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Spider Crabs can just f*ck off
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've just spent a lovely weekend diving on Lundy with Obsession Charters (who I can highly recommend).

We had a fantastic day on Saturday – sunshine, blue skies, not a cloud to be seen. Our first dive was at Devil's Slide (white sand, piles of rock with loads of lovely colourful nudis and anemones), the second on the wreck of the Carmina Filomena (cargo vessel, very interesting wreck dive).

Next day, the weather was less than fabulous – overcast and drizzly but with no wind, so the sea was like glass. First dive was at Brazen Ward to entertain the seals.

So far so good. Last dive of the trip was on the MV Robert, a coaster in about 25m. It's got a permanent shot on it, so in we all jumped.

As I was going down the line, the first thing I noticed was that the rope appeared to be running horizontally under the surface. I knew I was descending, albeit at a slow rate, but was completely befuddled by the position of the line (turned out it was attached to another buoy at about 11m, from which it dropped straight down to the wreck). What didn't help was the fact that the substantial plankton in the water was racing towards me in the current. That, combined with the horizontal rope, succeeded in making me feel completely disorientated. I knew I was horizontal in the water, but started to wonder if I was, in fact, totally vertical and head-down. I found myself hypnotised by the plankton racing towards me so, when Turbs and I reached the wreck, I was unprepared and hadn't been putting any air in my wing on the descent.

We dropped down over the side of the wreck (by this time I'd switched my torch on as it was incredibly gloomy and the viz was awful). Almost immediately, Paul spotted a beautiful Comb Jelly with rainbow colours racing along its sides. I had to have a photo, so started fumbling for my camera. Just at that point, two divers swam underneath us. I felt something on my fins and looked down whilst trying to get out of the way.

The next thing I knew, I was falling down through the water and landed on the seabed on my back. It could only have been a couple of metres but my ears were killing me, as it happened too fast for me to equalise. Turbs was there straight away and I could tell by his body language that he was concerned. I gave him the 'OK', and sorted myself out. My breathing rate was sky-high so I concentrated on deep slow breaths, and off we went.

But that was me unsettled for the whole dive. I tried to focus on looking for little squidge on the side of the wreck (and found some lovely nudis) but I really didn't want to be down there. I signalled to Turbs that I wanted to end the dive, he got his smb out and sent it up. As is always the way when you're desperate to get out of the water, the line wrapped itself around the winder on his reel. It took him less than 10 seconds to free it, but to me it felt like a lifetime. If it had taken any longer, I'd've been off to the surface (there was no way I trusted myself at that point to send up my own smb). I had to talk myself into staying put, and making a proper ascent (which we did).

So, what did I learn?

Firstly it's very easy to become disorientated. I've always poo-poohed the idea of not knowing which way up you are but, by god, it's easily done!

Secondly, no matter how fabulous a photo opportunity may be, it ain't worth losing your concentration over.

Thirdly, dives that start off badly seldom improve.
 

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Disorientation is a horrid, horrid thing.

Thanks for reminding us about it, and well done for giving yourself a good talking to and staying put.
:) :girlhug:
 

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Kirsty, dont beat yourself up so, everyone (human) has the odd rubbish dive. i know, i have had my share when i have acted like a newbie first time in a drysuit!!!
glad that all was hurt was your pride.
anyway, as buddy tomorrow night, you can show me how well you can do LOL!

see you on the boat, ......and breathe........
 

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Disorientation is the worst thing I have had happen to me, and it is always that tricky little plankton that does it! When you get two things like an angle that isn't how your brain tells you it should be, and moving plankton you are on a hiding to nothing. I think you could call it your finest hour however, because you called the dive, made the ascent and were back on the boat for tea & biccies with no issues. That's the bit that counts.
 

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Is somewhere else!
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Disorientation is the worst thing I have had happen to me, and it is always that tricky little plankton that does it! When you get two things like an angle that isn't how your brain tells you it should be, and moving plankton you are on a hiding to nothing. I think you could call it your finest hour however, because you called the dive, made the ascent and were back on the boat for tea & biccies with no issues. That's the bit that counts.
What she said +1

:thunbsup:
 

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All we wanted was a home... Manics
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Well done! you dealt with it - may not have been text book but you conquered your potential panic and sorted it out. This should build your confidence in yourself for the future.

We all have 'bag of spanners' dives where everything is wrong. The important thing is you work it out and come back safely and in one piece -

EDIT - and its good you have the humility and guts to post this, as most people cover up their cock ups and try too hard to look cool. It says alot of positives about your approach.
 
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Get a grip
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Well done! you dealt with it - may not have been text book but you conquered your potential panic and sorted it out. This should build your confidence in yourself for the future.

