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Hopping my way to full cave...

Discussion in 'Technical Diving' started by Manatee Diver, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. tmassey

    tmassey Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Shelby Township, MI USA
    Others often disagree, but for me, dry suit diving felt like learning how to dive all over again. It was easily 25 dives before I felt like I could actually keep control consistently, up, down and sideways. And it was 25 more dives before I felt like I had finally settled into the dry suit no longer being a major factor of my diving.

    I had a similar experience to yours with floaty feet. Of course, I wasn’t in a cave, so I ended up at the surface — which might end up even worse. I had to work on being able to do a somersault and get back on top of my feet.

    It’s always fun figuring out the new and exciting ways our gear might kill us. :) No real advice or anything, other than keep diving as carefully as you can. Just commiserating.
    Lorenzoid and Marie13 like this.
  2. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    I certainly feel like a new diver. In the cave my focus went from the wider focus that I had started to get as I got more comfortable to only having little more than buoyancy and the line. Of course the 30-40 foot vis didn't help.

    But I think I am going to spend some time in the Ginnie basin just figuring out how to go from feet up back to normal. I need to get better at recoveries.

    It certainly felt like it was trying to kill me, I go back and looked at my dive profile that section I have a SAC rate three times my normal one. I was almost out of the cave when it finally calmed down to something close to normal.
    tmassey and Marie13 like this.
  3. rddvet

    rddvet DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    I dive year-round, any location OW or caves in a drysuit and love them, but they can be a pain in the rear. I just bought a santi and love it, but only have about 8 dives on it. I came from DUIs and have 100s of dives on them. At times, I feel like a new drysuit diver just switching to the santi. It dumps very differently than my dui's. I could wiggle a bit or adjust body angle and I could move the bubble in my duis anywhere I wanted. It's much harder in the santi, and dumping is much harder as well. I'm used to it, but at times (liek yesterday) it can be a pain.
    One word of advice is to go practice somewhere other than the Ginnie basin. Maybe Royal, Troy, Manatee, Orange Grove, or Blue Grotto. Messing with the bubble and dump in 20 feet of water is helpful, but doesn't really simulate a real dive. You want to get down to 40-60 feet, mess around with your drysuit gas, maybe even put a little more than you normally would in, and do a slow ascent. That ascent will really give you the opportunity to see what the gas does as it expands and how to better move it around the suit or dump it. Obviously with your prosthesis, it makes it very different than other people, but with time I was even able to move gas from one leg to the other if needed. You'll get there with time.
  4. Jack Hammer

    Jack Hammer Solo Diver

    @Manatee Diver
    Drysuit gators may be beneficial in helping you minimize leg expansion. Generally speaking I'm in the camp of gators being an equipment solution to fix a skills issue, however your scenario is far from typical. If you haven't tried some they may be quite worthwhile to consider as on option.
    grantctobin likes this.
  5. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid DIR Practitioner Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    Gators aren't a solution (but may be a problem). Gaiters may be a solution.

    Are your boots too large? Have you tried thicker socks?
  6. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    Got to love how equipment changes can bring us back to square one. It is a humbling feeling.

    I've mostly been doing it alone as I didn't want to bother people when I am just screwing around in OW figuring the drysuit out. So I guess I do need to get to BG and cough up the $40 they ask for. I have a solo card, so I can get in there alone.

    I try to avoid gators since one took my leg. :rofl3:

    I'm looking for one that will work, I tried the Bare set that CCDS had in stock, but it was too large. I have a set of Dive Rites on order but they are out of stock for the moment.

    When I get my water leg in the next couple of weeks I think I will have to work with someone to design and 3D print something to fill in so it has a normal profile. That will lower the amount of air space that the prosthetic side has, but not eliminate it.

    The boots seem like the right size, a bit of a squeeze to get into them. I can't wear my arctic socks and get my feet into them, I have to wear the thinner Xerotherm socks.
    Lorenzoid likes this.
  7. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    Well Ginnie is getting nuts on Fridays. I got in at 10:30am, and the check in was completely packed. Most of the close parking spaces at Ginnie were taken. The line at the stairs wasn't horrible, but it was pretty busy.

    I worked on recoveries from feet up and diving with the squeeze. Not completely happy, but I think I am working toward where I want to be.
    jlcnuke and Marie13 like this.
  8. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: High Springs - Cave Country
    I have been avoiding Ginnie on Friday, Saturday & Sunday for that very reason.
  9. kensuf

    kensuf ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    It's the time of the year to dive Ginnie on a weeknight, go to the ocean or go to the less visited caves. I had a great couple of dives on the Spiegel Grove a little over a week ago.
    Lorenzoid likes this.

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