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Posted: 8/26/2016 1:21:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2017 9:48:37 PM EDT by Marie]
Report from first pool session: I was going to do the 300 meter swim, but I've never snorkeled before and I couldn't get comfortable doing it. I ended up doing the 200 meter, mostly on my back, with the instructor next to me (I think he was hoping I wouldn't drown!). I had some issues getting comfortable under water again, but once I did, I was pretty okay. I don't really like swimming in the deep end of pools, but I'm fine underwater. Much better underwater. Got down to the bottom of the deep end and I was just sitting there chilling out. Once I got the mask clearing thing down, although it took me at least one try, I was fine. Pool was danged cold even though I had a long sleeve t-shirt and leggings over my bathing suit. I am beat. This is quite character building for me. That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

It was like I had this hump I had to get over. I also had weighting issues. The shop only gave me 8 lbs with my rental gear. I was having issues descending so the instructor gave me 2 more lbs on one side. Saturday we're going to be in dry suits, so who knows how that will affect my weighting. I'm getting a BP/W. I was emailing with Mike from DRIS today (my LDS) and he said to get it before Saturday's pool session, so I could train with it in the pool, so they're webbing it for me tomorrow and they'll help me adjust it on Saturday morning when we get our dry suits at the shop (and air refills) before the full day in the pool. Hopefully the steel plate on the BP/W will help with my weighting issues.

Once I got past the couple of issues, I was fine and having fun. I did a Discover class two weeks ago and I did fine, but then it took me about 20 minutes to get comfortable underwater. We stayed 5' or shallower then.

I made one big mistake when we were ascending from the bottom of the deep end - I hit the inflator button on my BCD and up I went. Now I know what they mean by "rapid ascents"! Better for this to have happened in the pool than on a real dive.

Instructor is perhaps a bit older than I am (I'm 47) and the other students were a fit couple in their late 20s/early 30s and a fit guy in his 40s. Let's just say the most active I am is on the shooting range. So it was quite the contrast. The woman half of the couple was having big issues with the cold water. She had on a long-sleeve t-shirt and leggings over her bathing suit and was really shivering.

I'll report back on Saturday's full day in the pool.

I'm of the opinion that anyone who thinks they might want to go for their cert really needs to do the 2 hour Discover class before they plop down the $$ for the OW class. I still had my issues, but I was able to get my equipment set up by myself with just one question to the instructor
Link Posted: 8/26/2016 4:10:48 AM EDT
Just out of curosity how much $$$ does an open water class cost now? I did mine in '82 and I think it was around $110.
It is a lot of fun once you get used to it - outside of the pool is where you will loose yourself because of everything you can see/expierience from a completely foriegn perspective.

The dry suit will keep you warm, but at increased bouancy.
ENJOY the adventure!!
Link Posted: 8/26/2016 4:50:42 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By jpk33:
Just out of curosity how much $$$ does an open water class cost now? I did mine in '82 and I think it was around $110.
ENJOY the adventure!!
View Quote


$400 where I live.
Link Posted: 8/26/2016 8:23:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Marie:
Report from first pool session: I was going to do the 300 meter swim, but I've never snorkeled before and I couldn't get comfortable doing it. I ended up doing the 200 meter, mostly on my back, with the instructor next to me (I think he was hoping I wouldn't drown!). I had some issues getting comfortable under water again, but once I did, I was pretty okay. I don't really like swimming in the deep end of pools, but I'm fine underwater. Much better underwater. Got down to the bottom of the deep end and I was just sitting there chilling out. Once I got the mask clearing thing down, although it took me at least one try, I was fine. Pool was danged cold even though I had a long sleeve t-shirt and leggings over my bathing suit. I am beat. This is quite character building for me. That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Ditch the cloth coverings- they don't do anything to provide warmth unless they're merino wool and even then it's minimal. Get a dive skin instead.

It was like I had this hump I had to get over. I also had weighting issues. The shop only gave me 8 lbs with my rental gear. I was having issues descending so the instructor gave me 2 more lbs on one side. Saturday we're going to be in dry suits, so who knows how that will affect my weighting. I'm getting a BP/W. I was emailing with Mike from DRIS today (my LDS) and he said to get it before Saturday's pool session, so I could train with it in the pool, so they're webbing it for me tomorrow and they'll help me adjust it on Saturday morning when we get our dry suits at the shop (and air refills) before the full day in the pool. Hopefully the steel plate on the BP/W will help with my weighting issues. I'd bet you're gonna be pretty close to the same with the drysuit and backplate.

Once I got past the couple of issues, I was fine and having fun. I did a Discover class two weeks ago and I did fine, but then it took me about 20 minutes to get comfortable underwater. We stayed 5' or shallower then.

I made one big mistake when we were ascending from the bottom of the deep end - I hit the inflator button on my BCD and up I went. Now I know what they mean by "rapid ascents"! Better for this to have happened in the pool than on a real dive. Yeah- pressing the inflator can get pretty interesting, but there are some times when it is necessary. Keep the inflator in your hand so you can modulate the air volume in your BC as needed to maintain 60 fpm or less ascent rate.

Instructor is perhaps a bit older than I am (I'm 47) and the other students were a fit couple in their late 20s/early 30s and a fit guy in his 40s. Let's just say the most active I am is on the shooting range. So it was quite the contrast. The woman half of the couple was having big issues with the cold water. She had on a long-sleeve t-shirt and leggings over her bathing suit and was really shivering. Like above- ditch the cloth and get a dive skin

I'll report back on Saturday's full day in the pool.

