Monday, October 03, 2005

Currents, Currents And More Currents…..

Back from diving in Pulau Dayang over the weekend. And man! What a trip! It was full of CURRENTS!!!

Experienced my first low on air (and hope to be the last) situation at the Pinnacle where I ended up sharing air with my Divemaster (DM) using his alternate air source. This happened as I have consumed too much air when descending down the line after I have a very tired surface swim to the anchored buoy (I even need the boat to pull me to the buoy). I was left with only 100 bars when I hit the bottom and used up another 50 bars quickly while fighting against the currents. I quickly alert the DM and he signal that I have to ascend with him.

As we had hit 20m, we need to do a 3 mins safety stop at 5m while drifting with the current. At 5m, my air was left with only 30 bars and that when the emergency procedures that I have learned during Open Water come into usage. Since I can’t do a normal ascent, the next best alternative is to use my DM’s alternate air source and of course provided that he has enough air for both of us to finish the safety stop. If not, I will have to do CESA. We ascended safely and now he joked that I owe him a life for taking half his air. :op And because of this situation, I did not get to see much except a Batfish that kept looking at me. Damn! I missed the chance to experience Pinnacle that is very BEAUTIFUL as the site can only be accessed when the conditions like weather and surface currents are suitable for diving. :o(

Besides the Pinnacle, I almost got swept away by currents and lost my group while diving at Rayner’s Rock the next day. We were all fighting against the current to get a right turn at a big rock. I was trying very hard to fin to make the turn but still the current swept me. Worst was that everyone except me had already made the turn. The current took me above the rock and as I was being swept, I can actually see the rest signaling to each other that I was lost. I saw my DM fighting againsts the current to go back to find me. Just then, I happened to see a protruding rock and I quickly grabbed hold of it. And guess what? The position I was at hanging for dear life was just right above where everyone stopped while waiting for the DM to come back with me. So I tried waving and banging my tank to signal that I was above but it seen that no one wanted to look up. Luckily, after about 2 mins of hanging on the rock and desperately doing all I can to get their attention, someone finally look up and saw me. After I regrouped, it was also time to ascend, as all were low on air while fighting currents.

Even though I had two terrifying situations, they will not deter me from diving again for the underwater world is ready breathtaking. See, they don’t call it BREATHTAKING for nothing. :o) This trip also managed to see more stuffs with my much improved buoyancy control ( We saw a Banded sea snake, lots of nudibranchs, Sea turtles, Moray Eels, Lionfishes and a juvenile Sweetlip etc) Mmmm….now….I ready need to get some improvements on my fining against currents.

I learned from these experiences and I know that I will tackle them better if they ever arise again. And yes, for this trip, I got some souvenirs from Pulau Dayang too. Nope…of course not corals that you must be thinking, but…………………………………………:

CUTS on the legs from rocks (while hanging for dear life),
Hydroid STUNG on right hand waist while looking at a Sea slug and
BRUISES on the legs with all the climbing up the boat’s stairs.


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