lundi 21 juillet 2014

#3 Ivy Lea

I got to my dive instructor’s house at around 09:00hrs on Saturday. As he had moved, lets say I got there just a little over 9. He tossed me my brand new dry suit and we got it prepped up for its first dive. After we loaded the kit and carefully planned out our dives for that day, we set out for that day’s diving spot. (picture taken off of google images)
The quarry is located in Chelsea ON, just about half an hour from Gatineau/Ottawa. This is a very popular spot as it also has the highest bungee jumping in Canada.

Under water, there is a small cargo plane, (picture taken off of google images)
a two-man submarine, a sunken car, and a piano. The max depth is at around 135 feet. We suited up and got in the water. As it was my very first dive in a dry suit, my techniques needed a few adjustments to compensate. After the first dive, we came out, made a thorough debrief/adjustments, had lunch and then got back in for the next part. This dive went a lot better than the first. I felt more stable and was able to relax and take my time more. We eventually got out of the water, picked up and packed our kit and made our way to my instructors house for the debrief and to watch the videos he had taken while under water. After analyzing the videos and modifying some kit, we called it a day. We went in “Le vieux Hull” for diner. We stopped at a Thai restaurant called “Chez le Thai”, situated just in front of the 4 jeudis. I recommend this restaurant to anyone travelling in le Vieux Hull.

Our second day of diving was supposed to be a real divers treat. We got up nice and early to pack up and get what we needed for the dive. We had fresh tanks and we were good to go. We drove just a little over an hour to get to 1000 islands (picture taken off of google images),
located just about 45 minutes from Kingston ON. As you can see, it was quite the scenery just getting there. Once we got to our spot at the Ivy Lea campground beach, we finished our dive planning and got ready. We went in for our dive and everything went well on the way down, except. Everything was good except my shoulder dump valve on my BC. It broke as we were starting to descend. There wasn’t much to see other than small fishes and some types of seaweed. We were following the marker rope and at some point, the current shifted. We drifted a little in an underwater current and kept going as it was planned. Coming back up, we had a few stages of decompression to do. On our way up, we crossed the current once again. Up to this point everything was going fine. Just as I was getting passed and out of the current, my feet got elevated just a tad too much. The consequence of this was bigger than anticipated. The air from the top of my dry suit found itself in the bottom part of the suit. Because of this, my two legs were now two lift bags and wanted as much as possible to bring me back up to the surface. My first reaction was to empty the air out of my vest and try to bring the air from my legs back up to the upper part of the suit. One problem, my shoulder dump valve cord was broken. Not being able to dump my air fast enough, I grabbed on to some rocks so I wouldn’t bust my decompression stage. No matter how hard I tried to bring my legs back down or to try and bring my knees to my chest, my calves kept getting cramps. I was finally able to get the air to the top part of the suit and dump the air of my BC from another valve. We got up to 20 feet for our last deco stage finally got out of the water after what seemed forever. Being inverted while on a deco stage is not a pleasant experience.
After getting out of the water, we had our usual debrief and planned for our next dive.
(Picture of entry/exit point taken off of google images)

In the hour and a half we were out to relax and get ready, we fixed the dump valve cord that had broken, and we cut the bottom part of a pair of old wool socks I had in my bag. The point of this was to put them over the suit and around my calves so the air could not expand there and create the lift effect once again. For the second dive, we did almost the same thing. We went down again and everything went fine. Coming up, we started our deco and so on. Finally, that dive went perfectly compared to the first one. The deco stages went well and a lot of lessons were learned. We got out, proceeded with the same after action drills, packed and went home. 

The drive home was long but it gave me the time to really analyze the dives, what went wrong, what I will do better next time and how I can fix the problems. I also took note of good things that happened. All in all, “incidents” like this are what make us grow as divers and permit us to learn how we react under these circumstances. The importance is to keep calm and remedy to the situation without busting the deco stages.

All being said, I would still suggest this place for all divers and anyone who likes to go camping. Ivy Lea is definitely on my Go to list for our next camping trips!


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