RATS – Week 7 – Buoyancy Dive

Peak Performance Buoyancy Dive, Oliver Downes (Yr9)

During last week’s dive, we did the peak performance buoyancy section of the AOW diving course. Some people on the RATS team have already completed their Advanced course but joined in with those being assessed anyway. The people that did the exercises did a great job and completed everything with relative ease.

It was a 15-minute boat ride to the dive site, Cathedral. Once underwater, we saw the ‘obstacle course’ our instructor Marcia had laid out for us: several different sized hoops that we had to swim through! However, first we had to demonstrate we were able to use our breath to do a fin pivot (laying flat on the ocean floor, using just your lungs to make your body rise up and lower back down – keeping your fins on the sand). Next up we had to show we could hold a hover position mid water – that’s where we try to sit in the Buddha position without dropping to the bottom or rising back up to the surface!

Once these basics were successfully completed, we got to have a go at the obstacle course – swimming through hoops without dislodging them or getting tied up in them! Once we had all shown we could control our buoyancy to do that, we had a go at running races: taking off our fins and trying to run in the sand – it’s so much more difficult than you might think! – we had lots of fun trying though (and trying to out run Marcia – she’s very competitive at this!). Our final test of perfect buoyancy was a game of underwater limbo (we take a rope underwater and have to swim under it in lower and lower positions, aiming to not hit the rope or drag ourselves on the bottom – a great test of getting through tight spaces on any regular dive, training us to do our best not to damage our underwater environment as we explore the ocean!).

We did not see anything too exciting on this dive; however, we were there mostly for the course work to make sure the remaining divers all get their Advanced Open Water certificate. But I must say, Lucas DeBoer did put up quite a show at the start of the dive by jumping in without his weight belt strapped on: it sank about 35 feet to the bottom (and he’s already ‘Advanced’!) – it happens to the best of us 😉

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