by Jamin' Ben Barletta on Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Last week we melted suiting up, this week was mild temperature-wise comparatively. Most of the day I had my house airing out with a nice cool breeze wafting through my living room, my cat laying in the sun with her fur being cooled by the gentle breezes…yeah I was jealous, I had a “honey-do” list the size of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights!! So as a result, I was a little late getting to the quarry, but my usual table was there so all was right with the world. Todd and Brian were already suiting up since they got in early, and decided to do a scooter run out to the far reaches. This was Brian’s first scooter trip, I think I’m the only one left…(maybe Rob also) one of these days I’ll get up enough nerve to do it. John was there to dive with Annette; Jeff wasn’t able to go tonight so they were diving together. Rob was already there as well and we decided upon our dive plan. Some of the same from last week, attempting to find the outhouse in the murk by way of John’s directions and land mark, while keeping it slow and easy for me to continue to work on my trim.
Set up went pretty quickly, and it wasn’t the melt-fest of last week, so it wasn’t a horrible thing to be wrapped in the bag with winter gear on! I was done first and went to the water, Rob was there shortly afterwards and we were ready to go. Meet at 20ft. all was good, so off we went. I was getting a trickle in my mask, and whenever I tried to clear it, I would get MORE water in, so I figured once we got to the CAT I’d re-seat which was what I thought the problem was. I held Rob up when he asked “ok” and pointed to my mask. I felt around and I think it may have been caught in my hood, so after a few attempts (it was a little different/rough with the dry gloves) I was able to get it to stop leaking, and gave Rob the “OK” and pointed to the deep boat. I was keeping up with my buoyancy and trim until we got to the CAT, but it seemed as soon as we left, I was having a little trouble, so as not to over-compensate, I was slowly getting myself back to where I was. At the deep boat, I finally caught up to it and felt fine. My light was getting a reflection off of something just past the deep boat, my first thought was I was narced, but then I saw the ropes leading to the bucket (remember the bucket that Lee jumped into a few years back…and caused a big black cloud!) (that was funny!) Anyway, it looks like they may be moving it. Rob asked if I was ready to keep going and I signaled that I was, so we headed out to find the outhouse. The visibility for most of the dive so far was pretty cloudy, not the nice viz we had just a month ago. This week Rob was determined to find the “tripod tree” and subsequently the outhouse. We followed along and saw the tree, but there were lights at the outhouse (which made IT easy to find) John and Annette were already there, but by a different route. I lost it a little bit the last 15-20 feet and dug up the muck as evidenced by the black cloud that followed me (ooops!) Rob gave me the sign to head back, and I returned it so we started back towards the pump house. At the pump house, I shook the dust off of the little lobster and put him back on his guard perch, then followed Rob up the wall to the Aqua Ventures truck. At the truck, Rob pointed and we kept going, the visibility was getting worse the closer we got to the wall and our exit point, and once again, algae was raining down upon us. Rob looked at me and gave the “let’s turn this” look, so we headed back in pretty much 2 feet of visibility. I passed two people standing on the ledge as we headed to a place to practice valve drills. I just have a picture in my mind of these people standing on a reef! (my trim issues don’t seem so bad when I see people doing that) Rob gave me the signal that he was going to do his valve drill, so I got my primary unwrapped and breathed off of my secondary while he did his. A few minutes later he was done and pointed to me, so I gave it a good attempt. I got my primary turned off and breathed down, then switched, and turned it back on, then couldn’t again reach the secondary, so Rob gave me a “push” and I got my hand on the valve. I probably got it half way and I lost it and couldn’t get to it again, so I just aborted it. Close but no cigar, but better than before. I’m determined to do it! We made our way back to the exit and we were done!
Deepest Depth: 96ft.
Duration: 45 minutes
Coldest Temp: 38º
After last week’s relatively easy and uneventful dive, this week was a little more on the edge. On my way to the CAT I was able to anticipate and keep up with my buoyancy and trim, but after fixing my mask at the CAT, I felt a tad behind and played catch up until we got to the deep boat. The old “one step forward two steps back” situation, but not a catastrophic failure (and as Rob said, at least I was able to get my mask issue solved and not need to cut the dive short this time) Although this mask stuff is getting on my nerves. Gotta play with it a little more to figure out what I’m doing wrong?!? John and Annette were next up and they thought the visibility at the deep boat was good when they got there after us. (I’m guessing we un-murked it!) At times I had to keep my light trained on Rob just to be able to see him as we went through the trees; I guess it’s that time of year.
We hit the tables and packed our gear only to be stuck waiting for the inconsiderate people from a dive shop from a little south and west of here parking their vehicles in the way and standing there talking. Once we finally got out of there we hit Pizzatown for some much needed refreshment. I must have stressed out Rob on this dive since he had two beers and ate almost all of his “Frenchy” fries!
Since next Wednesday is the Fourth of July, I will be held hostage out of town, and not making it, however there was talk of a Dutch Springs trip…not sure if I’ll be able to pull that one off by sneaking all of my gear in the car… “Well gee honey; I wanted to work on a few things in your mom’s pool!” Then “I’m going to go buy some fireworks and put a show on for the kids, I’ll be back soon” She’s just not gonna buy that! But if she does, and I return after about 6-8 hours I’m sure I’ll have some privileges revoked!) So I’ll probably see you again on the 11th unless something changes, so that’s it for me, I am out of here!
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!