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Technical Divers

By David Holt  NAUI #15465


The highly technical and superior trained divers, Clem and Bubba, went on a dive trip to Cozumel. They were of the new breed of divers,  "The Technical Diver".   These diver's were well equipped.   They had twin steel 120 double tanks,  and a couple of high tech titanium regulators.  Bubba's Octopus regulator has a 13.45 meter hose.  Perfect for those technical deep cave penetration dives.  They have no less than six dive computers, all Trimix, Nitrox, and Air-Trox ready!  Each has a knife for each leg (one of them has a 10 inch blade), a knife for each arm, and two of those neat little fishing line cutters.

These boys have custom made dive suits that have 46 dive patches on them.  Clem has 47 on his because he saw a sea lion once.  They have a set of super duper "el stiffo" split fins with stainless steel thrust plates built in.  Their masks are all black.  This provides stealth and cunning when diving on the brightly colored coral reef.  They both are very cool because they each used 54 pounds of weight stuffed neatly into their Navy Ranger BC that has 8 flip-out side wings and 11 stainless steel custom made D-rings.   They were well equipped and well prepared for their dive safari.  Each had 2 pouches crammed full of all the necessary technical dive gear for the half an hour dive on the coral reef.   A spare knife sheath, 10 rescue flares, and a 1/4 roll of toilet paper in a dry bag, and Clem had one of those fold up tin foil signaling survival suits.  Strapped on each BC was a set lift bags that would hoist a '53 Buick off the bottom.   Attached to it was a cave diving reel with 7.3 miles of rope hooked to it.   In another pouch was a copy of the NEW Nitrox tech manual, Bubba had two copies.  This fancy BC has 4 inflation valves and each has one of those "diver alert" attachments.  Strapped on the back of the BC was another bag full of really high tech gear.  A 406 EPIRB, 16 road flares, yellow and green smoke cans, and 3 signaling mirrors.  But the coolest thing was the new signal sausage with a 4000 feet of line.  A mandatory piece of equipment when diving in Cozumel on the remote and dangerous reef 200 yards from the civilized world.

Now these boys had been trained!  And trained RIGHT!   You better believe it!  They sought some of the best Tech Trainers in the business including Willy, the oil change specialist at Jiffy Lube.  Willy was the founding member of "Deep Underwater Member Association of Scuba Schools".  Most people just use the acronym, DUMASS

The boys had a two hour discussion on the merits of using their custom built dry suits with the little fancy bottle of Argon gas to pump them up.  After all, Argon has 0.00023 pounds more buoyancy than air does.  This will be absolutely required for safety purposes.  The water temperature was only 87 degrees.   Burrr...  Chilly!  Better to wear the dry suits.  They looked around the boat and saw some girl divers wearing only a bikini.   And some, "Recreational divers" wearing only a flimsy wet suit that didn't even have arms or legs.  Geeeezzz did them guys get ripped off, they thought.  They said in a whisper to each other, "look at them divers they don't have a tenth of the stuff we got".  "They must not be super superior technical divers like us".

Bubba and Clem, our high tech heroes, are just about ready to get their abundance of technical gear ready for their dive.   They break out their emergency kit, a small suitcase with everything in it.   First they break out the band aids (Bubba likes the ones with little animals on them) and proceed to wrap each one of their toes to ward off blisters.  Next they break out the sun tan lotion.  They got the special SPF 723 kind.  "Sunburn and dehydration are factors that can increase the risk of decompression sickness".  So, as they were trained, they smear the lotion over their entire bodies.

Now they have to put on their tights and cover up their very manly bodies.  The Lycra skin slides on over SPF lotion smoothly.  They take on the appearance of divers now.  They "don" their dry suits, and "Suit up" for the "long and arduous" dive 30 minute dive.

At last they have the complete costume on and are ready to pose for a picture. They hand a crew member a 1948 Kodak Brownie camera and ask him to take the picture.  With a grin, he obliges.  Who knows it might make the cover of a technical diver's manual.

Time to dive.  All the sissy divers in bathing suits, single tanks, only one computer, no lift bags, and NO RESCUE SAUSAGES, go to the rear of the boat perform a beginner non-technical giant stride entry.  Not Bubba and Clem, they saw Mike Nelson roll over the side of boats many times on Sea Hunt.  They know how!  In fact better than 'ol Mike.  Clem goes first and with a tremendous splash he enters the water and proceeds to sink to the bottom in 55 feet of water.  He ends up upside down stuck in the sand as all the sissy divers hover motionless in the current staring in bewilderment.

Now comes Bubba.  Over the side he goes,  not knowing that the 13.45 meter hose is caught on the tank rack.   As he goes butt first over the side.  Thank God for the real long hose!  He sank to a depth of 13.45 meters and dangled from the hose like a "full metal jacket Ameba"

The dive crew frees the long hose and Bubba plunges to the bottom.  One of the girl divers, in nothing but a bikini, digs Clem out from the bottom using the folding entrenching tool strapped to his tanks.  Then she moves over to Bubba who is trailing 13.45 meters of hose from his regulator and digs him out too.  The boys still can't get off the bottom, so they inflate several of their BC wings and at last they rise up like a haunt from a graveyard off the bottom.  Not too bad they only took out about 7 acres of coral.  The sissy recreational and girlie divers can hear the metal to metal clank of dive gear.  Interesting enough, there was no fish!  No schools of fish like they had seen on the travel channel.  Clem decides that this is a good time to try out his brand new fish caller!  But first, he swims over to Bubba and secures his hose to the back of Bubba's tank using fancy half hitch double dock clinch knot.  He had been taught this very useful knot in the last "adventure seeker" technical dive class.  Clem has been ITCHING to use this knot on something ever since.

