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My first ocean dive (fifth over all counting the cert dives) and...

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by TheDivingBear, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. TheDivingBear

    TheDivingBear Registered

    ... I get a faulty BC.

    Welp, my wife got sick just before our cruise, so we did not get to dive as much as we wanted. We arrived in Cozumel and took off in search of a dive shop. Since she had been sick and I wanted to descend leisurely, we decided on a shore dive. It took us a couple of dive shops to find one that had a guide available, but we did find one. The prices were reasonable and they told us about the site and the depths and all.

    We left for the site and unpacked the rental gear. We put it near the shore and started to put it all together. We were talking to the guide as he was explaining more of his expectations and we relayed ours. He put his regulator on his tank and turned it on. *hssssssss* He fiddled with it a bit, took the reg off and found a blown o-ring. He did not have a spare. he asked another set of divers, they did not have one either. Great! Now I knew what the PADI OW training meant about a spare parts kit. He told us to swim around a bit while he went up to the dive shop. He was gone for about 30 minutes or so. When he returned, he replaced the o-ring and mounted his regulator. *hhhhssss* He had a leak somewhere else. My wife and I went back into the water while he tried to fix it. After another thrity minutes or so, he had his rig together. He suggested we put on our gear in the water. No problem. We went in and we geared up. We started down. I know I checked my BC before we started (checking my gear, especially as a new diver, is something top on my list, it calms my anxieties). But, when we were about ten feet down, I noticed than the inflate button on the BC was not putting air into the BC bladder. I turned and press it again, lots of bubbles. I looked more closely and saw the hose was disconnected. I signaled the guide. He checked it out and could not fix it. I was pretty much hovering a few feet above the sandy bottom, I was pretty neutral. We decided to continue on with the dive, using my own lungs for bouyancy control (something I did not have alot of practice with yet).

    We went further down and started swimming against the current, along Paradise reef. The current was stronger than I expected; it took me a conscious effort to keep myself stream lined. I found that I used more air (than I did in the OW dives). Perhaps, as I gain more experience, I will use less. Anyway, we went down to 35 ft and were out for 23 minutes (before I hit the low air limit we set). We turned and swam with the current, along the shore to the surface shallows with a bottom time of 34 minutes and a depth of 35 feet, not bad for a first dive. We saw some incredible coral, colorful fish, and I saw what I think was a small (just over a foot long) shark circling a rock formation. For all my anxiety on my first ocean dive, I think I did pretty well. I, as well as my wife, wanted to get another tank and go down again. It was alot of fun, and the problem solving that happened seemed to come naturally.

    We are planning to go out diving again, real soon. To all those who are new to diving, remember one thing when a problem comes up, don't panic, stop, think, it is usually something minor and can easily be overcome.


  2. kidspot

    kidspot Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Moses Lake, Washington
    Glad to hear it didn't throw you off balance - and yes you'll see your consumption rate go down drastically as you dive more.

    Sounds like you found a good reason to buy your own gear now too :wink: and keep a save-a-dive kit handy too. I can't count the number of dives I've used my spare parts kit... Invariably if I leave it at home I need something in it.

    Congratulations on your first post cert dive.

    Aloha, Tim
  3. DiveMaven

    DiveMaven Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Kihei, Maui & Vancouver, WA
    Sounds like a valuable experience, and not a bad dive overall either. You have described perfectly why my husband and I bought all our own gear before diving out of the country. We saw quite a bit of dicey gear when we were in the Caribbean last December, and glad to have our own. You should be very proud of yourselves for remembering to do the equipment check. People often forget this very important step, even when using their own gear.
  4. paolov

    paolov PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: philippines
  5. stevetim

    stevetim Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Miami, FL
    Just a word on air consumption. I have started a running program in the last month that helps with my comsumption quite a bit. I don't get as winded underwater while finning against currents, and now rarely ever feel overexherted. This is just an option available to me that you could use in the longrun.
  6. chip104

    chip104 Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Toronto
    Great moral of the story. Good that you remained calm! Last weekend I also experienced a faulty BC - and didn't realize it until after the dive. All the while I just thought I had too many weights! I noticed my air consumption increased and I had a terrible headache from using my breathing to help regulate my buoyancy. So next time you go and you have a fully working BC, maybe you'll notice an increase in your bottom time.

    You even saw a shark...very jealous.

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