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Peak Performance Diving

To be a good diver means a lot of things. One of the more important ones is to have a good control over your bouyancy in the water. This will allow you to do more things while diving. Having a better position in the water, streamlining your equipment and using the right swim technique helps you save energy and air. It will also keep you from touching things you don’t want to, like the fragile corals, a wreck, dangerous fish, etc. This is what the Peak Performance Bouyancy Specialty Course is addressing.

So I had the course yesterday. The weather was beautiful; sunny and 28°C in the air. Lots of people were out on the cliffs taking in the sun at Björkvik out in the Stockholm archipelago. After a while of unloading - twelve people with diving equipment takes up a lot more space than one would think - we could start to gear up for the first dive. Even though I got quite hot in my wetsuit, I did not envy the people in dry suits. They looked really hot. Getting into the 18° water was a big relief. The dive was pretty simple; first we adjusted our bouyancy to hover just over the bottom, then when everyone got the hang of that, we started to do the “limbo” under a line that the instructor held up, gradually lowering it for each attempt we made. After that we paired up with our buddy and continued with purely recreational diving.

After the dive, it was lunchtime, which suited me very good, since I was starving. Then just on with the equipment again and in for the second dive. This time we practiced swimming technique, to swim more like a frog than to paddle up and down with our feet. That technique helps to not disturb the surrounding environment and is also more energy efficient. After that we tested our streamlining by swimming through a ring, making sure not to get caught in it by things hanging to far from the body. Wasn’t really a big problem for anyone, as far as I could see. The rest of the dive was just recreational.

Visibility was OK (for the Baltic Sea), but there wasn’t really much to see. Among all the seagrass there were many perches swimming around, and we also saw a flatfish, which was fun to play with. It really relied on its camouflage in the sand, allowing me to come very close and even touch it before it moved. I think it was a sandskädda (Swedish name). I don’t know the name in English.

So, that was my second specialty - I took a specialty certificate in dry suit diving earlier this year - on top of my Advanced Open Water Diver certificate. Next I will take three more specialties when I go to Cyprus in two weeks. Enriched Air, Deep Diving and Wreck Diving are the ones I will take there. That’s gonna be a lot of fun.

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