As a scuba instructor it can be a pleasure (as well as a curse) to dive and teach to share your scuba knowledge of the world of scuba diving. A couple of weekends ago I was out at Haigh Quarry teaching several Open Water Scuba Divers and Advanced Open Water students. Due to everyone’s schedule, I couldn’t take the Open Water Scuba Divers in the morning and the Advance Open Water Divers in the afternoon, for a total of 6 dives all together. This coordination of the classes would have granted a little more time to complete the dives and little longer surface intervals. Since divers in both classes needed to be out of there by early afternoon, I changed the timing of all the dives. This was not what I had in mind for teaching on a Sunday.
What I decided to do was alternating dives with the classes. First, I took the open water scuba class down to play with the fish. After we completed all the skills that were required and took a small tour of the underwater world, we surfaced for their surface interval. During their surface interval I took the advanced open water class scuba diving and showed them some new tricks and gave them a dive briefing on what we needed to do. Of course, I was tracking my dives through my dive computer that I was taking with me on the dives. By the time I exited the water with the first group, did my dive briefing with the 2nd group and got back into the water to do our pre-dive safety check, I was out of the water for about 35 min. This gave me plenty of room for back to back scuba diving.
After some fin pivots, mask cleaning, search and recovery and some navigation skills we had four divers with new certifications. Within 5 hours I was able to put in six dives, one after the other with only scuba tank changes and dive briefings in between. Luckily, I was able to grab a water bottle in between scuba dives and stay hydrated.
The sun is shining down giving us what I call the “scuba diver’s tan”. This is when you have a tan line around your eyes and nose where the mask was. You wouldn’t believe the amount of fish that were swimming all around scuba divers. The blue gills were big enough to be called ‘mutant blue gill’. Let’s not forget the 4 foot catfish, the albino catfish, the bass and the White Sea snake. Ok, Ok, I made up the White Sea snake, but you should take a look at these blue gills. They are huge. With the cool water of the quarry, it was a great day to go scuba diving. I’d have to say, scuba diving in Chicago is the way to go.
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