This is a LONG, DULL dive report of some stupid Dutchmen
doing something silly. You have been warned.
You can STILL hit the “delete” button….
Once in a while you have to do something
silly. Or stupid. Or both.
Like: once every 11 years. Because 11 years
ago it was the last time the Dutch waters were frozen enough to
skate on it. Or dive under it. Both dangerous and sort of
Which is EXACTLY why we embarked on it!
“We” is JanWillem Bech & friends – 8 divers
& audience. 1 x Classic Inspo, 3 x Vision Inspo, 4 x OC. Our usual
North Sea wreck-diving group, this time hunting for…. well – ice.
We went looking for our original selected
diving spot, only to find out that icebreakers had ruined it in
order to keep a lane open for boats (Why!?!?!? They have the rest of
the year already to pester our diving spots with ships. Can’t they
just keep a short holiday…?).
So we packed it up and went to the next
spot, a diving club with its own small lake, which was separate
enough to cut a hole in it. (In this time of the year, you do NOT
get very popular if you cut a whole in the middle of a skating
rink). A short Police visit confirmed we could go ahead with ruining
JW was well prepared, and within 15 minutes
his trusty chainsaw (now probably completely ruined….) had cut a
nice big triangular hole in 16 cm thick ice. Depth check: a
“whopping” 2 meters of water between ice and muddy bottom. Not
exactly a depth record, but most likely a low-viz record….
We “borrowed” some stuff from around the
spot, including some nice red-white traffic-control poles to
indicate to unsuspecting skaters that this was NOT the place to be.
And we even found a nice left-over ladder to
ease the going in & out of the water!
The diving went quite smooth. We had 50
meter signal lines to allow us to get far away from the hole, to
(slightly) less murky water. It is quite intriguing so see people
walk on top of you, and waving to you.
The silence of the rebreathers even allowed
us to hear them!
The Inspo’s were boring. They refused to
follow Mrs. AM and Mr. AD’s advice to pack up on us. They stubbornly
did what they were supposed to
do: do their job without any problems. Quite
SO….: I decided to raise the ante a bit, and
challenge my own Inspo a bit further.
After having finished my dive, I had to walk
back to shore on the slippery ice. I guess you can see where this is
going…. Thinking, “steady, steady”, I wasn’t steady at all for a
brief moment - and made “The Mother Of All Crashes” on the ice.
Image a 190 cm long, 100+ kilo, white-haired
guy with some 40 kilo’s of kit on his back, crashing full-speed on
his left shoulder. Highly NOT RRRecommended! I was actually
surprised the ice didn’t break...
It must have caused a quake of at least 4 on
Richter’s scale, and unfortunately one with level 7 in my left
shoulder. I used some words that Gordon’s profanity filter will for
sure NOT let through here. After my lovely wife Rita & support-diver
Hans had taken the kit off me, I could examine the damage.
Inspo:Tino = 1:0. As in: Kit was 100% o.k., despite the yellow/black
case having taking a huge knocker, chasing it off its hinges, but no
breaks/bends/cracks. Good stuff!
I can also tell you that the new battery box
is not very prone to battery bounce. Forget all those small lab(rat)
tests, dropping it from a measly meter or so on soft, warm water.
This is the REAL thing. I suggest it should
be added to the new
take one big bulky stupid unbalanced Dutchmen;
fit working Inspiration to cloggy;
put combined assembly on frozen, slippery icy surface;
kick the legs from under him, or let him do the job himself
plug ears for hard bump & subsequent nasty words;
ignore injured diver, if necessary silence him with brute
observe readouts of controllers C1 and C2 on handset: they
should still be running o.k. ….
Unfortunately my left shoulder most
certainly did NOT pass EN14143, or in fact any other test. Once
adrenaline had faded, my left wing was rapidly invaded by pain and
lack of operational use. Subsequent photo’s in the hospital luckily
did not seem to show breaks, so it must be “just” ligatures and
(what is left of) muscles, AND my pride, that is hurt. Let’s hope it
all gets usable again, as my skiing holiday is lurking in two week’s
Bottom line and lessons to take away:
Ice diving in itself is not dangerous;
Similar to flying, the dangerous part are take-off and
In my case especially the landing;
The Inspo is way stronger that the human parts it is attached
You shouldn’t do these things anymore on my age;
It is very hard to give “the finger” if you cannot
lift your left arm;
Drinking ability also gets severely hampered when you cannot
lift your arm;
Hence drinking and crashing with full Inspo-kit on frozen
are proven to be incompatible.
‘ Nough said. JanWillem has already sent a
link to this List yesterday with some photo’s on
as “proof” we were actually stupid
enough to pull this off…