Drysuit Speciality Course
On the course you learn how to dive in a dry suit safely, learning the differences with your buoyancy, and most importantly realising just how toasty and warm you are in the water and how easy it is to be out of your gear and still dry at the end of your dive!
Lake Coleridge 12th September 2015
On Saturday morning, five brave souls ventured to Lake Coleridge to complete their Open Water dives for their PADI Drysuit Specialty course with Dive HQ Christchurch Instructor Laurence.
After an early morning meet, we loaded the trailer and after ensuring nothing was left behind, set off on the 110km journey North West.
On arrival at the lake, we were blessed with bright sunshine and a warm westerly breeze. Conditions were looking good for a fun day of drysuit diving. After a thorough site briefing, we set up our gear, and then five eager students donned their new drysuits in preparation for their first Open Water dive. After the subsequent dive brief, gearing up and buddy checks, we set forth towards the chilly waters that Lake Coleridge has to offer. And chilly it was. A barmy 6 degrees!
Dive 1 – First off Buoyancy Check
Ensuring that everyone was carrying the approximate weight they needed for the lake and the exposure protection they were wearing, entered the water, and put on fins. Brrrrr, it certainly was a wee brisk on our face and hands.
First off, we conducted an individual buoyancy check. After a few adjustments, everyone was able to float at eye level with an empty BCD and sink slowly when they exhaled. We then swam out a few metres on our backs. Ensuring everyone was good to go, we descended slowly to about four metres. Everyone did a good job of preventing suit squeeze (by adding a small amount of air to their drysuits). In buddy pairs we then swam as a pack further into the depths of the lake. At seven metres we stopped on the plateau, where everyone conducted an individual fin pivot and hover. Giving everyone time to adjust to the feeling of wearing and operating a drysuit, we then swam for fifteen minutes along the plateau enjoying the underwater scenery that Lake Coleridge has to offer. We saw the motorcycle, the bicycle and the broken dunny! Everyone did an excellent job of maintaining neutral buoyancy during the swim. Not one person hit or stirred the bottom. Twenty minutes into the dive, we collectively signalled ‘up’, where five students now conducted a neutral buoyancy ascent. Due to the Lake being at altitude, and as per the dive briefing beforehand, the ascent was carried out at nine metres per minute. At four metres (due to the altitude) we conducted a safety stop for three minutes. Once on the surface, five students individually removed and replaced firstly their weights, and then their BCD’s. After all had successfully completed these skills, and after a few quiet giggles, we headed back to shore for a well-deserved cup of tea.
Dive 2 – More Drysuit Skills
After a brew (or two) and another dive briefing, we geared up, performed our buddy checks and made our way again, to the water’s edge to conduct our second dive of the day. Again, after putting on our fins in the water, we swam out a few metres, and then collectively conducted a controlled descent to seven metres. Whilst still maintaining neutral buoyancy, each student individually disconnected and reconnected their dry suit inflator hose. Again, another skill completed without any issues. Once all students had completed this skill, we set off again in buddy pairs as one pack on a twenty minute swim in the lake. Again all students did a fantastic job of maintaining neutral buoyancy. After twenty minutes of diving, a controlled descent and safety stop we were back on shore. This time we packed our gear away and fired up the BBQ for a warming snack.
A huge congratulations goes out to Phil, Mark, Mike, Corin and Kraig for a fun and enjoyable day out, and for successfully completing their PADI Drysuit Specialty course.
Have a chat with the staff at Dive HQ Christchurch to find out more about the next Dry Suit Diver Course.