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IMG_2419e.jpgLast sunday we visited Naturagart, which is a botanic garden in Ibbnburen. Inside the garden they have a very nice pond, in which one can dive. Supposedly it is the largest pond which uses foil. In the water they built quite some structures, like a temple and some tunnels. It has bit the feeling of an underwater themepark, but is nevertheless quite fun.

Too bad that the changing rooms, werent finished yet. Apperently the photo’s on the website are recent, from the building they started in february. So it is still a bit sandy….

When viewing the website, it indeed looks like a huge pool they built, in reality it looked a bit smaller. Nevertheless we managed to do a dive of 70 min in there and did not see everything. With a water temperature of 14C, it did get quite cold after an hour. They put quite some fish in there, some of which are acting like normal fish wheras other love to be cuddled.

The photos can be seen on the gallery page. The quality of the photos isnt as great as we hoped for, but since the use of a flash is not allowed this is the best we could do.

rescue.JPGThis morning Jessamijn and I played the role of near-dead/drowning/injured/panicked/unconscious diver (* cross off if not applicable). Xander from scubacenter had asked us already in Croatia if we would like to participate in this course, which of course we would love to. Nothing better than play the same annoying diver as we had on our own course πŸ˜› Just to make sure he called us yesterday and we set a time to be in vinkeveen. 8 a.m. on a sunday morning isnt one of my favourite diving hours, but nevertheless we arrived at 8.05 on the parking lot.

Here Xander showed us the scenario we were supposed to play today: 2 divers come up from 30 m, way to fast as diver 1 got entangled in his own SMB and got launched together with it. When both divers are at the surface they get sailed over by a boat. Diver 1 gets hit in the head and drops unconscious to the bottom, diver 2 has a severly broken arm and is REALLY wants to know where her buddy is. This sounds like a fun thing to play out πŸ˜€

The two rescue divers to be, should arrive at 8.30 which leaves us with quite some time to suit up and even do a little fun dive before all mishap occurs. After approximately 30 minutes of divin, we decide it’s time for the ‘accident’ to occur. I stay at the bottom at 5m while Jessamijn swims up and starts screaming and all out panick. When she gets noticed, all of a sudden her bouyancy is lost and the sinks rapidly. At the bottom we find eachother and wait for help to arrive. When help arrives Jessamijn can only yell about her arm and point at me, her unconscious buddy. The stress gets so much that I get brought to the surface, but the rescue divers forget about Jessamijn. Whilst I’m at the surface the rescue diver is shouting to his buddy that there is another victim. He fails to find Jessamijn so after 15 min she comes to the surface herself (as we decided upfront). I’m transported to shore whilst receiving mouth-to-mouth. Once on shore the CPR fully starts (next time please fake the chest compressions !) and after the first stress subsidied I’m adminstered oxygen. Meanwhile Jessamijn in completely freaking out about what has happened to me and loudly curses at annyone who dares to touch her arm. All-in-all a rather fun exercise.

After a short break we do some more exercises and then congratulate two new rescue divers. Finally the sun shines a bit so we take a well deserved lunch on the terras of ‘t Duikertje.

DIVE TIME: 33 min
MAX Depth: 11.2 m
AVerage Depth: 7 m

jesnite.JPGLast wednesday night we did a lovely night dive in our local lake, vinkeveen. Forgot all about this dive until Wouter called last night and asked if we would like to come. Of course we like to come ! So after a quick check of all the dive gear and the torches we were good to go. At around 20.00 it is dark already these days, so we entered the water at 20.13.

Right after we entered the water and swam out, we encounter a very large pike (~120 cm). It was probably getting ready to score some dinner. We did the usual tour at Vinkeveen, with the exception that we went shallower before reaching the wreck of the little botter. Near the platform at 6m there is a nice ledge where there are numerous holes and small crevasses in the peat. Here we found a crayfish, which humpped around a bit like Quasimodo as it had only 1 claw left.

After swimming a little further at first I thought I saw a snake, but it turned out the be a big fat white/gray eel. Never seen one of those before. The joy was only for a few seconds, cause after that it found a good hiding place under a tree trunk. From there we could only see its head.

After 35 min it is time to start our way out, cause the water is somewhat colder than expected (15 C). Mental note next time wear the winter gloves.
DIVE TIME: 41 min
MAX Depth: 10.3 m
AVerage Depth: 7.0 m

29/8 10.57

The second dive of our deep specialty.

This time we should descent to 40m. And since we are doing the specialty, this time we use air and not EAN32 to get a better idea on how nitrogen narcosysis feels. The little exercises to check narcosys kinda failed on the 1st dive as all of us were using EAN32 out of habit πŸ˜›

On this dive we make a descent with the wall as a reference point until a depth of 22m after that we have to swim out a bit and descent down to 40 something meters.

At 38m I decide that this is a good place to touch down. On the bottom it was at 43.7 a little deeper than expected. We compared the different depth gaiges: largest difference in our team of 4 was more than 1 m. After this we do the exercise to test nitrogen narcosys; fill to 9 (i.e. 2 fingers raised, should be replied with 7). Jessamijn is pretty narked. The whole exercise was very funny to her. I didnt have any problem at all with the exercise. In retrospect I have to admit that I had to think a fraction of a second longer with the adding to nine. Anyway after doing the summs it was pretty much time to head up, otherwise we will go into deco rather fast.

At 37 m Jessamijn thinks there is rock that is very interesting to be photographed, silly nark head :P. Gladly she does follow me up when I motion her to go up, cause no-deco time is ticking away.

At 22m finally the no-deco time starts to come up from the 1 minute we had when we left the bottom.
We swim along the wall and try to shoot some more pictures.
We end the dive with a hovering surface maker buoy deployment at 13m. Ascent to 5m and make our safety stop in the blue, how nice is it to hang/rest on the SMB-Reel.
When we surface we have some 5min to swim to the boat, the depth did eat our air resources a bit faster than expected.

DIVE TIME: 39 min
MAX Depth: 43.7 m
AVerage Depth: 17.3 m

29/8 15.11

2nd dive of the day and not really part of the deep dive specialty course although some skills will be exercised.
peltastis.jpg

The wrack of the Peltastis can be found from 8m of the tip of the mast down to 33m to the prop and the rutter which lie a little below to aft hull.
We went down the mooring line which ends at the aft of the ship and moved a little down the bowline to a depth of 25m.
Deeper than this we did not go, as the visibility was rather poor there. We circled around the port-side for some meters then we went up past the deck and enter the aft cargo hold and descended down. From the aft cargo hold there is a small swim-through to the front one, which we took. When emerging up a huge school of fishes was swimming about at the starboard side. We exited the cargo hold on the port side. On the bow deck we spotted a very nice purple/pink nudibranch, unfortunately the pictures are quite out-of-focus. We crossed over to the starboard side and swam a bit through the corridor. At the end there is a room with the stairs to the engine room, which we were not allowed to enter. The passage down seems rather narrow and steep. After this we went up the deck and entered the steering hut and swam through. After this it was time to start our ascent as my computer indicated 2 min into deco, with a total ascent time of 5 min. Xander’s computer is slightly more conservative and already indicated 5 min. deco time. By the time we reached 6m, the planned depth to do decompression and safety stop, I already lost all my deco. Xander’s computer still showed some deco, so we did and extended stop for 6min at 6m. Pretty hard to maintain depth without any reference and keep your eyes on three other people.

Glad we could exit the water because I only had 30 bars left.
DIVE TIME: 57 min
MAX Depth: 28.6 m
AVerage Depth: 17.8 m