I'm of the opinion that anyone who thinks they might want to go for their cert really needs to do the 2 hour Discover class before they plop down the $$ for the OW class. Good advice. I still had my issues, but I was able to get my equipment set up by myself with just one question to the instructor
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Link Posted: 8/26/2016 9:34:56 AM EDT
I always try to get students into wetsuits even in the pool. You get cold and it makes it that much more challenging. I myself wear a thin 2mm wetsuit with long sleeves but short legs and it is perfect for the pool or summer dives.

But good work OP, just keep at it and one day soon all the challenges will be a breeze.
Link Posted: 8/26/2016 11:09:05 PM EDT
Got my BP/W tonight. DRIS had it all assembled for me and spent an hour helping me get it adjusted correctly. I'll be using it in the pool tomorrow.

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Link Posted: 8/27/2016 7:38:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2016 9:01:41 AM EDT by jerrwhy01]
My wife had some "relaxation" issues when she started diving. It would take her a few minutes to calm down. Her solution is to stay on the surface for a couple of minutes and breathe from the regulator. After a couple of minutes of that she's fine. You may want to think about trying something like that and see if it helps.
Link Posted: 8/27/2016 8:10:58 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By jerrwhy01:
My wife had some "relaxation" issues when she started diving. It would take her a few minutes to calm down. Her solution is to stay on the surface for a couple of minuted and breathe from the regulator. After a couple of minutes of that she's fine. You may want to think about trying something like that and see if it helps.
View Quote



That's a good idea. Thanks for passing it along.

I just woke up and realized that I've added one extra thing to removing/donning BCD underwater today - the crotch strap on my BP/W. Also, the end of the waist belt that threads into the quick release buckle is curled (from being the inner end of the roll of webbing) and difficult to thread through the buckle. LDS suggested cutting off a wee bit and then burning the end, so I can remove some of the curling. Going to unpack my gear and do that now before I head out to the pool.

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Link Posted: 8/27/2016 8:40:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2016 8:54:26 AM EDT by Marie]
For those saying get a dive skin or wet suit, ain't gonna happen. Tried to fit into what the shop actually had in stock. None fit me. Same issue I had with dry suits. I don't fit into stock sizes. There's a reason why I ordered a custom dry suit. A bunch of women on Scuba Board reported the same issues and had to custom for either dry or wet suits.

Another reason I got the BP/W now is because of fit. I felt smushed in the jacket BCDs and they didn't seem to fit properly. BP/W fits me great. I've heard them called the AR of the diving world since they're so modular, and they really are!

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Link Posted: 8/27/2016 5:33:50 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By FB41:

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Originally Posted By FB41:
Originally Posted By Marie:
Report from first pool session: I was going to do the 300 meter swim, but I've never snorkeled before and I couldn't get comfortable doing it. I ended up doing the 200 meter, mostly on my back, with the instructor next to me (I think he was hoping I wouldn't drown!). I had some issues getting comfortable under water again, but once I did, I was pretty okay. I don't really like swimming in the deep end of pools, but I'm fine underwater. Much better underwater. Got down to the bottom of the deep end and I was just sitting there chilling out. Once I got the mask clearing thing down, although it took me at least one try, I was fine. Pool was danged cold even though I had a long sleeve t-shirt and leggings over my bathing suit. I am beat. This is quite character building for me. That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Ditch the cloth coverings- they don't do anything to provide warmth unless they're merino wool and even then it's minimal. Get a dive skin instead.

It was like I had this hump I had to get over. I also had weighting issues. The shop only gave me 8 lbs with my rental gear. I was having issues descending so the instructor gave me 2 more lbs on one side. Saturday we're going to be in dry suits, so who knows how that will affect my weighting. I'm getting a BP/W. I was emailing with Mike from DRIS today (my LDS) and he said to get it before Saturday's pool session, so I could train with it in the pool, so they're webbing it for me tomorrow and they'll help me adjust it on Saturday morning when we get our dry suits at the shop (and air refills) before the full day in the pool. Hopefully the steel plate on the BP/W will help with my weighting issues. I'd bet you're gonna be pretty close to the same with the drysuit and backplate.

Once I got past the couple of issues, I was fine and having fun. I did a Discover class two weeks ago and I did fine, but then it took me about 20 minutes to get comfortable underwater. We stayed 5' or shallower then.

I made one big mistake when we were ascending from the bottom of the deep end - I hit the inflator button on my BCD and up I went. Now I know what they mean by "rapid ascents"! Better for this to have happened in the pool than on a real dive. Yeah- pressing the inflator can get pretty interesting, but there are some times when it is necessary. Keep the inflator in your hand so you can modulate the air volume in your BC as needed to maintain 60 fpm or less ascent rate.

Instructor is perhaps a bit older than I am (I'm 47) and the other students were a fit couple in their late 20s/early 30s and a fit guy in his 40s. Let's just say the most active I am is on the shooting range. So it was quite the contrast. The woman half of the couple was having big issues with the cold water. She had on a long-sleeve t-shirt and leggings over her bathing suit and was really shivering. Like above- ditch the cloth and get a dive skin

I'll report back on Saturday's full day in the pool.

I'm of the opinion that anyone who thinks they might want to go for their cert really needs to do the 2 hour Discover class before they plop down the $$ for the OW class. Good advice. I still had my issues, but I was able to get my equipment set up by myself with just one question to the instructor




I watch all of my students swim from the deck. If I need to be in the water, it's because someone is drowning. I tell stupid jokes during the tread water portion. Two men walk into a bar, the third one ducks.

