Peak Performance Buoyancy Adventure Dive with Trisha

Trisha is working towards her Advanced Open Water certification and today we did a peak performance buoyancy adventure dive together.  We saw some pretty cool things and had a good time!

 

On Tuesday Trisha and I met up at Ark Dive to complete her Peak Performance Buoyancy Adventure Dive – the first of her five dives in her Advanced Open Water Diver certification.  We reviewed our dive plan, set-up our gear, did our pre-dive safety check, and then entered the water.  As we descended into the water Trisha and I both came into a hover about 10 feet from the sea floor.  It was great to see Trisha make a controlled descent while also protecting the marine environment around her.

 

Trisha on her Peak Performance Buoyancy Adventure Dive

 

As we hovered in the water for 1 minute, we noticed that Trisha’s feet were rather buoyant compared to the rest of her body.  Although she competed the skill without any huge problems, we discussed how she could minimize having positively buoyant feet during our dive debrief and came to the conclusion that ankle weights might be a good purchase.  I also have this same problem (even with my negatively buoyant fins) and wear 1 lb. ankle weights to help mitigate the problem.


Trisha Practicing To Hover In Various Positions


We then transitioned into an obstacle course.  This is pretty challenging because Trisha had to use breath control to adjust her buoyancy when swimming through several different hula hoops that I had placed in the water.  This was also a great opportunity for practicing how to kick in the most efficient way possible – lots of gliding.  There was also a little bit of surge so Trisha had to be very patient and get a feel for how the water was moving her about before attempting to navigate through each hula hoop.

 

Tambja Morosa Nudibranch

 

Once finished the obstacle course, we practiced hovering in various positions – head-up, feet elevated above the head, and horizontally.  With a little bit of practice, Trisha was looking completely as ease with the various positions.  For me, putting my feet directly over my head is always a fun skill to practice…even thought it feels a bit odd.

 

Trisha Swimming Along The Bottom

 

We finished our dive by practicing to swim close to the sea floor, but without disturbing the surroundings.  As we kicked along the bottom we came across so pretty awesome creatures.  First, we saw a Tambja Morosa Nudibranch.  I must give a big shout out to Kelly McDonald for helping me identify this nudibranch.  After searching for about an hour online, I gave up and posted the picture in a popular Okinawa dive forum on Facebook (Okinawa Divers).  Within a few minutes, Kelly had replied back with the correct identification!  Ok..back to the dive.  The surge was pretty strong and the nudibranch was positioned in such a way that it was hard for me to get a really nice photo of it from the front.  Oh well…

 

Tasseled Scorpionfish

 
Next we swam right over top of a tasseled scorpionfish. He was pretty well blended into his surroundings on the broken coral rocks he was resting upon.  Trisha and I both took a whole bunch of pictures and he actually let me get within a foot to take some close-ups.  It was pretty awesome.  These fish always make me laugh because of their little “beards” on their chin.

 

Linckia Starfish

 

Lastly, we came upon a little linckia starfish  I like these starfish because they have a variety of vibrant colors…always fun to take close ups.  While researching the name of this starfish I learned that “this species has been known to reproduce asexually in aquariums, by breaking off an arm and that arm creating a whole new starfish. A truly incredible species!”

 

We finished off our dive by doing another buoyancy check on the surface.  During the dive I had passed off two weights to Trisha as she seemed to be a little bit too buoyant.  After I had her drain her tank to 500 psi on the surface, she performed the necessary steps to check her buoyancy – she seemed to be properly weighted.

 

Doing the Peak Performance Buoyancy Adventure Dive with Trisha was a lot of fun and we were both able to practice refining our dive skills.  1 down.  4 to go!