Newbie and Retread

We had an interesting combination of old-timers, returning dinosaurs, and new divers on the boat today.  Alexine, Alex, and Al plus Jim, Richard and Candi made it a full charter.  Alexine has over 1300 dives and Candi just made it down to 20 feet for the first time.  Al is returning to New England diving after having been certified by Jerry Comeau when he (Al) was 17 in 1969.   Both Richard and Candi are nurses at Mass General Hospital.  Alex and Jim were great helpers with the logistics of getting everybody ready and into the water, as were crew members Pat and Peter.

The weather had been pretty grim all week and today’s forecast was not good or just fine depending upon whom you listened to.  I dressed for the worst case and wasn’t over-heated.  The eary morning trip around The Cape was accompanied by drizzle and a freshening breeze from the north.  We decided to go south and meet the high tide somewhere sheltered from the rollers coming in from the southeast.  Brace Cove didn’t look sheltered enough, so it was Niles Beach.

The water was just 20 feet deep, but it was warmer than it’s been and clearer than it was last weekend.  Alex, Candi and I swam the inflatable and flag over to stand-up water by the beach, while The Captain and Al worked to review his scuba skills.    Alexine and Richard went their separate ways towards Eastern Point.  We were entertained by the international elimination trials for Gloucester’s dory racers who were launching from the beach also.

The dive was fun as Candi got better and better with the equipment.  Her dad, Alex, was super helpful in switching out tanks and backpacks to make her comfortable.  She’s a tiny sprite and the tank/backpack kept clunking her in the back of the head.  We switched backpacks to one without a handle and slid the tank down in the harness to as low as it would go before lashing it to her shoulders as tightly as was comfortable.  Then we encouraged her to look down for hermit crabs and other critters.

The crowd reassembled on the boat to compare notes about what they had seen.  Alexine was especially descriptive about flounders and skates and crabs and lobsters.  Al had passed all the hurdles to renew his certification to The Captain’s satisfaction.  We were ready to try somewhere else for the second dive.

I decided Candi needed to be able to see the bottom even though we were going to use the down line.  I picked the little cove near the bridged swim-around rock, west of Niles Beach, overlooked by million dollar condos.  Although I anchored in 15 feet of water, it became 20 feet when we swung.  She and I and Alex made it to the eel grass and celebratory quohog clam at the bottom, even though her ears didn’t clear quickly.  She kept at it with several stops and ascents until they stopped hurting and then resumed the descent.

Alexine had 1/2 a tank, but made a great dive of it all along the rocky edge of the cove.  Al also went back in to explore.  We saw more of everything and the water seemed to be warm enough that I didn’t miss my ice mask.  My hands were fine too.  Then the sun came out.

Nice people.  Fun time.

2 Responses to “Newbie and Retread”

  1. Al the Dinosaur Says:

    I had a great time getting “retreaded” and am looking forward to coming aboard again. Thanks to the Captain, Chris, the rest of the Crew and the other good folks on the Easy Diver.

  2. easydiverchris Says:

    Great to hear that, Al. We were glad to have you with us.

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