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I completed my diving gear buying spree by exchanging some money for a HP100 steel cyclinder today. Being a fastidious individual and needing an excuse to not be at work, I went to my local dive club to try out all my new toys in the pool.
The sun is shining in that intense African way so common in South Africa in summer, this only adds to my elation while I was unpacking all my toys at the pool. Seasoned dive instructors snickered at me flailing away at my shiny new gear trying to figure out where all the new stuff goes. Some even came over occasionally to have short chat or ask if I need a hand. I persevered and found a place for all the buckles to go and a hole for all the hoses to go into.
I struggled into my fins and wobbled my way to the edge of the pool to take my giant stride for mankind. A rather well constructed female instructor of the sun bleached blond kind waved at me, me being a middle aged gentlemen, this kind of attention made me unceremoniously crash into the water where I proceeded to head to the bottom post haste in case I cause further harm to my already tattered diving image.
I have my compass on my left wrist and my diving computer on the right wrist. DIR style baby. I assume the Netdoc position and ease some air into my BC. A bit of breath control and I lift, oh so gently, of the bottom of the pool into neutral buoyancy. To my consternation, i start floating like a mosquito larvae, the ass in the air position. None of the grace our fellow tech wizards exhibit.
Concerned about my lack of good diving posture I gently float to the surface, doing a three minute safety stop while checking my backup computer to make sure I have not incurred a deco obligation in the pool. The safety stop is spent making notes on my slate to remind me to ask the club chairman to hang EAN 50 at ten foot in the pool.
I grab some more weight and brace myself for the thermocline at 7 foot and head for the bottom once more.
Well, adding weight never solves anything, I have now progressed to a semi inflated bcd mosquito larvae at the bottom of the pool. This is serious, I pull on my vast pool of experience I acquired listening to the “Shadow Divers” audio book and repeat to myself: “As long as you are breathing, you are ok.”. I clear my mind, fight down the narcosis and ask myself: “What would John Chatterton do?” Alas, I have no answer for that question.
So, what does a floaty feet diver do to fix trim issues like this? Move my cylinder around? Put spring straps on my split fins?
Trim is all about the position of your weight relative to the position of your lift. If your butt is above your torso, your weight is too far forward. You can try moving your tank down, pushing your legs further behind you, adding weight to a belt, etc..
Under those treacherous conditions I can't believe you did not have a dive buddy. I hope at least you had 30 cu pony bottle with you. Of course you must have had your line and reel to find your way back.
I see a book and movie deal coming out of this. "Shallow Divers"
Thanks for the fun post.
Basically you have got to balance the bubble. Weight (tank or whatever) too forward, head goes down, weight too far back, head goes up. To save you a lot of time and effort, get a qualified instructor (GUE/DIR) or someone who teaches tech or cave diving and have them help you set up your trim and teach you buoyancy skills. Believe me it is worth it. It will save you so much time and energy. Excellent buoyancy is the key to good diving. You will use less air, effort and will enjoy all your diving much more.
Posture has a lot to do with it too(thank you, Lynn!). Head up, a little arch in your back, and a little tension in your glutes help to keep your legs from dropping. If you can't correct it with posture, then it's time to start moving weight around. Having someone video or take photos help too, since in the beginning, flat often feels like head down.