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  1. #1
    Established WTF Member Spirit of Guernsey's Avatar
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    Interesting Dive

    Yesterday I did a fairly standard scallop dive for me, was dropped onto a slope at 30m and sent up my SMB immediately, which was clipped to my scallop bag. I then went down the slope to 37m, releasing more line. the scallop bag was then tucked under my arm while I started to fill it. The current was fairly strong, 1.5-2kts so I just had to grab what I could as it shot past.

    After 20-odd minutes, I had a 15 minute deco obligation, so went to do my normal procedure of unclipping the reel and sending up the scallops with a lift bag. Unfortunately, there was no reel attached to the bag.

    I always carry a back-up, so sent it up and made my ascent. I did not know when the reel had become detached so the boat may not be in the right place as could be chasing the wrong SMB. With that much tide and a 40 minute run time, I could have found myself a long way from home.

    The question on my mind was should I blow some of the deco and hit the surface faster, but before I needed to make the choice, having arrived at my last stop, I heard my boat close by.

    The helmsman has been doing dive boats for a long time, probably a couple of decades, so spotted that the original SMB was lying flat and no visible bubbles, so searched the area until the second SMB came up, half a mile from the first.
    There are four varieties in society: the lovers, the ambitious, observers and fools. The fools are the happiest.
    Hippolyte Taine French critic and historian (1828-93)

  2. #2
    Grumpy Git, Not Old Yet...
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    Congratulations on not being dead and thanks for sharing.

    I presume a solo dive?

    Drift dives are always interesting, particularly scalloping drift dives. Your attention is focussed on the hunt, spotting dinner and getting as much in the bag as quickly as possible, so I can see how you'd be sufficiently distracted to not notice the reel/blob going missing.

    It's particularly tricky when you're solo.

    Having the blob up is a good plan, as the current at depth can often be running at odds with the combined wind and tide topsides, meaning that it's not as simple as just letting the boat drift.

    Rather that suggesting buddy diving (which is probably safer, but boring as hell for the blob toting buddy), I'd say the next best thing would be to make a regular (5 mins or so?) situation check. Time, depth, spg, deco obligation, kit (flow check if relevant, plus additionals incl blob and scallop bag)?

    Would it have stopped the blob being lost? nope, but you would have drifted less far from it before the second blob went up, making it easier for the skipper to keep track.

    Final thought from me - having a second blob or lift bag is a good thing, particularly if you're on a solo dive. I tend to take my skinny 6ft blob, a 3ft quarrior blob AND a lift bag with me, even if I'm diving in a team, because they're small and easy and I like to have options. Seriously now considering replacing the miniblob with another 6ft skinny one, because tbh the little one is a bit inadequate, other than for training purposes.
    DISCLAIMER: If you don't understand this shit, ask a grown up, preferably someone with deep pockets, who your widow/kids can sue. Don't trust people on the internet with your life, your credit card details or your naked selfies! This advice may contain, or indeed be written by someone who is (clinically), nuts.

  3. #3
    Established WTF Member Spirit of Guernsey's Avatar
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    I always carry two identical full sized SMBs with my name written large and attached to identical McMahon reels. Keeping things the same makes it easier under stress.
    There are four varieties in society: the lovers, the ambitious, observers and fools. The fools are the happiest.
    Hippolyte Taine French critic and historian (1828-93)

  4. #4
    TDF Member IainC's Avatar
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    Out of interest do you have a PLB? I recently got one of these (and one for Mrs C) which now goes with me every dive.. http://www.nautiluslifeline.com/

    Not a substitute for good planning to avoid getting lost in the first place, but offers some re-assurance of being found.


 

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