First Northeast Dive

I did my first Northeast dive — we drove out to Dutch Springs in Bethlehem, PA. Dutch Springs is a big quarry dive spot. The water was pretty cold (55 on the surface, about 45 at depth), but, it was a DUI drysuit demo weekend, so, the water temperature wasn’t really an issue. The dive went smoothly for me, but, one of the guys I was diving with had a heck of a time…

There were four of us diving together, one “instructor” and three people who were all at various stages of newness to drysuit diving (I have a few drysuit dives under my belt, so I was relatively comfortable with it). I had a feeling from the start that one of the divers was going to have problems — he was slow to get in the water and only had about half of a tank of air, but, we were planning a short dive so the instructor decided this would be OK. Although the instructor outlined his plan for the dive, the problem diver had troubles sticking to the plan from almost the very beginning (frequently swimming in the wrong direction). Finally, we made it down to the sunken ship and the problem diver’s tank came free from his BC and was floating above him. The instructor noticed this quickly and helped the diver reattach the tank. Shortly after the floating tank incident, the instructor asked the diver how much air he had left only to discover the diver only had 120psi of air left in his tank — one normally surfaces with 500psi (or more). So, I got to witness somebody sharing their alternate air source in a situation other than just training. During the dive it seems almost everything that could have gone wrong for this diver did, but, to both his and the instructor’s credit, they both held it together and ended the dive in a “controlled” manner. Kudos to the instructor. I feel the major issue of the dive could have been avoided if he had not been allowed to enter the water with the short air supply, but, it really should have been enough air for the dive (I suspect the floating tank incident caused him to rapidly use his air supply). Anyway, all the divers that entered the water returned, so, it was ultimately fine.
Sadly, I only got to do one dive that day, but, I plan to return later this summer to do a couple days of diving.

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