Posts Tagged ‘tips’
The older I get the more I realize that life is about finding the easiest way to do things and scuba diving is no exception. Doing everything in slow motion will stretch your air supply. You ought to kick your fins, move your arms and turn your head as though any motion were almost too exhausting to attempt, because it is. Water is 800 times denser than air so moving an arm or leg in water requires a lot more energy than it does in air. Energy is fuel plus oxygen, so the faster you burn energy the faster you empty your cylinder. It’s that simple.
Slowing down conserves energy and air because speed is very expensive. For those who’ve forgotten physics class, the energy cost is proportional not just to the speed but to the square of the speed. Swimming twice as fast requires four times the energy. Swimming three times as fast requires nine times as much. And the converse is true too: if you cut your speed in half, you need to burn only one-fourth as much energy and one-fourth as much air.
It takes a conscious effort to move at Tai Chi speed, but practice will make it second nature. The payoff is bragging rights over your air-hog buddy at the end of the dive.
by Carl Fallon
In the Red Corner; weighing in at just under 6lbs, the newest travel BC on the market with 23 – 27lbs of lift and made from 1000 denier material and looks so bloody fantastic is…. the new… Hooollllliiiissssssss… Rrrrrrrriiiiiiddddeee! (Cheers from the croud)
This feature packed travel bcd certainly requires a bit of an introduction. This isn’t your usual travel bcd; it looks like a tech rig, feels like a tech rig, even dives like a tech rig… It must be a tech rig. The one thing it that doesn’t have is the weight of a normal tech rig. Normally travel bcd’s are made of lightweight flimsy materials and reduced down so much it doesn’t even really resemble an BCD at all. The Hollis Ride has been minimalized without affecting the normal functionality of the streamlined tech rig.
I just went on a dive expedition to Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea, where I was lucky enough to get to use this fabulous BCD and put it through its paces. We did 12 dives using 95cf Alli tanks to depths of 40m and shallower in a range of conditions from drift to casual still water diving. This blog is of my ‘Hollis Ride BCD’ experience.
Sturdy webbing holds this rig together, threaded in a way that allows for very easy adjustment from the waistband. The webbing threads through an opened stainless eye located at each hip, which allows you to adjust the tension of the shoulder straps by simply tightening the waistband; a very clever design indeed. You are supplied with adequate length in the webbing to be adjusted for any waist size, and it is easily shortened with a pair of scissors and a lighter to finish off the freshly cut webbing.
Probably the best part of the webbing design is that when you are donning and doffing your kit, once you unclip the waist buckle the shoulders loosen to allow you to easily slide out. Gone are the days of looking like you are getting out of a straightjacket each time you go for a dive in your tech kit. If you have owned a standard tech kit you would know exactly what I am talking about and probably giggling to yourself about now.
A special note also must be said about the new added 2nd tank band. This holds the tank firmly to your back making it move simultaneously with your body. Because of the minimalistic design, looking down your body it doesn’t look like you are wearing anything, and when you tighten and adjust it correctly to be honest it doesn’t even feel like your wearing your kit either.
With a simple adjustment of my weight position, I could hold a hover in most positions with little effort. The slim lined bladder is held close to your back by sturdy bungee cord, which gives you greater control of the where the air is held. With a shift in your body position, you could easily migrate gas throughout the bladder.
The bladder is also a full donut design and not a horseshoe. This gives the gas full motion through the jacket without having any capture points. This helps with the positioning of the gas and also with releasing and fine-tuning your buoyancy. It is easy as. It is as simple as a slight lift of your left shoulder, and a press of the deflate button and out it goes, every time without fail. This is exactly what I want when I am in the tropics cruising along, relaxing. No fuss BCD, for no fuss divers, doing no fuss diving.
You ask, there must be downsides on the design…
One of the only things I noticed was that when I rolled around while underwater, due to the tighter restriction in the top of 23lb bladder caused a little bit a noise just behind your head.
Also, with the Velcro attachment that holds the corrugated hose to the left should strap. It would be better if didn’t slide up and down the strap. It would be great if there were an option to fix its position.
But hey, these are very small nit-picking things. To be honest, given the huge benefits of the remainder of the design wouldn’t even be a consideration if I were looking at purchasing one.
So all in all, I would give the Hollis Ride BCD 4.7 out of 5, which is pretty damn good. If you are thinking of getting one, then go for it. The only considerations I would remember is the lift capacity and the style and type of diving you are considering using it for. Keep in mind that I was doing recreational single tank diving with not much additional kit. For me it was perfect.
If you are looking at purchasing one, I would definitely recommend you purchasing it from ‘Australia’s Dealer of the Year’ for the last 4 years running, Abyss Scuba Diving in Sydney. Check it out at www.abyss.com.au
Trying on a new wetsuit is not one of the world’s most pleasurable experiences. The problem is it bone dry and almost hydrophilic in nature. You need to have no moisture on your body and you should try it in a cool area. The wetsuit needs to be firm fitting and you need to remember that once it is wet it will become more flexible and loosen off a bit. Actually if it slides on easily, it is probably too loose.
