Trouble in the deep, lessons learned. A beautiful day for diving! Sunshine, temps in the seventys, diving in the discharge of a nuclear power plant.
Being a nuclear power plant security is tight. I imagine the guy in this tower is holding a M16
The first dive everything was perfect, the amont of wieght I had was perfect, neutral buoyancy was achieved easily. I was able to slow down my breathing, to conserve my air.
The first time I hit the current, it startled me. Sending me for a flip but not too bad. We swam mostly in the warm current but a few times we got into a very cold current. I was thankful for the wetsuit, still a little a hoody may be in order for these lake dives. We seen lots of fish, a few decent smallmouths, a very large catfish. Even more lost lures from the fishermen trying to catch them!
When we surfaced we realized the current had carried us much further than we were planning on. This made for a very long swim as we had to swim across the current to the other side of the cove, to catch a current heading back to boat. Still it was a great dive!
After thirty minutes or so resting while the divemaster did some certification dives with some others we were back in water.
This time our objective was to swim in moderate current up to the side of the discharge port a grated rectangular concrete pipe that seems to be a about twenty foot across and about 8 foot high. A rope has been anchored in place to crawl on to keep from be launched prematurely. You hold on tight and hand over hand pull youself to the middle. Looking into this gate wrinkles flapping in the current like a bulldog in a convertible doing 90MPH then in 3-2-1 you let go tumbling as you are launched one hundred feet away before you slow down catching your bearing.
We explore a bit more before trying again. This is when the trouble starts. As I stare into the grate ears flapping I take a breath, A lot of water mixed with that I thought. I try again, even more water, I try remember my training but nothing comes to mind. I look over to Mike the divemaster trying to communicate what is happening. I finally have to let go of the rope. As I tumble I look over at Mike one of is tumbles has knocked his weight belt off as he goes after it. Elbows and knees and ankles from other divers swirl and collide. We make it away and slow down some.
Mike tries to get me to desend, out of the current but my mouth piece is still delivering half water, half air. Shaken with a little panic setting in I decide I must ascend. I still am getting enough air not to require a rapid ascent. I take my time, my ears appreciated this. The blue sky was a welcome sight when I broke the surface gasping for air. Soon I was back on the boat enjoying the sun. I was close to the end of the dive so I did not lose much dive time.
What went wrong? Apparently the mouth piece or second stage has a valve that flaps open when you breath out and mine had got twisted from the force of the current. I could have stuck my finger in it to reseat it.
On the ride home analyzing the event, the most important thing I could have done differently? Utilized my octopus (alternate air source) in my panic it did not enter my mind. Hopefully I can learn from this and be a better diver for it.
All in all a great day in the waterI I can not wait to get to the keys and see the reefs!