10% of your body weight to start for lead. More with the dry suit. I never dive where I needed more than a 3mm. Instructor should have asked what weight you had and how much you weigh. I'm never shy about it, discreet, but never shy. It also helps that I have a wedding ring and blue toe nails (daughter paints them)

How many people are in the class? Some people need individual attention and you can't get that in a typical Scuba class setting. You are dropping a lot of coin on gear, maybe consider private lessons if you are not comfortable in the water on the next pool session. I don't typically recommend discover scuba. I explain that a private course would cost the same as paying for discover and ow cert.

Normal clothing will not help in the water to keep you warm. A felt lined skin will help a little, but wetsuit/drysuit are your best options. Remember 25X more heat loss in the water than in the air. You can get hypothermic in 80degree water easily.

Instructor should also give plenty of free swim time to use all of the skills and gear. I try to give 20-30 minutes for each of the pool sessions.
Link Posted: 8/27/2016 8:49:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2016 8:52:40 PM EDT by Marie]
There were 4 people in Thursday night's pool session. 3 today with a guy/gal instructor team who are very good.

I had absolutely no issues with being uncomfortable in the water today. I got over whatever "block" I had. Did very well today. Had some issues with manual BCD inflation so the gal instructor worked with me a bit more solo with it and I got it. The instructors are shooters, too, and we had a very nice gun chat at lunch. We may go shooting.

We did the dry suits for the last hour or so. Very different experience being in the water yet being warm and dry. For the other 5 hours in the water, the gal instructor loaned me a rash guard shirt. Worked well enough to give me a bit of warmth. It would have been good to have the leggings again as I tore my left knee open again (I'd scraped it badly during the Discover class) and my right knee has a bunch of "bottom of the pool" burn - bottom of the pool has a very gravelly surface to it.

I had no issues with the dry suit skills of coming out of a feet first ascent by both kicking strongly out of it or doing the tuck and roll.

I really liked the BP/W in the pool. Much more comfortable. Had no issue with the crotch strap when removing and donning BCD at the bottom of the deep end. I did have to learn to lean back and tread water with my legs to be stable at the surface.

I had to be weighted with 10 pounds on each side, plus the 6 lbs of the back plate, when in the dry suit. I had a thick fleece undergarment on. I'm naturally buoyant. I had a hard time descending otherwise.

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Link Posted: 8/27/2016 9:00:46 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Marie:
There were 4 people in Thursday night's pool session. 3 today with a guy/gal instructor team who are very good.

I had absolutely no issues with being uncomfortable in the water today. I got over whatever "block" I had. Did very well today. Had some issues with manual BCD inflation so the gal instructor worked with me a bit more solo with it and I got it. The instructors are shooters, too, and we had a very nice gun chat at lunch. We may go shooting.

We did the dry suits for the last hour or so. Very different experience being in the water yet being warm and dry. For the other 5 hours in the water, the gal instructor loaned me a rash guard shirt. Worked well enough to give me a bit of warmth. It would have been good to have the leggings again as I tore my left knee open again (I'd scraped it badly during the Discover class) and my right knee has a bunch of "bottom of the pool" burn - bottom of the pool has a very gravelly surface to it.

I had no issues with the dry suit skills of coming out of a feet first ascent by both kicking strongly out of it or doing the tuck and roll.

I really liked the BP/W in the pool. Much more comfortable. Had no issue with the crotch strap when removing and donning BCD at the bottom of the deep end. I did have to learn to lean back and tread water with my legs to be stable at the surface.

I had to be weighted with 10 pounds on each side, plus the 6 lbs of the back plate, when in the dry suit. I had a thick fleece undergarment on. I'm naturally buoyant. I had a hard time descending otherwise.

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Glad it went well for you. From the friends I have that dive cold water 26lbs is average. When you do get certified, make sure you come down south and enjoy clear water and crap tons of aquatic life.
Link Posted: 8/27/2016 9:09:27 PM EDT
TH, I am almost definitely going to take you up on your offer to dive with me this winter. Check out dives are Sept 17 and 18 at our local quarry about 1.5 hours away. I found out today I'll need 5 tanks for that weekend - 3 check out dives Saturday, 1 Sunday plus additional for dry suit cert.

I am so utterly exhausted that I couldn't be bothered to get changed after we got out of the pool. Put my top and jeans over my damp bathing suit and drove an hour home that way. I'm in a hot bath right now for my very sore muscles. I took 1600 mg of Motrin this morning as I was still very sore from the 200 meter swim on Thursday. I hobbled around the office yesterday. My sciatica is hurting right now even those the exercise was good for it. Once I get out of the tub, I have to rinse all my gear off and put it over a drying rack in my tub to dry (live in a small condo with no garage, basement, or patio space).

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Link Posted: 8/27/2016 9:22:28 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Marie:
TH, I am almost definitely going to take you up on your offer to dive with me this winter. Check out dives are Sept 17 and 18 at our local quarry about 1.5 hours away. I found out today I'll need 5 tanks for that weekend - 3 check out dives Saturday, 1 Sunday plus additional for dry suit cert.

I am so utterly exhausted that I couldn't be bothered to get changed after we got out of the pool. Put my top and jeans over my damp bathing suit and drove an hour home that way. I'm in a hot bath right now for my very sore muscles. I took 1600 mg of Motrin this morning as I was still very sore from the 200 meter swim on Thursday. I hobbled around the office yesterday. My sciatica is hurting right now even those the exercise was good for it. Once I get out of the tub, I have to rinse all my gear off and put it over a drying rack in my tub to dry (live in a small condo with no garage, basement, or patio space).

