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Nettie Goes Techie!

Day 5:
Today we headed to Ras Mohammed again but because of yesterday's strong currents on Shark and Yolanda, John decided we’d dive at Ras Ghozlani. As a recreational dive, Ras Ghozlani generally has fairly straightforward currents (meaning they usually go in just one direction!) and it’s probably one of the easier dives in Ras Mo. With this knowledge I jumped in with confidence that today’s dive was going to be straightforward.

Unfortunately prior to jumping in I had made a mistake which would mean I’d not be finishing my course until tomorrow. When setting up the equipment I had incorrectly turned one side of the twinset off instead of on. This is a fundamental blunder that I won’t be doing again. You know if I did everything on this course perfectly first time, it wouldn’t be a challenge and therefore wouldn’t be worth doing. Thank goodness for my conscientious instructor who asked if I was happy that my air was on! There are no real traditional buddy checks as such in tech diving as you’re meant to look after and check everything yourself, but as this was a course my instructor would ultimately be looking after me.

So, despite my blunder before I hit the water I descended with confidence. We went a little slower on our descent today which meant I enjoyed sailing downwards, in tandem, we made sure we were both OK at 35 metres then 40 metres.I was pretty chilled and even performed a shutdown skill and removed and replaced my sling tank before we reached our maximum of 45m; the deepest I’ve ever been!

We had loads of time there so I could also count how much air I used in 5 minutes and play with a couple of clown fish whose anemone was overrun with cleaner shrimp. John asked me how much air I had and I signalled 200 bar. He asked me to come closer as he thought I must have got it wrong, as he told me later, no one had ever given him the 200 bar sign

My computer went into deco again and signalled this by bleeping; it bleeped again to tell me I would have to make a 7 metre stop before ascending to the surface.

When we came to ascend from 45 we had swam close to the corner of Ras Ghozlani (probably the most beautiful part of the dive site) and as we came up to 27 metres there were loads of beautiful table corals and fan corals to look at. When recreational diving you would normally just see them there from afar.

With not long at that depth we then headed to 18m over beautiful pinnacles with soft corals all over them. It was hard to keep my concentration on the run time. As it was, I kept to it ok but omitted to prime my sling tank until we were ascending to 12 metres. I made the switch to the 60% nitrox sling just in time and a few minutes later ascended to 9 metres where I was to send up my SMB.

Again the fish life was trying to distract me and I sent up the SMB whilst we were on our ascent to 6 metres. We then spent about 25 minutes at this depth which you might imagine would be dull but as the only thing I needed to think about was staying below 3 metres I could focus on the fish life. I was rewarded with a hawksbill turtle that swam past and he was very curious of all the gear we were wearing as he kept eyeing me up. That made my week really, and John had to admit later that he’d been diving with too many tough guys as he’d never seen a “techie” wave goodbye to a turtle before. I’m too pathetic for words aren’t I?!

So all in all this was probably the best dive I’ve had all week for both keeping to the run time, feeling comfortable and checking out the fish life.

This afternoon I passed the final Deco exam so all I need to do is have a similar dive tomorrow without having to be reminded to turn my gas on!


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