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Jason Pawlak

Me and my Internet

Husband, Dad, Navy Officer, Coder, and Tinkerer. I have many interests and am always looking to learn something new. This site is a launching point to the many areas of the Internet that represent me.

SCUBA Lesson #4

Last scuba lesson, woot!

Today was the big day for the classroom and pool part of scuba lessons.  Melissa and I went in for our 50 question, written exam and a few last techniques in the pool.

When we first got to the dive shop, we both had decided to purchase a few more items with the ScubaPro December special.  This special included a BCD, first and second stage regulator, Air2 (octo that attaches to the BCD), and gauges (submersible pressure gauge), and a free wrist computer.

From the last post (here) you know that I was very confused as to purchase this equipment online or at Scuba Shack.  In the end, the decision was made to purchase from the Scuba Shack because we are new divers, and we felt even though the price was a little bit more, we would get the personal attention of the workers at the Shack, which includes knowing the hands that are doing maintenance on our regulators, our equipment that keeps us alive.  But enough of that, when I dive with the new equipment I’ll post again and let you know what I think.

The written exam was fairly easy.  We had reviewed the material before going to class, so it was fresh in our minds.  Out of the 50 questions, both Melissa and I missed one, and the same one!  (I promise we didn’t cheat!)  The question we missed was about what constitutes your ‘bottom time’.  Both of us selected the answer, the entire time you are under water is considered bottom time.  But the right answer was from the time you start your descent to the time you start your ascent.  This is because the nitrogen starts to leave you body on the ascent, so this time doesn’t need to be counted when calculating your residual nitrogen time.  I believe we had to score a 80% or better, and we each got 98%, so we were good to go for that part.

After those fun and games (bleh), we went and got into gear and jumped in the pool, literally.  We put on our gear outside the pool to simulate what we’d do when on a liveaboard.  Then took the giant stride into the pool at the same time.  We reviewed water in mask and regulator retrieval before learning a few new skills: taking your BC off under water/on the surface and emergency buoyant ascent.

At first I couldn’t figure out what practical application knowing how to take you BC off and on under the water had, so I asked.  Apparently it is for if you get stuck on something under water and you need to take the BC off to untangle, makes sense.  Both Melissa and I, once we had our BCs off started floating a little bit, but remained under control.

The emergency buoyant ascent was pretty fun.  You drop your weights, and flair while ascending to the top of the water while exhaling.  That’s really all there is to say about that one.

So that was it for the lesson.  Our instructor had brought in a dive light so we turned off the lights to the pool area and he let us swim freely with the light, pretty cool, but I think it’d be more fun somewhere that’s a little more interesting than a pool.  And other than that, we just used up our air and practiced neutral buoyancy.

No official plans yet on when/where we are going to do our open water certification dive, but definitely looking forward to it.

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