went down for Dive 2. This dive was much shorter, but we went through a couple more emergencies and finning techniques, then another timed ascent.

Bottom Time ~ 17 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 24′
Water Temp. ~ 75
Vis. ~ 20′

We returned back to the classroom, where we duscussed the dives and covered more of the classroom work.

Day 2 ~

We met at the shop again, where we went through Gas Management, Blending, Standard Mixes, Gas Profiles, Physics, Valve Failures, and Line Work.

We went outside, ran some line, and did a land based “no vis” line drill. We practiced some of the valve failures that we would do in water today.

We ventured out to the Marine Museum for dives 3 & 4.

Dmitri laid the line, I tightened it, and Jacob tightened it some more… (we were advised to make sure it was extra tight). D tied the line off to a permanent line, and we swam around a bit. Lo and behold, there were valve failures galore! If I remember correctly, there were about 4 or 5 failures each, and eventually we had some that were not fixable.. sheesh.. we’d better get ourselves some more reliable gear!

The next section was a no vis. line drill. This was an absolute blast… We handed over our masks, one at a time, and had to get back to our starting point. I’m not sure if my buddies heard me giggling throughout this drill, but we freight trained it back down the line! Apparently we made it back down the line in one third of the time it took to run it. Lol… we got our masks back, and headed back out for more failures. This one would be a dive ender, so we headed back in!

Total Bottom Time ~ 107 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 36′
Water Temp. ~ 73
Vis. ~ 20′

We once again went back to the classroom for more scuba school and dive discussion.

Day 3 ~

Today we discussed Decompression and planned today’s dives. We went out to the Munson for three different dives. Each of us would lead one. We were diving 30/30, with 50% deco gas.

First Dive ~ Jacob was the leader. We descended on to the wreck, Jacob ran some line, and oh my goodness, we had a valve failure! We turned the dive, doing timed stops to the surface. We carried our deco bottles, but did not use them

Second Dive ~ I led this one. We descended on to the wreck, I picked up the line and made a couple of placements… Holy smokes… a valve failure! We turned the dive, making our stop and gas switch at 70′, then timed stops to the surface.

Third Dive ~ Dmitri was the leader. We descended on to the wreck, D picked up the line, made a couple of placements, and lo and behold, I had a valve failure! We turned the dive, just as Jacob had an OOA! It’s amazing how all of these failures just happened at the same time! HeHe… Dmitri donated to him, and we started up the line. We did our gas switches, and did a timed ascent to the surface.

I really enjoyed these dives, and they went very well.  Our team worked well together.

Total Bottom Time ~ 82 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 101′
Water Temp. ~ 54/68 above thermocline
Vis. ~ 40′

We went back to the shop, discussed, and planned for tomorrow’s dive.

Day 4 ~

Today we headed to Rockport for Experience Dive 1. The plan was 150′ for 20 minutes, using 21/35, along the Rockport Wall. Jacob was leading. We descended, and made it to our target depth in 3 minutes. We swam against the current for 3 mins., then drifted along the wall. The current was slower in some spots than others, so we had to swim a bit of the way. We came up to our max. bottom time, so we started our ascent, with stops along the way. We did our gas switches at 70′, and started our deco obligations. When we reached the surface, we had big grins on our faces… What an awesome dive!

Run Time ~ 65 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 160′
Water Temp. ~ 72

We headed back to the shop, where we did our exam.

Day 5 ~

Experience Dive 2. Planned depth was 165, using 18/45. We followed the same route as the day before, swimming into the current for 3 minutes, then drift along the wall. The current was moving a little more than the day before, but wasn’t significant. When we reached the end of the wall, there was more of a back eddy as well. We reached our “turn point,” and started the ascent, with rolling stops along the way, gas switch at 70′, and our planned deco to the surface. We surfaced, discussed, and were pretty happy with the dive. I also saw some fish that I hadn’t seen before.

Upon returning to the shop, we went through the exam, and all three of us were congratulated with a pass.

I have to say that I thought this was an amazing course, and would like to thank Dan, my buddies, Jacob and Dmitri, for a fantastic week of diving and learning.

Thanks also to Steve and Leigh for putting up with me, while working on skillz, getting ready this year.

Dmitri, Myself, Jacob…