Saturday, May 22, 2010

Just finished up InnerSpace 2010

I'm in the Atlanta airport on my way home from InnerSpace 2010.  We had a great time, and I had a fantastic time diving with my two sons.  We had spent a significant amount of time preparing for the week, working and drilling on our team diving procedures, and it paid off!  The week went smoothly with no problems and we finished off the week with a dive to 352 feet at Texas Hole.  Photos courtesy of Doug Ebersole.

It is amazingly peaceful to do a deep dive on the Cayman walls, especially when you and the rest of the team are in synch!  After nine days in a row of deep dives together, we really were working well together.  Our equipment configurations were working well and it was awesome exploring the incredibly beautiful vertical walls.

Thursday we dove the Carrie Lee, a wreck that sits in the sand on the edge of the wall in George Town with the bow sitting in about 280 feet.  We dove down to about 330 feet and then came back up the wall underneath the bow.  It was a very cool dive!  Very pretty looking up the wall and seeing the bow hanging over the edge.

On Wednesday, we had a really funny thing happen during one of the dives.  We were coming up the wall from quite deep and when we saw another diver on an Inspiration hunched over and very still on the wall at about 280 feet.  I watched him for a few seconds and when he wasn't moving, I became concerned and swam over to him to see what was going on.  I floated over the top of him and it appeared that the skin on the top of his head was loose and flowing back and forth in the slight current.  Obviously, this was quite concerning, and I couldn't figure out what on earth was going on.  I wiggled his arm to get his attention, and he looked up and he had a Halloween mask pulled over his head!  I certainly didn't see that coming!  Even on serious Trimix dives, divers are stilling having fun!

If you haven't been to InnerSpace before, it is definitely worth a try!  It's just plain fun hanging out with other CCR divers with similar interests all week!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One more day of InnerSpace 2010!

This week has been an incredible experience.  9 days of deep technical CCR dives and interesting seminars every night.  Sitting around between dives chewing the fat with some of the who's who in the industry has really been just a blast.  And to make it even more fun, I've been able to dive with both of my sons on each dive.

We have spent quite a bit of time this winter discussing and practicing our team diving skills and procedures, and I think the time has paid off.  Josh and Michael are already excellent divers and diving with them as a 3 man team has been a great experience.

The weather has been on again and off again raining then sunny, but we have not had any dive called due to weather.  Most of the dives have been between 300-330 feet, and we have really had a great chance to put the Hammerheads through the paces.  Haven't had a single problem with them.

Cayman is a great place with for this kind of stuff, and everyone in attendance has been very friendly and open for discussions about CCRs and tech diving in general.  It's been great to rub shoulders with some very experienced guys and listen to their thoughts on various things.  Dive Tech has done an amazing job  of keeping up with 64 CCR divers!  The logistics much just be overwhelming!

We dove today at a place called Hepp's wall and a dive site called "Funky Town".  We entered a tunner/cave/swim through at 180 and exited on the reef at 290 feet and kept going down the reef till 312.  Incredibly quite and beautiful and relaxing!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

InnerSpace in Grand Cayman

InnerSpace at Dive Tech and Cobalt Coast Resort started officially last night in Grand Cayman.  Joshua, Michael and I all arrived on Thursday afternoon after an all night red eye.  We weren't complaining however when we got off the plane and were greeted by warm breezes about 80 degrees and beautiful blue oceans!

We were picked up at the airport by the resort and about a half hour later were unloading at Cobalt Coast.  Dive Tech really does a wonderful job of putting on this event.  64 CCR divers plus staff this year.  All sorts of units here - Inspiration, Evolutions, Sentinels, Hammerheads, Titans, rEvos, Megs, Kiss, and Optimas.   They range from the newbies/freshly minted CCR divers to crusty old hands that have been around since the beginning of CCR diving!  They divide up the boats so that we have a recreational boat, a normoxic trimix boat and a deep trimix boat.  Of course the boys and I opted for the deep boat!

The first couple of days prior to the open of InnerSpace we did some shore dives as warm up.  First dive was a 180 footer, later that afternoon we did a 150 footer.  The next morning we did a 225 footer in the morning and a 60 footer in the afternoon.  Here in Grand Cayman there is a mini wall and then the big wall.  In between, depending on whether you are swimming from Cobalt or Light House, the distance swim between in 15-20 mins. each way, so you definitely get some exercise.

On the dive at Lighthouse reef yesterday we were cruising along at 225 feet when we saw a turtle come screaming up from the depth at 300 plus feet.  As it got about even with us, it got tangled in a fishing line wrapped around its head and front fin.  Fortunately, we were close enough to help cut it free and it was able to swim to the surface unscathed!

This morning the boats started up and we did a 250 foot dive this morning.  The group on the boat are all quite experienced divers with several CCR Advanced Trimix instructors and divers.  It was fun to not have to worry about anyone besides your individual team!  Nice and relaxing with incredible viz and nice and warm!  It is very quiet down there with just CCR divers on the wall.  I didn't personally see it but other members of the group saw a large hammerhead swim overhead.

Having a great time.  Hope to get the video camera out soon!