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    July 24, 2005

    Logged Dive #133 – Safety Diving For John’s OW Class

    Veteran’s Park, Redondo Beach, CA

    I dove as a safety diver with Instructor John’s Open Water class of five and returning students Bonnie and Clyde, who were there for “more experience.”*

    In With: 2100 psi
    Out With: 1900 psi
    Max depth: 20 feet
    Waves: 1-3 feet
    Visibility: 10 feet but getting shittier
    Water Temperature: Warm
    Total Bottom Time: 10 minutes or so
    Notable Event: Dealing with a diver near panic, unable to swim against a current.
    *The names of students have been changed, probably because I don’t remember them to begin with.

    So now the students get to SCUBA dive.

    Leeza turned back in because of nerves.

    There was a strong current going North towards the pier; it usually goes the other way.

    All but Leeza made it through the surf zone.

    I was the first to submerge; the rest were suppose to follow.

    Lurch, Young Hottie, Bonnie and Clyde made it down.

    John was having problems getting Pedro and Green Horn down.

    We were all waiting in pretty crappy visibility that was getting worse because the students were stirring the bottom up.

    After ten minutes of waiting, I signaled for everyone to surface.

    John called the dive because of the current; we were getting closer and closer to the pier.

    Pedro was trying to dog paddle against the current.

    I told him that I would tow him; he rolled over on his back; I grabbed his tank and started towing him.

    After a minute, Pedro yelled, “Stop! Stop! I can’t breath when you do that!”

    I let go.

    Pedro started to dog paddle against the current, floating towards the pier.

    I said, “I need to tow you if you can’t beat the current, you’re going in to the pier.”

    I grabbed his tank again and started towing him.

    Pedro yelled, “Please stop that! I’m having trouble breathing when you do that!”

    By this time, John had made sure everyone else was on shore and dove back in the water and swam over to Pedro.

    John grabbed Pedro and started towing him.

    Pedro did his, “Oh, stop please I can’t breathe!” routine.

    John held on to him and yelled, “God damn it Pedro! Don’t you dare panic on me! Do exactly as I say.”

    John continued to tow him.

    Once close to shore John yelled instructions to Pedro, who was sort of combative.

    I was exhausted.

    I think it was a combination of no breakfast and a hang over.

    John later told me, “When someone who is near panic won’t respond to a calm and rational voice, just start cussing at them.

    “Maybe they’ll be more afraid of you than drowning.”

    Logged Dive #132 – Safety Diver For OW Class

    Veteran’s Park, Redondo Beach, CA

    I dove as a safety diver with Instructor John’s Open Water class of five and returning students, Bonnie and Clyde, who were there for “more experience.”*

    In With: 2800 psi
    Out With: 2100 psi
    Max depth: 20 feet
    Waves: 1-3 feet
    Visibility: 10 feet
    Water Temperature: Warm
    Total Bottom Time: 15 minutes
    Notable Event: This was the dive that gave the the idea for my nickname, “Psycho Solo Diver.”
    *The names of students have been changed, probably because I don’t remember them to begin with.

    We did the traditional skin dive and what not.

    The students:

    Pedro – An older man who is taking diving because he desires to go dredging for Gold.

    Lurch – A huge guy that Bonnie and Clyde seem to know.

    Green Horn – Young guy, skinny and fit.

    Leeza – An older woman who desires to dive, but had a friend drowned in the ocean when she was younger.

    Young Hottie – A young and petite girl who probably weighs 100 pounds and, like all the other students, is required to carry the 60 pounds worth of SCUBA gear.

    We did our traditional “feel the bottom” dive; the students dawned their weight belts and BCD for the buoyancy check.

    As we were floating around outside of the surf zone, Pedro mentioned to me, “I think I lost my weight belt.”

    I asked, “You think? Did you drop it?”

    “I must have.”

    John turned Leeza back as she was too nervous.

    After John and the rest joined us, it was decided that I would go back to shore, gear up and look for Pedro’s weight belt.

    We did not have a spare belt.

    I was putting my gear on; Leeza asked what I was doing and said I was going diving to look for a weight belt.

    She warned me about diving alone.

    I explained that I was just going to be out in the surf zone in shallow water.

    Leeza retorted, “Man, you’re psycho.”

    I thought, “Psycho solo diver, huh?”

    I went out and did a zigzag pattern along the bottom where we entered the surf.

    I couldn’t find Pedro’s weight belt.

    This whole dive was looking for Pedro’s weight belt.

    I surfaced and asked Pedro, “Are you sure you brought your weight belt with you?”

    “Uh, I think so,” he responded.

    “Do you think you might have left up by your car?”

    “I could have.”

    Everyone went back on shore.

    John and Pedro went to the parking lot to look; I decided to go out one last time where we entered… and tripped over Pedro’s weight belt in two feet of water!

    Bonnie and Clyde waited on shore for their turn to dive.

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