Returning early today from a family visit in Jacksonville, Florida, I had completed the 2nd round of preparations for my first real world scuba trip to Devil’s Den in Willston, Florida. After wrapping up Thanksgiving eating today, my friend and I had worked out plan details over email. Since acquiring Padi Open Water certification from Seminole Scuba, I had wanted to get back into the water as soon as possible. Of course, the class had just ended Sunday but, like the gym, the more reps, the more comfortable you get with anything. The trip had started to develop at noon this past Wednesday, with a short list of possible targets. After getting solid feedback from Paul at Seminole Scuba, Devil’s Den was the natural choice. It had offered on-site staff, rental equipment and open every day but, Christmas. Plus with the recent cold snap, the spring waters were surrounded by a cool-looking cavern. Part of the motivation for this dive, was to address some unfinished business. In my mind, I had finally gotten the swing of passive breathing but, not in time before the class ended. Two core technical objectives for this adventure were air and depth management.
A few things had remained like rehashing the plan verbally, the commute, and the physical walkthrough. The overall plan had consisted of the following:
- Pre-dive check (BWARF)
- Fill BCD.
- Take steps slowly into the water.
- Descend to 40 ft.
- For 30 minutes, a lap around the spring.
- If @ 30 minutes, enough air remains (i.e.1500 PSI), move up to 30 feet with a spiral ascent.
- Otherwise @ 1000 PSI, head to 15 feet for 3 minutes for a safety stop then surface.
- Climb out of the water with enough spacing.
Tomorrow, I had planned on getting up around 5 am in anticipation for a departure of 6am from Orlando, Florida. If you had read this story during or after the automated posting, I had gone to sleep long ago. Might be out of rotation tomorrow for an updated posting but, like Ellen Ripley had echoed,” With a little luck, the network will pick me up.”