New site, new home, & out of the Guard

Moving my blog site, buying a house, and closing out the Military chapter of my life. Making big plans to get back into SCUBA.

Just putting up a real quick note just to get things rolling and verify my account is all properly set up.

So I’m 80% of the way through getting this new blog set up and looking the way I want. I need to do a lot of work on the photos section. My SCUBA blog was previously at divingbrian.wordpress.com. That will probably stay up a few more weeks until I make sure that everything is looking good and then will have a single redirect page.

I’m finally moving from being a renter to a home owner. Some time next week I should be closing on my first ever house. Very exciting, very scary. And once I close there is a lot of time that will go into doing some electrical upgrades and installing networking etc.

I’m also now officially retired from the Michigan Army National Guard. I had been burning out on that for some time and I am fully embracing the beard. Still undecided on what to do with my hair. This should mean more free time but work is going to be crazy into the fall.

Next year will be my return to SCUBA. I think I’m going to try and do some refresher training this fall, the PADI ReActivate will probably be a real no-brainer but it will make the new dive shop I’m going to (old primary shop closed) and make them more comfortable when I try and get Deep and Wreck certified next year. My gear has been unused and well stored since last service so I’m comfortable just doing the tank vis. I’ll probably only vis 1 tank and get the rest done in the winter to have them all ready for a full dive season.

Discover Rebreather

Last Saturday I had the chance to do a discover rebreather dive at an area pool with Aquatic Adventures of Michigan. I got to try out a Poseidon MK VI. Both Tom and Steve are very knowledgeable and were very helpful in answering any questions.

Having done a fair amount of research prior to taking this and listening to the presentation at Great Lakes Shipwreck Festival I expected that it was going to be something I enjoyed. I underestimated just how nice it really was.

First off I am a bit of an air hog. My SAC has been improving over time but it is still a bit high; on a CCR this is no longer an issue. Longer bottom times and less weight to haul around. Both good.

Fixed PO2: Having a good understanding on the benefits of nitrox – mostly more bottom time. The CCR takes the benefits to its max while not impacting max depth the way nitrox will.

Weight: Diving HP120 tanks when doing open circuit the weight difference is amazing. Less gear to move to the dive sight, the gear you move weights a LOT less. The other thing about having less bulk is I felt way more maneuverable in the water. The ability to flip, roll, and hang upside down was great fun.

Only drawback was that, as the instructors pointed out, buoyancy control is totally different. I had some major issues initially with starting to become positively buoyant when I didn’t want to. I had this mostly sorted out by the end but I know it would be a major focus when I take the rebreather class.

The price isn’t as bad as it might seem if you plan on diving enough and with tri-mix. Which is my intent in time.

All I all I loved the experience and have added a Poseidon 7 to my wish list and the class as the next one to take after I take shipwreck and deep.

My SCUBA wish list would really be helped out by winning the lottery even more so than before.

1 lost year of diving, 1 or 2 more to go.

Well I just realized that I haven’t updated this in some time. I also noticed that I only got 6 dives all last year. On top of all of that, I even paid for a wreck diving class that I never got to take. I’ll have to make sure I fit that is some how.

Quick update. My work obligations due to our current mission basically take 2 months out of the summer. Plus one weekend a month. So I’m really looking at a very constrained schedule to start with. Add on school and that I’m a broke student and it gets even worse. This however will come to pass. We are on the mission a limited number of years and I will graduate with my BS of Computer Science December 2014. I’ll just have to get in what I can fit in until then.

On the plus side I seem to be able to make it to more shows this off season than last year. I made it to the Shipwrecks and Scuba in November and enjoyed all of the programs as usual. Most of the speakers they get every year are really top notch. This year’s keynote was amazing. Fabien Cousteau is a very dynamic speaker and was there in person rather than remote from Aquarius thanks to the government’s inability to keep running.

I’m also going to make it to Great Lakes Shipwreck Festival later this month. I’m really looking forward to it. I missed that show last year because of NG drill. And as the year before that. I haven’t figured out which of 2 speakers in the same time slot I want to go see.

I need to update my digital logbook on here as well.


Image used under CC from Julian Lim

Can someone please add 6 more weeks to the summer?

Can someone please add 2 weeks each to June, July, and August?

It seems between the weather, work, school, and the National Guard this is not going to be a good season for me.  I got a March Dive in.  The April flew past… Then May… Now I’m away for training, will have a 3 week break, then more training.  I hope next summer will be better.

I could look at this as a sign to scratch up the money for a dry suit, but the school thing also equates to a lack of random extra money.

I have gotten my techBuddy from the Blue Buddy Kickstarter but so far it has remained as dry as I have.  The interface and construction look great.

First Dive of the Year

I finally managed to get into the water for the first time this year.  I headed down to White Star Quarry for their unofficial opening on March 30th.  There were several things I was hoping to accomplish on this dive and I got part of the way there.

Dive Log:

Dive NumberEntry TimeBottom TimeMax Depth
111:3328 min45 ft
213:4128 min49 ft

Goals for the day:

  • Get in the water
  • Try out a Whites Fusion Dry Suit
  • Test my SCBT for the first time in the water
  • Work out trim weight for diving with 30 cft pony.
  • Meet new people

I had called a few people that I have dove with before and they were not interested because of the cold water.  So I drove down knowing that I would be able to dive with someone.  Before the weekend I really didn’t have time to prep so I was a little rushed and managed to leave one of my integrated weight pockets for my BCD.  I pack enough extra weight that I just moved more to my belt and solved that issue.   It did however prevent me from testing my pony weight and trim as I spent more time playing with my buoyancy than I had planned. There was some thin ice when I arrived around 9:30am but that was long gone by the time we got in the water.  I ended up diving with an instructor that was there alone with the same thought that there would be someone to dive with.

I have used dry suits before but this was my first time with a Fusion and I’m totally impressed.  All other things being equal I found trim orders of magnitude easier.  That is about the only major difference I found between that and the DUI Tri-Laminate that I had used in the past.  Between this and the price this is without a doubt the route I’m going for purchase.  (Now accepting donations for my dry suit fund).

That covered my first two goals.

The SCBT did not go well.  It seemed to be running fine for the first part of the dive, then it just shut off.  The iPhone was totally powered off.  When I powered it on I made it to the lock screen and it shut down again.  There was no indication of water (This was later confirmed by looking at the moisture indicators in the phone).  The log in the app was 0 time.  The most likely cause was the temperature change.  The air temperature was around 50°F and the bottom temp was 37°F.  It looks like the temperature change may have caused a current drop in the battery output shutting down the phone.  I did not both trying to test it again for the second dive.

I met a few new people that I hope I’ll have many chances to dive with in the future.