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Breathing-up, I noticed tension along the small of my back and the upper part of my legs, I tried to relax and focus on my breathing… “long exhales” I reminded myself. Then, when ready, I took my final breath and duck-dived down headed to a tennis ball at 60 meters – what would hopefully be my new constant weight PB. My mouthfill alarm was set to 13 meters, which is when I would sweep the arms through then do a nice, full mouthfill while descending to 20 meters, but it sounded sooner than anticipated, and I wasn’t ready. I began my mouth-fill, but it wasn’t quite right, I couldn’t seem to fill it all the way, then I realized my arms were still overhead mistakenly, and with the diaphragm completely up, filling the mouthfill wasn’t so effective. I quickly swept my arms through to my side, fiddling to locate the line with my fingers. The whole process was awkward, and the mouthfill certainly wasn’t going to be enough to get to 60 meters. In a last ditch effort to save the dive I tried to top it up, but it was too late, I was already too deep to be able to move much air.
With fingers lightly around the rope, I free-falled deeper and deeper, relaxing more and more. I focused on the relaxation and the mouthfill, noticing it quickly getting smaller and smaller, I worried. It was probably around 50 meters that my mouth of air was nearly empty, I kept going, still able to equalize, but shortly after the tubes closed and so I turned.
While turning I heard my 55 meter depth alarm sound, I opened my eyes and saw the ball, it seemed so close, “Maybe I can still get there” but it was too late I was already turned to head up.
During the ascent I put my attention on my technique, “flex the ankles…relax” I repeated over and over to myself, opening my eyes occasionally to see my position to the line. About 20 meters from the surface my legs began burning, they were full of lactic acid, I let up on the finning and slowly, gracefully drifted to the surface.
The recovery was quick and easy, I looked at my computer which read 55.9 meters, my PB was 55.3 so heck, a new PB, a small one but still, I was happy and slightly disappointed at the same time. Sure would’ve been nice to get to 60… I caught myself beating myself up, and shifted my thoughts to gratitude, grateful for an incremental improvement in depth, and for learning about some things I still need to work on in my dive. There’s always next time, I gladly told myself, accepting the dive for what it was.
Nick did a dive and after I informed him I wanted to do another dive to about 40 to try and smooth out my mouth-fill and freefall technique. He suggested I try to do another deep dive, “Don’t think about it so much” he said. So I decided to have a go.
Breathing-up through a snorkel, face-down in the water, Nick kindly held my weightbelt to prevent me from drifting over the crossline. He gently massaged my arms and legs, every place he touched the suit impressed slightly. When I started the dive it felt like he was still holding me all over, I felt surrounded and full of love.
The start of the descent was fast, arriving to 10 meters in 7 seconds. Once again my alarm for the mouthfill came extremely quick, but this time I was ready. I immediately swept my arms through to my side, locating the rope with one hand. I did my mouth-fill, which was spot on, and went straight into my free-fall, this time with much more speed and ease.
As I free-falled I finned gently to increase my speed even more, I was going fast, so fast I felt like a bullet in the water. The deeper I went the more my body relaxed and loosened, it seemed as though every meter melted away more and more tension. My 55 meter alarm sounded before I knew it, with plenty of air left in my mouth, absolute zero tension in my body and smooth equalizations, I wasn’t ready to turn yet, so I kept on…
My hand crashed into the ball, turning my body automatically head up, extending my arms loosely overhead I began monofinning up. “I did it!” I happily thought to myself. I closed my eyes and focused on my technique, feeling the water rushing by my face, seeing sparkles of light and shifting of colors through closed eyelids. Soon the sparkles became yellow and orange and I knew I was nearly there. Unlike the last dive my legs were strong and with little effect of lactic acid.
I opened my eyes, 10 meters from the surface, drifting up to the buoy, I gripped it as I did my recovery breathing, a bit out-of breath from the speedy ascent. Immediately I reflected on the easiness and funness of the dive. I took out my computer from the hood of my suit, it read 58.6. The line had been a bit short or at an angle, but in my mind I still went to 60, I knew that if the ball had been a meter and a half deeper I would have went right to it. I told Nick I went to the ball, he congratulated me with a kiss. In that moment feelings of accomplishment, bliss and love all waved over me all at once.
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[vc_column_text title=”Time Chart of 58.6 Meter Dive” disable_pattern=”false” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″ p_margin_bottom=”20″ width=”1/1″ el_position=”last”]
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|Depth (Descent)||Time||Increment||Depth (Ascent)||Time||Increment|
|0 Meters||0:00||0 Meters||1:51||8 sec.|
|10 Meters||0:07||7 sec.||10 Meters||1:43||8 sec.|
|20 Meters||0:17||10 sec.||20 Meters||1:35||9 sec.|
|30 Meters||0:27||10 sec.||30 Meters||1:26||9 sec.|
|40 Meters||0:39||12 sec.||40 Meters||1:17||9 sec.|
|50 Meters||0:50||11 sec.||50 Meters||1:08||8 sec.|
|58.6 Meters||1:00||10 sec.||58.6 Meters||1:00|
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[vc_column_text title=”Dive Details” disable_pattern=”false” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″ p_margin_bottom=”20″ width=”1/1″ el_position=”last”]
Date: August, 19, 2016
Loc: Blue Hole, Dahab
Target: 60M to ball – achieved
Suit: 3MM Oceaner
Weights: 1kg neckweight, 1.5kg belt
Breakfast: banana, hot fruit drink
AM Feeling: sleepy
#1: 18M FIM w/ mask, 1’18”
#2: 18.4M FRC, 1’10”
#3: 23.2M FRC, 1’20”
DIVE #1: 55.9M
Dive Time: 1’53”
Descent Time: 0’59”
Ascent Time: 0’54”
Descent Speed: .9474
Ascent Speed: 1.035
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DIVE #2: 58.6M
Dive Time: 1’51”
Descent Time: 1’00”
Ascent Time: 0’51”
Descent Speed: .976
Ascent Speed: 1.15
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