Caption: this is a bad photo of the “boxing ring.” It is a series of ropes for practicing buoyancy by swimming under, over, and around different ropes with proper trim and technique.
This past Saturday I took the SSI Perfect Buoyancy course. I still need to take the written test and practice, practice, practice.
We started off in the swimming pool and did some exercises. Then we did two open water dives at the house reef.
This is a really fun course, if anyone reading this has not taken it yet. My favorite part is the 10-second hovering challenge.
In the swimming pool it was a little challenging, but not too much. In open water it was much more challenging. I was concerned about surfacing prematurely, but I was able to to successfully control my depth.
The way it works I was given 3 markers. I started at the bottom and hovered 10 seconds, ascended to the middle and hovered 10 seconds, ascended to the top and hovered 10 seconds, descended to the middle and hovered 10 seconds, and then descended to the bottom and hovered 10 seconds.
The depth change in open water was significant. But, I ascended slowly and stopped at the proscribed depth. Descending back down was comforting.
We then did some real exercises. By this I mean picking up trash from the seafloor and taking photos while practicing proper buoyancy.
I was able to do everything I wanted to do while maintaining air consumption at the same rate as my instructor.
I’m now looking forward to doing a few fun dives while trying to turn my new buoyancy techniques into habits.