Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Day 30 – Some days you ride the bull, other days …

Today is going to be the most trying day. It is a crucial training day for Mandy in variable ballast and a practice day for Doc. Martin elects to stay home. He will make out the best with this decision.

Since today is a training day we have no judges, and only work with Danny’s boat and a minimal crew. Dave Faas joins us along with Derek Sather as our deep safeties. If you’re confused by Dave’s presence, you’re right. Our pleas to his wife Connie have paid off. Yesterday morning Dave was waving us goodbye from the dock as he was on his way to the airport. Turns out that when he arrived, Connie had changed his ticket so he can stay till the end of the record attempts. THANK YOU CONNIE :>)

We hook up on a wall site in front of the Ritz Carlton and check for current. For the last couple of days the wind and current have kicked our butts, but our initial look seems OK. The wind is blowing straight offshore, but a north moving current is causing some angle on the lines we dropped. We decide to unhook and try just drifting in the wind off the wall.

When we first hook up and are starting to train, we have some planned visitors arrive to watch our training today. Turns out that Tiger Woods’ wife Elin, with some friends and crew members have come out to watch. We’ll see more of them over the coming week, but for now it’s time to get some training done and focus on Mandy getting in a drop to 110m. This’ll help catch up for some missed days after we had refocused on free immersion and constant ballast no-fins.

After we unhook from the wall to drift, an unnoticed wind change and a stronger current push us along the wall. Our 100m safety diver line hooks something and quickly spins the boat so catching our sled line. Things deteriorate from there although safety is never compromised, just time.

After maneuvering the boat, Derek and Dave dive to remove what has quickly become apparent as a hopelessly entangled rope. Forty minutes later, Derek and Dave ascend and our training day is complete. Doc has started a warm-up but not finished, and Mandy has talked with our visiting guests, but had no warm-up.

At the end of the day, after some of the disappointment and frustration has melted away, we find ourselves still pretty lucky that in 30 days of being on Cayman, we’ve only had one day that was beyond our control — it could easily have been more. As Doc has said in his reports, "You can’t win against the sea," and sometimes you simply need to submit. "The sea, she is angry" :>)

Tomorrow Mandy will make a training dive, and we’ll record it as a CAFA national record if she’s successful. After Mandy’s drop to 115m / 377ft, Doc will go to 61m / 200ft followed by Martin with a world record attempt to 136m / 446ft. Me, I’ll just be thankful if I can arrange a partnership with the weather. Give me two days of world record weather and I’ll …


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