Sand Dog XII was once again a fun event and a great time meeting new divers and getting together with old friends.
Friday starts out as is usually does as divers arrive and start to assimlate in the motel parking lot. The veterans of the event are pretty easy to spot as they are normally standing or walking around with various regulators and other gear they want to show off or discuss with everyone. This is the time that the new divers to the group start circling closer and closer and most jump right in with introductions and comments like ….I’m (insert screen name here) on the VDH Website Forum….OH so your the guy or, It’s finally good to put a face with the posts…..Hey tell me about that new flux capacitor you have been putting on your Deathways 2000 that is supposed to double your bottom time…..Or Hey did you get your new Argonaut Kraken yet? And the inevitable….If you are looking for gear, the guy in 207 has some great stuff for sale...Better get on over there before Rob gets here and buys it all up.
This went on and on for hours as people split up and go into little huddles scheming and plotting to get the best deal and make the most of what they brought to trade and sell.
Followed shortly by one or two divers getting in the motel pool and showing off their best Mike Nelson skills as the rest grab a beverage or two and talk diving and catching up from past years events.
Eventually and with as much effort as herding cats we all made it to a local buffet restaurant where more 50 Fathom dive stories continue.
Saturday morning comes early as Blue Springs only allows X amount of divers in at once. If you don’t get there early you may have to wait till the afternoon to get a divers pass.
Luckily we had rehearsed the drill the night before and were able to persevere through the ass backwards system of diver check in at the park and made it to our assembly area all in one piece.
First I would like to thank Dave, Fred and Fun Size Doug for grabbing a great spot and putting up pop up canopies to help shelter us from the heat!
The day progressed as usual with divers going in and out of the spring trying out various equipment configurations, getting used to the heavy flow from the spring and taking lots of photos and video of all the divers.
At lunchtime we gathered for the traditional Sand Dog cookout mastered and overseen by my lovely wife and daughter and everyone was well fed and rehydrated and ready for another fun filled afternoon of double hose diving.
We packed up late in the afternoon and headed on back to the motel to refresh and get ready for the evening gathering at a local restaurant for more hours of tales from the deep and other events of the day. Group had a great time and headed back to the motel for more “Parking Lot” talk, camaraderie and gear swapping till late in the evening.
Sunday morning took us to Alexander Springs which is about an hour from our host motel and through the genius of GPS directed several of us down a 6 mile stretch of washboard gravel road that was more akin to an episode of Top Gear UK, (not the crap US version) than a diving trip!
Alexander is a shallow spring but allows for many dives and is a great place to try out new gear and configurations. Gives divers the chance to get their rigs dialed in for the season and ready for other dive trips and destinations. Lots of free time to talk and share the common bonds that bring divers together and discuss what was working and how it can work better.
The afternoon was wrapped up the gear was packed and plans for next years event was already in the works.
I’m really lucky to have such great friends and customers gather together sharing their passion for double hose diving with my family and I. There are a lot more pictures and video forthcoming and I hope you will visit the VDH Website Forum in the next few weeks as divers have time to get home and post them. I had started a post on the event on Scuba Board but The Turkish Turd has made it his mission in life to criticize and demean our group and the event. Envy rears it’s ugly head in every group but no need to be dragged down with it.I hope everyone makes plans to attend our event next time! Keep watching the VDH website and VDH Facebook page for updates and information.