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Thread: Problems, problems, problems..... and Dolphins!...... Days 5 & 6

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Problems, problems, problems..... and Dolphins!...... Days 5 & 6

    “Well,” I said, “that’s it for me.” I had just opened the tank valve and looked at my non-functioning tank pressure gauge which read zero, at best. In essence, I didn’t really know what it read. I looked at Tim and Leslie (Double L). “You two can do the dive without me.”

    For the past several days, my dive computer has been non-functional. It’s locked up, thinking it’s in a perpetual dive, one that now needs a deco stop. The buttons no longer work and the numbers on the screen are all lit up, making it impossible to accurately make sense out of anything.

    Except the pressure gauge.

    For some reason, it’s working fine. Or had been until the morning dive at The Rock dive site. The numbers were now half blank or non-existent.
    I’ve dove with marginal gear before, but never with a none-functioning SPG. I couldn’t do it, even on Bonaire and at a site I’d dove many multiple times. And to top it off, I’d just purchased new fin straps. One broke yesterday and, upon analysis of the other one, looked to be about to break as well.
    Don’t you just love equipment problems?

    Ever since the computer failed, I’ve been using my backup computer. I bought a cheap SPG ($60) and mounted it on the end of the high pressure hose, my backup computer clamped below it. My compass hangs from a strap hooked to my BCD. I look the diver equivalent of an unmade bed.

    But at least I’m still diving.

    After realizing I wouldn’t be making the dive, Tim and Les hesitated and were opting to back out of the dive.

    “Why would you not make the dive?” I asked.

    “I’m not worried about the dive,” Double L said.

    “Me neither,” Tim said. “I’m just not sure about the navigation.”

    Since the Rock site doesn’t have a buoy to mark the turn toward shore, they’d need to guess it based on time. Not hard to do. That’s the way I’ve done it for years.

    “After you make the turn toward shore,” I said, “follow a 90 degree compass heading and it’ll bring you within a few yards of the entry.”

    They looked at each other and both shrugged. I had confidence in them. Not a hard thing to do. Even if they missed the exit, egress is pretty easy all along any part of the shore, except for one spot to the south. That area is populated by large patches of fire coral and they’d want to stay away from that. Even a poor navigator couldn’t be so bad as to miss the exit so badly as to end of there.

    No worries.

    An hour-long dive goes pretty fast—if you’re gliding along the reef, looking at the aquatic life However, if you’re on shore waiting for others to do the dive, an hour is a rather long time. I ate an orange, drank a bottle of water, ate an apple, and drank another bottle of water. Somewhere in there, half a cylinder of Pringels potato chips were also consumed.

    Finally, I saw bubbles approaching the shore. My partners.

    They surfaced just south of the exit, in the impossible-to-be-so-bad-a-navigator patch of fire coral.

    By the time I fished them out, Tim had been battered against some rocks and scraped his knee up good enough for it to bleed and swell. Double L escaped serious mishap.

    Luckily, neither of them wandered into the fire coral.

    After Double L loosened her mask straps and removed it from her face, smiling, she looked at Tim. “On three,” she said.

    I was surprised at her jubilance. I figure she’d be upset about her missed exit point and the near-miss of the fire coral.

    She raised her fingers as she counted, looking at Tim. “One, two, three.”

    “Dolphins!” they said in unison.

    Apparently, soon after descending, they saw several dolphins swim past.

    As we broke down our gear and secured it in the back of the truck, I glanced at Tim’s battered knee.

    “So, the battle with the fire coral was worth it?”

    “Absolutely,” they said in unison.

    Dive on Friends.

    Dave & Leslie.

  2. #2
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    It's every time a joy to read your posts. Please keep them coming.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I find navigation to be pretty simple. Surface is part of the answer. When I am not certain, I surface in deep enough water that I can swim to the entry/exit without colliding with anything.

    I've been diving Bonaire two weeks annually for 20+ years. I know the sites well but, surface makes it both easy and certain.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Yup, turtle navigation is always an option! We’ve used it from tome to toime...

  5. #5
    agd is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Hi Dave

    I have been enjoying your posts. Thanks for sharing.

    Where is site you call Rock? I know lots of unmarked places, some with generally known names, some I make myself. But I have not heard anyone referring to Rock.

    Thanks

    Andy

  6. #6
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by agd View Post
    Hi Dave

    I have been enjoying your posts. Thanks for sharing.

    Where is site you call Rock? I know lots of unmarked places, some with generally known names, some I make myself. But I have not heard anyone referring to Rock.

    Thanks

    Andy

    Maybe this helps:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBSL6MjQD6c

    "The Rock" dive site is a unmarked and unofficial dive site that is slightly south of the Invisibles dive site (which is marked). The site can be found by the square concrete relic that is near the road, in the ground.


  7. #7
    agd is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Thanks

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