Recapping where I left off with my previous blog post, I went through an academic session on Enriched Air Nitrox, selected my scuba tank, tested the oxygen percentage, calculated my maximum depth, and labeled my canister. We then got ready and hopped on a boat heading to Baring, Olango Island.
A new twist: we added a compass to my left wrist. My instructor wanted to test my underwater navigation skills. As an Army veteran, I was already familiar with land navigation. Underwater navigation is different, but the basics are the same.
The hardest part was the current. The plan was for me to swim away from an object, and then navigate back to it. Very simple. However, I couldn’t get very far swimming against the current. As soon as I turned around, I could already see the object!
Anyway, I look forward to taking the course. It shouldn’t be difficult. I should probably work on finning before then.
We then swam to the wall, descended a few meters, and then drifted sideways along the wall. Although I have dived Baring before, the current was different this time. Last time we drifted away from Talima, and this time we drifted toward Talima. So, the view seemed different.
Also, I picked up a little bit of trash. I will blog that separately, because I still have to count and weigh it for Project Aware.
After returning to our dive center, we logged an 18-meter maximum depth and a duration of 46 minutes. My instructor asked me if I felt different diving with nitrox. At the time I said, “no.” It didn’t seem noticeable. After dive #5, which we did immediately following, I would change my answer!