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ASF EXP 1 A
ASF EXP 1 B
ASF EXP 1 C
Cocoa Beach
121 Scrub #1
121 Scrub #2
STS-121
ASF EXP 2 A
ASF EXP 2 B
ASF EXP 2 C
ASF EXP 2 D
ASF EXP 2 E
STS-116

ASF Expedition 1

I am Al Worden's buddy
These photographs document ASF Expedition 2.
Photo Credits: Les, Mary, and mine
An in water view of my giant stride
An in water view of my giant stride at the French Reef dive site
Al checks if I am Okay
Al checks to see if I am Okay before we descend to the bottom
Al cruising the deep
Al cruises the deep
John exploring in between coral foramations
John Smith explores between two formations of coral
I'm skimming the bottom
I'm cruising the bottom and exhibit my poor form with bent knees
A large trigger fish
We spot a solitary trigger fish
Al and I compare pressure readings
Al and I compare pressure reading on our air supplies
Al check his instrument console
Al takes another look at his dive console as we press onward
Cruising along as Al's wingman
Cruising along as Al Worden's wing man
Lexie, Mary, and Me
Dee and Linn
Lexie, Mary, and me
Dee and Linn
Al and Marilyn
Les and Al pose for a photo on board Scuba-Do
Al and Marilyn
Al and Les on board the Scuba-Do
John and Al
The expedition crew eating dinner at Hog Heaven
John and Al
The expedition crew at Hog Heaven
Relaxing after a day of diving
Relaxing at Hog Heaven
It was decided on the second dive that I would be Al's dive buddy.  Linn and John would be buddies. Our second dive would be a site at French Reef.  Linn and John were the first pair in the water. 

Al and I checked with each other to see if we were both ready to descend.  We were and started letting air out of our buoyancy compensators.  This reef was a beautiful reef.  It seemed like sea life was everywhere.

The four of us began cruising along the bottom.  We followed Linn’s lead.  Les was off to the side capturing us on video.  At one point I found myself floating back up to the surface.  I've still got a lot to learn when it comes to buoyancy control.   I could see Al looking around trying to find me.  Finally he looked up.  I signaled to him that I was Okay if I could just get back down.   Fortunately I was able to get back to the bottom.

I rejoined Al.  He signaled that we should check our pressure gauges.  Using my fingers I signaled back what my pressure was.  He reciprocated.  How cool was that to be in an alien environment, checking breathing supply pressure readings with Al Worden.  His is after all the first person to ever do a deep space EVA.  To me, that was what this trip was all about.  Al and I were together on an EVA.  We didn't have to deal with the vacuum of space, but we were certainly in a hazardous environment.

As we swam along the bottom, I tried to keep my legs straighter. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not. As I said before, my scuba form needs a lot of work.  We notice a gray trigger fish around one of the corals.  It looked pretty big under the water.

Al and I check our pressure gauges again.  Al was fine on pressure, but mine was running low.  We were supposed to start returning to the boat when our pressures reached 800 PSI.  I was now at that limit.  Al indicated that we should ascend.  I agreed and we made our way back to the surface.   We scanned the horizon to locate our boat.

I was relieved to be able to spot the boat.  One of my concerns with diving without a dive master was being able to find the boat and make it back to it.  Al and I began swimming just under the surface.  As we swam along, I could see divers from other boats exploring the reef below.

This time I made it back to the boat in fine shape.  Swimming just under the surface was definitely the way to go.  Al had get back on the boat first.  I was really happy.  It was a great dive for me.  I didn't have a lot of concerns on this dive, I had relaxed was starting to adapt to this foreign environment.

On the boat, I found that Lexie had a great time snorkeling.  Mary and I talked about it and agreed that it didn't matter if she would rather snorkel than dive.  As long as Lexie was enjoying herself, that is what it was all about.  Most importantly Lexie knew what she had to do to stay safe and not harm her ears.  That says a lot about an eleven year old.

The story continues on Saturday with two more dives. For my account of this day follow the  ASF EXP 2 D link.

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UPDATED : June 11, 2008
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