[singlepic id=107 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=left]Yesterday certainly turned out to be an amazing day, I had the opportunity to dive with Tony Holmes, my mentor the guy who taught me everything I know about diving and what a pleasure it was!!
We originally had a charter booked headed out to the HMCS CHAUDIERE, and as always I was looking forward to diving it, plus I would have the chance to get more footage of the wreck, something I certainly would not turn down….but who to dive with. The charter was going to be a Tec Dive, with two on doubles and one on a rebreather….and I certainly was not in the frame of mind to do a long cold hang at 20 feet. Out of the blue, Tony called the shop and said he was hoping to get out for a dive or two for the weekend, talk about timing!!
Once everything was loaded on the boat, it was off to the boat launch and the trip up the inlet. With the sun being out, it made you think of the soon to be summer, though the air was still pretty crisp as we skimmed along the wave tops. Once on the dive site, we tied to the stern line on the wreck, and began getting the Tec guys read…first in was Owen on the rebreather, then Keith and Jessica. As they disappeared into what appeared pea soup, Tony and I prepared for our entry. Determined not to hang at the 20 foot mark on a long deco, away we went. Happily I slide into the follow position on Tony, and the tour began!
We swam the distance of the wreck and slide up through the hole at the 130ft mark, just back from the bow which leads into the forward crews heads and wash place, from there we went up through the door on Berma Road that takes you into One and Two Mess. Normally once in the Mess we would ascend through the exit point which is overhead, but on this dive Tony decided to head straight into an opening that leads into the forepeak which eventually lead to the outside of the wreck. This turned out to be an excellent penetration, and I was able to get some good footage, though I am pretty sure this is where my troubles began. Since we were in the higher profile 120 cuft steel tanks I got my valve caught on the hatch combing, and had to wiggle through the opening. Unbeknown to me, this must be the point where my 8 pound weight pouch got caught and dropped. As when I got through the opening I was very light all of a sudden and had to dump some air from the BCD. Though not a big problem at this point…that would not be the case when I had to maintain my depth on what was going to be a 16 minute decompression stop.
Once we came out of this penetration we headed up and over the bow of the CHAUDIERE, where we got our first glimpse of Owen on his Megladon Rebreather, it always amazes me how quiet they are. We headed off to the penetration at the bridge where we would go in the lower hole on the bridge roof, and ascend up through the brdige to the Ops Room ladder which leads into ops, and through the Sonar control room, our exitpoint is overhead that leads out through an opening on the stardboard side of the boat. As we proceeded aft and to our ascent line we did two more penetrations, one which was new for me, and then the final one on the stern, and out to the ascent line.
As we started up to our first decompression stop it was obvious this was not going to be a routine hold for me, as the I was about 8 pounds two light, and I had to wrap myself around the ascent line in order to maintain the 20 then 10 foot stops. Thankfully it was only 16 minutes of a hold.
As always another great dive, I certainly have missed diving with Tony, something I hope we will get the chance to do again in the near future. If you are interested in doing the Wreck Specialty or Advanced Nitrox/Decompressions Procedures go to the Courses page on this site, and see what it is all about!