Sunday, February 27, 2011

Of toes and ice.

A pedicurist once commented my toes were tight. This held no meaning for me, at least not until recently. In a yoga class, the instructor worked us into tree pose by first asking us to rotate and stretch the ankle, and then stretch the toes, spreading them as far as possible and grabbing the ground with them for a solid leg to stand on.  The difference was impressive. Try it.

Had a great time with the Surface Interval Society (Blue Element Scuba's  dive club) on Saturday. We explored the waters below a half inch layer of ice on Silverton Resevoir. The previous few nights had gotten down to very low temps (like 17). The dive was short (about 20 mins); our small group encountered one minor issue after another. In the end, I was the only one that didn't have a free flow, weighting issue or leaking dryglove. While I'd been skeptical about the dive when I arrived, once in the water I was comfortable and ready to go. As a firm believer of "call any dive at any time", however, I smiled and gladly packed it in with my buddy (but not before taking a few snaps of the beautiful view from under the ice) when he reported one hand was sloshing with water inside his not-so-dry glove after a short dive.

The water was cold, but two layers of wool socks plus a little heat pack in each boot kept my feet warm. (Thanks Debbie!) Hand warmth has never been a problem for me somehow; until recently I'd done all my cold water diving with a thin pair of warm water gloves. I've graduated up to a pair of 3mm gloves and my hands weren't too cold at all -- at least not in the water. The ice was beautiful. From the dock, we could see our bubbles gathered under the ice and found their way into larger groups of air forming pockets along the way of our path.

This wasn't really ice diving; the layer on the top of the water was thin and easy to break, only about 1/2 inch in most areas. It broke even easier by going horizontal to surface and using the impact of the tank to crack the surface, and then punching your way through resulting in little holes big enough for our heads, making us look like seals coming to the surface. We'd continue to break and play with the ice, which felt and sounded like sheets of glass. Care was required; sharp corners of ice can cut drysuits, but the large and small sheets of ice were beautiful as they floated on water, or atop each other. (The pic to the left isn't clear, but notice the chunks sliding across the ice surface.)

Out of the water, my hair froze. Somehow, the company around the picnic table and a cheese dog, some Cheetos and butter pecan cupcakes gave me all the warmth I needed and made it all worth it!

No comments:

Post a Comment