This past weekend I had the pleasure of conducting the initial phases of the TDI Trimix Diver course with two students; Steve and Eric. Our base of operations was Gilboa Quarry near Findlay, OH. We rented the cottage for the weekend which functioned as our classroom and lodging for the night. Plus, we were just steps from the water, allowing us tremendous scheduling flexibility. We began Saturday morning by checking in, settling in to the cottage and spending a couple hours on academic material. After 2 hours of clasroom, it was time to get in the water. Our first dive was a “shake down” dive of sorts; lots of review of skills like manifold drills, out of gas scenarios, buoyancy control, SMB deployment. After the dive, we took a lunch break, informally discussed some more academic topics and got ready for dive two.
Dive two focused on more team-building, situational awareness, handling two deco bottles, SMB deployment and drift deco. Following the dive, we relaxed a bit, spent some time talking about dive planning, contingency planning and a few other topics of interest. We were invited to join Mike and Jodi, the quarry owners for dinner, and enjoyed a great meal of lasagna, salad, rolls and pecan pie and brownies for dessert.
After such a wonderful meal, we all felt like a nap, but pushed on, talking about deco theory and how to construct a decompression schedule. By late evening, we were finished and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the quarry. This was the first time any of us had stayed overnight at the quarry and we were all amazed at the difference. During the day, the quarry is crowded with divers and can be, well, a zoo. At night, it’s quite peaceful and relaxing.
We got an early start Sunday morning. We prepared for a morning dive and splashed at 8:30 am. This was planned to be a nice long, deep dive. We spent about 30 minutes at 120′. Steve and Eric did a great job, even when I presented unexpected scenarios to them. By the time we completed our deco and surfaced, the dock was crowded with divers just beginning their day. Luckily, we had planned only one dive for Sunday, so we were able to escape the fray.
We concluded the day with a discussion of the dive, some general discussion of the entire weekend, and some planning for our future meetings.
Thanks to Steve and Eric for an enjoyable weekend and to Mike, Jodi, Whitney and the rest of the Gilboa staff for their hospitality.