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Dive Logs for Vance Stevens
PADI open water scuba instructor #64181
Dive 360
September 28, 2000
The wreck of the Ludwig

Diving with: Adsac
Dive sites: Ludwig wreck
Dive buddy: Pete Hardy
Others in dive party: Jenny and Rafi, Bob, Frank, and Ron
Conditions: Reasonable seas, light breeze
Water Temp: 31
Visibility: not great for the Ludwig, maybe 7 meters
Wetsuit combo: Some old pants from Katmandu and me Typhoon top
Weight:6 or 8

Bobbi and Dusty were supposed to come along. Dusty backed out Tuesday claiming oppressive homework assignments. Bobbi packed a bag Wed night but woke up Thu with a sore throat, so it was just me ...

Dive 360, The Ludwig

Data (from dive computer):

Time started: 11:48
Max depth: 27.5 meters
Dive time: 00:57
Min Temp: 22° C
Nitrox 21% (normal air), deco

Details of profile:

Pete and I agreed beforehand to surface with between 5 and 10 min. of deco time on our computers. When we came up, Pete had 5 and I had accumulated 8.

Description of dive:

Pete and I were both experimenting in preparation for the Energy Determination dive scheduled for next week, which Pete is going on and which I am next in line should someone drop out. Pete was trying out his pony bottle and I was experimenting with the Doing It Right technique introduced to us by Andy McAlpine, who gave us a talk by that name at the Gulf Diving Conference, May 19, 2000. I had had the honor of diving with Andy on the Energy Determination the one time I dived that site, and Andy had borrowed my spare cylinder. Good thing he had, as we were all sucking all the air we had before a spare tank was lowered us almost as an afterthought as we hovored mildly concerned meters below the boat. At the time, Andy had hooked the spare tank into his bcd and carried it across his chest, where he said it wasn't in the way. Andy had obviously given a lot of thought to the clips that held in that tank, and I must admit I didn't give that aspect a lot of thought until I started playing with it on the boat just before going overboard. Or maybe I had been thinking about it for some time, and what I had conceived in my mind worked fairly well, following Andy's example, which I'd seen firsthand. I clipped the thing in just before rolling backwards, and it worked pretty well.

In my vague conception of how it might go, I'd rigged the spare kit with its own bcd, thinking to use the straps and cumberbund of the bcd to rig it to my own bcd. But now that I've done it, I see that you just rig the spare cylinder with an octopus reg, forget the bcd. I've got D rings on my bcd chest and skirt, and I rigged a brass clip to the neck of the cylinder and hooked that to my chest D ring, and had another clip at the boot of the cylinder and clipped that to my skirt D-ring. I just made sure the hoses were in order and took it all backwards over the side with me. Aside from the unexpected extra weight and imbalance as I struggled to surface after entry, and perhaps a bit of drag when finning in currents, the extra tank was no hindrance whatsoever. To test it at the bottom, I went into some tight spaces, and with buoyancy under control, I found that just by holding it close in, maneuverability was about the same as always. The one modification I would make is, as Andy suggested, doing it right means you get a long octopus hose and wrap that one turn around your neck, so that a buddy can breath off the extra cylinder without having to stay in too close for comfort.

The dive on the Ludwig was not all that amazing. It's a wreck you can penetrate, but Pete and I had both agreed we'd been inside enough and the draw wasn't that great. So we agreed to stay outside. We dropped down to the bottom. Pete found a hole and managed to get his computer down to 29 meters by sticking his arm in. We scoured the bow and stern for rays but other than a large grouper at the stern found nothing. There were a lot of baraccuda off the bow, but most of the divers missed them due to the poor vis. I didn't see any tuna. There was an eel snake undulating along the sand on the hull side and I followed it until I realized that Pete was stuck over a black nudibranch in the sand and I went back for him and his plaything.

With all the extra air and the agreement to go into deco this our one dive of the day, it was a very relaxed affair. We stayed on the sand until my deco had gone to 5 min and then we ascended up the foredeck to about 20 meters where our grapple was caught in a net stuck to the hull. Fish were schooling there but without the tuna and baraccuda, it wasn't that amazing. Pete seemed reluctant to move away from the line up, I suppose because he was checking how he could dive on the air he was personally carrying. So with nowhere to go and not much to see and my deco time creeping up to 8 min, we started up the line, slowing down as the alarms went off. Our deco was at 3 meters but we did it at 6 or 7 to get below the jellyfish that were swarming in the area. At some point a school of silver fish swarmed in and started munching at the jellies. It was interesting to watch.

Pete had stayed a little higher than me the last half of the dive and he showed 5 min deco where I had 8. As we did our stops, this narrowed to where at the end we were just a minute apart. Pete stayed down with me my last minute, of course.

Pete and I were pretty pleased with the nicely executed technical aspects of our dive and with our equipment configurations, and both of us feel prepared to dive the Energy Determination at any time in the future with underwater systems that are tuned and in order.

Vance Stevens, |
Page updated October 20, 2000 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0