Did my PADI dry suit speciality last Sunday with Tigerdive. Capenwray was mad busy!
The day started off poorly as we were bent over and rogered for £27 each just to get in – £15 to ‘register’ with Capenwray and £12 to dive. The school really should have told us about this… Pure luck that Mat had cash. I never do.
After breakfast we finally found the school. Tricky as the usual big yellow van had broken down. It took till about 11am before we hit the water for the confined dive. The aim here was to do a fin pivot and hover on a 2m platform. I had a lot of difficulty with this.. I was overweighted with 12kg and therfore could not hover in a position i felt comfortable in. To get neutrally bouyant meant having lots of air in the dry suit and the neck seal was a bit loose for me. This often ended up with air dumped into my hood . I eventually passed this phase and we went back in.
After a snack we were back into the first open water. For this we were sent out with someone who was doing an adventure dive for his Advanced Open Water, so we would be assisting in a search and recovery dive to make it more interesting. This dive went well with some patterns, working with a lift bag etc while maintaining neutral bouyancy. This time I had 8kg and was struggling to stay down in some of the exercises… When swimming around with a DSMB towards the end of the dive, I lost bouyancy control – dumped the air from the suit, emptied lungs but still came up. Probably underweighted.
The final dive we only just made tot he water before the gates were closed. Capenwray was so busy that air fills were taking an age to get done. This time we descended onto the wessex helicopter and did the roll procedure to correct excess air in the legs of a drysuit. after this we swam over the the transit and metro they have dumped in the quarry, this was an interesting dive that allowed us to begin exploring Capenwray. Finally we did a scuba unit removal and refit on the surface, followed by weight belt removal and refit. I suck at the weight belt, again because of the way i float. The sooner I can get my own kit and get everything trimmed out to my satisfaction, the better.
Overall a good course and an interesting venue. Just be aware of the extra costs (especially if you have never been to Capenwray before) and make sure you know where to meet the school.