This is me Scuba Sam
Jamie and I went to Flaming Gorge this last weekend with some friends (Laurie and Nate) and we went scuba diving. Let me just tell you that this trip was a regular blast! This was Jamie's and my first scuba trip outside of the confines of a scuba classroom. As the old adage says "you learn a lot more by jumping into a lake with all of your scuba gear than you do in a scuba classroom."
Lesson 1, Nothing is better than a good plan... except for a nice MLT where the mutton is nice and lean...
Our planning consisted of "We are going to go down 20 feet and swim to the island." We all went under water and that was the end of communicating because how do you talk with each other under water? After about 5 minutes of floundering around we all resurfaced and came up with a better plan. The visibility was about 5 feet and it was hard not to lose each other. We decided Nate was going to lead, Jamie would go second, and I would be last. We went down again. I saw Nate slowly vanish, and saw Jamie starting to swim. I started to follow and after about two kicks I felt a little tap on my fin. I turned around and saw Nate. How in the world did he get behind me so fast?!? Also WHERE DID JAMIE GO? As I turned around to get her attention she was gone.
Here is Jamie
Lesson 2 If you can't see me I can't see you and that is a bad thing.
You learn in class that if someone gets lost you are supposed to resurface and find them because safety comes first. When we first got in the water Jamie was having trouble with her ears and that was some of the reason why we re-surfaced the first time. I thought that as soon as she saw that Nate was not in front of her and that I was not behind her she would come up and wait for us just like we learned in class. I started to panic because she couldn't stay down that long with ear problems and she shouldn't stay down that long if she couldn't find us. Well she didn't want to come back up because her ears had acclimatized, so no matter how lost we were she knew where she was and that was good enough.
(Here is a little side lesson that comes extra with the price of admission to my blog. It is easy to keep track of yourself. It was even easy to keep track of one other person, but when your attention is split with two people that is when you lose people.)
Lesson 3, If there are cops around do not admit to doing anything wrong... It will only get you into trouble!
Here is Nate
Nate and I would swim a little looking for Jamie and then surface to see if she had surfaced, then we would repeat. It was a little hard to hear while we were on the surface due to the fact that we were wearing our scuba caps and little did we know that we were shouting "I can't find her do you know where she is?" In a matter of minutes there were 5 different police cars on the shore ready to give aid at a moments notice. After about 15 minutes Jamie finally did re-surface and search and rescue was called off... for the moment. We decided that we would all hold on to our dive flag's rope that was connected to my vest and proceed.
Lesson 4, If your spiritual compass is broken it will always lead to a dam. I mean there is magnetic pull toward a dam.
Well, now I was in the lead and since we couldn't see the island under the water a compass heading was taken and I started to follow. My compass was not working, it just kept slowly turning to the right. I was trying to compensate and go left, but it was to no avail. My compass kept taking me to something that was making a lot of noise. So I would re-surface and get a visual on the island and go back down and rely on my compass. With in a matter of kicks it would take me right back to the loud noise.
Lesson 5, If there is no air in the tank you can't breath under water... unless your name is Aqua Man
Well, after searching for Jamie and all of my bad directions we were getting low on air so we had to surface and swim back to the shore never having made it to the island. When we surfaced I noticed that the loud noise was the dam and it was slowly dragging us toward it. It took a little bit of effort, but we over came the pull of the dam and swam back to shore with all of this newly acquired knowledge. As we walked to the truck we waved as we saw the police cars leaving in single file. Sorry you didn't get to practice your skills today Search and Rescue, maybe next time...
Here we all are with our divers flag
Monday, August 10, 2009
This is me Scuba Sam
Posted by Sam Barker at 9:35 PM