Thursday, July 26, 2012

Side mount demo night 13/07/2012

An interesting opportunity came up from Oceanquest. Trying out side mount diving. Greg McCracken organized a talk by Jeff Lofflin, and arranged to have equipment from Hollis to try out.

One night was a lecture from Jeff. It turned out to be pretty interesting. He went over the ideas behind side mount diving and why it could be a useful tool. What I didn't realize was the fact that since it could use regular Aluminum 80 cylinders, it could be a very versatile travel setup. It could also be safer, because you could take 2 times the life support equipment with you, rather than taking just one cylinder. He also described some of the more advanced scenarios if you did the training, to actually swap regulators between cylinders if you had a failure and needed access to the other gas supply. It was a bit of a sales-pitch too, but not too bad. The travel aspect did appeal to me. The setup seemed to really lend itself to that. Along with cave diving, where side mount diving got it's origin.

The next night, we got a chance to try out side mount in the pool at Simon Fraser University. I had never been to SFU pool before, and it was pretty nice. Their deep pool was nice to do dive training in. Other pools with a deep and shallow end were kind of hard to maneuver in. Even though this pool was a bit smaller, the constant deep depth made it quite nice to putter around in.

Jeff got everyone into the gear, and we got some time in the pool to try it out. I found it not too bad. I wasn't completely sold on it being way better than regular back mounted diving, but it did seem fun. I couldn't resist un-clipping both cylinders and pulling them forward like Jeff was describing in his lecture. This maneuver could make it easier to get into smaller restrictions.

Heather and I had a fun time! Here is a bit of video that Heather took of me in the pool. I  didn't get very good video of her, unfortunately.

Topline 08/07/2012

Heather got some new gear, and we decided to take it out on the Topline for an easy check-out. Funny enough, a person was on the boat that Heather knew from dragon boating. Scott and Ocean Pro divers were the other divers on the boat.

The day was pretty nice, but the visibility was pretty bad. We did South Bowyer Island first, and found the wolf eel. After that, we just poked around a bit. Once back on the boat, we realized that Heather's new gear needed some adjustment.

On the second dive I went with Mike Juren, and Heather decided to stay on the boat because it was going to take a bit of time to adjust the gear. We went to North Bowyer island, and our plan was to follow the pinnacle back up to the surface after poking around a bit. We saw a very nice puget sound king crab, with an interesting white shell. It might have been molting. The visibility was not the greatest again, and we actually got a bit "lost". We missed the pinnacle, and ended up back at the upline. Not a bad thing!

A fun day of diving!