Well. I know I haven’t blogged in awhile, but I have been super busy (a lot has been going on) and also I really believe that I need to be in the proper mood to write a blog. Right now is the perfect time because the internet isn’t working. This is one of the drawbacks of island life, but the perks make up for it in the long run.
So, that means that I can’t post this blog, but I can write it and post it once the internet is back on. Without internet I can’t respond to, or receive any emails, I can’t pay my bills on line, or work on the website, or do any online banking. So, instead of all this I am going to write this blog. Whilst also killing mosquitoes at the same time.
The first thing that I am excited about is the fact that Chris took me out on my first rebreather dive yesterday. I have to tell you, I was a little bit scared. Chris spent the evening before explaining all the equipment to me, what I needed to be aware of, and the steps that we would take in the water. However, after four dives that day and a glass of wine, I’m not sure all the talk about solenoids and linearity checks actually soaked into my brain.
When we were actually on the boat, about to enter the water, I pointed to Chris and then myself, and then I made the buddy sign (I was doing my three minute pre-breathe so I had the rebreather regulator… or loop in my mouth and couldn’t talk). This means “You better stay close to me the entire dive, buddy, cuz I’m about to pee in my wetsuit!”
We entered the water by sitting on the edge of the boat and then pushing ourselves forward. Normally we do a backward roll, but you can’t with a rebreather, as you don’t want to damage the “brain” of the rebreather. Once in the water, on the surface, I started to calm a bit. Being in the water is what I am used to, I mean, I’ve basically spent about 13 weeks of my life underwater. If you counted up all the dives I’ve done and did them all in one go.
There are two really strange things about the rebreather. Firstly, there are no bubbles unless you breathe out of your nose, and secondly, you can’t control your buoyancy with your lungs. If you exhale (intending to descend) the counter lungs simply fill with air, so your overall buoyancy doesn’t change. You can only control your buoyancy by using your BCD or by breathing out of your nose. By breathing out of your nose the air leaves the loop. Does that make sense? By breathing out of your nose the air is lost into the water and the amount of air in the loop decreases. However, if the amount of air in the loop is too little, then the rebreather brain says “Sally doesn’t have enough air in her loop” so it injects some into the loop. This means again that your overall buoyancy hasn’t changed, ahhhh! Anyway… this is very strange for someone who has spent 13 weeks underwater controlling how she goes up and down by using her lungs.
So, back to the first point, no bubbles. This is really cool! It makes the dive so quiet and peaceful. It makes you feel like you are part of the water, this amazing underwater creature that can breathe down there. The fish look at you differently. They aren’t thinking “what is that weird thing over there with tank and all those bubbles. That weird thing isn’t supposed to be down here.” Instead the fish are thinking “Never seen another fish like that before, let’s go check it out!” And they do. You can get so close to the fish. I was swimming amongst this group of spade fish (who are normally pretty skittish) and I could’ve just reached out and poked them. Literally. They weren’t bothered by me at all, it was amazing!
Chris looked after me the whole time, just as I knew that he would, and it brought me back to the days when Chris was my cool divemaster, or “DM” my family liked to say. “Sally, DM is on the phone.” That was code for Divemaster. Only because when Chris called me on the phone one time, instead of saying, “Hi, this is Chris, can I talk to Sally please?” He said “Hi, this is Sally’s Divemaster, is she there?” It was funny, but I digress.
Well, it is 8:30 AM now, the internet still isn’t working, but I doubt that anyone at the Cable company, our service provider, is there is yet. This is the Caribbean, and a Monday! I will try at 9 AM.
Alright, I’m sure I can find something else to do with my time, like cleaning, organizing, filling tanks etc. There was a time before the internet, if you can believe it!
I will try and write more tomorrow, I want to post about some other things that are going on here, and also the AMAZING weather we are having. In the meantime, here are some photos that I took of Chris the other day, looking super stealth in his rebreather set up at La Renee.
(Sally wrote this blog 🙂 )
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