2003-11-09 16:10:01 UTC
Two had the biggest spearguns I've ever seen. Five feet long
and four banded. All the rest carried spearguns as well.
One brought two sets of doubles on board. I was gratified to learn
that correct technique for carrying doubles is to grab both ends
and hold the manifold right under your chin with elbows high.
One was sporting DIN valve 8" jesus-jugs with cave fills. I was too
honored for words when he decided my foot was the best place to
rest one of them. I also learned that 8" jesus jugs are carried
on the shoulder, especially when boarding the boat.
Three of them carried HID. I can't say what the burn times were
but the size of the canisters reassured me that the boat would
have no difficulty starting engines in the event that the 8Ds failed.
Nine O'clock departure time came and went as we watched one of them
(who arrived at eight thirty), stand by his car talking on a cell phone
while his wife stood by talking on another cell phone as he carefully
assembled his gear. Gear that would not be on the boat for another
fifteen minutes. It's important to set it up right.
Dive time finally arrives and we learn all kinds of new entry
techniques. Face first seems to be popular with the big guns,
while baby strides that tap the platform with the tank, coming
in a close second.
Effective weight distribution is no problem. We see one of them
hitch up the all-neoprene-multi-pocket-crotch-strap-captive belt
to a point just below his sternum and cinch it up tight. This
guy is a serious hunter. He sports a blue on blue camo wetsuit
so the fish will never see him coming.
Pointing to an all-purpose folding hex-key set with a first stage
port plug on the deck, I ask: "Is that a problem?"
One of the big guns waiting to enter the water is handed a spool he
left behind. He slides it under the palm of the hand holding the
monster gun. Good call. You don't want too much stuff on yer D-Rings.
Two of the divers about to enter look like they are going to vapor
lock. Hyperventilating, their faces are locked in a grimace of firm
determination to overcome their obstacle. My rescue training tells
me to intervene, but the sight of those long hoses and practiced
OOA skills supersedes my gut feeling.
When we got back on the boat, all the divers were there. That was
a relief. We overheard firm reassurances:
"Nah you don't need a computer. I do it all in my head."
"Once you get your tech I it's all second nature."
"30 fpm to the first stop. Stay 20 seconds, then 20 seconds for
the next ten feet. Stop for 20 seconds. Then just repeat that
until you get to 20 feet."
One of the spear-sissies got a nice Hog. Rather than dispatch
it, he just poked it in the eye with the steel catch loop, poking
it out the other side. A half our later, the fish was still alive.
It's a pity that his "distressed-fish-shark-troller" failed to
attract our resident bull. I know he wanted to kill something
The hog was proudly displayed on the centerline mat, so we just
stepped over it to get to the second dive. When we got back they
were all on board again except for one, so I have great faith now
in their decompression planning. The odd man out was found by his
DIR divers are very impressive. The impression is indelible.