Sunday April 11, 2010:
On Sunday I was scheduled to head out to Anacapa with some other DMC’s (Dive Master Candidates if I haven’t explained that one). We were leaving on the afternoon trip of the Raptor, a smaller dive vessel that lives in the Ventura Harbor. This boat is great, if you’re headed out to the island on a sunny afternoon in the middle of summer. However that Sunday threatened rain and a small craft advisory. I was in the middle of cleaning and packing for my upcoming Grand Canyon hike and not feeling like getting in the water or on a small boat with the not so great weather. However, my money had been paid so there was also no way I was going miss the trip. So I got my gear together, stuck my tongue out to the rain clouds and drove up to Ventura.
The folks coming off the morning boat when I arrived warned that it had been a bumpy trip back. I decided to risk anti-nausea medicine again with the decision that I was going to get seasick without it so if it made me nauseas then oh well I’d call it a draw, but if it actually worked then the battle was won. (I bring this up because I have a bad relationship with anti-nausea medicine not just seasickness medicine, the doctors prescribes it and says to take it if I feel nauseas and then I do and it always makes me feel worse and get sick) Anyways, another DMC, Morgan, had Bonine in little chewable tablets. I took one, and it was a success. (Bonine will become part of my regular boat gear from now on) I had only a twinging in my tummy as we neared the island, while several of the new Open Water students, who probably didn’t take any medication and were most likely new to boats in general, were extremely seasick… probably the first time I’ve ever seen someone literally green.
However in general we made it to the island in tact and ready to dive. Ron divided us up among him and his IDC students and Carlos (another instructor) and his open water students. I was assigned with Ron and the IDC class. It was similar to what we did in the pool, they were reviewing skill demonstration and in water instruction in the open water. There were four of us working with the IDC. On the first dive we were pretending to be a part of a Rescue Class doing panicked diver approaches under the instruction of one of the IDC students. After we met on the bottom for some skill review with the other student. That was all they needed to do and it was cold sitting still on the bottom so Ron released us to go swim and explore the dive site. On the second dive it was similar, the IDC’s had 2 skills each to go over, and we were split into two groups so each group was with one of the IDC students. We went over the skills, making sure to make the deliberate mistakes given to us by Ron. One of the skills was regulator recovery and my given mistake was to try and recover my reg on the wrong side. For the non-diver friends who check out my site every now and then let me explain. The regulator is what you breathe through, its attached to a hose that comes off your tank on the right side, so if it gets knocked from your mouth the easiest way to recover it is by leaning to the right and sweeping your arm back along your body and tank behind and around you in a big circle. In theory you will catch your regulator hose in your arm and be able to pull it in to your body. So you can understand how silly I felt leaning to the left and using my left arm to try and recover my reg. However the IDC student reacted properly and quickly, giving me his octo (spare regulator) and reminding me to use the right side. I then performed the skill again correctly for him. We went down the line with the rest of the skills then it was free time to dive again.
The site at Anacapa (Goldfish Bowl) had great varied terrain with rocky outcroppings, kelp and sandy patches. The water was cold, but the visibility was great. I didn’t take my camera down with me, because I didn’t want it to be a distraction while interning. Overall the day ended up being great and I really enjoyed diving with my fellow DMC’s we really are an awesome group. The ride back to shore wasn’t bad, especially since I slept through most of it, and as promised Ron signed off on a couple of my intern requirements which made the trip even more worthwhile!