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I tell all my students after a dive hydrate, then it will be a fight for food or sleep. Heck I never know which will win with me. Sometimes food wins, sometimes it's sleep.
Link Posted: 8/28/2016 2:25:18 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By TailHunter:

10% of your body weight to start for lead. More with the dry suit. I never dive where I needed more than a 3mm. Instructor should have asked what weight you had and how much you weigh. I'm never shy about it, discreet, but never shy. It also helps that I have a wedding ring and blue toe nails (daughter paints them)

How many people are in the class? Some people need individual attention and you can't get that in a typical Scuba class setting. You are dropping a lot of coin on gear, maybe consider private lessons if you are not comfortable in the water on the next pool session. I don't typically recommend discover scuba. I explain that a private course would cost the same as paying for discover and ow cert.

Normal clothing will not help in the water to keep you warm. A felt lined skin will help a little, but wetsuit/drysuit are your best options. Remember 25X more heat loss in the water than in the air. You can get hypothermic in 80degree water easily.

Instructor should also give plenty of free swim time to use all of the skills and gear. I try to give 20-30 minutes for each of the pool sessions.
View Quote


There were 4 people in the class on Thursday night with 1 instructor. Due to that instructor doing Chicago Triathlon today, we had a guy/gal instructor team who were excellent. I loved them. We had 3 people in today's class.

They had asked the body weight question. However, 10% turned out to be too much when I was just in a bathing suit.
Link Posted: 8/28/2016 9:10:19 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By jpk33:
Just out of curosity how much $$$ does an open water class cost now? I did mine in '82 and I think it was around $110.
It is a lot of fun once you get used to it - outside of the pool is where you will loose yourself because of everything you can see/expierience from a completely foriegn perspective.

The dry suit will keep you warm, but at increased bouancy.
ENJOY the adventure!!
View Quote


Mine was about $500 + $75 for the dry suit specialty (1/2 price since I was doing it as part of open water).

I'm planning on diving Thunder Bay off Alpena, MI in Lake Huron next summer. Lots of wrecks in 30' or shallower. I was a newspaper reporter in Alpena in 1991-92 and I remember they were still finding wrecks then.

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Link Posted: 8/28/2016 9:28:38 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By TailHunter:

I tell all my students after a dive hydrate, then it will be a fight for food or sleep. Heck I never know which will win with me. Sometimes food wins, sometimes it's sleep.
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Even though I was exhausted, I was too wound up from class to sleep until about 2 am. Ended up taking a nap this afternoon.
Link Posted: 8/29/2016 12:46:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/29/2016 12:46:32 AM EDT by floridahunter07]
I usually have the same problem after I go diving - which really sucks because I'm typically the one that gets stuck driving to the site and we never dive anywhere less than 60-90 minutes each way. I went and did some cave diving yesterday about 2 1/2 hours away and the four people that I was supposed to go diving with today at a different site about 45 minutes away all bailed... I ended up sleeping almost nine hours last night and took my time packing up, taking a shower, and leaving to come home today from the cabin I was staying in. Was kinda nice to be able to take my time and not be exhausted when I got home from being in the water all day plus a two hour drive.

The fact that I completely cut fast food out of my diet a month ago is not helping the "food or sleep" fight on the way home... lol
Link Posted: 8/31/2016 9:42:51 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Marie:

I'm planning on diving Thunder Bay off Alpena, MI in Lake Huron next summer. Lots of wrecks in 30' or shallower. I was a newspaper reporter in Alpena in 1991-92 and I remember they were still finding wrecks then.

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
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The dry suit will serve you well (especially if you dive the Great Lakes).
Lots of wrecks along the So Shore of Lake Michigan but most are in 50'-80'. Zebra mussels have really cleaned up the visibility over the last 30 years. I remember 10' being considered "good" visibility
Enjoy your experience!
Link Posted: 8/31/2016 9:58:24 AM EDT
When I ordered my dry suit, the shop gave me a free trip on one of their Lake Michigan charters (DRIS runs two dive boats on Lake Michigan). But I think I'll have to wait until the spring, as the lake starts getting really rough later in the year.

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Link Posted: 8/31/2016 2:58:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Marie:
When I ordered my dry suit, the shop gave me a free trip on one of their Lake Michigan charters (DRIS runs two dive boats on Lake Michigan). But I think I'll have to wait until the spring, as the lake starts getting really rough later in the year.

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You'll always run the risk of rough water on the lakes, it is what it is. However, this time of year the water is at it's warmest so you'd have that going for you.
Link Posted: 8/31/2016 3:10:25 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By jerrwhy01:


You'll always run the risk of rough water on the lakes, it is what it is. However, this time of year the water is at it's warmest so you'd have that going for you.
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Originally Posted By jerrwhy01:
Originally Posted By Marie:
When I ordered my dry suit, the shop gave me a free trip on one of their Lake Michigan charters (DRIS runs two dive boats on Lake Michigan). But I think I'll have to wait until the spring, as the lake starts getting really rough later in the year.

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You'll always run the risk of rough water on the lakes, it is what it is. However, this time of year the water is at it's warmest so you'd have that going for you.


I'm not going to be certified until mid-Sept. Not sure if that would be too late to get out on the lake.


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Link Posted: 8/31/2016 3:20:29 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Marie:


I'm not going to be certified until mid-Sept. Not sure if that would be too late to get out on the lake.


