Adv. Nitrox/Deco Course July 12-13, 2008

It was back to Gilboa Quarry this past weekend for the initial weekend of an Advanced Nitrox/Decompression Procedures course. I met up with Brian, Ryan and Wally Saturday morning at the quarry. The plan was to do a few hours of academic material followed by our first training dive. We got off to a slow start due to an unexpected downpour just as we were getting ready to begin. We began an informal classroom session in the office until the rain let up. Marshall Allan brought down his nice new 8′ X 10′ enclosed trailer for us to use as a “portable classroom.” We set up chairs and a whiteboard inside and got down to business.

Around noon we took a break for lunch and then reconvened to get ready for our dive. We looked over each other’s equipment and configurations and planned our dive. We entered on the deep side of the quarry, swam over to a shallow shelf at about 30′ to do some manifold drills and gas sharing. Then we dropped down to the 70′ platform to work on deco cylinder handling, gas switches and SMB deployment.

Sunday morning we again met at 9 to do 2 more dives and just a little more classroom work. The first dive was another skill dive with “simulated” deco stops during the ascent. Our last dive of the day was a deep dive, incurring a small deco obligation, with the emphasis on proper execution of the dive rather than more skill repetition.

Other than some rain Saturday morning, the weather was sunny and hot, making for a beautiful weekend. Brian, Ryan and Wally all did well, although everyone knows what to put extra work on. Marshall was kind enough (or cruel enough) to video tape several of the class dives and give the guys DVD’s to take home so they can critique themselves. Video is a very valuable teaching tool and I appreciate Marshall bringing his camera and even his DVD duplicator out to the quarry for us.

This course will finish up with dives in the 1000 Islands in a few weeks. The St. Lawrence is one of my favorite dive sites, so look for a report around mid-August.