No matter how long someone has been scuba diving for, day one of a dive trip is always an experiment. Haven’t gone diving for months, wetsuit is super dried out, wetsuit is new, gear is supposed to work as it should.
We stride into the water at the back of the dive boat. Try to go down, and I do not go down. Murray doesn’t go down. We try everything we know and end up getting more and more weight from our dive master, S.
My mask keeps fogging up. I have to rinse it every few minutes.
Three quarters of the way through the dive, Murray cannot stay down. WHAT!!?! He ends up surfacing, san safety stop, near the boat and I stay with the group.
Once up on the boat, we discuss what has happened and why. First obvious point – we didn’t soak our wetsuits when we got to Virgin Gorda. Every drop of possible moisture is sucked out in our dry climate and it takes some time underwater to saturate fully.
Second point – I underestimated the buoyancy of a brand new wetsuit. I am still surprised at the extra weight I had to dive with.
Third point – During our second dive Murray realized that his BCD is self-inflating. The valve may be stuck and is allowing air to continuously flow into the BCD. If we cannot fix the valve, Murray just has to disconnect the hose from the inflator hose and no more air will leak into the BCD. (This is a new BCD and has been used on 1 dive trip only.)
While experimenting with equipment, we saw a sting ray, a spotted eagle ray, coral banded shrimp, sea pearl alga, a golden tail moray eel and our usual fish friends – spotted drum fish, barracuda, porcupinefish, trumpetfish.
Hopefully tomorrow the experiment will go smoothly.