Fortune Pond Dive Report Aug 16-17
- Man oh man... Another nearly perfect dive weekend up at Fortune. Super clear visibility... 70-100 feet depending on where you were and whether or not the sun was out. We threaded the needle on weather... Friday was mixed weather... sometimes dry and sometimes rain and drizzle. Saturday was cloudless and sunny all day. And Sunday was back to rain... But by then we were either gone or leaving in the morning.
- Turnout was five of us. SwimJim and ViAnn, Ron Sheriffdiver, and Me with my wife Jill. Unfortunately Jill didn't get into any of my photos because she was the one with the camera.
- Ron had a mission to accomplish... Had to place a White Shark Warning sign. So we got that done on the first dive.
- Ron finally got to dive his "Magic Pill" triples... I'm calling them that because they are like the Sea Hunt episode where Leanard Nimoy claims his wife died going too deep into a 500 foot deep canyon. And Mike fools Nimoy by wearing triples (like Ron's) and taking a special "pill" to allow him to dive 500 feet deep. Well anyway, Ron dove those suckers this weekend... Kind of a heavy load but they worked!
Revisiting Buoyancy - I think we vintage guys take it for granted that we've learned to manage buoyancy with far more skill and efficiency than BCD divers. Jill and I had a little project to work on her buoyancy and attitudinal position. With her BCD on, she floats at a 45 degree angle and is usually bicycling. Other BCD divers tell her to add air because she's sinking... But as you know managing alot of volume in the BCD is hard when you're going up and down in depth. Well anyway, we tried shifting some weight from her waist pouches to her shoulder straps. This leveled her out and she found herself dog paddling her arms to keep from sinking. But this was the start to getting it figured out. Now, she could add a little air to the BCD and just float there nice and level with her hands folded. We surface, removed 3 lbs from her waist pockets and tried it again. This time we found the perfect set up. Then on the second dive she had trouble getting down and wasn't venting her BCD properly. Gotta remember to start every dive by emptying the BCD. Well, she did that and found the perfect set up again. AND, she even said that I was a good teacher. I'd call that a good day.
Trying Out the little Aero Compressor - I bought a 1980's vintage Aerotecnica Coltri compressor and have been repairing, servicing, etc. I brought it along on this trip with fewer tanks and just re-filled as needed. Wow, it worked great. More on that in the Compressor forum but I thought I'd mention we brought it along and how well it worked.
Multiple Dives per Twin 38s - Twin 38s are really Twin 42s when you fill them 10% over working pressure. And Twin 42s are a total of 84 cubic Feet of air when you consider them together. And this is significantly more air than a single "AL80"... which is really 76 cf at 3000 psi. I had brought along two sets of Twin 38s for this trip. The cold tends to be the limiting factor in Fortune and usually dives are limited to 30-40 minutes because you just get too cold. That kind of dive time on 84 cubic fee usually leaves me just a little over or under 1/2 of the air left. So now and then I use the same set of 38s for a 2nd dive. Well this trip I racked up 2 dives per fill a couple of times and even 3 dives on a set (30, 12, and 17 minutes). I did 3 refills with the compressor and so now I lost track of how many official "Dives" I did for the weekend. I need to check my computer for the count.
SwimJim The Coolest - SwimJim had his yellow Twin 38s dialed in perfectly. He was diving his smoothskin Sea Hunt wet suit with oval mask and some beautiful yellow and black fins. Really looked awesome underwater. I think Ron my have a video or photo to add here.
Enjoying the Scooter - I flew my UV-26 Scooter all the way around the pond on Saturday... This time I ran at dead slow speed. Swooped her over the cliffs and down to 101 feet to see SwimJim's "Grim Reaper" rock formation. Angled slightly upward for the whole rest of the trip and traveled at 15 feet for the last 3 minutes... Total about 30 minutes and only used half my air. Then Saturday, after SwimJim and Ron left, Jill and I went in for a dive together. Then I went for one last dive with the scooter... I did an gentle downward angle past the 50 ft cliffs and then out to the next terrace. I followed the rocky edge as it angled upward from 80 ft. This is a cool ride because when you reach the other side of the pond, you are back up to about 50 feet of depth. You bank and turn 180 degrees as you angle upward so now you can enjoy a different set of cliffs in the 50, 40, and 30 foot depths. And by the time you get back to the parking lot, you've been cruising along at 15 feet for 3 minutes or more and have your safety stop completed.
Alice's Restaurant - Friday night we had the deep fried Walleye dinner. Saturday night I had the Ravioli and Jill had the ribs. Let me tell you that really DOES go well with a bottle of Chianti! That's all for now...