Not every dive was in good
conditions! This is me (right) and my mate Paul (left) having
come back after a dive about 200m away. The ice in the sea
meant we couldn't take a boat or swim at the surface, the snow
on land was too deep to walk through, we found that we were
too light on weights (all that neoprene makes you very
buoyant) to get down and under the ice in 2-3 metres, so we
decided to wade through the ice along the inshore shallows to
where it was deeper and then force our way through to about
5m depth and dive down.
Well it was incredibly hard work
to get out there, then finally we were ready to dive down and
I in particular kept bobbing back up like a cork. To stay down
I had to get deep enough for my suit to be compressed and so
not be so buoyant as to take me back up to the surface again.
I was concentrating on this so much and finning like buggery
to get myself to sink that I neglected to clear my ears soon
enough - no time to pause, I'd just pop back up again.
The good news is that we did
get down and have a decent dive. The bad news was that we had
to wade through all this very heavy slushy and lumpy ice again
and that ear-clearing episode that I forgot about meant I perforated
my right ear drum.
We were so knackered,
cold and bad tempered when we finally got back to the base, that someone
felt they had to record it for posterity, so here it is!
The ear-perforation was painful
- like ear ache (unsurprisingly) when the doctor checked it,
he said it was about as tiny a perforation as it was possible
to ever have. It cleared up after a week or so and has never
caused any problems, it taught me a lesson though, and I suggest
you don't try this at home!
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