As Saturday was dedicated to storm drains, the ‘dive plan’ for Sunday was quickly filling up. Secchi disk reading, videoing some fin kicks and making sure our training square was in good condition, practicing valve drill and finally another battery removal. No small order!
Gearing up took a bit longer than expected, but that is nothing new, the people I dive with are not just dive buddies but friends as well. A Sunday dive is a nice place to catch up.
(I was also giving the tide ever last minute to come in, as it makes the entry/exit at cove 3 much nicer)
Onward, outward and downward. As we made our way, visibility was far better than i’d expected with all the recent storm run off. Quickly located the Sechhi disk station and dragging my camera and battery removal kit (aka looking like some odd creature from Cirque or a one woman circus) took a reading… 32′! woop woop! vis is holding!
the piling is directly up slope from one corner of the training square (a 50 X 50 square for practicing fin kicks etc…) so we then made our way to the square and i proceed to video propulsion of my two team-members. I know some of you are reading this and thinking “what on earth?!” but for some, diving is an art as much as a hobby, and to become better at some portions of it, having video of yourself is one of the best training aids. Helping you see what you “look” like as opposed to what you “think” you look like 🙂 I enjoy videoing folks because the improvements they make when they utilize this technique are quite brilliant. For some folks i think it is just ‘fun’ to get out and be able to focus ‘internally’ for a bit and just feel the water and how one moves through it.
On the first run around the square i peeled off on the top leg to check out the battery that was in my sights. Hrm… i counted about 5 gunnel heads sticking out. they did not look terribly inclined to vacate. Hrm. Ok, back to the task at hand, i chased down my team and continued video’ing, the whole time thinking about what/how i was going to serve an eviction notice. Then it came to me… I’d let the water do the work for me! Hopefully growing up in a lead house has not stunted the mental development of these gunnels! I would park the battery in the intertidal zone, and hopefully as the tide went out, the gunnels would get the message.
after a few more skills practice that I won’t bore you with, it was time to remove the battery. This battery is not as large as the last one, but it had its own bit of character. This ones unique feature was being mostly buried in the silty/sandy bottom. After wrestling it free, and loading it up in the containment field, we were off. There are some interesting quirks to using a lift bag right now with all the rains, Puget Sound is actually a bit brackish, and especially at dive sites where there is a nearby watershed or river, the often colder fresh water ‘floats’ on top of the heavier warmer salt water. What does this mean to me you might be wondering. Well, the lift bag will loose some buoyancy from ‘temperature’ difference (not a huge amount but if i’ve got it totally dialed in, noticeable) and add to that, the battery will ‘gain weight’ in the fresh water. So you can see in the video, as we crest the slope, suddenly the battery touches down without me having released any gas. Ah diving physics in action, what fun! The quickest way to remedy this situation is ‘lift’ the bag ever so slightly, even a half a foot will make a difference (the gas expansion) and voila! Neutral again without having to add gas. Anyhow, enough geeking… on with the story. We brought the battery in, as planned to the intertidal zone. I have an area i’ve been stashing things like cinderblocks, preparing some ‘training’ work for my team of battery removal divers 🙂 It is out of the way, won’t be terribly noticeable (I can hear the public outcry already when the tide goes out, “who’s leaving dead batteries on the beach!!??!!”). Now lets cross our fingers that our slithery friends will get the eviction notice and find a less toxic home… Really guys, its in your own best interest!
Serge was kind enough to shoot video of the battery rodeo! Thank you Serge!