Season Dive: 8
Site: Padi #79, Mahnomen II & III
Avg/Max Depth: 23/28
Buddies: Ted (Curtis, Kristen, Mike, Adam)
For our night dive we decided it might be fun to give PADI #79 a try. Apparently the medallion was still there and we thought it would be fun to have a go at it. Maybe it would reflect the light and be easier to find.
The temp had dropped so it was a bit chilly. Trying to put on slightly wet gear was kind of cold and miserable. Not to mention I was having some great anxiety since it was my first night dive. I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t think a light could make anything visible for any desirable distance below the surface, and my constantly leaky mask was really starting to wear on me. Seriously, it’s bad. It leaks if I turn my head, raise my eyebrows, look down, equalize, or if it’s been 2:34 minutes since it leaked last. Anyway, I digress.
I was buddied up with Ted again which made me feel a little better since he’s a rescue diver. Actually all the boys are rescue divers, so in all fairness maybe I would have felt good with any of them. Curtis gave Kristen and me an exit plan if we were panicked and needed to abort the dive which was comforting as well. I like to have an option to end my dive without ruining it for whoever my buddy is.
My mask gave me a lot of the trouble throughout the dive which was a pain and caused me a bit of anxiety, but I expected that to happen intermittently throughout the dive. What I did not expect was that diving in the dark would be totally awesome. The visibility was much better than I expected. Seeing everyone’s lights looked really neat. I didn’t see any big fish, but I found a lot of little ones sleeping motionless in the weeds. There were also lots of mudbugs hiding under rocks with their little pinchers going. I can never remember if they are crayfish or crawfish or if it even makes a difference, so I’m going to start calling them mudbugs instead.
Mike and Adam were in the water first. They ran a line off the platform 120 degrees to the fence post so we would have a reference of where to search. Ted and I got lost trying to find the platform, so we resurfaced and surface swam to everyone before descending again. I have no sense of underwater direction, so I just tried to stay at Ted’s side for the dive. We dug through weeds and overturned rocks looking for the medallion. Adam decided to either fix the line or run it a little farther, but he was practically crawling on the bottom while he was doing it. He floundered around and collected so many weeds that he resembled some sort of sea enemy from a Scooby Doo cartoon.
After almost an hour Ted signaled to surface since he spotted all the lights up above. I got excited thinking someone had found the medallion, but that wasn’t the case. Kristen said she was heading back to shore. I probably would have went back down with the rest of them, but I was fed up with my leaky mask so I was more than happy to swim to shore with her. It was so dark outside it made for an interesting time removing and packing up our gear. And a cold time.
We were done packing up by the time the boys returned sans medallion. Broken and defeated we returned to HQ to return the rental tanks and pick up our filled tanks so we’d be ready first thing in the morning to dive again.