New Gear, New Start

So at the start of this year the plan was to get back in to SCUBA diving. Then COVID-19 shut everything down. I decided a few weeks ago to no longer let that be a stopper.

I decided to upgrade my BCD to the Aqua Lung Dimension to support my local(ish) dive shop and move over to back inflate. My old dive shop closed down while I was away from the sport.

I need to get a dive medical if I want to take any classes. Classes also appear to be a little challenging to do while maintaining social-distancing. I had someone talked into getting certified so I could have a go to dive buddy. That will be an on going project.

I’ve also started thinking about where I want to go with diving and ended up starting on a Leisure Pro Wish List. I’ll be buying most of it locally but this is a good way to track things.

There is a group in the area that dives in a small lake once a week that it probably a good place for me to work with weight & trim.

Looking forward to logging some more dives after several years off.

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.

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 Number Entry Time Bottom Time Max Depth
1 11:33 28 min 45 ft
2 13:41 28 min 49 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.

SCBT Black #38

So I managed to extract my Scuba Capsule Beta Unit from FedEx.  I do have to say I really, really don’t like dealing with them.  That being said I drove to FedEx to get it Monday evening.

Nice BETA label on the box and hand written number and color on the box.  I’m not sure why I liked this so much but it really makes me fee like I’m in on the ground floor of helping to get the best app possible.

In side was the unit inside a nice case.

Tested the unit real quick and provided a few bug reports.

In general the UI needs some tweaking as to sensitivity and I have found a crash bug.

I won’t have a chance to get this underwater for a while and with the UI in its state I would probably use it just on the main screen.  The developers are making bug fixes on a daily basis so I would expect this to make major improvements very quickly.