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Originally Posted By Marie:
Originally Posted By jerrwhy01:
Originally Posted By Marie:
When I ordered my dry suit, the shop gave me a free trip on one of their Lake Michigan charters (DRIS runs two dive boats on Lake Michigan). But I think I'll have to wait until the spring, as the lake starts getting really rough later in the year.

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You'll always run the risk of rough water on the lakes, it is what it is. However, this time of year the water is at it's warmest so you'd have that going for you.


I'm not going to be certified until mid-Sept. Not sure if that would be too late to get out on the lake.


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When I lived there I'd dive until there was ice which was usually after Thanksgiving. Other than that weather usually dictated what we did. That's the nice thing about diving dry, it really extends your diving range.
Link Posted: 8/31/2016 3:34:17 PM EDT
Actually, aside from some rough days (wind driven), there are some really nice days through the end of September. You really want to catch the days BEFORE the lake turns over.

I know the dive boat that runs out of the Hammond marina is usually busy through mid-October.

Check out these - the Material Service Barge is the first one I ever dove.
http://www.in.gov/dnr/lakemich/8488.htm#material-service


Link Posted: 9/10/2016 4:09:53 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By jpk33:
Actually, aside from some rough days (wind driven), there are some really nice days through the end of September. You really want to catch the days BEFORE the lake turns over.

I know the dive boat that runs out of the Hammond marina is usually busy through mid-October.

Check out these - the Material Service Barge is the first one I ever dove.
http://www.in.gov/dnr/lakemich/8488.htm#material-service


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I'm now definitely looking at going out before the end of the season now, either Sept 25 or the weekend after. The Material Service Barge is one of the good wrecks for newbies.
Link Posted: 9/10/2016 4:21:33 AM EDT
OW dives are next weekend. The quarry is about 1.5 from me, but we're asked to be there at 7:30 (they open at 8). I want to make sure I get enough rest without having to be up at the crack of dawn, so I got a hotel nearby for both Friday and Saturday nights.

Planning on diving the quarry on the 24th (got teamed up with someone local from Scuba Board) and getting out on Lake Michigan a week or two after. The local quarry is open until the end of October, so I'm going to dive as often as I can by the end of the season.
Link Posted: 9/17/2016 7:46:38 AM EDT
Today is D Day! 3 OW dives today, 1 OW dive tomorrow plus 1 dive for dry suit specialty.

Got my new dry suit yesterday. Fits great. Neither neck nor wrist seals needed to be trimmed at all.

I'll try to report back tonight after Day 1.

:)

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Link Posted: 9/17/2016 9:08:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2016 9:42:27 PM EDT by Marie]
Today was not a good day. I slept badly last night and got to the quarry just in time today. I just could not get comfortable in the water. I had a horribly difficult time with the snorkel/regulator switch skill, even though I'd done it fine in the pool. Kept taking too deep a first breath on the snorkel and getting water in me. Not good. Finally got it, but what a struggle.

Viz was very bad, about arms length. I could not get comfortable in the water, breathing very fast. Descending to the training platform with my group (1 instructor to 3 students, subset of larger group) was not happening. Unsure what happened, but I panicked, spit out my reg, and went up. I was only about 3 feet under. Instructor had me take my gear off and take a break while Dive 1 was done. She worked with me one on one after, but I was just not comfortable and thumbed the dives. I was probably overweighted a bit - 20 lbs of lead with 6 lb backplate. I wasn't wearing fleece undergarment with my drysuit today as it was so humid. Just had on UnderArmour leggings and a workout t-shirt. The weight was probably appropriate for the fleece undergarment. Anyway, when I deflated my wing on descent, I dropped quickly, even while holding the line. We could have taken weight off then, but I was just done.

Getting back on the horse tomorrow, going one on one with a different instructor I had worked with in the pool. We plan on doing Dives 1-3 tomorrow and then I'll come back weekend after next for Dive 4 and dry suit dive.

New drysuit had nothing to do with my issues today. It got christened, didn't leak, and worked just fine. I actually put no air in it at all. We're going to take 2 lbs of each side tomorrow and see how that does. No rain forecast for tonight, so viz should be better tomorrow, plus fewer divers in the afternoon. It was a zoo today.

ETA: instructor said I have a stick to it-tiveness and I'll make a good diver since I'm motivated, I just need to get over whatever hurdles in my brain. She gave me a lot of credit for trying multiple times today and knowing when to thumb the dive when I just couldn't do it.

I tend to be very hard on myself and she had to tell me to let up!

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Link Posted: 9/17/2016 9:38:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2016 9:39:20 PM EDT by Marie]
Needless to say, any plans to do Lake Michigan this year are not going to happen. I'll save that for next season. Once I get certified, I'll do the quarry until the end of October. I'm planning on maybe once a month pool sessions over the winter to keep in practice and work on skills. The woman instructor I like so much told me I can share the pool with her classes as long as it's a small class. Just have to give her a call.

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Link Posted: 9/17/2016 9:39:56 PM EDT
Low viz really throws some people off. My first open water dive, we all descended about 5 feet and one guy blows back to the top. We all ascend and see him on his back headed for shore. "Fuck that" was his exact words. We probably had 3-4 foot visibility that day. He was top of the skill set in the pool.

I know you have heard it 100 times already - but slow down, relax, and breath. Put your reg in at the surface and breath for a minute. Next put your face down in the water and keep breathing for another minute. Try to just get your head under water and be neutral.

