The weather was cooler and overcast for our second day of diving. We had three dives planned for the day and wanted to be on the road back to Michigan about 1:00 local time. To get started right, we made certain we were at the quarry when they opened at 8:00 and started setting up for our dive back into the deep hole to put the cap on the deep dive cache. We were surprised at the number of students queueing up on the surface to do their deep dive for Advanced Open Water certification. We politely explained what we were trying to do for our dive goal and none of the instructors minded if we dropped down the line to take care of the cache maintenance. The deep cache was just were we left it, but unfortunately the water was still a brisk 47 degrees at depth.
After the maintenance, we did a nice slow controlled free ascent just to practice skills and give the AOW student divers plenty of space. A safety stop at 15 feet for three minutes wrapped up this dive. After spending a bit of time in the cold water at 80 feet, the water above the thermocline felt like bath water.
Our second dive was to fine tune the location of the SW cache. Had a lot of fun on this dive. The depth is less and the water is about 10 degrees warmer. This makes for more time to get things perfect. We quickly located the correct coordinates and then set a reel to start looking for the cinderblock we had placed the day before. Tim and I are both Search and Recovery Specialty Divers and our training with a reel really paid off. It is surprising how quickly skills like reel use can degrade if you don’t use them. The reel led us right back to the cache spot with the cinderblock and we were set for this cache. Another free ascent with a 3 minute safety stop and we were swapping out our tanks for the last dive of the day.
While on this safety stop Tim noticed me switch to my octopus and quickly did the same. Tim realized what I was doing and thought it was a great idea. A lot of divers give their octo a puff or two during gear setup and don’t give it any thought until there is an emergency. I try to do a safety stop or two off the octo every dive trip just to make certain it is functioning. I’m looking for water ingress or breathing hard. Consider it on your next safety stop.
The final dive was really just a pleasure dive. Tim and I set off for the buoyancy course to put our Peak Performance Buoyancy skills to the test one last time for the weekend and we both nailed it. Our work and training the day before paid off in spades. Then we spent a lot of time on Underwater Navigation. This was a relaxing dive at about 25 feet for an hour and a half. We toured most of the north end of the quarry. At the end of this dive it was time to pack up and head home.
We don’t have anymore dive trips scheduled to go to Haigh Quarry this year, but we are considering adding one in October. Additionally I’ll be taking my youngest daughter down Labor Day Weekend to work on some Underwater Navigation with her. The large shallow side of the quarry is perfect for navigation training. Stop by the shop and let me know if you are interested in joining us.
Keep calm and dive on.