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    August 18, 2013

    Third Dry Suit Dive – Redondo Beach, California

    August 17, 2013

    This is going to be just a short post to document another training dive with my dry suit.

    Jimmy The Bagman met me around 8:30 AM to go on a dive, and I also gave him back his doubles that I had picked up after getting them a hydro – well, he paid, I was just the courier.

    A few days ago, carrying those doubles on my back from the parking lot to my ghetto apartment, was enough to make me think that anyone who beach dives in doubles is a psychopath.

    Some lady that I met in the elevator when I had the tanks on, asked me, “Are you spraying for bugs?”

    “Uh, no, these are just air tanks,” I said, as she could hear my back cracking from the excessive weight.

    We geared up at Vets – this was just going to be a single tank dive with my dry suit and then training at a pool on doubles.

    I had my dry suit on, had my regulator assembled and went to get my weight belt – hmmm….

    Where the fuck is my weight belt?

    I usually leave it in my truck, so it must be there somewhere…

    Well, I left it in the Duster while I had the truck serviced a week ago and didn’t put it back.

    Luckily, between Tony from Dive N Surf , Jimmy The Bagman and the eight pounds of soft weights I had in my “save a dive kit,” we could came up with the weight that I needed for the dive.

    Thank you Tony and Jimmy for saving my dive!

    I unzipped the pockets on my BCD and dumped a mixture of soft and hard weights into the pockets and zipped them back up.

    Jimmy asked, “How do I get the weights out if I need to?”

    I replied, “It’s weight integrated with my BCD, just unzip the pockets and take them out.”

    “That is not weight integrated,” Jimmy responded.

    Anyway, the dive was on.

    I got out of the surf zone and put my fins on without issue.

    I had made sure that I actually zipped my zippers up all the way on this dive.

    I heard an air leak, and Jimmy confirmed it was coming from my first stage.

    Well, we went forward with the dive, as I wasn’t losing too much air.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #441

    Dove With Jimmy The Bagman
    Veterans Park, Redondo Beach, California, USA

    In With: 2900 psi
    Out With: 700 psi
    Max depth: 71 feet
    Waves: Pretty flat with rollers at the surf zone
    Visibility: 15 feet, 20 over the shelf
    Water Temperature: 54 degrees at depth, 68 at the surface
    Air Temperature: 72 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 35 minutes or so

    The dive was really uneventful – we saw the typical yellow crabs, shrimp and small fish.

    A few times I had to arch my back so the air bubble would float from my feet to my chest.

    We surfaced 35 minutes later to a semi calm surf zone.

    I thought I would make it out without falling.

    No problem with the waves, but I couldn’t get over the sand step – if you have dove Vets, you know what I mean.

    I fell on my stomach, Jimmy took my fins, and I was able to get up om my own.

    I was dry, all was good and another dry suit dive was under my belt.

    Jimmy gave me a lecture on the theory of the redundancy of doubles – we were not quite ready to train in the pool with the lack of my weight belt.

    That will be later.

    August 7, 2013

    My Second Dry Suit Dive – Dry Is Only A Theory

    In 31 days, I leave for Poland and I have to speed up my macho level advanced diving before I leave.

    I arrived around 6 PM at Veterans Park and put my dry suit on; I belched all the air out by pulling the neck seal and doing a squat.

    I was also wearing a shorter pair of swim trunks for increased mobility; I was not going to be in the helpless situation that I was in last time – falling down and not being able to get up.

    Help! Ive fallen and I cant get up!
    Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!

    I practiced on the pavement, getting up off the ground – whatever I did, worked.

    My knees were more flexible, too.

    A new diver “Russ” introduced himself.

    He had 12 dives in and wanted to do his first night dive.

    There was a light Divevets crowd, so I told him, “You can tag a long with me, but I’m doing my second dry suit dive, and it won’t be a night dive… and if I have issues, you better be able to take care of yourself.”

    Donna The Hot Biker Chick pulled up and told me that she’s going to do her first dry suit ocean dive.

    I got excited and asked, “Donna, are you coming to Poland with me?”

    She thought for a millisecond and responded, “NO!”

    Dash was gearing up in a dry suit to dive with Donna.

    So for the dive, as the plan was, Donna the Hot Biker Chick, Dash, the new guy Russ and me.

    I made it through the surf with no issues, Donna and Dash followed.

    I waited for Russ… he made it out, and I couldn’t tell if he had his fins on or not, but he was doing circles in the surf zone.

    Oh man, I wished more people were there – this was a training dive for me, and not a mentoring dive.

    I started swimming back to shore in case he needed assistance.

    Russ couldn’t hear me yelling through the surface chop.

    After a few minutes, he washed ashore and called the dive; I swam out to meet the other two.

    I had a short fill – I think my tank is leaking again; I informed the other two that I would be leaving before their dive was over.

    I noticed that diving in a dry suit gave my feet a strange “wet” and cold feeling that I didn’t notice on my first dry dive.

    We descended.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #440

    Dove With Donna The Hot Biker Chick and Dash
    Veterans Park, Redondo Beach, California, USA

    In With: 2400 psi
    Out With: 700 psi
    Max depth: 72 feet
    Waves: Slightly annoying surface chop
    Visibility: Shitty until over the shelf, then it cleared to 10 feet
    Water Temperature: 54 degrees at depth, 68 at the surface
    Air Temperature: 72 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 25 minutes or so

    Visibility was shitty, and turning my light on just back scattered all the light off the silt.

    We went down the canyon and I felt the thermal – it got cold, but hell I’m in a dry suit, plus I’m macho.

    Shrimp, small fish, yellow crabs… a typical, non-eventful dive at Veteran’s Park.

    We were at 50 feet, gawking at two shrimps fucking, when I signaled that I was heading in due to my low air situation.

    I slowly made it back to the surf zone and surfaced with 700 psi left, right in front of the lifeguard shack, which was closing.

    I came walking ashore; it felt like I had bowling balls strapped to my feet.

    And then, I got knocked down by a wave — I crawled out of the surf zone and got up with relative ease.

    My feet were as big as cantaloupes, with the consistency of a water bed.

    Yep, I flooded.

    I made my way to the parking lot where Divevets’ Kenneth examined me for leaks.

    Kenneth said, “Whoever zipped you up, had about another inch to go before completing the seal.”

    Well, that person was me – I had so much anxiety about not being able to put my fins on or not being able to get back up, I didn’t check to see if my zipper completed the seal; I will never do that again.

    Donna and Dash made it back about 25 minutes later.

    Light debriefing ensued before I packed up my soggy gear and headed back to the ghetto.

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