Sunday, July 13, 2008

Six fathoms

I did my first dive as a certified diver, no instructor.
Manfriend was my dive buddy.
He was out getting some practice after several months of no diving.

We decided to make it somewhat easy on ourselves and go to Veteran's park in Redondo Beach.
This way the most treacherous part of getting to the water was the stairs.

Gear plus stairs equals good exercise.

We got to the parking lot around 8:30 a.m. and were suited up and swimming out a little before 9 a.m.

I went in with 2500 psi.

Yeah, that hood is so NOT attractive.

We swam out maybe 50 yards and did a quick buoyancy check. Things looked decent, so we decided to descend.

Bottom depth where we descended was about 20 feet. We swam due west, making our way deeper. At 30 feet we hit a thermocline and got a nice blast of cold water in the face.

Our max depth was about 36 feet and bottom time was about 30 minutes.

The visibility was better than on my checkout dives a few weeks ago, but there still was not much to see.

We did see some sand dollars, starfish and a couple flounders.

Getting up close and personal with some tiny crabs.

There also were several little crabs hiding in the sand with just a couple little legs sticking out.

Anybody have any idea what this is exactly? It was quite large.
It even left snail trails in the sand underwater!

The most interesting thing was what looked like a sea snail. But it was huge. Like the size of a head.

Manfriend said he had not seen a sea snail of that size before.

We swam around for a while so I could work on my buoyancy. I am still trying to find the sweet spot with tank, suit and weights.

Manfriend was an excellent buddy. He also served as photographer on this dive.

This is what I look like underwater.

After about half an hour, I was down under 1000 psi of air, so we decided to surface.

I am told that once I get more practice I will consume less air and need less weight.
That would be a very good thing.

We had a short swim back to shore. At this point I felt a little queasy, so I did not want to linger on the surface.

We both made it out to the beach with no problems. There were really no swells to speak of when we started and it was the same when we finished.

This is what Manfriend and I look like in a public shower.

After a quick rinse in the public showers, it was back up the stairs to shed the gear.

Since there were some other divers out at Long Point, we decided to head over there to see how they did and share some adult beverages and partake of the cookout.

Finally, back home around noon to get cleaned up and check my eBay bid.

Woo hoo! I got myself a slightly used BCD for about half the price it would be new.

Now it just needs to get here from Florida.

If it makes it by next weekend, I may get to try it out before I leave for St. Thomas.