Bubba is so thankful he reaches in his dive pack and offers Clem a bottle of Gatorade that is stored in a water tight stainless steel self refrigerating case.  Clem nods his head as he accepts the gift.  He opens the bottle, bumbles it, and it sinks to the bottom.

They drift along with the rest of the group looking in amazement at the coral reef with no fish.  They had heard of critters in dive class and now they were swimming in the realm of wild man-eating sharks. This is better than high cotton.

As the dive is ending and they look at their fancy instruments and determine that Clem has 678.07 pounds of air left and Bubba has a whopping 732.09 pounds left in their twin 120's.  They look at the separate dive timer and see they have been down 22 minutes.  They figure the sissy divers with one tank must be completely dry by now.  Clem blunders over to two sissy girl divers and peaks at their gauges, one has 1700 pounds and the other about 1900  pounds left.  Clem does some quick cypher decoding and determines that they must have had tanks hidden in the reef and changed them during the dive.   Clem is the smart one of the two, he can do goesintos in his head.

During safety decompression stop, Bubba decides to send up his lift bag with 4000 feet of rope hooked to the cave reel.  He is very proud of himself.  He knows that this is going to save countless lives.  He now sees 23 divers tangled in the rope, and wonders "Who the hell trained these people!?!  The damn sissy divers are messing up the safety line!  He has heard about some technical divers using a parachute to get up, and thinks that the one he used back in the army days would work perfect for super fast ascents.  He makes a note on his waterproof mini PC to go to the Army-Navy store and buy a used parachute for next trip.

But, Clem knows how to fix the problem of these damn divers.  He simply extracts his the 8 inch Poulin chain saw from the watertight pack, and cuts the rope freeing all the divers.  He knows that the babe in the yellow bikini will think of him as her hero.

Being the technical trained divers that they are, they let all the divers get on the boat first.  They attempt to climb on board, Bubba first. Now Bubba is 5 foot, 8 inches and weighs 285 pounds.  Plus the he has 196 pounds of technical gear.  As he steps on the ladder, and it snaps!  Plunging him back into the water.  All he can think of is the gal in the yellow bikini....

Still floundering, in the flat dead calm seas, the entire crew is tries to get them aboard.  But with all of the specialized gear they have attached to them, it appears impossible.  Neither can get the other out of the stuff.  The boat crew determines that they have to tow these guys to the pier.

As other boats pass, the laughter can be heard by the ancient Mayans on the mainland.  Some of the divers on the other boats actually toss fruit and coins to Bubba and Clem.  Cameras are clicking and video is running.  It's gonna be a big time party in town tonight.  The infamous Carlos n Charles will be renamed Bubba n Clems by midnight.

As they near the downtown pier,  Bubba is thinking about a new show on the Discovery channel called the "B & C High Tech Dive Show".  The girl in the yellow bikini comes to mind as the new starlet.  The boys are hoisted out of the water by a crane on the pier and a huge crowd has gathered to see what behemoth sea creature has arisen.  With a lot of help the lads are freed and head back to their hotel.

The first order of business is to download their dive computers into their 157 gigabyte laptop PC.  They brought them along so they could hook up to AOL and be sure to post in the scuba forum that they were in Cozumel on a highly technical scuba dive that only well trained and disciplined divers could do.  They lie around with just a towel on waiting for dinner time and get to talking about the future.  They figure that there is no doubt, in anybody's mind, that they are the best divers around and have the most current and technical dive gear available.  They decide that is time to make a calendar with a diving girls on it, maybe they could have a contest to pick them out.

Suddenly, Clem remembers the girl in the yellow bikini was talking about a night dive. That's it!  They will do a night dive!  They call down to the dive shop and are told to be at the dock at 7 pm ready to go.  The dive shop calls in two extra crew members help with all the technical specialized gear.  They check to see if their huge diver lights are fully charged.  They get 4 back up lights, each having 12 D-cell batteries and strap them on their BCs. They're going to need a half a dozen glow sticks too.

Down at the boat they see 22 divers ready for the nocturnal plunge.  Clem spies the yellow bikini girl too, he knows that she is impressed with him and only showed up because she must have heard that he was going. They all board the boat and the head out for the dive site.  They get all strapped into their stuff and add the extra backup lights and strap on the battery pack (which is the size of a 50 cubic foot tank) to the side of one of the tanks.  This time they double check the 13.45 meter hose.  They add 10 pounds each to their weight belt because the lack of sun light makes you more buoyant.

The guy on AOL,  an army frogman, told them about night diving in Cozumel.   They remembered that you don't shine the light in anyone's eyes and turn them off when you get to the top.  There's some really neat folks on AOL, they haven't seen anybody they didn't like yet.

Time to suit up.  Clem remembers to put his hard cover copy of the PADI technical diving encyclopedia in his waterproof pouch this time.  Remember these boys have plenty of book training.  The guys get dressed up and look real cool with all the tools and lights and strobes dangling everywhere.  Maybe we can be on the cover of Rodale's diving magazine they think.

They enter the water, approach the coral rock,  and turn on the behemoth lights.  These lights make a 747 landing light look like one of those pocket pens that the doctor looks into your throat with.  Clem cooked an Oscar Meyer weenie by holding it in front of the light bulb when he first got the light.

The coral rock bursts into a rainbow of color!  But as the boys get closer, fish start dropping from the shock of the light output.  Bubba thinks this is great!  Heck this was better than throwing M80s in a lake and watching the fish float up.

Back aboard the boat a group of guys from Georgia are intrigued by all the stuff Bubba and Clem have in their dive bag.  This inspires Bubba and Clem to become instructors.  They heard it is easy to be a PADI instructor!  So they will go to Florida and be one soon as they get home.

See ya on the boat,
Bwana


Aquastrophics Dive & Travel
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