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Bad Dive in Quebec

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New Member
Jun 27, 2001
OK the disclaimer I know my abilities and limitations as a freediver and we all make choices based on these, on this dive that I am about to recount I did not exceed them in any way.

I’m diving in a quarry in Quebec Morrison's Quarry to be exact with Cragrat. He sent pictures to The CAFA http://www.freedivecanada.com/rec/index.html
That’s me in the photos.

The quarry is setup very loosely small milk jugs mark the location of different attractions bellow. There is no map telling what is at the end of each rope or the depth. So Cragrat and I proceed to drop down each line to see what there is to see. Did I mention that we had rented a camera to take pics of the days diving? We drop on a plane, then a boat as we slowly moved from jug to jug. Not knowing what was at the end of a one of the lines I drop down riding the line to 80’ were I’m almost impaled by a series of jagged pipes which are sticking straight up. What an attraction well worth the dive. I surface to tell Cragrat all about the useless pile of junk at the end of the line. I don’t know whose bright idea it was but somehow I found myself breathing up to make a return trip to photograph these pipes. I put the camera strap around my wrist ventilated and down I go. The viz was bad so I rode the rope down so as to miss kissing the pipes with my forehead. 80’ I squeezed the rope to stop letting my fins drop to get into position to take the picture. I’m ready as I bring the camera to my mask and my arm is yanked back by something. I turn to notice that the hand I used to ride the rope was the same as the one I tied the camera to. On the way down the camera strap had twisted around the rope five or six times. Now I have to admit my heart rate did increase, ok it may have doubled but at no time did any panic set in. I was able to slowly untwist the camera then for some unknown reason I stopped to take the stupid picture. All the while Cragrat is on the surface watching this defiant milk jug bob up and down violently. I meet him half way (gotta love the buddy system) give him the OK, surface and proceed to tell him why my eyes are so big and checks so red from embarrassment.

I’m telling my story not to make light of my apparent act of stupidity but so others may learn from my mistake. Strange things can happen when we are down there and only through training and experience are we able to calmly handle them. Train for the worst and hope for the best.

When was the last time you made a dive with one fin to simulate a broken fin at depth?

P.S. the water was so silty the photo didn’t turn out….

Glad you made it back okay.

Once when I was training for Spain, I did a dive to -51m. On the way up at around 35m I had the strange sensation that a bubble was forming on the top of my head. Several undulations later I realized what was happening. My mask was slipping off. I had time to grab it as it came off. Cold water flushed over my face.
My buddy meet me at 15m and imagine his surprise as I sprinted by him and made for the surface (thank you, Monofin!).
At the surface it took me a few seconds to let the water drain from my sinuses before I took my first breath. I spent a few minutes coughing and spluttering from the unpleasant surprise. My buddy surfaced seconds later wondering what was going on and why I'd taken my mask off. :D

Weird things can happen.

Murphy's Law Dives

I have had my share of bad stories. Once I was at 107 feet, attaching a tag. The whole process took way longer than it should have, and then, when I started back up, after way too long down there, my left calf cramped violently and terminally. With only one good leg in the monofin, I tried to keep kicking, but the pain in the other leg was horrible. I started sinking again, helpless. Soon I realized that I had a line to the surface, right beside me, so I pulled myself up free immersion style.

Another time, I had a similar cramp at 80 feet, with no line. I had to swim up with my arms.

Then there's the time that I lost the line in the blackness at 220ft; and the time I got paralyzed at 175ft...or the time I got swept away in a deep-sea current in florida...

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