BSACA rib / training dive with Sandra Castro, Josie Chaplin at Bass Rock, Forth.

Compass Navigation / Simulated Decompression Dive - Use a compass to navigate effectively underwater and plan/conduct a dive involving a decompression stop.

As one of the last training dives, with a bit of forward planning, we managed to squeeze in quite a few important skills.

Gary, our skipper, put down a few shotlines just off Bass Rock in approximately 10 metres of water. Our first objective was to follow the shot-line down to the surface. Fortunately, I had already had a bit of experience on my Oban and Isle of Skye trips.

Once down, we were to each complete an Assisted-Air-Source ascent from 10m to 6m, using the shotline as a guide. Sandra then demonstrated how to tie off a reel to a shotline and we each took turns of running out a distance line. After a short course around various obstacles, we returned the shot line and each practiced attaching and removing the reel to the shotline.

After missing a previous opportunity, I was to complete a basic reciprocal bearing navigation dive. Unfortunately, I had left my shiny new Suunto compass in the car, so Sandra let me borrow hers. The compass seemed to have a low tilt tolerance, but after a bit of playing around I managed to steer us away and then back to the shot line.

Finally, time to head to surface, practicing a 3 minute simulated decompression stop at 6 metres. Sandra struggled a little to signal our stop with her lovely warm 3-finger-gloves, but we had already discussed it at the surface! We all hung off the shotline and, ignored the cold, had a few games of rock-paper-scissors until it was time to ascend.