Day 9 – Rodeo clowns chase, and try to corale the bull

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In association with Performance FreeDiving International

A south-east wind makes for a difficult time in finding a location. Where the wind pushes us off shore and into deep water, the current runs against the wind. This doesn’t make for fun dives. Those of us working the sled at the surface with the wave action should earn hazard pay any time we put fingers near hooked up liftbags.

Regardless, we find the best spot possible at Ghost Mountain, but still have to contend with the conditions. The idea is for Martin to make two variable ballast drops, one to 90m / 295ft and then to 100m / 328ft. Doc dives to 30m / 99ft, 35m / 115ft and 40m / 132ft. Then Mandy goes for 90m / 295ft and 95m / 312ft. Doc’s first up, then Mandy and Martin. Doc successfully finishes his three dives. Getting a bit sea sick, Mandy decides to shallow things up to a 50m / 165ft drop to test her new lanyard. Martin opts out of the first dive and moves directly to 100m / 328ft with no problems.

Each of them could have qualified for the rodeo pro circuit. Mounting the sled and holding on was like riding a wild bull. If they were the bull riders then Peter, Danny, Spence and I were the rodeo clowns, chasing and trying to corale the bull. More often, the bull grabbed us and threw us around while inflicting small bruises and nips to our fingers as we struggled to hook shackles back into place. With growing frustration I cursed the south-east wind and the gods that threw us into this foamy, rolling hell. Maybe Peter’s suggestion of sacrificing a virgin would have helped. I suggested tying a cement block to his feet but he passed on the opportunity :>)

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