Mine the Harvest

Dive Trips

Rescue Diver Training

by on Nov.18, 2007, under Dive Trips

This weekend Syd and I completed our Diver Stress and Rescue training.

We are now certified Rescue Divers which along with our previous Advanced Open Water training, and with the number of dives we have completed also earns us the highest recreational rating of Master Divers. This marks the sixth diving course we have completed. While there are other recreational courses we can take, the next significant training would be in the professional / technical areas such as Cave diving, Dive Control Specialist, tech diving certifications, etc. which we are interested in looking into.

This was a great course that covered self rescue skills as well as rendering assistance to another diver or rescuing them. The primary focus was on accident prevention by early recognition of stress factors which if not addressed lead to panic and resulting accidents or dive injuries. It was pretty informative really. It also dispelled some myths you accumulate, such as when people are drowning on the surface – contrary to the typical TV show depiction – they are too panic ridden and are often unable to call for help and thus can just slip quietly below the surface.

The skills part was done at Hudson Grotto – our second dive there. We practiced the methods of towing a fatigued or unconscious diver, how to handle a person who is panicking on the surface or at depth, how to control a person without allowing them to put you in a dangerous situation, etc. A person in a complete panic state may try to climb up on you, pushing you under, grab on to you, etc. but there are some simple techniques that allow you to stay safe and in control – like just descending beneath them and observing them. They most certainly will not follow you down!

We also practiced recovering an unconscious diver from depth, getting them back to shore and out of the water and running through mock scenarios of handling bystanders, contacting EMS, etc. I can tell you, carrying a guy out of the water is not as easy as you think.

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Jupiter, Florida Dive Trip

by on Sep.10, 2007, under Dive Trips

Syd and I went to Jupiter this weekend for a two day dive trip. This trip was coordinated by Macs Sports and consisted mostly of Tampa / Clearwater customers from their stores. Our group was 19 divers plus our dive master Travis, and the dive master provided by the dive operator. Jupiter Dive Center conducted the trip. (We had been with them once before last fall and had a good one day trip and were looking forward to this one.) We dove Saturday and Sunday, two dives each. These were boat dives in the Atlantic just outside Jupiter Inlet. The dives themselves were all Nitrox dives (34 – 36% O2 mixes) to depths of 65′ to 80′ and from about :35 to :45 minutes. The first day the seas were 5 feet or so, and leaving the inlet was somewhat adventurous, the waves swell pretty good coming in the narrow shallow inlet, so busting through them to get out was pretty fun with some good pitching and rolling – it was thrilling, and only lasted about :5 minutes. Once out of the inlet, the seas where manageable, but enough to cause a good 5 or so divers to get sea sick. Ah, the joys of diving.

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Advanced Diver Certified!

by on Sep.02, 2007, under Dive Trips

Syd and I finally made it in to take the last two written exams for our Deep and Navigation diving courses. We had completed the practical diving requierments several weeks back. These were the last two of the four classes needed to certify us as Advanced Open Water Divers! We should get our new cards in a few weeks.

The four classes (Deep Diving, Wreck, Nitrox and Navigation) allow us to do much more advanced dives, deeper wrecks, longer bottom time using mixes up to 50% 02, and the navigation comes in quite handy. We have already been using these skills on various dives already (like when we dove the Spiegel Grove) and are looking forward to more – such as diving the 880′ long Oriskany, an aircraft carrier they sunk off Tallihassie last year.

This fall we plan on taking our Rescue Diver course – that, along with the experience we already have, will qualify us as Master Divers, the highest recreational certification. After that it is all tech and commercial / professional level certifications.

We are looking at another trip to the Keys this fall, a four day weekend which will likely be the last Keys trip until next spring. There would certainly be another wreck dive or two involved.

Here is to some more great diving in our future!

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Diving for Shark Teeth – Venice Beach, FL

by on Aug.19, 2007, under Dive Trips

Diving report:

Syd and I went for a shore dive today down Venice Beach – about half an hour south of St. Pete. We had heard of this dive before, but had not done it ourselves. Some friends from work dove it last weekend and found approx. a dozen or more shark teeth. So we decided to give it a go this weekend.

We drove down to Venice Beach which seemed to be a pretty nice area. The beach itself was quite nice, though the shops are resturants are about a mile or so inland, only the every present private condos encroaching as far as possible into the sea. The beach itself is public, and only moderately crowded, suprising considering the near ideallic day – in the 90s, slight breeze but very hot sun -and the water temp.? A soothing 89 F ! Wow. Visibility was exceptional for this site at 8 – 10′ – frequently it is 3 – 5′ per reports. We had no difficulty seeing and navigating. (Put those new nav skills to work having just done the navigation course the last few weeks.) We did use a dive real to tether ourselves together though so we didn’t have to worry about getting separated. Hardly a big deal in 20′ – but still, easier than having to find a lost buddy and surface. This also provided Syd the opportunity to experiment with ingeniously entangling the line in an exceedingly creative way. Excellent practice and now we can safely prevent it when we are in a cave dive in the Yucatan and 200′ back.

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