Ron's Thunderball Theme Dive!
- We had an unexpectedly HUGE turnout for our Fall Colors dive trip to Fortune Pond. When Rich and I arrived at 11:00 Friday morning, there were SwimJim and Sheriffdiver Ron waiting for us. But the parking lot was full of tech divers, too. Our buddy Eric P was suited up full technical with a friend. The rest of them we didn't know but they were quite interested in our vintage gear. A couple were quite enthusiastic about having seen our videos. Others hung around asking questions about our gear... I showed off five of my favorite double hose regs I had brought along. These tech guys seem to have done one dive and then left... The cold 41 degree air temps were pretty chilly getting into and out of dive suits... Whether you were diving drysuits or wetsuits.
- Diving conditions were mixed. Near the pier where everyone was going in and out, the viz was terrible down to about 25 feet. Then it cleared up to 50+ ft. as you went deeper. The top layer down to 30 feet was cloudy for most of the pond, But below that were areas, of unbelievable water clarity. I took two scooter rides and flying over some of the deeper ridges you could look down and see bottom WAY below you.
- FOOD: Oh Baby... This was good, especially in the chilly weather. First day, Ron brought hot Sloppy Joes. You could feel the heat going down your throat and warming you up. Jim's relatives Phil and Judy came along and brought us a bunch of Subway sandwiches, too. Second Day, SwimJim fired up the Coleman and we had his award winning Chili with all the fixin's. I had three bowls! Man that was good. Judy got everything hot and prepared while we all went diving. Friday night we all went out to Alice's restaurant for a huge Walleye filet... The Friday night special!
- Dealing with the Cold Weather - Its funny because the water is always the same at Fortune Pond. 37-42 degrees F. What was worrisome were the cold temps at the surface. We've learned to get out of the wetsuit ASAP, dry off, and get dry clothes on... I repeat ASAP. This trip, the weather was dicey, threatening or delivering rain or drizzle with a nice 10-15 mph wind to chill us down. Ron set up his awning with a wind break and that helped a lot. I brought along a "Buddy" heater which we put into the Latrine building and turned it into a heated changing room. I brought an extra wetsuit so I could have a dry one to put on for the second dive. Then at the motel, we had a fan we used to dry the wetsuits overnight.
- Ron's Thunderball Dive - Oh man, I would have skipped a 2nd dive on Saturday if anybody would have given me half an excuse. I was cold! Ron had this beautiful red wetsuit and freshly painted Voit tank and Polaris reg... With his heart set on doing a Thunderball video. So, we suited up and went in. SwimJim had yellow aqualung twin 72s and Ron had his red wetsuit with white tank and my scooter. Rich had his Phoenix with dog bone back pack... So we were ALL diving Vintage Double Hose! When I caught up with them all at 70 feet deep, I was wondering who the guy with the black suit was, driving my scooter. MY gosh, that RED wetsuit had completely lost all of its color at that depth. He looked like one of the BAD GUYs in Thunderball rather than the good guy James Bond!
- As usual, our dive buddies made this trip a huge success in the enjoyment department. Many thanks to SwimJim and Ron for bringing the delicious food. Thank you BIG TIME to my buddy Rich for his willingness to freeze alongside me and bail me out when I can't stay awake at the wheel. Chalk up ANOTHER great dive trip to see the Fall Colors at Fortune Pond!