Rocky Point, October 2014
  • I enjoy diving with novice divers. It brings me back to an early level of excitement about diving. I'm excited now when I am heading out for a dive, but with novices it's different. Taking novice divers out to Don's Cove harks me back to Dive #5, when Bob and Kevin patiently took me diving to Rocky Point for the first time.

    Back then of course they made me drive. Bob's "bitchin" Camaro was always in the shop getting the off-road package installed, and Kevin's motorbike just wasn't up for the trip.

    Well diving with novice Scott was no different - his minivan didn't have the off road package so we headed out on the long trek from the Snorin' Sun to Don's Cove in the bright blue tonka truck. The trip was long and dusty, and I had almost finished telling them the first part of the "twenty dollars" story when we arrived at our destination.

    Scott's been certified for a few months, and this was dive #5 for him. Scott's married to Melissa (Bob, remember her? She saw you coming...) and Scott's father-in-law, Dennis - a very experienced diver, accompanied us. He was planing on snorkeling though, and it became apparent why shortly.

    Scott had picked up a tank and a reg at Sun N Fun, which is newly relocated to the Malecon, not far from the Boo Bar. That's going to be very convenient for us, but by Scott's account it's tricky to find as it's kind of behind a restaurant off an alley, and you have to hire a guide to find the place.

    Scott had graciously been given a Scubapro BCD by Dennis so he was good on that.

    The wind was coming from an unusual direction (the west) so the waves in the cove looked "normal" which for me meant that there was no way I was going to take a newbie through them. But the left side of Casa Blanca looked great, flat calm and the vis looked better than average.

    I emphasized the dive plan and highlighted that "good visibility" in Rocky Point means you shouldn't stray more than 10 feet from your buddy. We headed in, and all was good. There was a little bit of a current from the west, but there was lots to see and actually that side of the reef is pretty good, we should spend more time there.

    Scott was taking my "don't stray too far" a little too seriously, I kind of felt like I had a tumor on my left. But, better safe than sorry.

    About 10 minutes in, after spotting lots of great tropical fish, Scott tapped me on my shoulder. I turned and saw his tank floating above his head. I assumed the strap had stretched and his tank just slipped out, but that wasn't it. The strap was still tightly attached to the tank, but the little piece of plastic that attaches the strap to the BCD had come loose. Not just loose - broken. Bits of corroded plastic broke off in my hand as I tried to figure out how to fix it.

    Sadly, there was no way. We had to abandon the dive. Of course we were pretty far off shore when we surfaced, which gave me an opportunity to regale Scott with yet more "diving with Bob" stories as we swam in.

    Dennis proclaimed complete ignorance that his almost-brand-new BCD had any defect, and highly suggested returning it to the manufacturer for a full refund. I suspect the receipt, handwritten and possibly enumerated in dubloons, might be hard to find.

    Anyway, we loaded up and called it a victory, went to JJs. Then Dennis started talking about how he used to lobster dive in Baja for a week with only 2 tanks, no tables, lots of fish tacos, etc etc.... "You had to make your tanks last..." Not so for the BCD though.

    Dive time 13 minutes. Max depth 23 feet. Water temp in the mid 80's. Blue tangs, damsels, triggerfish, sergeant majors, mullet things, and a tankfish.

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