Every first time diver I have been with required extra weight for their first several dives. You can eliminate weight once you become more comfortable in the water, and learn to control your breathing better.

Stay with it and good luck!

Link Posted: 9/18/2016 8:14:18 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By IceDiver:
Low viz really throws some people off. My first open water dive, we all descended about 5 feet and one guy blows back to the top. We all ascend and see him on his back headed for shore. "Fuck that" was his exact words. We probably had 3-4 foot visibility that day. He was top of the skill set in the pool.

I know you have heard it 100 times already - but slow down, relax, and breath. Put your reg in at the surface and breath for a minute. Next put your face down in the water and keep breathing for another minute. Try to just get your head under water and be neutral.

Every first time diver I have been with required extra weight for their first several dives. You can eliminate weight once you become more comfortable in the water, and learn to control your breathing better.

Stay with it and good luck!

View Quote


OK, now that is funny as all get out! Gave me a much needed laugh!

I got a lot of sleep last night and I feel much better than I did yesterday. I'll let you know how today goes.

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Link Posted: 9/18/2016 9:35:26 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Marie:
Today was not a good day. I slept badly last night and got to the quarry just in time today. I just could not get comfortable in the water. I had a horribly difficult time with the snorkel/regulator switch skill, even though I'd done it fine in the pool. Kept taking too deep a first breath on the snorkel and getting water in me. Not good. Finally got it, but what a struggle.

Viz was very bad, about arms length. I could not get comfortable in the water, breathing very fast. Descending to the training platform with my group (1 instructor to 3 students, subset of larger group) was not happening. Unsure what happened, but I panicked, spit out my reg, and went up. I was only about 3 feet under. Instructor had me take my gear off and take a break while Dive 1 was done. She worked with me one on one after, but I was just not comfortable and thumbed the dives. I was probably overweighted a bit - 20 lbs of lead with 6 lb backplate. I wasn't wearing fleece undergarment with my drysuit today as it was so humid. Just had on UnderArmour leggings and a workout t-shirt. The weight was probably appropriate for the fleece undergarment. Anyway, when I deflated my wing on descent, I dropped quickly, even while holding the line. We could have taken weight off then, but I was just done.

Getting back on the horse tomorrow, going one on one with a different instructor I had worked with in the pool. We plan on doing Dives 1-3 tomorrow and then I'll come back weekend after next for Dive 4 and dry suit dive.

New drysuit had nothing to do with my issues today. It got christened, didn't leak, and worked just fine. I actually put no air in it at all. We're going to take 2 lbs of each side tomorrow and see how that does. No rain forecast for tonight, so viz should be better tomorrow, plus fewer divers in the afternoon. It was a zoo today.

ETA: instructor said I have a stick to it-tiveness and I'll make a good diver since I'm motivated, I just need to get over whatever hurdles in my brain. She gave me a lot of credit for trying multiple times today and knowing when to thumb the dive when I just couldn't do it.

I tend to be very hard on myself and she had to tell me to let up!

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Relax! Don't beat yourself up. Pools and open water environments are two completely different worlds. Low vis can be an issue for a lot of people at first, but in reality that's all in your head. Learning to dive in crappy conditions is probably one of the best things that can happen to you as a new diver. If you can handle a couple of feet of visibility then you can handle anything.
Link Posted: 9/18/2016 9:50:59 AM EDT
Yeah, it's all in my head. Instructor was right in front of me, and I just need to get past what was in my head. If I can dive up here, I can pretty much dive anywhere. Tropical locations seem like they would be a no brainer compared to up here. Yesterday at the quarry, no one was diving without at least a wetsuit. Many of them looked pretty thick. Probably 25-30% were diving dry. It was certainly nice to get out of my suit and still be dry. And not have to worry about wrangling a wet suit and bathing suit.

Funny: one kid (not in my group) had his wet suit stuck around his ankles. I'd say he was 11-12. He was holding onto the picnic table bench while his mom was pulling with all her might to be his wetsuit off. I should have taken a picture, because it was so comical. I consider pantyhose to be the devil's work and don't wear them. Looks like wetsuits might fall into the same category!

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Link Posted: 9/18/2016 6:24:20 PM EDT
Got 'er done! Finished Dive 1. Would have gone on but instructor's ear was bothering him so we didn't. Go back in two weekends to finish.

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Link Posted: 9/18/2016 7:43:55 PM EDT
I hate low vis diving. I get annoyed if the vis is less than 40ft. We have a training lake we use here when the issue conditions are no good that is about 10 ft of vis on a good day. I rarely use it unless the student has a schedule that requires it. I'm lucky here.
Link Posted: 9/18/2016 7:52:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/18/2016 9:20:59 PM EDT by Marie]
Viz was 10 ft today. Much better than yesterday.

ETA: though when we were on a "tour" of part of the quarry, down about 20 feet, the instructor let me hold his hand when I got a bit nervous. Guy was very patient with me, but he's a firefghter/rescue diver and used to dealing with nervous folks.

We were partway through Dive 2 when instructor thumbed the dive due to his ear.

I was able to take 4 lbs off today. Down to 16 lbs of lead and 6 lb backplate.

It's wonderful diving dry. Get out of the water and the only thing wet is my hair. No wrestling with wetsuit, which looks to be as bad as pantyhose, which I consider the devil's work.
Link Posted: 9/18/2016 10:42:04 PM EDT

I'm happy things are going easier for you. Once you get a little confidence it gets easier.
Link Posted: 9/18/2016 11:05:24 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By pepperbelly:

I'm happy things are going easier for you. Once you get a little confidence it gets easier.
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Thank you. I had fun once I got over the issues in my head!

