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Vance Stevens, P.A.D.I. Open Water SCUBA Instructor #64181

Dive Log: Aruba, December 19 to 22, 1999

Date: December 19, 1999

Dive #322-323

Location: Aruba

Diving with: Mermaid Sport Divers

Dive site: Shore dive from pier on south shore

Dive buddy: Cory

Others on dive: just the two of us

Others present at dive site: no one

Sea condition: mild

Water temp: 79F

Visibility: 15 meters or so

Wetsuit combo: lycra skin and 2 mil shorty

Weight: 10 lb

 First dive

Profile tracking chart

Planned time

Depth

PG

Actual time

Depth

PG

Pressure group in

1st dive of day

 

 

Air in:220 bar

 

 

Time at bottom (NDL)

()

 

 

25 min

24 m

 

Time at next level

 

 

 

30

12 m

 I

 

Comments: Kind of a nice dive just me and Mermaid divers instructor Cory. We did it as a shore dive from the pier, heading left at first then right. We saw a couple of big green morays, a small barracuda lazed ahead of us a bit of the dive, and Cory found an octopus in a rock on the way back and we hovered at a distance trying to get it out. Other than that, lots of those little hatchet fish, box fish. A cuttlefish on our way back in. Small stuff.

Surface interval duration actual: We planned on the wheel a 45 min surface interval, but it was more like 35. Didn't matter a lot.

Second dive we kept it down around 18 meters. I was starting to chill and we didn't see as much, a gray moray was all I remember. Sort of just going through the motions. Still got 45 or 50 min. out of it. Cory was doing an out and back pattern and as soon as she saw the junk on the bottom showing the way in, she was like a horse to stable.

 

Date: December 20, 1999

Dive #324-325

Location: Aruba

Diving with: Mermaid Sport Divers

Dive site: Barcadera Reef, some other south side site

Dive buddy: Carlos and Kevin and L.

Others on dive: Carlos's student

Others present at dive site: Cory and her student Michelle

Sea condition: mild

Water temp: 79F

Visibility: 15 meters or so

Wetsuit combo: lycra skin and 2 mil shorty plus a t-shirt

Weight: 10 lb plus 1 for assistance

 First dive

Profile tracking chart

Planned time

Depth

PG

Actual time

Depth

PG

Pressure group in

1st dive of day

 

 

Air in:220 bar

 

 

Time at bottom (NDL)

()

 

 

20 min

25 m

 

Time at next level

 

 

 

20

5-10 m

 

This dive combo was advertised as a reef dive and a drift dive. There were two uncertified students and a couple consisting of a rescue diver and an open water diver plus me. The couple were paired and the dive instructors Carlos and Cory each paired with a student each. Cory and Michelle and Carlos and an elderly lady whom he led by the hand.

Dive plan was 18 meters to 50 bar for the first dive. However, we saw some barracuda at around 25 meters and dropped level with them. Carlos led his o/w student to that depth and maintained it for around 10-15 minutes. Then he led us up to very shallow, around 5 meters to gas off the rest of the dive. At that point we didn't see much amid the coral, but after Carlos surfaced with his student, Kevin and L and I stayed and found a big green moray and saw a few more barracuda.

The second dive was totally boring. Carlos pulled up on the south end of the island. There was a stiff current but rather than set up a drift dive, he anchored the boat. He had to do that since both instructors were in the water with no top cover. He made plain that he wanted to drop down the anchor line and set the anchor then pull a line over to attach to some engines he'd left there to make a mooring.

With Michelle and Cory on their dive, it was Carlos with Kevin and L and the elderly lady student. We dropped on sand at 5 meters and wandered around some shallow coral to the anchor line and then set off in search of the engines, also in 5 meters depth off the stern of the anchorage. When we found them, Carlos had us wait for him as he went about stacking the heavy parts to his liking. There happened to be an octopus in one of the engines, and an attractive purple fan nearby, but other than that it was a complete waste of time with lack of responsibility toward clients. We were hanging out with our knees in the sand 24 min into the dive, and I'd run through a quarter tank of air, before Carlos, who had told us to all stick with him, would see fit to lead the dive. I had meanwhile tried to interest Kevin and L in heading off on our own, since by that time I wasn't planning to dive with Carlos again, but Kevin didn't want to mutiny.

By the time Carlos finally decided to turn a work dive into a fun dive, he ran us down to about 14 meters for 10 minutes but then signaled a turnaround at about the point the current was beginning to look interesting since his student was by then low on air. He then led us up to 5 meters again for more shallow coral hopping. Kevin and L and I looked for diving room after Carlos had headed up with his student, but we couldn't get into the current without having planned a drift dive so we had to stay shallow and under the boat. We got about 45 minutes in, only 20 min. fun diving.

What Carlos should have done on this trip was given the two students to one instructor and had the other instructor lead the more experienced divers. Alternatively, he could have used his client instructor and rescue divers to take care of the spouse open water diver and left us to a drift dive while the two house instructors minded their students. It is possible he didn't have a line and buoy on board for a drift dive if he wasn't actually planning on having us do one. He could also have taken the weaker divers and the stronger ones in turns, but he was on a tight schedule, trying to squeeze 3 dive trips into one day to make ends meet. In any event, I thought it was one of the more poorly organized dive trips I'd ever been on, executed oblivious to the interests of the certified divers on the trip.

On return to shore, I called Red Sail Divers and booked with them for the next day. If I was going to just be dumped in the water with a random group of people, I wanted to at least be dumped competently.

Next morning, I awoke at 9:30 and realized I'd missed my dive. I'd put a pillow over my head to drown out roosters and I guess I didn't hear my 2 alarms.

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Last updated: December 21, 1999