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gNats
11-01-2010, 09:25
Well, I completed my cavern course this weekend at Oronogo. Originally, we were planning on diving Roubidoux Springs, however, on Thursday we heard the flow was high so we chose to do the dives at Orogono.

I had terribly bouyancy on Saturday; I was using a Steel 100 for the first time and my plate and wing were not in the optimum position for trim. So, not only was I running lines and doing skills, I was battling terrible trim and bouyancy. For those of you that know Oronogo, we stayed at the platform and used the Air Cave for all of our reel skills. The cave is at about 15-10 feet and the platform near 30. Lots of up and down in shallow water, which didn't help that bouyancy issue any either. :smiley2: Top it off, my drysuit was seeping from I don't know where - I imagine the wrists and I was soaking wet after each dive.

I managed to get through each of the tasks on Saturday and did so to the instructor's expectations, so I guess all was well.

Sunday am, we repositioned my plate and wing on the tank and things smoothed out nicely. Sunday was more of a "play day". Our first dive was down the wall to the 4 Doors. Did a tie out on the outside of the cavern and ran the reel inside, connecting to the permanent line. Went back into the cavern, covered our lights, and looked out. Very pretty.

Our afternoon dive was spectacular. We dove the North End, and Wow. I may never dive the South end of Oronogo again. We went into the elevator shafts, saw the huge overhang, viewed the Arch, and dove the blue room and keyhole. The keyhole was my favorite spot. I think we went into the sun room also, but I have to check. It was in the dive plan, but after the arch, they all looked alike.

And, here is where I stop. IF I should decide to go to cave 1, it would have to be in Florida. And, that is not happening soon.

What did I learn? Lots, but I think the biggest thing I learned is the need for lots of practice. It's not like riding a bike. If you are going to cavern / cave dive, you have to make the commitment to do the practice in the easy environments and on land, and you should cavern / cave dive often. Not just every 2 years when you make your annual trek to Florida or Mexico.

There is my report.

mstueven
11-01-2010, 09:36
Congrats gNats! Glad you had a great experience and picked up some new skills.

Noob
11-01-2010, 10:34
Congrats Gnats. I knew you would pass with ease.

navyhmc
11-01-2010, 20:09
Congrats gNats!!!! Bennett springs???

gNats
11-01-2010, 22:17
Thanks Navy. Yep. Bennett Springs next weekend. Can't wait

navyhmc
11-02-2010, 01:37
Have fun! Wish I could make it, but as always, I'm working.

Lulubelle
11-02-2010, 02:41
Congrats Nat! I love following your training experiences.

My only two training classes this year were derailed. And not so impressive as yours. Just rescue and spearfishing. Hopefully, next year..

gNats
11-02-2010, 08:30
Thanks Lulu! I am a little surprised that I am taking courses, since I have spoken out (in the past and recently) against being a card collector. But, each of these cards has done wonders at improving my mental game. Even if I never dive in another cavern, the mental prepardeness I am for any dive is so much greater today than it was a month ago.

I was looking at my log book and for not taking any trips I dove my tushie off this year and happy happy joy joy, the diving season is not over yet!

gNats
11-02-2010, 08:32
Bob, do you work every other weekend or is the schedule modified on a month to month basis and the weekends may fall consecutively?

mstueven
11-02-2010, 14:35
Thanks Navy. Yep. Bennett Springs next weekend. Can't wait

Like the 6th/7th?

navyhmc
11-02-2010, 14:56
Bob, do you work every other weekend or is the schedule modified on a month to month basis and the weekends may fall consecutively?

Every other weekend...Unless I change shifts. We are either an "X" or an "O", Nights or Days-I'm X-Nights. Thank god it doesn't change month to month!!! November, Im off 13th 14th and 27-28. If Ellen will let me, I might try to get to CSSP for Dog days...