First Dive 2009 – New River
So I figured it was time for the Scuba Club at Virginia Tech to do some scuba diving and luckily I wasn’t the only one who thought the idea wasn’t crazy. With 54F (13C) degree water, but low 70s in the sun, we jumped in.
The first dive lasted for only 12 minutes as we quickly lost the other two divers in the murky water. We came back up to look for them and got caught in the current that carried us under the bridge. In 53F water, it really wears you out. We continued that dive to about 45 feet for 24 more minutes before surfacing. The only thing to note on this dive was that I found two bottles of Vitamin Water at the bottom of the river, unopened. Visibility was only a meter or two, if you had a light.
The second dive was a lot better as we stayed down for 41 minutes to a max depth of 46 feet. It might as well have been a night dive since it was almost pitch black. There was an eery green glow from above as the sun shown through the water, but I lost my dive buddy several times since he only had to swim 2 meters away for me to lose him. However we quickly found each other by shining our lights like a light house until we saw each other’s lights.
We ran into at least three catfish of varying sizes. One was a about 150cm (~5ft) in length and that’s not exaggerating. He literally scared me as he came right at me appearing within arms length from my face out of the darkness after my dive buddy flushed him out from the other side of a large entanglement of tree roots on the bottom. He swam right by me until I tried to grab him and then he disappeared faster than I knew he was gone. We saw two other smaller, but at least a meter long, cat fish who we stumbled upon. If you want to catch those catfish, I hope you have a lurer that glows in the dark, because otherwise, they’d never see it.
Everyone definitely had a lot of fun, despite the cold, but we all love diving so no one complained about the cold. We’re putting together classes for the summer in Blacksburg if anyone is interested in learning to dive. More details will follow as we hash out those details, but if you’re interested, let me know so I know how many people to expect. You know how to find me.