Ben and I drove out to Philip’s Quarry to ring in the New Year with the Delaware Divers in Muncie, IN. We had a good turnout! Mostly dry suit divers of course, but there were about three of us diving thick wet suits. The water was a brisk 42 degrees and visibility was still pretty bad from the surface till around 40 feet or so.
With Underwater.World finally up and running, we tried to do a better job of documenting the dive and getting some really good footage. Ben forgot to tell me which way to hold the camera so we’ll see how all that turns out. I’m sure he’ll find something useable in their somewhere.
Fortunately....I can fix upside down video. - Ben
We suited up pretty quickly and hopped in. Wow was it cold today. Between staying up until well after midnight and this, we are both pretty smoked. We had a simple dive plan today and just followed the quarry wall clockwise until we got to the far corner.
Shortly after we passed the suspended sailboat, I stopped and started pointing wildly into the murky depths at a paddlefish. The guy was over three feet long tail to bill. Ben couldn’t see him very well so he handed over the camera. I was basically stuck on the wall trying to stay out of Ben’s way. This really just resulted in me kicking a bunch of junk off the wall and the paddlefish just went about his business, going deeper until I couldn’t see him anymore. I found out later that the camera wasn’t recording. I didn’t turn it on because I thought Ben already had it rolling. We will get some good paddlefish footage for you guys at some point. Today just wasn’t our day.
Some lessons learned here: I should have had the GoPro with me. Ben just got a new camera and that’s all we took. In the future, I’ll likely have the GoPro. Also, instead of backpedaling to give Ben a clear shot, I need to relax and just slowly descend and allow Ben to follow. The paddlefish hadn’t seen me yet anyway and we probably could have scored some good video.
Anyway, we turned around shortly after our visitor left us and headed back. By this point, my fingers were moving past the hurt stage and into numb so I started swimming faster. After we got out I found Ben wasn’t terribly happy with my Indycar impression.
We did manage to stop and get a photo with ET along the way. We kicked our way back and stopped off at one of the floating bars for a safety stop and to take a few more pictures before surfacing and drying off.
After we ditched the wet gear and changed, the dive club had some sipping chili and snacks for us to warm up. It was an awesome way to end the dive. Divers were trickling in from the quarry and giving reports on the visibility at different depths and different areas. We were the only ones lucky enough to see paddlefish today though.
All in all, a great dive. 26 minutes at a depth of 33 feet. 41 degrees at depth. Visibility in the quarry should continue to improve as winter marches on. Rumors of 100 foot visibility wait for those brave enough to continue diving in the cold. We’re looking forward to bringing those dives to you!