Thursday, October 3, 2013

Porteau Cove 02/10/2013

Dave Williams, Jim Dixon and myself went out to Porteau Cove for a quick scooter dive. It had been a long time since Dave had his scooter out, and same with me. Dave had gotten some new batteries, so it was a good test. Poor Jim had his scooter away for maintenance, so we did some practicing towing. Jim announced the up-coming launch of GUE-BC. Exciting times for diving in the Vancouver area! It was great to see that the community was building. I was looking forward to some of the projects that were being planned. Especially the marine life monitoring project on the Saskatchewan.

The plan was for me to tow Jim, and we'd follow the firehose, then make for the Nakaya. Things went a bit sideways when Jim and I arrived at the concrete block near the Nakaya and discovered that Dave was no where to be found! I had mistaken Jim's light for Dave's, and had not stopped on the way out to check if Dave as still there. It certainly reminded me how easy it was to lose someone while scootering! I also re-enforced the good practice of proper awareness. Being on the trigger full blast all the time was not the goal! Jim and I surfaced and quickly located Dave, who had surfaced as well. We met up at the marker buoy for the Nakaya and Dave explained that he had turned the pitch down too far on his scooter and couldn't keep up. We descended back down, and Dave re-adjusted his pitch and did a few practice loops. All was well from that point. We tied off our scooters on the concrete block, and set out to find the Nakaya. I discovered that my estimate on my suit inflation bottle was not adequate. The extra surface and descent drained the last of my gas from the bottle, so I was getting quite the suit squeeze! I got the team to hold, and connected my LPI hose briefly to get enough gas into my suit so that it was comfortable again. Ahh! Much better! I knew that I would only have to vent gas from my suit from that point on, so it was all good.

It was a night for incidents, because the next thing was that we could not find the Nakaya! You would think such a large object would be pretty easy to find. I am embarrassed to say that it eluded us this evening. Visibility wasn't that bad, but we must have just missed it. I knew it was near, but it wasn't meant to be. We even lost the scooters for a bit of time! Finally we found the concrete block again, and retrieved them. Then it was a short ride back to the Grant Hall hull. Dave almost ran right into it, it came up quite fast. For the rest of the dive after that point, we put the scooters away and just swam. There were no octopus that I could find, but at the end of the dive there were quite a few fish carcases in the shallows. They were being devoured by an army of various crabs of all sizes. The feeding frenzy was so violent that the fish seemed to be moving! I had never seen crabs so active in feeding before, and in such numbers. There were large schools of perch in the shallows too, that were surprised and confused by our lights. I chased them around a bit with my scooter. Unfortunately Dave said he sucked a few through his prop blades. Poor fish!

All in all, a good dive, where I learned a lot, yet again. I was glad to be reminded of the importance of team unity and communication.

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