Friday, September 13, 2013

'Cooba Divin

Well I never made it out to the Long Path last weekend.  Chris was moving out so we spent Saturday moving stuff around the house and Sunday I had the worst hangover in the history of the world...stupid wine.  We did get to do go to the range and go diving so that made up for it.

This was the first time we went to the shooting range in Norwalk and it was great.  The target system is fully automated so you can specify how far away you want it and set it to turn at intervals, and move forward and back if you want a moving target.  I'm having trouble with the .380 - a piece actually fell off and I had to ask someone to help me.  The guys exact quote - "Well at least you didn't bring the gun out with you."  Do people do that?! Dear lord... Other than that it was fun.  Nice to get back out there.

We also made our debut into the cold water diving world.  We went to Rex on Thursday night to pick up our gear.  Up to this point we have never worn anything thicker than a 3mm wetsuit.  Now we're trying to get into a 7mm farmer john and and a 7mm shortie over it.  If you've ever seen "A Christmas Story", you know how I felt.  I was just walking around the dive shop saying 'I can't put my arms down...'.  Either way, got our gear, put it in the car, and went home for the night.

Ready to go!

 Get up next day, drive to Dutch Springs - which is in Bethlehem, PA about two hours away from where we live.  Issue No. 1 - We pay and go down to the parking lot to set up.  As I connect my regulator and turn on the air, it leaks.  A lot.  So we figure out it's the regulator itself, not an o-ring so we have to load up again, drive to a nearby dive shop and have them fix it.  Luckily it was just a leaky hose and didn't cost us any money.  Issue No. 2 - We get back, unload again and set up our gear.  We squeeze into our wetsuits and are now sweating profusely.  As I try to put my weight belt on, I realize the now 14mm of neoprene over my midsection makes me too fat for my goddam belt.  Luckily we have the old fashioned kind that they put the weights on for transport, so Mike gave me his and used the crappy one.  Issue No. 3 - As we're loading up the weight belts with the 24 lbs they told us to use at Rex, a "helpful" lady comes up and tells us she's on her 300th dive and this is way too much weight.  We only need like 12 lbs.  That's what she uses.  So we compromise on 16 lbs each.  Tank up.  Get all the way to the water.  Put on mask and fins and...can't get below the surface because we're too damn light.  Mike took everything off, went back to the car and got us both 8 more lbs.

FINALLY we get to descend and the visibility is awful.  Probably like 8 feet.  The guy who works there says it's normally much better but they've had a lot of rain lately.  Mike and I lost each other twice and had to come up to reconnect, and once we lost the 'attractions' and had to come up to figure out where the hell we were. When you look at the lake from the shore, you think 'Oh it's not that big - how hard can this be? But with such low viz and feeling like an overstuffed sausage - it was tougher than I though.

Dutch Springs Quarry

After coming up for lunch and refilling the tanks, we planned out our second dive.  This time we took the right weight, and had a definitive plan.  They say plan your dive and dive your plan and they're right.  The second dive went great.  We went down to 75' where the water temp was 53 degrees and stayed pretty warm.  The park has a whole bunch of planes, cars, trains, etc. at the bottom to look at so that was kind cool.  I saw some bass, bluegill, trout and koi.

Overall, it's a good place to try out new gear and test your resistance to cooler water.  There's not a ton to look at but it was really nice to get some mid season diving in.  It is a place where you have to know what you're doing, however.  There's no one to guide you, no boat captain to advise you.  YOU are responsible to make sure you stay safe.  As long as you keep that in mind, you're good to go.

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