Blue Grotto Disaster Dive
April 30, 2022
- Mike Heijmans
- Eesa Heijmans
We drove out early in the morning to try and make it first thing in the morning. It was a 2.5 hour drive and we arrived about an hour after they opened. This was going to be Eesa’s first dive in outside of the pool her new DUI drysuit. I turn on my air and BOOM! The o-ring for the shearwater transmitter blows out at the first stage. I pulled it off and grabbed a new o-ring from the save-a-dive kit I always travel with. I put it on “hand tight” as the manual says and open the valve…. BOOM! it blows again. This time I put yet another o-ring on and tighten it a bit beyond hand tight. Now its holding and we continue to get ready to dive. It was hot outside so suiting up for drysuit diving was a bit of a slog. We make our way down to the water and Eesa gets in first. As I’m walking into the water… BOOM! there goes the o-ring again. FML.. Eesa swims over and shuts the valve. I get out of the water and put the BC on the dock and run to grab my wrench and another o-ring. I pull off the transmitter and inspect for burrs, there are none. I then crank down the transmitter with the wrench and it seems good now.
I enter the water, super hot and exhausted. We drop below the surface and I feel a trickle of water come in my neck seal. I feal around my neck and all seams normal. We drop to the 20 foot platform and I get into a the prone trim position. I feel waterall down my chest area… great, there’s quite a bit of water in the suit. So I look over at Eesa and she is really struggling with her trim. She gives me a thumb and we head back up. We get to the surface and she tells me she is feeling like she’s going to flip over. I tell her my suit is leaking so we decide to get back out. We swim to the steps and get out. I sit on the bench defeated with my legs bloated with water. Looking at the computer to see we did an 8 minute dive. I get the suit off and let the water out and we schlep the gear back to the pavillion. After a few hours of chatting with some Scuba West folks and waiting for things to dry out, we decide we’re too exhausted to attempt another dive. We packed up and drove home.
5 hours of driving for 8 minutes of diving. What a disaster.