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Swimmin with da fishes!

Discussion in 'New Divers & Those Considering Diving' started by TheDivingBear, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. TheDivingBear

    TheDivingBear Registered

    Today was the end of two days of diving. This was our second/third since getting certified. We only did a tank each day, mainly due to other obligations. The air temps were in the 60's both days and the water (surface) temps were in the 70's (albeit, 69-71).

    We dove Blue Springs (here in Indiana) yesterday (Friday). It was nice; there was no one there but us when we started. I found the dive shop gave me too little weight. My wife and I made a giant stride entry from the dock :jump:, and when we tried to descend, I could not. We swam to the shore and were looking for smooth, large rocks to place in the BCD's pockets when another diver pulled up. I asked if he might have an extra weight and he offered me a couple of three pounders. I took one and placed it in my pocket, swam out a little and was able to submerge. I came up and thanked him, told him that if we got up before he did, I would place it on the dock he was using. We dove and swam along the wall. I was looking for fish and such and not having much luck, but was still enjoying the scenery and the swim. The viz was ok at around 15 feet. We hit 35 foot along the wall and got chilled; the water temp dropped to 56 degrees, though with my buddy in her 5m and me in a 7m, it was not that bad (just was not going to stay there too long). We swam up a little and found a "Basket weavers meet here" sign. How cute. I looked at my wife and saw her pointing over my shoulder. Behold, the Blue Springs armored car. Kewl, had not seen that yet. We saw to it and she looked in. I signaled to her I was going to swim around it and then did. When I got to the front, I had lost sight of her. I waited for a moment or two, looking for her or some sign of her. Not seeing one, I swam over the truck, peeked in the back, and still did not see her. A moment of panic stuck, but I stopped and thought to myself, "Okay, so you've lost your buddy. You could stay down here and swim in circles, or you could swim to the surface and look for her there." :thinkingo: The PADI training took over, I looked up, reached up, and slowly ascended, circling (or twisting) all the way up. Just before I broke the surface, I saw her. She was okay and waiting up there for me. She had lost sight of me, stopped and waited for a moment, and surfaced. She had poked her head into the car and had not seen me signal my intentions to her. We decide that it would be a good idea to signal our acknowledgements before venturing off like that again. Anyway, we submerged again and continued to swim along the wall. We came across another of the training platforms and decided to follow a rope to where ever it led. We found some culvert pipes suspended in the water, large enough to swim through, so we did. I checked my air gauge (as I had been doing) and signaled low air to my wife. We had not taken bearings, but new the general direction of our entry point and heading that way. As I got closer to the out of air limit, we surfaced and snorkeled the rest of the way. The diver who loaned me the weight was not back yet; another couple were gearing up near the shallow docks. We got back to our entry point without a problem, enjoying the sun filled surface swim. It was a good dive, nice scenery, but we only saw one fish. :jaws: Just as I taking my gear off, the one diver surfaced. I thanked him again for the use of his weight, telling him it was just what I needed, and returned it to him. We stopped at the shack to get our tanks refilled, but the attendant was out mowing the field. Oh well, we knew France Park had an air station and it would be manned tomorrow. On the drive home, we decided we’d take a trip up to another LDS; I had been there, but my wife had not yet. We did need a few things, like a log book cover and obviously a bit more weight. We decided to get an air fill there.

