Wednesday, November 28 – 2007
16:30 – 17:05
Dive Number 127
Roads: Dry / clear
Water Temp: +5C
Area: Welland Canal boat ramp – Welland, Ontario
Vehicle: Lada Niva
Shore Crew / Tenders: Tori
Maximum Depth: 10m
Plan: Buoyancy Dive
On my last dive with a set of tech divers, I had a bit of a buoyancy issue. I ended up finding out that not only was I over-weighted, I had lost one of my 2kg weights which made me badly lopsided and would have undoubtedly added to my confusion and frustration during the dive. The thick drysuit underwear coveralls would have also changed my peak buoyancy ratio.
Apparently the divers I went with must have been quite disturbed by my buoyancy issues as the next day I got a letter from the manager of a local dive shop telling me how they felt I had “missed something in my training” and should throw my training experience out the window and go join them at their dive shop for proper experience – for a fee of course.
I decided to go for a dive specifically to check my buoyancy with this new drysuit configuration. I arrived at the boat dock at the Old Welland Canal around 16:00hrs and began to kit up. It was overcast out and fairly dark. I was hoping that I could complete this dive without loosing all my light.
I kitted up and entered the water with 13kg on me and headed out to around 10m.
I found a nice tree branch covered with kelp and trimmed myself out and started slowly swimming in an oval shape around the small kelp bed. I saw in the distance a shiny aluminum baseball bat standing upright in the silt, and created a kind of circuit for myself to swim around at different speeds. This would allow me to see when I’m trimmed if I kicked up any silt.
After a few dozen rounds in the spot without kicking up any silt or debris, I noticed I was starting to loose my light. I decided to stay down until I exhausted my 12L tank.
While using my small torch which I always carry on dives “just in case” I saw a hole in the mud. I shined the torch into the hole and saw a little nose retract.
This was a good time to test out my stationary buoyancy control. I trimmed up and hovered over the hole and moved the torch away to watch a little head of a mud-puppy (looks like a large salamander) stick his head out looking at the light moving away. As I brought the torch back to the hole, he retreated again.
My Suunto dive computer beeped indicating less than 50 bar, so I surfaced and heard the loud air horn of my shore crew, I gave the OK symbol and then headed for shore.
I really chilled and got cold as I removed all of my kit, then we headed to a local Tim Hortons coffee s hop to relax and fill out my logbook. I had very few issues this dive with my buoyancy. Hopefully a couple more dives and I will be as proficient with the drysuit as I was in my wetsuit.
I certainly didn’t expect my buoyancy dive to become a night dive, but I always dive prepared. It was a great and relaxing dive.