Advanced Open Water!

Last weekend I took PADI’s Advanced Open Water course, and it was a blast! We did five “adventure” dives in Lake Travis, close to Austin, Texas: Boat dive, Peak Performance Buoyancy dive, Navigation dive, Deep dive and Wreck dive.

I was astounded at the conditions in the Deep dive, at 81 feet. It was completely dark and the visibility was close to zero. It was made more fun for me because I got separated from the group due to my slow ear equalization process. I ended up descending by myself (the deepest I’ve ever been), and when I reached 80 feet I realized that I had lost the line. I hadn’t been expecting to dive so deep all by myself, so I thought it would be a good idea to go back up. I was having a little trouble with my buoyancy, but I managed to do a slow ascent. The best part? Seeing the gradual change in illumination with depth.

Another interesting event occurred during the Boat dive. My buddy and I were at about 30 feet (some 10 meters), and he ran out of air. He signaled to that effect and it took me a few seconds to process it, since of course I wasn’t expecting it (he hadn’t indicated that he was getting low on air). He grabbed my mouthpiece and I swallowed some water, but I reached for the alternate attached to the low-pressure inflator on my BCD, and I was breathing again! It was good practice, but kids, don’t try that at home (or anywhere else)!

Finally, the wreck dive was great, it was a relatively small boat at 20 feet, and the visibility was fantastic. We went around it and along a line that led to an upright tree trunk. Interesting to see a submerged tree standing up!

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That’s me on the left!

Next activity: Peak Performance Buoyancy course.

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