Select Page

03/09/13 Peak Performance Buoyancy

By 5 years ago
Categories Mahe and Curieuse
Today is PPB or Peak Performance Buoyancy dive.  The second dive of the expedition was one I was looking forward to as I was keen to improve mine.  Essentially I am a holiday diver.  The waters around the UK are too cold for me (and I do not do cold very well). So I needed the practise.

The idea is to test (and improve) our buoyancy control which would then deliver benefits when we are hovering above coral and counting fish.  I hoped by the end of the expedition I will have automatic buoyancy, but for now I will have to see how things go.

All the initial dives take place in the shallow bay in about 6m of water.  It started with a controlled hover in mid-water and then we descended to the bottom. 

There we all were on the bottom in a semi-circle on our knees, as if paying homage to the ‘leader-deities’, of Brodie and Lee.  For them it must have been like trying to keep tabs on a group of small children in a sweetshop.  While you look at one the others are getting into mischief.  I bet they often wish they had five sets of eyes and arms as we no doubt kept them their toes.

I don’t know about the others but I always seem to be kneeling quite comfortably until it was my turn and then I would be caught off balance with a swell or unsettled by a surge, and with all eyes on me I ended up floundering around like a paper bag in a breeze.  Everyone else seemed to be doing so much better.

In my mind the hardest exercise was to do an inverted hover, which basically meant you had to hover upside down.  It was really funny.  As soon as you assumed the position the current seemed to take hold and the poor leaders were like a couple of border collies with a herd of wilful sheep as they chivvied and chased escaping volunteers as they floated away with the current.

The whole scene reminded me of a helium balloon vendor, who as soon as he released a balloon it just wandered off into the distance.  I even lost sight of my dive buddy who disappeared into the by now cloudy water, but as she was being chaperoned by Lee, I presumed all would be ok. Safely back in the boat and with a newfound confidence my thoughts moved towards the next dive.