Dry Suit Certified!

This weekend I earned my dry suit certificate. Dry suit diving proved to be quite a challenge, and I definitely need more practice. There seemed to be so many things going on! Marius and I took the course together out in an area slightly west of Bergen city center called Laksevåg (Salmon Bay) with Nemo Classic Diving. The course consisted of:

A couple hours of theory: our instructor went through the manual with us and showed us the different exposure suits.

Then 2 dives. The first dive was on Saturday, and the primary purpose was to get us used to diving in the dry suit. I was given a dry suit that turned out to be one size too big! I was getting air leaking out of my neck and water seeping in towards my chest. Every time I would add air into my suit it would escape through my head and then suddenly I found myself either rapidly sinking or shooting up to the surface! Marius and the other girl in our group had a great dive, meanwhile I was bobbing from 10 m depth to the surface. Wasn't the best dive.

The second dive I got into a suit that was a much better fit! However, this time, I descended a little too quick and had a little trouble equalizing. I must have really gave my last equalizing push a little too much force because I ended up getting severe mask squeeze! I have never had this happen before, but my instructor didn't seem too worried. We dove for 30 minutes before we surfaced, and I felt fine during the dive and hopefully took some nice video with my GoPro. But once I got to the surface and got my mask off, I felt how puffy my eyes were, and Marius looked terrified! I quickly got my hood and the neck of my dry suit off. I have popped blood vessels in both of my eyes and some bruising so I look like I got punched in the face. No pain, but I can feel the pressure.

[Preparing the GoPro]
[L to R: Instructor Mary-Ann, me and Megan]

[Jumpin' in]

[Mask squeeze aftermath = zombie]

I get one dive on the house in a couple of weeks since Marius wasn't allowed to dive today (he's flying over to Oslo tonight), so I can give this another go. I'm definitely going to take things even slower on the descent to make sure I equalize properly without forcing extreme pressure on my face and getting mask squeeze. Just not a pretty sight!

In terms of the marine life I saw on this dive: lots of little wrasse fishes, one sølvkveite, urchins, sea stars, and plenty of sea squirts (Tunicates)

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