Today was the second weekend for anyone wanting to check out their dive gear for the upcoming Turkey Dive. For those not having made any dives recently or changing over to a dry suit, it’s always a good idea to do the first dive in a non-threatening and controlled environment.
What that means is diving where you can make a safe shore entry with little or no current, proceed in stages to deeper water, verify your gear is working correctly, and allow you to get comfortable in it.
It’s also a good place to rehearse your dress procedure to make sure you can don your equipment efficiently. Did you get you neck seal in place correctly? How about remembering to turn on your tank of air before you put your buoyancy compensator (BC)? Did you remembering to connect your BC inflator hose and your dry suit inflator hose? Did you bring the right fins for your dry suit if your suit booties are different? If your using semi-dry gloves did you have a thermos of warm water to prime them before entering colder water? And of course you remembered to bring extra weights to compensate for the dry suit bulk?
It’s much easier to respond to neck or wrist seal leakage, inflator hose leaks, glove seal disconnects if you’re not in water over your head, with zero visibility, and a current trying to drag you around.
In spite of your experience level, we have all had the issues mentioned above at some time or other in our past. The key thing is to remember to have a checklist and not to get distracted. And this is another reason to do a Buddy Gear check. Find the errors on the surface first!
Today the air temperature was 35°F, and very windy which made the windchill way below freezing. Gloves before, during, and after the dive were required, that is unless you like frozen fingers. Water temperature was 44°F, but still uncomfortable in leaky gloves or trickling down your neck seal. Today’s underwater visibility was limited to 4 to 5 feet and the light was not the greatest, but I was able to get a few underwater photos of the zebra mussel infestation in Paw Paw Lake.
Looking forward to next week’s Turkey dive. Maybe see you there!