Funnily, my save a dive kit has already come in handy! I won a duplicate of my mask (different color) at dive shop's 10th anniversary last week. One of the guys from the shop was out for fun dives today and forgot his mask and asked if I had it with me. I'm not sure why he was so surprised I had it with me, plus I'd already scrubbed it with toothpaste. It fit him much better than the other loaner he used for first dive today.

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Link Posted: 9/18/2016 11:37:31 PM EDT
Glad it went better for you. Quarries suck, IMO. Always cold, and always poor vis. Not that it matters, because there's nothing to see. Really not much different from being a really deep (but dirty) pool.

You'll like the lake better, and you'll love tropical dives.

One memorable one I did was during a port visit in St Thomas... there was an ex-SEAL who ran a dive shop and he took us out to a Lockheed Constellation that had crashed in the bay many years ago. It was a damn long swim out and back, but really an interesting dive swimming around the wreck and one engine that was moved a distance away by a hurricane.
Link Posted: 9/19/2016 12:22:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2016 12:43:36 AM EDT by CaverX]
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Originally Posted By TailHunter:


I tell all my students after a dive hydrate, then it will be a fight for food or sleep. Heck I never know which will win with me. Sometimes food wins, sometimes it's sleep.
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Originally Posted By TailHunter:
Originally Posted By Marie:
TH, I am almost definitely going to take you up on your offer to dive with me this winter. Check out dives are Sept 17 and 18 at our local quarry about 1.5 hours away. I found out today I'll need 5 tanks for that weekend - 3 check out dives Saturday, 1 Sunday plus additional for dry suit cert.

I am so utterly exhausted that I couldn't be bothered to get changed after we got out of the pool. Put my top and jeans over my damp bathing suit and drove an hour home that way. I'm in a hot bath right now for my very sore muscles. I took 1600 mg of Motrin this morning as I was still very sore from the 200 meter swim on Thursday. I hobbled around the office yesterday. My sciatica is hurting right now even those the exercise was good for it. Once I get out of the tub, I have to rinse all my gear off and put it over a drying rack in my tub to dry (live in a small condo with no garage, basement, or patio space).

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I tell all my students after a dive hydrate, then it will be a fight for food or sleep. Heck I never know which will win with me. Sometimes food wins, sometimes it's sleep.


You need to start hydrating well before ever getting in the water (like 12 hours), as much during as you can, and like you said after. Stay on it, even in cold weather.

Staying well hydrated can help you feel better, and potentially reduce the risk of DCS as well.

Don't get flustered, rushing trying to get in the water, that's never a good thing. Take a breath, take your time, in the long run it usually ends up saving time.

I do it at home, and again as I'm gearing up, go head to toe and think of everything you'll need and be putting on. Make sure it's ready to go, batteries are charged, regs are configured, etc... And get in a pattern of gearing up, it helps establish a rhythm and again helps to remember everything.

It may vary a bit depending on how and what you dive, for me it's usually something like,

Tanks tested for CO and O2
Regs rigged to tanks, pressure check
Tanks carried to water
Backup lights checked
Drysuit zipper lubed
Keys, are outside the vehicle where they can't be locked in
Socks
Undergarment(s)
Drysuit bottom
Boots
Pee valve connected
Drysuit top
Belch drysuit
Harness on
Primary light clipped off
Computer on arm
Hood on
Grab fins with mask always in fins
Vehicle locked and keys stashed
In water
Mask on head
Fins on
Left tank rigged
Reg breathed and pressure checked
Inflator connected
Right tank rigged
Reg breathed and pressure checked
Drysuit inflator connected
Primary light freed and switched on
Computer on and gases set if not already

And there are reasons for doing a lot of that in a particular order too. Obviously if you're diving a single tank, or diving backmount, or off a boat or whatever this will be somewhat different.
Link Posted: 9/19/2016 2:49:28 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CaverX:


You need to start hydrating well before ever getting in the water (like 12 hours), as much during as you can, and like you said after. Stay on it, even in cold weather.

Staying well hydrated can help you feel better, and potentially reduce the risk of DCS as well.

Don't get flustered, rushing trying to get in the water, that's never a good thing. Take a breath, take your time, in the long run it usually ends up saving time.

I do it at home, and again as I'm gearing up, go head to toe and think of everything you'll need and be putting on. Make sure it's ready to go, batteries are charged, regs are configured, etc... And get in a pattern of gearing up, it helps establish a rhythm and again helps to remember everything.

It may vary a bit depending on how and what you dive, for me it's usually something like,

Tanks tested for CO and O2
Regs rigged to tanks, pressure check
Tanks carried to water
Backup lights checked
Drysuit zipper lubed
Keys, are outside the vehicle where they can't be locked in
Socks
Undergarment(s)
Drysuit bottom
Boots
Pee valve connected
Drysuit top
Belch drysuit
Harness on
Primary light clipped off
Computer on arm
Hood on
Grab fins with mask always in fins
Vehicle locked and keys stashed
In water
Mask on head
Fins on
Left tank rigged
Reg breathed and pressure checked
Inflator connected
Right tank rigged
Reg breathed and pressure checked
Drysuit inflator connected
Primary light freed and switched on
Computer on and gases set if not already

And there are reasons for doing a lot of that in a particular order too. Obviously if you're diving a single tank, or diving backmount, or off a boat or whatever this will be somewhat different.
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Originally Posted By CaverX:
Originally Posted By TailHunter:
Originally Posted By Marie:
TH, I am almost definitely going to take you up on your offer to dive with me this winter. Check out dives are Sept 17 and 18 at our local quarry about 1.5 hours away. I found out today I'll need 5 tanks for that weekend - 3 check out dives Saturday, 1 Sunday plus additional for dry suit cert.

