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July 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 29, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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When Your Sausage Fails

from the July, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

While diving in the Coral Sea during the first week of April, our irascible Aussie contributor, Bob Halstead, ended up a great distance from the Golden Dawn with a failed safety sausage. He used a simple solution to get spotted.

"We had a splendid time with the sharks at Picasso Pass, and I swam further down the pass, keeping my left shoulder to the slope. After a while, I was a bit concerned when the others had not caught up. I had found a hot spot with thousands of jacks, barracuda and other fish milling around. Truly spectacular! But the others missed it all. I found out later that they had taken a shortcut back to the boat. I was surprised no one else was around, so before I entirely ran out of nitrox (I also had a full pony bottle), I decided to do my stop in the shallows, then surface.

"Whoops! When I surfaced, I could not see anything, because the swells had picked up and the seas were confused. I slowly circled and looked out as I reached the top of a swell. After a couple of quarter turns, I spotted the boat a long way away. I could have gone down again and made my way at least partly back, but because I thought they might be looking for me, I decided to inflate my safety sausage, then return to the surface. I can swim all day with fins on.

"The idea was to inflate my BC, turn on my back, use a cloud beyond my fins for approximate direction, and swim to the boat with my orange sausage flying bravely above the waves. Great plan except my new but, alas, untested sausage (silly me) had a faulty seal at the far end and leaked every breath I blew in.

"I wrapped the erectile dysfunctional sausage around my shoulders and swam, still on my back. Every few kicks, I cupped a handful of ocean with my right hand and tossed it in the air. Yes, I pretended to be a whale!

"Throwing water in the air really works, and within a couple of minutes, Engineer Ben spotted me, and that was the end of the story. Shame was I returned with far too much nitrox still in my tank. Good to remember that the useful buddy is the one looking out for you on the boat!"

We've put Bob's full story on our website. To read the rest of it, go to our blog page ( www.undercurrent.org/blog ), then click on "When Your Sausage Fails."

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