A Dive at The Crater

I had a class set up for the Crater on Saturday and Sunday. Naturally, winter decided to finally show up. The weather service predicted doom and gloom for the whole weekend. With that in mind, I cancelled Saturday’s class from 4-6pm but kept Sunday at 10am. Of course, Saturday afternoon the roads were fine and Sunday morning they weren’t. Oh well…

So we got everyone up there Sunday morning and the Crater was busy. There were 2 groups there from another local dive shop. Apparently they came with more people then they had planned. I can’t say anything about that since we do that all the time. Make a reservation for 5 and show up with anywhere from 2-8 people. We try to keep the numbers close since that helps the Crater have a better idea of who is doing what. Since some of our guys were late, the other groups were in the water and diving by the time we go set up on the dock. This is good since you don’t want EVERYONE under at the same time. If you take turns and stagger your dives, more people can get in and it works better for everyone. The biggest part of that involves taking turns on the platform or the PVC pipe-square. After watching the other groups from the surface, it looked like all they were done and making their dives so we started down the ropes to the pipe. As soon as we go there, I could see a group below up starting to ascend back up the ropes. Naturally they weren’t looking up about to run into us so I got my group to move over and hover while they came up. Only problem was once they got to the pipe, I saw the instructor give the sign for a safety stop. And they were not moving or giving us back any of the pipe. I guess that’s what happens when they have more people then you do!

Once we got reorganized and diving, it was actually really nice. The vis was great, the water was warm and everyone did great a great job on staying together and buoyancy. We ended the dive and spent some time on the surface. I was hoping the other groups would notice that we were up and they would go down so that we could have a turn on the platform before our time was up. Nope, nothing doing. They took their time and didn’t move off either. Finally we had to go down and share some of the pipe. The instructor gave me a look like “Who are you and what are you doing on my pipe?” but we only took a small part of it and time was running short.

All in all it was a great class on a cold day. It helps out on a busy day when all instructors realize they need to share and try not to “hog” the pipe or the platform.