    We got up this morning and it was overcast. There was not a chance of rain, but without the sun, the air felt more chilled. We packed up our gear and went north to France Park (near Logansport, Indiana). It was a two hour drive, but well worth it. When we got there, we found another group was there, a class from a LDS in Normal, Illinois. But, compared to the number we suspect were out in Blue Springs (BS) on a Saturday, this was nice. The air was still chilled and the guys manning the Air Station and the group from Illinois both had fires going, the air temperature was 60 with a breeze making it feel cooler. The Ill group had already been out once and were waiting on their surface time and trying to keep warm. We unloaded and geared up. France Park (FP) was an old quarry too, though unlike BS, there were no “docks”. It was a nice sandy beach with a simple shore entry. There are man-made sights, like train wheels, a bus and a few boats, but nothing like what is at Blue Springs. But, we liked FP better because it had FISH! There were some very nice sized bass that we swan up to and by, and they did not care. At one time when I was kneeling on a rock readjusted my weight belt, I looked up and over to see my wife. She had a grin so big that I thought she was going to lose her reg. As I looked closer, I saw that she had swam into a :fish: school of small fish :fish: and they were swimming all around :fish: her. She was thoroughly enjoying it and I was enjoying watching her. I was having trouble with my buoyancy today. I was probably over weighted. I would either crash into the bottom or start to float up in a more rapid fashion than I was accustomed to. I’d dump some air and sink again. The bottom composition was silt and touching it would kick up a lot and make the viz bad. There was one time we swam through a wall (?) of silt kicked up by someone. Viz went from 20 feet (great for a quarry) to zero (no kidding, I could not see my hand until it hit the mask, very disorientating). Again, I sucked air, or maybe I used less, but lost more of it due to the buoyancy problems; I signaled my wife I was at our low air mark. I took a compass reading and we headed back to shore. I hit the out of air mark before we got back and when we surfaced, we found we were further out that we had thought. Oh well, it was a nice swim back. After breaking the equipment down, we took off our wetsuits and learned the air temperature had not warmed at all. Yikes. I went to retrieve our C-Cards from the fill station. We started chatting a bit about the dive and I mentioned that I was having buoyancy problems. He said it was not unusual in FP as the depth is not that great (25 feet tops, I think) and since you spend most of your time less than that, any change in air (breather or BC) and minor changes in depth make a big difference.

    Anyway, heading back to Indy, my wife and I talked about the two dives. We enjoyed having the BS to ourselves and the scenery was nice, but we also liked the amount of fish we saw in FP. When I mentioned the school of fish swimming around her, I saw her face light up again. Seeing her that happy, that is why I like diving. Ok, so it is not the ONLY reason, but it tops the list. :D


  2. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    Thanks for the dive report. I know for my wife and I those first independent outings were a memorable experince.

    Good lesson learned about getting acknowldgement of signals.

    Be sure to log your weights and how they worked. It will take a lot of guess work out of your set-ups.

    Even in open water we sometimes see few if any fish, it's influenced by lots of factors. Enjoy the dive, something memorable always seems to show up or happen.

    I hope by hitting "out of air mark" you don't really mean OUT OF AIR.

    I'd suggest a little more focus on navigation. One day the wind will kick up the surface water and that swim back won't be as fun.

    Dive safe and often.
  3. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    I really enjoyed reading your report. You guys had two safe and non-stressful dives, which is a very good thing.

    And reading reports like yours makes me realize just how incredibly lucky we are, who live on Puget Sound. There is no dive at any site that is not rich with sea life, even if some of it is very small and takes an educated eye to see. But one of my favorite things so far is to swim into a school of small fish (perch for us, or tubesnouts which are pipefish) and be surrounded by them. There's something truly magical about it.

    Many more happy dives to both of you!
  4. NYHippo

    NYHippo Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Rutherford, NJ
    I dive to see the critters. I love swimming along a wreck and looking in every hole, nook and cranny. On my last dive there a huge school of mixed sea bass and blackfish (tog) going back an forth in slight surge. A sight I will never forget!
  5. Land Locked

    Land Locked Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: 38.22N 85.35W KY USA
    Diving Bear,
    If you can make it, some of us are going to close out the year at Falling
    Rock this next weekend. You are invited along! If you like diving with the
    fishies, Joe does have a bunch of pampered and well fed fish.
  6. HowardE

    HowardE Diver Staff Member

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Boca Raton, Florida
  7. scubasherry

    scubasherry Contributor

    I love to swim with the fish too. We dove In Portage Quarry OH. I was a bit stressed-out under water - it being my 2nd dive as a certified diver. My husband and I were following the group (about 10 divers) we were going to swim out and look for a ten car pile up and some other underwater attractions. I didn't want to go deep and I was not swimming fast enought to stay over the top of them and keep them in sight. The yellow fins of the other divers just started getting further and further away. 2 experienced divers in the group were hanging near us to keep an eye on us incase we needed assistance. I signaled to my husband that I was not ok. Looking out into the great blue nothing and seeing the fins dissapear ahead of me really freaked me out. :thinkingo All 4 of us surfaced. After I calmed down we went more near the shore line. We decided to swim between 15 and 20 feet along the wall with the destination being the silo. As we were swimming I started noticing the fish (bass, bluegill...) following us. Instantly I was mesmorized and ammused. When we got to the silo we had so many fish around us. I loved it. It didn't worry about anything I was so relaxed and enjoying myself that I didn't want to get out of the water. Fish are somewhat magical to me. :fish: They make diving even more fun!

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