The trick to pulling on a wetsuit is to start low on the body and move up. Pull an ankle over a foot first, and then stretch out the lower leg of the suit over your calf. Put the other foot in and do the same.
Pull both legs over your knees, stretching them up as far as you can. Then pull the leg up over your thigh as far as you can.
Be sure the crouch of the wetsuit is as high as you can get it before you try to put your arms in the sleeves.
Now get someone to pull up the zip and secure the Velcro. Don’t try to do this yourself.
Remember a wetsuit must fit snugly if it is to be an effective at keeping you warm and it will loosen off once it gets wet.
The Digital Underwater Photography course is a fantastic course to help you learn the ins and outs of taking great underwater photo’s and video. One of the best ways to complete this course is through elearning theory and then practical. The elearning theory gives you the ability to learn at your own pace and time. This allows you to stay more focused while studying and allows you to retain more information this way.
The elearning program has good interactive pictures and video to help you understand different parts and types of cameras. It teaches you how to understand in depth parts of the camera you are using. It provides a good explanation of types of housings and how to choose one that is right for your camera. It provides good information to help with understanding of strobe and light use. It also has good imagery to show use of filters. It talks about importance of practicing above water, and gives you, the user, assignments to help prepare you for the practical sessions so you are more prepared when you get to class. There are little click menus with helpful hints and information. There is good information/steps/procedures on how to set up and get the camera/housing etc ready, cleaning o-rings etc. Information is provided on Digital file formats, image resolution and exposure, sharpness, composition, manual white balance, strobe use, internal and external flash use.
Section 3 of the course is all about taking video. It talks of techniques for holding and aiming the camera while shooting video, along with video shooting basics and how to shoot to tell a story.
While this elearning theory can be taught in a classroom, by completing it online, it allows you to spend a much greater time period in the water practicing where the photo’s are being taken. It also allows the instructor to spend more time adding personal knowledge and experience to the course. Even as an instructor, you can gain valuable additional information by taking the online course, which you can then apply when teaching. The digital underwater photography elearning course is something I would recommend every avid photographer takes, irrespective of whether you plan on taking the full course or not. It will more than likely improve your picture taking dramatically.
Diving with a buddy and spending the time you want looking at the things you want to look at and then navigating your way back to the exit point is one of the great pleasures of diving.
Getting lost underwater should not be a major concern, it happens to all of us, but if you want to make sure getting back to the exit point or boat is as easy as getting in, here are some great underwater navigation tips.
Get Briefed. Good underwater navigation starts before you even get in the water. If you’re diving with an organised group dive, pay close attention to the divemaster’s briefing. He or she can impart valuable information about the site’s features, depth range and currents so you and your buddy can create a dive plan. Discuss your profile and the time or air pressure at which you’ll turn around, and decide on a basic route. If you and your buddy are diving independently, get a thorough site description–and a map, if possible–from a local dive shop or other divers at the site.
Begin before you enter the Water. Before you enter the water make sure you understand the general layout of the site, take compass bearings and understand the direction you will need to come to find the exit point. Talk to your buddy and plan your dive.
Follow the Leader. One diver should take the lead before you even get in the water. It isn’t practical for both divers in a buddy pair to attempt to navigate on a dive. If you’re leading, concentrate on the planned path. Your buddy should monitor time, depth and distance.
Start at the Beginning. When doing a shore dive, surface swim past the waves to where you plan to make your descent. If diving from a boat, enter the water and either surface swim to the mooring or anchor line and descend there, or drop down behind the boat and swim underwater to the mooring or anchor. Always start your dive at the point where the boat connects to the bottom.
Make a Note. Whether diving from the shore or the boat, natural navigation starts as soon as your head goes under the water. Note natural references land marks such as sand patches, rock formations, sponges or whatever. If you make mental notes of features you can remember, you can use those physical markers to find your way back.
Trust your Compass. Don’t rely on your gut feel in determining direction. Always have a compass and check it regularly. You may not know exactly where you are but if you trust your compass it can point you in the right direction until you recognize one of those land marks you saw on the way out.
Time the Dive. Swim away from your starting point for a predetermined length of time, and then turn around and swim roughly the same length of time back the opposite direction. If there’s current, head into it on the way out–in this case, the return trip won’t take quite as long. Watch your air consumption as well.
Get some Training. To help you build your confidence and find the ricks of using a compass and natural navigation, you should do an underwater navigation course. You will be surprised how much this course will help you.
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Cave Diving Trips
5 to 15 October
The Ultimate Liveaboard Adventure Cruise, Explore & Dive The Visayas Islands!
During this Livaboard trip we plan to encounter rare Thresher sharks frequently sighted in this area and the Whale Sharks of Oslob that feed from the hands of local fishermen. The coral reefs in the Visayas feature large schools of fish and macro life abounds providing world class marine life encounters and unique photographic opportunities.