Thursday, June 30, 2011

Science Diver Training Day 6

Wednesday morning was spent in a classroom doing oxygen training.

This is something extremely important in diving, since everything from decompression sickness to drowning is treated with oxygen. (You know, in addition to CPR with the drowning). Still, once we actually learned how to use the equipment, the majority of our morning was spent doing scenarios and yelling:

“Hello! My name is Emily! I’m a trained First Responder! This is oxygen. It may make you feel better. Do you want some?” 

This phrase is obviously very important since the drowning victim is likely to resist the chance to breathe again and the diver with the bends would rather stay in excruciating pain than have the nitrogen bubbles dissipated with oxygen. Obviously.

Still, it was necessary and informative and I actually feel better knowing how to use the oxygen kits in case of an emergency. Plus, after lunch it was time to dive again.

Since we’d had no luck finding our snails the day before at Bailey’s Bay flats, we headed to where oil tanker Mari Boeing wrecked in 1978 and was subsequently freed by blasting the reef with dynamite.

Jorge and I collected our required five snails in roughly 46 seconds, so we spent the rest of our dive swimming around the reef getting harassed by the Puddingwives. Puddingwives are a type of wrasse that love stirred up sediment, so they tend to come right up to divers on a sandy bottom. One of them was pretty intent on following us around no matter where we went.

Most exciting thing that happened all dive: Alissa found a lionfish! Sadly, Alex didn’t have his spear to kill the dangerous invasive species, so we left it where it was and moved on to our second dive: the Cristobal Colon.

As tired as we all were, nothing spurs a second wind quite like the sight of Bermuda’s largest shipwreck. The Cristobal Colon was a Spanish trans-Atlantic luxury liner that sank in 1923, it was nearly 500-feet long and its wreckage is scattered across 100,000 feet of seafloor.

Allie and I searched every nook and cranny we could, though we did stop to live out our childhood dreams of being Olympic gymnasts. The other divers looked a bit confused when we started doing summersaults and handstands on our makeshift balance beam (which was actually a part of the engine).

We gave ourselves a 9.7, overall.

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