10-May-98, West Palm Beach - The Rampage

Dive #1 , My Dive # 114
A. Dive Location: Flower Garden
B. Conditions: CBS (Clear Blue Skies), 85 deg, outside air temp wind 20 kts from the west.
C. Dive Information: Water 1í seas, Not really itís normal Palm Beach Blue, 55í for 35 min, vis 30í (worst Iíve seen it at WPB) - but itís better than working. One good size bug (itís out of season), lot and lots of fish, the Breakers is a prettier reef, but this was a change from the Princess (Wreck of the Princess Ann). My dive buddy experienced some ear clear problems, but successfully made it to the bottom and being a new diver to WPB, rapidly became accustom to the drift dive!

Dive #2 , My Dive # 115
A. Dive Location: Breakers
B. Conditions: C BS, 85 deg, wind still strong from the west.
C. Dive Information: Well this was one of the shortest Breakers Dives Iíve had. Our numbers were 58í for 8 min, bottom temp 76, vis 30í! What happened? Well, we did a slow descent to ear-clear on the way down. Well, I (really we - both of us) lost track of the dive buoy line (Vis was only about 30í). We did get to the bottom and I decided to drift around for a few minutes, to show the new novice WPB dive partner the prettiest reef in the area (Breakers). After 5 min, we went back up and decided to stay on the boat due to ear clearing problems. Was a short dive, but it was a great dive! Lots of fish, we did see one big ledge, lots of colors.

Dive Lessons Learned:
1) Take Sea-Sick whatever night before.
2) Take Sudafed - Night Before, Morning on waking, and at the dive boat.
3) Leave house at 5:15 am for 8 am boat.
4) Donít forget weight belt
5) Bring Pillow for Co-Pilot to sleep on the way down!
6) Stop at McDonalds for 15 min breakfast.
7) At boat, check all equipment prior boat leaving the dock. Verify air pressure and write it down (keep track of start and finish air pressure, depth and time of dive).
8) Start suiting up as boat leave dock, solve all problems early (hair in mask, etc). Make sure your comfortable with where everything is on your BC et al.
9) On wreck dives, gloves MUST be worn, on drift dives they can be in your BC.
10) On wreck dives, go down to the bottom, if there is any current, pull yourself along the wreck using either hand rails (or the equivalent) or lay flat on the deck of the wreck and walt with our hands to pull yourself along. Do Not attempt to swim several feet above the wreck into the current - youíll use up all our air real fast.
11) On wreck dives ALWAYS swim INTO the current for the 1st part of the dive, for the return our then will be going with the current. Pre-arrange, prior to going into the water, which way you will swim at the bottom: Drift Dive (go with the current), Go against the current 1st the with it, etc. There are reasons for each approach.
12) Double check each otherís equipment before leaving our dive seat location.
13) Descend SLOW, look at each other, pre-set hand signals for ear problems. If you have an ear ache, go up a few feet. When it clears go back down. If it does not clear go back to the surface and cancel the dive.
14) If you have long hair, bring band to tie hair back.
15) Donít forget hood for long hair.
16) At end of dive (1000 lbs or time up), YOU must put your depth gauge in your hand and watch it for the rest of the ascent. Let air out of your BC, kick up slow. If you donít go up, put a little air back into your BC, but watch your ascent rate!
17) Always take a 3 minute decompress at 15í
18) While ascending from the bottom, while at 15í and when going to the top, be aware of all boat engine sounds - you donít want to come up under a boatís prop - the boat will win. While going up, look up, turn in 360 degree circles to watch the surface for boats.

Last Updated: 10-July-2002

The Irishman Software's, West Melbourne, Florida
Irishman@SpryNet.Com - http://www.IrishmanSoftware.com/