I am so utterly exhausted that I couldn't be bothered to get changed after we got out of the pool. Put my top and jeans over my damp bathing suit and drove an hour home that way. I'm in a hot bath right now for my very sore muscles. I took 1600 mg of Motrin this morning as I was still very sore from the 200 meter swim on Thursday. I hobbled around the office yesterday. My sciatica is hurting right now even those the exercise was good for it. Once I get out of the tub, I have to rinse all my gear off and put it over a drying rack in my tub to dry (live in a small condo with no garage, basement, or patio space).

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


I tell all my students after a dive hydrate, then it will be a fight for food or sleep. Heck I never know which will win with me. Sometimes food wins, sometimes it's sleep.


You need to start hydrating well before ever getting in the water (like 12 hours), as much during as you can, and like you said after. Stay on it, even in cold weather.

Staying well hydrated can help you feel better, and potentially reduce the risk of DCS as well.

Don't get flustered, rushing trying to get in the water, that's never a good thing. Take a breath, take your time, in the long run it usually ends up saving time.

I do it at home, and again as I'm gearing up, go head to toe and think of everything you'll need and be putting on. Make sure it's ready to go, batteries are charged, regs are configured, etc... And get in a pattern of gearing up, it helps establish a rhythm and again helps to remember everything.

It may vary a bit depending on how and what you dive, for me it's usually something like,

Tanks tested for CO and O2
Regs rigged to tanks, pressure check
Tanks carried to water
Backup lights checked
Drysuit zipper lubed
Keys, are outside the vehicle where they can't be locked in
Socks
Undergarment(s)
Drysuit bottom
Boots
Pee valve connected
Drysuit top
Belch drysuit
Harness on
Primary light clipped off
Computer on arm
Hood on
Grab fins with mask always in fins
Vehicle locked and keys stashed
In water
Mask on head
Fins on
Left tank rigged
Reg breathed and pressure checked
Inflator connected
Right tank rigged
Reg breathed and pressure checked
Drysuit inflator connected
Primary light freed and switched on
Computer on and gases set if not already

And there are reasons for doing a lot of that in a particular order too. Obviously if you're diving a single tank, or diving backmount, or off a boat or whatever this will be somewhat different.


Same here. Everything gets charged, analyzed, and labeled prior to ever leaving home. If I have a safety bottle or something, it's got a reg set up on it and gets checked at home too. I've gone so far lately as to set up my doubles rig the night before after loading it in my SUV so that all I have to do when I get to the site is put on my suit and boots, prep my masks and get in the water. What a stress relief that has been!
Link Posted: 9/19/2016 3:05:27 PM EDT
Good ideas, thanks.

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Link Posted: 9/19/2016 3:07:32 PM EDT
I'm doing my OW dives on the 1st and 2nd. Going to the pool Saturday for more practice. Instructor suggested it if I wanted to do it, as a confidence builder. Since I had a lot of trouble with manual BCD inflation, I decided it was a good idea.

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Link Posted: 9/29/2016 8:09:50 AM EDT
Back out to the quarry this weekend to get 'er done! :)

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Link Posted: 9/29/2016 2:00:35 PM EDT
Good luck!

Relax and breath.
Link Posted: 9/29/2016 7:50:41 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By IceDiver:
Good luck!

Relax and breath.
View Quote


Yes, relax! Actually, rain rain rain from today through Saturday. Viz is going to be crap, but as a friend says, "the unknown is now known," and I should be much better prepared for it.

On the positive side, I've got a ton of fun stuff coming up after I get certified.

Fall "meet and greet" of the Great Lakes Wrecking Crew (FB/ScubaBoard) at Gilboa Quarry in northern OH next weekend. Diving AND camping!

Dunkin Punkin (aka underwater pumpkin carving) on the 16th at our local quarry, sponsored by my dive shop. You get bonus points for wearing your costume underwater while carving AND if there is a theme between costume and pumpkin. A friend is making my costume (she offered). I'll post pics after. It's a surprise.

Discover Scuba class as a Christmas gift for my 11 year old goddaughter who is thrilled beyond belief with the idea. I've already checked with the dive shop and they will do a one-on-one with an instructor and goddaughter, plus I'm allowed to dive with them.

Trip to Little Cayman next August a friend is putting together.

Plus hopefully a winter trip to Mermet Springs, trips out on Lake Michigan next summer and Thunder Bay/Lake Huron off Alpena, MI, next summer.

I need to get a bigger vehicle. My little Focus sedan gets packed to the gills, especially if I've got tanks in the trunk.

Link Posted: 9/29/2016 11:57:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/30/2016 12:27:38 PM EDT
Good to hear about Regina.

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Link Posted: 10/1/2016 7:17:13 PM EDT
Got dives 2 and 3 done today. Redid 1 with the class as practice. It was a green void - viz was 5-10 feet. Lots of hand holding today on the tours around the quarry just to keep track of buddies. I was mostly paired with the guy instructor, sometimes the woman.

2 dives left tomorrow - OW 4 and dry suit.

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Link Posted: 10/1/2016 7:44:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/1/2016 8:05:54 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By jerrwhy01:
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I'm pleased as punch with myself!

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