High tide was at 8:30pm this evening. Because we were diving L Street Beach, we were able to get into the back bay area about 45 minutes earlier. Typically with shore diving we have to carefully plan the dive times so we enter the water during the slack tide. This minimizes the current and gives us the best possible visibility in the water. Because the back bay off L Street is protected, we get away with entering the water on either the early or late side of the tide. The bad news is that there is really not that much in the way of sealife at L Street.
By entering the water around 7:45, we were able to get suited up in the daylight. When we came out of the water an hour later is was dark. We saw some fluke and a lot of crabs. There were blue claw crabs, spider crabs and hermit crabs. After awhile the crabs get annoying as they spread out their claws in defence to us.
What the L Street beach is really good for, and the primary reason for going back, is checkout dives. Practising different techniques, getting use to new gear, the L Street beach is perfect.
On this particular dive there were four of us in a group. If you want a good challenge, try communicating to three other people without the use of words or sounds and cover up your face to hide facial expressions. Basically you end up pointing around, hoping that the other guys catch on to what your signalling about. Then try to swim a straight line under water using a compass. Normally it is impossible to swim a straight line. You will either tend to swim to the left or right, ending up going in a circle. The only way to swim straight is to use and put your faith into the compass. While your following the compass path, your mind will play tricks on you, making you believe that your being pulled in the wrong direction.
Two of the divers kept pulling to the right. If it weren’t for the compass they would swim a 50 foot diameter circle underwater. One diver had a tendency to pull to the left. Underwater navigation is definitely an art that needs constant reinforcement!
On this dive, I used my dry suit again. Carl had changed out the air dump valve. It was definitely drier than before, but my shoulders and chest still ended up wet. The zipper checks out, so the only other thing it could be is the neck seal. I’m going to have Carl replace the neck and wrist seals with latex instead of neoprene. I think the neoprene is shot. Every time I use the dry suit, I’m getting better with my buoyancy. I dropped 3 lbs of lead this time. I went in with 31 lbs of lead on my waist and 8 lbs on my ankles. I think on my next dive I’ll try dropping 4 lbs of ankle weights.