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August 31, 2006

The Other Side of the Coin ... Part 2

Okay, it is WAAAAY past time for me to write another entry here, so here goes! The last time I wrote about classes, I discussed the details of the first two weeks of my class. I also mentioned the third and fourth weeks, but did not describe them.

I often refer to the third lecture as the "Light and Fluffy" lecture ... it is about our Diving Environments. We begin by watching a video that was filmed and edited during a trip to Cayman Brac back in 1996. Even though it's a bit old, the information is still very useful. I went on that trip with a group of nine divers from our local dive shop, but we were not alone at the resort or on the dive boat. Another group from Alabama joined us, as did a few individuals from parts unknown.

Cayman Brac is known for its crystal clear waters and abundance of fish and corals. Part of the reason we went down there was to explore the newly sunken wreck on the North side of the island, the "Keith Tibbetts." As for the people we'd be diving with all week, they all seemed to be experienced divers. However there was one guy who was a menace to the underwater world! One member of our group hit the nail directly on the head when he said, "There are two destroyers in these waters, and one of them is a ship!"

So this poor guy became known as "John the Destroyer." Everyone on the boat was amazed at his uncaring attitude and his total disinterest in protecting the environment. This guy literally walked on the bottom at times! He wore a shorty wetsuit, enough weight to sink a battleship, and never clipped off his instruments or octopus. He left them dangling to get caught on corals and sea fans. He was an accident waiting to happen.

Anyway, the reason I brought "John the Destroyer" up in the first place is because even though he was the perfect example of what NOT to do, I have shown that video to over 700 students and it has made quite an impact! I believe in protecting our natural resources, and that definitely applies beneath the surface!

I enjoy teaching the Environment Lecture. We discuss Sight, Sound, Hearing, Temperature, Boat Diving, Entries, Lines, Currents, Waves, and Critters. I have encluded lots of pictures from places I've been throughout the years, as well.

The next night we gather at the dive shop again to get in the pool. We work on gear assembly again, deep water entries, surface swimming, breathing underwater, and mask passing. We then move on to air sharing and rescues.

Everyon then removes their equipment, disassembles it all, cleans it and stores it away for next weeks use.

Week four consists of the Diving Physiology lecture and the pool test. We group the indirect effects of pressure, along with dive tables for this lecture. We discuss Shallow Water Blackout, Hypoxia, Oxygen Toxicity, Carbon Dioxide poisoning, Carbon Monoxide Toxicity, Nitrogen Narcosis, Decompression Sickness, and the dive tables.

In the fourth pool session we review all skills in preparation for evaluation dives. Each student must assemble their own equipment without any help from their buddy, then each buddy team check their buddies equipment. Once completed, everyone readies themself for a deep water entry. We all go to the shallow end to practice mask off skills one more time. We discuss evaluation dives and go over all of the skills we will be doing over the course of the two days needed for the five evaluation dives.

Speaking of evaluation dives, next time I will go into detail about how I conduct mine!

Posted by Carol at August 31, 2006 04:05 PM