|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
me. Finally he looked up.
I signaled to him that I was Okay if I could
just get back down. Fortunately I
able to get back to the bottom.
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
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
with the vacuum of space, but we were certainly in a hazardous
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.
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
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
The story continues on Saturday with two more dives. For my account of
this day follow the ASF EXP 2 D