Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rye Pier

Another early morning! This time we started off with quickly summing up theory part 4 as we had no time to do it yesterday.

Then it was time to go back into the pool. When I dunked myself in, I actually felt WARM rather than the freezing cold last time as the pool was luxurious compared to the sea.

We finished off our skills and headed straight out to the seaside. Chris packed breakfast and lunch this time (it was a beautiful bacon and egg sandwich, and a spicy tuna sandwich) so that we wouldn't waste time getting food and we wouldn't be late.

We were still determined to avoid toll roads unlike everyone else so we had to be on the ball. This time we all met at Rye Pier.

The wind was slashing like crazy but at least the sun cracked out of the sky a little. Don't get me wrong though, the sun did nothing but visibility - it was still Victorian cold.

We jumped into the icy water to practice skills in the sea. Then after about 15 minutes we surfaced. I was so happy! I was thinking, "YAY ITS OVER ALREADY!!!" but no we had to dive back in again.

I was freezing. I was shaking and bored. I saw car tyres, wood planks, pipefish, one normal fish.... Yeah I think I saw less than 10 fish throughout the entire diving course. Definitely go up to Queensland for diving.

I saw a tin can wrapped in a stocking. And lots of star fish (actually they're called sea stars now as they realised its not a fish).

I swear I was going to suffer from mild hypothermia, thats how cold I was. And throughout the entire dive, my regular was leaking sea water so I would breathe it in and it wasn't pleasant. It made my lungs feel heavy and congested. I used my safety regular and it got a little better but it was still a little leaky. I let my instructor know but I carried on.

My breaths were getting shorter as the sea water continued to leak. We finally got to surface and I was kicking away to shore. Chris ripped out my regulator twice out of my mouth so I copped a mouthful of sea water and choked.

I pushed him away and kept on kicking. The current was still strong today so I kicked diagonally to maintain myself away from getting smacked onto the pier.

We finally made it to shallow waters and we took our fins off. I was struggling to breathe so badly. It was a shame because everyone walked out of the water in Baywatch style. All in our cool gear, walking to shore, people peering at us thinking "COOL!"

Then you look over at the last little turtle and I'm heaving and puffing and dragging myself. I would stop every 5 m to crouch down and catch my breath then continue again. I definitely wasn't cool.

I got to the van and I had to strip everything off and sit down to breathe. I started to feel better but my lungs were aching. I didn't feel too good.

We moved onto the next dive location, we wanted to be prompt with time so we all just sat in our cars with our wetsuits on. We went back to yesterday's Blairgowrie jetty spot and got straight into our gears.

I was the only one with the smaller cylinder as I just wasn't inept to carry it so far down. It just meant that I had to be careful with my air supply.

This dive went more smoothly, the visibility was much better, the current was still strong but controllable. We all felt heaps better coming out of that dive compared to the night before. It was planned and under control.

My regulator was still breathing sea water even though we tightened my tank as much as we could. Obviously there was an equipment malfunction but oh well too late. It just felt like absolute crap.

I was SO pumped getting out of the water. All the coldness was done and over with. I stacked on so many layers to reward myself with warmth. All of us headed to the local hotel pub to sit our exams.

I was feeling light headed from all that sea water entering my system so I did the exam in 10 minutes. I got 97% though so I passed :)!

We waited another 15 - 20 for the others to finish and everyone passed. One person failed with 69. You needed 75 to pass but the instructor was nice and let him resit 6 questions to get himself up to 75.

We all sat around with hot chocolates or beers and ate wedges and chips. We talked and laughed and exchanged details. It was getting late and we had a few hours drive to get back home so we said our farewells.

I felt too sick to drive home so thankfully Chris drove. These last 3 days were hell but a massive experience. I will never dive in winter in Victoria ever again. It felt like boot camp.

I had a 45 minute shower then I slept like Snow White - konked out.