Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tempus Frigid

On Sunday January 26, The Point Pleasant Dive Team was able to take advantage of the cold temperatures affecting the east coast. The temperature stayed below freezing long enough for ice to form on some of the local waterways. The conditions looked perfect for some Ice diving training.

Ice can form quickly in the local waters if the conditions are right. This beautiful formation can be dangerous as it presents an enticing new playground to walk across or play upon.  Many times the ice can be deceiving. Weak spots can form near pilings or cracks can be hidden just under the surface. These can cause the unsuspecting victim to plunge into the water or under the ice without warning. The Dive Team must be prepared to respond to these emergencies, so when we get the opportunity we train in the surrounding areas waters.

We headed out to a quiet spot in Bayhead. This area presents a perfect place for the team to train. It is off of major roads and the terrain offers many areas of interaction with the ice pack.

Chief Nesley led the day reviewing the many techniques specific to Diving and Rescue Procedures on Ice. Four divers took turns falling thru the ice into the frigid waters. There is nothing like feeling first hand your body falling thru the ice and the feel of the ice cold water shocking your body. Even wearing the appropriate exposure suit the cold can quickly zap the strength from your fingers and extremities.

Ice diving requires specific techniques be applied for the safety of the divers and support personnel. One of the most important is the use of Line Communications. As each Ice Diver is required to be tethered via a line while under the ice, communications to surface personnel are executed via a series of line pulls. Each one letting the Line Tenders know of the divers’ current situation or needs.

Joe, Linda, “OJ”, and Bob each took turns diving under the ice while the others acted as surface support.  While under the ice, each diver practiced Navigation and/or Search and Recovery techniques. As well as tasks like finding our Chiefs foot stuck thru a hole in the ice.

It was a cold day both under and above the ice. However, each of our divers will walk away with just a little more understanding and experience of the local waters during the winter.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2,501 lbs. of Sinkers in eleven months!!....

Sunday looked to be the day we get the 2500 pounds of sinkers the team has been trying for. An hour and half before high tide the water looked really good. We checked it with a shell drop and we could see the shell go down for over ten seconds. So it was back to the building and get geared up for today was the day !!

Linda C, Joe (OJ) S, Joe S., Greg  M, and I were the divers and Mike B., Bob S. were our surface support and Sean M. was our first aider. So we were all set for a big day. When we got back to the inlet and ready to go in something happened to the water! It was mud brown!!! We dropped a shell in and we saw it hit the water and that was it! It was pretty funny watching everybody just standing there looking at one another. Well this is what we do, so it was gear up and get in and get the job done.

   I was going to go in and set up a line so everybody could get to the sinker spot. I hit the water and it was lights out, below ten feet it was so dark you couldn’t see anything! It was a night dive! Even with a dive light the visibility was 6 inches to maybe a foot. It took me ten minutes to find the sinker mount and tie off to it. Everybody started getting in and you just could not see a thing.

   Joe and Linda worked the sinker mount and OJ and Greg worked a new spot that I started working. After an hour divers started coming out of the water and we saw how bad we did. We only needed seventeen pounds to make twenty five hundred pounds. It was not looking good!

   Joe S. was the last one out and he worked his way out along the seawall, picking up what sinkers he could find. It was a good thing he did! Cause when we cleaned the sinkers we found out we had eighteen pounds. We had made it by one pound!!!!

So in eleven months we got twenty five hundred pounds of sinkers!
   Some sinker facts
       60 dives to get 2501lbs
      5 gallon bucket holds 260 lbs
     Best day was 191 lbs
     Sinkers came out of Manasquan inlet and shark river inlet...
     Over 1300lbs came out of one spot that was no bigger than ten feet by ten feet...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Years Dive ~2014~

New Years day mean many things to many people. Some sleep off a night of partying, to some it means football. But for the members of the dive team it means it’s time to dive! Every year since the team was formed it has had a New Year day dive.

   So think back on some of those New Year days, some were cold, some warm, some were rain and some were snowed covered and a few were very cold!! But we never missed a day. High tides, low tides and a few beach dives, we went in the water. The team could be called any time day or night any weather and we need to be ready to go and this is a fun way to kept everybody ready to go!

  This year was not bad.  We had eleven divers and six surface support people. It wasn’t really that cold for the support people and the water was 39 degrees and in a dry suit that not all that bad. This is what we have to work in so you do get use to it. Some divers can handle it better than other. You do what you can!

   We did dive in the area of the sinker mount that we have been working for the last few months with the visibility at over ten feet we did do some sinker recovery with some of the divers. We’re trying for 2500 lbs of sinkers for the year and we came up one hundred and twelve pounds  which gave us two thousand four hundred forty five pounds and five more weeks to go. So it is a safe bet we’ll make that total.

Sometimes mother nature throws us a surprise, this year it was a slack tide that ran almost two hours late. The tide chart said the slack should be at around 1300hrs. At that time the tide was still running really hard, so we waited and waited, around 1400hrs it had slowed down and we all got it the water. Well it never stopped! The last diver came out of the water one hour and twenty minutes later and the tide was just stopped then. Well the swimming everybody had to do helped keep them warm.

The team had a tag along from the NJ scuba web site and he had never dove the inlet before and even he had a good dive! So Troy lets hope your next dive in the inlet will be better!

                                            Just facts about other new years day dives
  -5 air temp/ with chill of -17
  60 air temp
  Two feet of snow
  Snow storm
  50 feet of visibility
  0 feet of visibility

Manasquan Beach & Inlet webcam

Webcam for Manasquan Inlet....