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Tips For Diving Aurora..

Discussion in 'Rocky Mountain Region' started by RonFrank, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. RonFrank

    RonFrank Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Conifer, CO
    I've been on Aurora more than I'd like to admit this season...

    Demitrix, BottomDweller, and myself were their today! :bang:

    When I first dived this site, I thought it .. well.. :kopfab: \

    However, I've found the diving there enjoyable, and VERY good training. Here are a few tips that will help one get more out of divng Auorora.

    1. Navigation. Take a bearing on the surface always!! If you do not, you will be lost, so to speak.

    2. Diving the plane. The best way to have reasonable vis diving the plane is to NOT ascend directly on it. It sits at 30', and at that depth the bottom is black silt. I have yet to ascend to that depth without hitting the bottom because the vis is just not good enough to easily avoid doing so.

    3. Ascend in a horz position. Yesterday both my buddyi and I did hit the bottom when ascending to find the plane. However he hit with both feet, silt mess. I also hit, but with only my hand because I ascended in a horz position.

    4. Stay in the weeds. If you are not diving the plane, stay in the weeds. They are around 10-25'. By staying in them, you reduce silt stirup from finning, they seem to reflect light and provide better vis or a reference. There are fish and a ton of crawdads that also enjoy the weeds. Once one hits about 30', the bottom composition turns to black silt, and if you stir that up, the vis drops to zero very quickly.

    5. Folow the bottom. With bad vis, staying off the bottom even 5' is difficult. One has no reference, sees nothing, and will hit the bottom, and stir up the bottom more.

    6. Frog Kick. DIR is right about finning IMO. I have split fins (Apollo bio) but doing a paddle kick will generally result in kicking up silt regardless of what fins you dive. The Frog kick is the way to go if one is staying a couple feet off the bottom.

    7. Buoyance control is a must! We are here to train, and practice skills. Get the weight correct, stay horz, and learn breathing cycles that will allow one to stay close to the bottom without kicking it up.

    8. Practice safety stops. Even if we never go below 30', get in a habit of a slow ascent, and do a safety stop at about 15'. One should be able to hold a 15' safety stop without finning.

    9. Buddy and communication. Stay with your buddy. This is critical as it makes the dive more enjoyable, is a good practice, and with low vis diving is a skill that should be practiced. I dive with a lot of different buddies, but I find my most enjoyable dives are when my buddy stays by my side.

    10. Plan the dive, dive the plan. The is not rocket science. However many don't bother, and after 10 minutes of bottom time they are unable to discuss what to do next, and thumb the dive. Communication is difficult UW, so having a plan helps.

    11. Head down diving. I often find myself too close to the bottom. What to do. Well rather than kicking up the silt, I get even closer to the bottom, and stick my rear up. I also ascend slightly while doing this with my feet up, and avoid siltout when finning.

    12. Do not doube back. If you have kicked up the bottom, don't turn around. The best bet is to go forward, and leave the silted up low vis area.

    13. Don't max out bottom time. Let's face it, diving these conditions are not the best. We did 20 minutes on the plane yesterday, and 40 minutes in the weeds. While we were no where close to our NDL, and had more tanks available, that was a fun day of diving, and it's enough.

    We had two good dives yesterday, and were done by noon. I dove a 3/2 fullsuit, and while I felt every temp change and thermocline I was not cold. I was hoodless, and wore not gloves. The water temp was 73F,

    Most people I've met at Aurora do one dive and quit, often forever. IMO if you love to dive, learn to get enjoyment out of what we have to dive. I've seen a lot of fish, a million crawdads, and have had vis up to about 20' at Aurora. If you dive the plane, plan on low vis, and black silt. This type of diving definatlely increases skills. Every buddy I've dove with at Aurora has benifitted from the dives, so if you go and do one dive, and quit.. well that is certainly your choice, but IMO you have not gave it a chance, and are NOT taking advantage of a good training area.
  2. ABQdiver

    ABQdiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Albuquerque, NM
    Some great suggestions Ron.

    Never dove in the Aurora. But with any silty type lake/pond it takes buoyancy and finning control to make it worthwhile. I like to make it a challange for myself in those conditions. It's great practice and you can always learn something.

    PS- Enjoy your trip to Florida. Definitely better viz!!! :eyebrow:


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