We all have 'bag of spanners' dives where everything is wrong. The important thing is you work it out and come back safely and in one piece -

EDIT - and its good you have the humility and guts to post this, as most people cover up their cock ups and try too hard to look cool. It says alot of positives about your approach.
This is absolutely right,we all have dives which are less than perfect,and only fools deny it. You did not panic,and you got back ok. As Blu says you have done more than most to post this,its very usefull to learn from others experiences,with honest comment. I get more from this section than any other. Thanks very much for posting.
 

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So, what did I learn?

Firstly it's very easy to become disorientated. I've always poo-poohed the idea of not knowing which way up you are but, by god, it's easily done!
Agreed. One of the least pleasant dives I've ever had was under Swanage Pier, in surge with loads of weed flapping about. I felt sick, dizzy and generally bloody awful. The seabed refused to stay still so I could focus on it..:) Thankfully her majesty hoicked me up one of the pier legs to the surface where I threw up and then felt better:)

Quite odd considering I never feel seasick on the surface in any weather (even an F8 in a 9m boat - not a fun trip). I've never felt bad on any deep trip either, but I've felt similar two other times in similar circumstance - once at swanage pier (again), and once in Kimmeridge bay.

Anyway, pleased you are OK and you got back safely.
 

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Creature of the night
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Hi Kirstie,

thanks for the post, I'm glad it worked out well and I hope it hasn't dented your confidence?

Anyone who hasn't had dives less than optimal are either lying or don't dive enough.

P.S. even I know a medical wouldn't help with disorientation so I won't suggest it ;)
 
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That's a brilliant post because you have been diving for ages and you are experienced and it just goes to show that anyone can have a shit or scarey dive. You are always so good at describing your fears and wobbles and I can always identify with them. Maybe it's a girly thing? I doubt it. But you are such a star because you still love diving and don't mind sharing stuff like this.

I often get the impression that a lot of people on here are damn near perfect all the time. I am certainly not. I once felt like I was spinning mid water looking at plankton. It made me feel really sick. So it's nice to read your stuff, Kirstie, and feel normal!!

Good on you for writing this up. I think you are brill.
 

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Kirstie, it sounds to me that did well to figure out what was going on and deal with it. Especially as you are just a bird. :D

I had something similar happen in Barn Pool and it seriously freaked me! :eek:
 

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So much to dive, so little time!
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Hi Kirstie,

Sorry to hear about your dive on Sunday. I saw the dive boats from the island on Saturday & wondered what you were diving on. I don't know if you looked up at the cliffs, but if you did you might have noticed me climbing the Slide.

Both boats were unloading cylinders as we boarded the Oldenburg at 4.30 for the return to Bideford. I had a feeling that we lucked out on the weather Saturday...

Hamish.



 

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So raise your hand if you think that was a Russian
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A couple of points I suppose from a buddy's perspective.

Turbs was there straight away and I could tell by his body language that he was concerned.
People on Rescue Diver courses often ask the question, "How can you tell if someone is unhappy/uneasy underwater, especially if you don't know them?"
The most accurate, but probably least PC way I answer this is that the nutter in the street does not need a sign to indicate that he has a less than firm grip on reality, however we can all spot him and pretend to see a friend across the road. Underwater it's like that, so don't discount gut feelings.

Kirstie said:
I gave him the 'OK', and sorted myself out. My breathing rate was sky-high so I concentrated on deep slow breaths, and off we went.
I had a dive with Brian a couple of years back where my wing was inflating on the descent, so I was quite puffed by the time we'd got to the bottom. I identified the problem, disconnected the wing and gave Brian an 'OK' and we carried on, but really shouldn't have as I'd not got my breath back, we'd planned for 20 mins, but I was at our agreed ascent pressure after about 12.
I reckon for the sake of a couple of mins to get my breath back we've got more bottom time AND I'd've enjoyed the dive more, so if there was a point 4 to take from this, it'd be you're not necessarily OK just because the immediate problem is fixed, sort your head out as well before carrying on.
 

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Spider Crabs can just f*ck off
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Hamish

We were certainly lucky on Saturday - lots of sunburned faces on the boat! Our first dive was on Devil's Slide and we were all looking at the cliffs on the way round the island. You must be mad climbing them! I was looking for places where I could feasibly climb up if I got washed ashore, and couldn't see many :)
 

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Spider Crabs can just f*ck off
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A couple of points I suppose from a buddy's perspective.


the nutter in the street does not need a sign to indicate that he has a less than firm grip on reality, however we can all spot him. Underwater it's like that.
What, exactly, are you trying to say, my love?


;)
 

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It’s actually good to have a slightly scary dive every now and again, stops you being complacent…. I had one on the Ronda over Easter when I was trying to lead an Ocean diver around the top of the wrec. We got caught in a strong current and couldn’t get back to the shot as planned. Reminded me that I wasn’t necessarily quite as competent diver as I sometimes tell myself I am!!

I remember having a very minor problem with a wet breathing regulator soon after I qualified was actually quite scary, Paul was my buddy and I couldn’t have asked for a more attentive buddy or calming influence!
 
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