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Well, at least it will get me fit (Stoney Cove 22.4.07)

1131 Views 22 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Mark Davies
OK, so it isn't a wonderful dive off the coast somewhere, but it is the perfect venue for me to dive my newly acquired Buddy TekWing for the first time, and try and get used to it so that I can dive it at the Weymouth weekend in a fortnights time.
I had arranged to meet Spacehopper there, in an absence of anywhere better inland to go to, so I arrived at 9AM this morning, knowing that I wouldn't get anywhere near to the normal car parks. I was quite correct here, and I am placed up almost in the far corner of the car park up cardiac hill, but thats OK, as I'll just kit up and walk down in my kit and get the car down later when it is time to pack...
Gareth arrives at about 9.45 and manages to get on the road between all the car parks (how unfair is that!) so after a leisurely coffee, we sort out a plan of action. I have already adjusted the straps on the Wing into what looks like a vaguely sensible fitting arrangement for me, and I have also changed the hoses over on my rig to accommodate the Buddy over the old Mares BCD, so after getting the tanks filled we split to get kitted up.
I get chatting to some guys from Coventry BSAC who had already been in, and were just doing the one dive, and apart from being a little green, its not too bad in there by the sounds of it, although I still needed my winter layers to keep warm.
Anyway, we kit up, and Gareth helps me on with the Wing, and I get everything into place, including getting the pony mounted next to the main tank on the wing, and we wander down to the waters edge, dropping the car keys in at the shop on the way.
We reach the water and start to get ready when Gareth complains that he's forgotton to rinse his mask. I then start to complain because I've forgotton to bring my mask down from the car. Oh Bother said Pooh. Well, something like that anyway. So, its back up the car park, get keys from some very amused shop staff and trudge all the way up to the middle car park to get the mask. Back at the waters edge and I'm completely knackered as its warm, I'm in three layers of kit, and in a not so moment of wisdom, hadn't bothered to dekit before going to get the mask. So I kit up and get in the water to cool down. After five minutes or so of relaxing on the surface and getting my breath back and getting myself back ready to dive, we drop down into about 4 metres, to do an initial check. First thoughts on the Wing ? Interesting.... I seem to be pulled to one side slightly, and not the sinde on which the pony is mounted :embarassed: Anyway, I establish buoyancy, and do a couple of little tests, and then we head along the ledge, before dropping down over the wall and down onto the 20 metre section. Its quite green down there today, and we mooch around a little down there whilst I get used to the new kit, then we see the Stanegarth anchor chain and I decide to follow it to the left and out to the tug. After following this for a minute or so, I stop to rejig my Octo, which is not quite sat right and is bugging me, and as I hover there doing this I look down and see the Stanegarth's anchor. Hmm, left wasn't the right direction then... I really hadn't got my mind switched on in terms of the content of the dive, too busy thinking about and learning the new kit I think. Anyway, we decide to head up the wall nice and gently, as Gareth is feeling a little chilly, being the hard diver that he is and not wearing gloves or a hood. We ascend nice and gently up to the ledge and spend about fifteen minutes playing with hovering, and trying to hold stops etc, all good practice, before getting out for a nice warm coffee and some lunch.
During the surface interval, we adjust the straps on my wing some more, getting D rings into the right places etc, and after a nice long relaxing gap, we get back in for the second dive. This time we just stay on the six metre ledge, using the dive purely for practice on the buoyancy and a few other bits and pieces, although we spend a few minutes hovering almost on the bottom by the Nautilus gently stirring the bottom up and watching the fish come within an inch of our masks feeding on the silt. The problem from the first dive of feeling that I am being pulled to one side does not appear on the second dive, so I can only assume that I did not have the straps adjusted equally on the first dive and the wing was not sitting on my back quite correctly as a result. The dive is made more difficult by the fact that every third fin stroke, we have to take evasive action to avoid other divers, its obviously the height of the early season training season. Eventually it is time to get out again and we exit at the steps, and de-kit. We bring the cars down and load up before adjourning to the pub to partake of the local offerings, and fill the old log books in etc.
A good couple of dives, as I feel I already know the wing quite well. I decided to control my buoyancy on the wing rather than the suit today, to ensure that I can do it correctly, and also to compare the diving styles. I may well decide to continue to do it this way, as I like the way the wing holds you in the water. I have one more evening at Stoney on May 2nd before heading down to Weymouth the following weekend, so this will be another good chance to try things out. All I need to do now is work out where to stow the reel and blob, and spare mask etc, all the stuff I used to keep in the BCD pockets :teeth:

Dive 1 Max Depth 21.3 metres, total dive time 37 mins
Dive 2 Max Depth 8.7 metres, total dive time 43 mins
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Get yourself on OMS pouch or similar and get it on the waist strap, this is what I did with my tekwing and it works great.
The OMS Pouch has enough room for two DSMB's and a lanyard - in case I have the rare luxury of being able to tether the blob to something before lift off.

Another point on the tekwing - watch out for the inflator hose, it can be positively buoyant and it has once ended up behind me and I was unable to get it back. This happened on ascent so you will have a good idea as to the result:embarassed:. Remember there is another purge on the back of the wing which is meant for trimming but works if you can't get your inflator hose back..........
That was Spacehopper's car, but we based ourselves up against the wall of the toilet block so we didn't have to do too much walking :)
So did we! We were probably stood next to each other without realising it. :)
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