Week with Ricky–Part Two

Manta's show and dog
Ricky’s fathers dog resting on the shop floor. (Don’t worry, I have about 15 pounds on him, I can take him… maybe)

The following day, Monday, I arrived at Ricky’s shop at 9:30 (half an hour late—thanks dad for taking my car to the shop before I woke up!) We did several things in the shop, he taught me how to rig a backplate and harness, assemble reels, and learned to tie a few new knots. Also we did some classroom work for the intro to tech class. During the day I learned some basic dive planning items that I should have remembered from my advanced course. I spent that night at his farmhouse where I met his wonderful dogs, horses, chickens, ducks, and his beautiful ass (donkey)! That night I discovered Ricky really wasn’t exaggerating (for once) about his cooking abilities. He made a great, hand-breaded chicken dinner. After dinner we got down to business and banged out a presentation for the class. Then we grabbed some sleep before heading to his shop in the morning.






Tech dive gear
Manta backplate and wing with twin “slim 72” bottles, my setup for the week.

The next day, Tuesday, we got up and headed over to his shop to do some more shop work and class work for the class. I got to hang out with his fathers Rhodesian Ridgebacks at the shop a little more. I also got to try my hand at sewing (not my thing). Then we went out for lunch and headed over to Divers Cove. We prepped a little bit, then headed over to the pool. Ricky had some students who wanted just a little more practice time, and I got to use the pool to practice more with the drysuit and try out a backplate and doubles. Definitely a big change from what I was used to! After the pool we headed home and prepared to dive in the quarry the next day.



Wednesday was my first dive in a quarry! (For those of you who have dove quarries, you probably don’t find that too exciting). I got to try out the drysuit and doubles again, basically got to work on some skills with the unfamiliar equipment. I was told the quarry would be a miserable, cold, zero viz dive. Yet I was pleasantly to find that that was only true at certain depths. Between 20 and 40 feet the visibility was halfway decent and the temperature wasn’t bad. Below forty feet… visibility dropped to zero and it got really cold…. we didn’t really try to go below that. After the quarry we were supposed to shoot guns, but we had a lot to do around the house and for diving…  so instead we did farm things! We picked up hay because his supplies were running low. Once we returned we took care of all of his animals (dogs, chickens, ducks, horses, goat, and I’m sure some I missed). Later I got my first ride on a horse (I think I prefer my transportation not to have a mind of its own). Following that we toured his property on an ATV, I went fishing for a bit, we had a little dinner, and then we went to bed early to get at 4 for a boat trip the next morning. Busy day!

dive site and quarry walls
The quarry, with huge brownstone walls visible