Seacrest Park - Cove 3, Seattle, WA. This dive marks the beginning of my NAUI Advanced Scuba Diver certification with Bob Bailey. I was looking for for an outlet that provided advanced SCUBA diving training tailored to the Pacific Northwest. After talking to many experienced divers in the Seattle, WA area it became apparent that Bob Bailey was the way to go by a significant margin. The Advanced Open Water (AOW) course would consist of three classroom sessions followed by a series of six dives, each focusing on a specific number of tasks building upon each other. For this specific dive the over all goal began with underwater navigation, situational awareness, and unified team diving skills with your buddy.
As I prepared my gear and got ready to dive with my buddy Kamil, the instructor Bob Bailey and co-instructor Greg Wilson set out to build the underwater course. The idea was to start at a buoy, drop down the line, find the first sign with an initial heading and begin the course. As you swim each heading with your buddy you'll come to the next sign if you do everything right. The next sign will then have your new heading and you repeat until finishing the course. Simple in theory but with variables such as visibility, current, proper compass technique, and swimming ability things can quickly go wrong.
Upon reaching the final sign it will tell you to find home which happens to be the buoy you started out at. To find home you first have to know where you are in relation to the buoy. North or South? Next you have to remember your starting depth. If you can figure out these two items then you can either swim up or down slope to your original depth, then turn left or right and follow the contour back towards the buoy. If you do everything right you'll find it! We had a blast trying to figure it out and I can't wait to do it again.