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Mano
Jul 11, 2012


Oakland Martini posted:

Yeah if you're on a liveaboard doing 3-5 dives a day Nitrox is really helpful. When I was in the GBR in July we were doing multiple 30m dives every day, and I really don't even see how you could do that on regular air. Our Nitrox instructors mentioned that liveaboard operators really prefer Nitrox divers because it lowers the risk of nitrogen-related incidents a lot.

I've done liveaboards with normal air, it's wasn't much of a problem. Usually the 3rd / 4th (night) dive aren't as deep.

Regarding Nitrox I found that I use less air (i.e. compared to the colleagues who only did normal air) when I switched to Nitrox (had about 20 bars more in the tank at the end compared to prior dives) (unfortunately they can now also do Nitrox); this is really good for me since I use a ton of air. The increased ground time thus doesn't matter us much to me. It seems to make me a bit less tired and some of the people getting light headaches from diving report that those are milder/less often.

The disadvantage as stated is that you generally shouldn't go as deep, which can be bad if you want to visit specific places (e.g. wreck at 38m or so).

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Super Dude
Jan 23, 2005
Do the Jew

I was watching a documentary on saturation diving the other day, and it seemed really interesting. Does anyone here do that? How did you get involved?

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


We've had commercial divers post here but I don't think anyone has done saturation diving. As far as I understand it , the concept is that you absorb as much nitrogen and whatever else as your tissue allows and are able to operate like that. They obviously do a very extended decompression schedule when returning to surface pressures.

I've heard stories of guys who have done that and they surface and have like a 2 minute window to run to a chamber to get re-pressurized.

There's a few of us ITT that regularly do deco diving which has the same concepts, just not taken to that extreme

Kazak_Hstan
Apr 28, 2014



Grimey Drawer

Any recommendations on dry suits that are pretty durable in saltwater? I've had good results with kokatat, so-so (gaskets rip too easily) with NRS for whitewater work, but I'd like to duck around in the ocean some. Not scuba specific but I figure you guys have opinions on stuff to wear in the ocean.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



I've used DUI suits which were great. I had a typhoon that was second hand that worked fine until it developed a slight leak somewhere that service people were never able to pin down. If you're in the UK then Outer suits are pretty solid as well.

Of course these are all diving suit so may have extra valves you don't need.

If it's a more general question then it will depend a lot on what use your planning for it. Neoprene suits are tough and provide good thermal protection but if you're doing diving you have to take into account needing more weight. They also tend to be a bit less flexible.

Membrane suits are better on that front but you will need an undersuit for thermal protection and they tend to be a bit more liable to small tears.

Kazak_Hstan
Apr 28, 2014



Grimey Drawer

Planned use is just ocean swimming in Alaska, I want to be able to distance swim, and a wetsuit thick enough to do it is substantial added effort for swimming. Might potentially use it for scuba down the road, I'd maybe like to go hunt halibut.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Kazak_Hstan posted:

Planned use is just ocean swimming in Alaska, I want to be able to distance swim, and a wetsuit thick enough to do it is substantial added effort for swimming. Might potentially use it for scuba down the road, I'd maybe like to go hunt halibut.

Unfortunately I don't think the dry suit route is going to be what you need, at least from my experience diving. The two problems you've got are that you still need thermal protection and so the dry suit will either be quite bulky if it's neoprene or you'll need to wear thermal stiff underneath if it's membrane.

Secondly from experience dry suit seals, especially around the wrists, can let in water if your tendons are sticking out to create little channels. Moving around a lot tends to exacerbate this.

I can't say for sure it won't work and there may be options out there I haven't come across. I don't know anything about cold water distance swimming but I've never heard of athletes using dry suits so I'm guessing there's some sort of reason for that.

Kazak_Hstan
Apr 28, 2014



Grimey Drawer

Yeah I don't know much about it, but I live in a cabin by the ocean half the year so I'd like to gently caress around in it without hypothermia. I might just look for something cheap on craigslist. If it doesn't work I'm out a hundred bucks and learned why it didn't work. Maybe I'll try to find some Montague / Icy Bay surfers, they must have some semi-good solution.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

re: saturation diving. I've talked to a couple of ex-commercial divers on trips to the keys and it's all hosed up. They go real deep to weld oil rigs or whatever they happen to be working on, then it takes them like 8 hours to ascend. They get bells and tanks on an ascent line... That's running in places that the navy doesn't even understand. It pays well I hear, but uh, nope, not for me.

Tomberforce
May 30, 2006


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3BWSMrgi3I

Quite interesting doco on saturation divers in the North Sea. Takes a certain type!

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


I'd probably do saturation diving for a year or two if I was 20 again.

Bishop fucked around with this message at 04:16 on Mar 2, 2015

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

Out for a ride, chillin out w/ a couple of friends. Going to be back for dinner


So, we went to try the world deepest pool, Y-40. Unlike what the name suggests, it's actually 42 meters deep.
It's in north-eastern Italy, near Padova, in a town highly popular among german tourists for its numerous hotels and spa.
They have a partnership with Aqualung, and you only need to bring a computer and your dive mask. The partnership with Aqualung extends to specifically manufactured merchandise, I bought a long sleeve diving shirt with the Y-40 and Aqualung logo, more for how cool it looks than for the use I'll make of it. If you want to use your gear, you can, but you need to wash it in front of the staff; the pool is filled with hot spring water, which comes out at 85 degrees celsius and then gets cooled to 33-35 degrees celsius, after heating the adjacent hotel and SPA.
The gear provided is both technically excellent and skillfully kept. The mouthpieces are regularly serviced and sanitized after every use; the tanks are made of steel, meaning that you won't be needing weights, and the first stage obviously has a DIN connection. The fins are quite soft, I liked them, but they're the only piece that left some wanting. The son of the owner, who is a geneticist by trade, is also a diving enthusiast who helps the staff with the gear, even though his family's wealth easily exceeds the billion (it's a rather famous family); I had the chance to annoy him a bit because he gave me not one but two half empty tanks: that won me a beer at the bar after the dive.

Anyway, the pool isn't quite like any other pool I've seen. The water, as said, is hot mineral water. It's basically a swimming pool filled with San Pellegrino water, and by the way they just reopened the San Pellegrino Spa and the feeling was nearly identical. As you go in, there's a first step at 5 meters with a tunnel running through it (from where people can watch the divers), then a second one at 8 meters with windows on the bar/restaurant, a large playground at 12 and another step at 15 meters. The largest is the 12 meters playground, which is where you will spend most of the time.
At 15 meters, after the last step, there's the hole. And what a hole! This is my old instructor signaling ok before the descent:

It's a 27 meters long tunnel that, as said, ends at 42 meters. We emptied our BCDs and went in really fast, and I can say without doubt that going down fast in that dark tunnel felt amazing. However, when we reached the bottom we understood why the pool allows lights: the bottom is dark, very dark, and you can barely see your computer. Nobody experienced strong nitrogen narcosis, which we agreed that was caused by the water's temperature.
This is the tunnel, as seen from about 35 meters:

After we made our stop at 21 meters we still had 30 minutes of time (you can't be in water for more than 40 minutes) and went to the playground. There are a few caves, two easy ones, one of medium difficulty and one where you need the specific certification to get in. The easy caves are really easy, the intermediate one is easy as well but with smaller entrance holes and an exit in the bottom. There are a couple of bikes here and there, this was my buddy wasting his time and air on one:


All in all a really pleasant experience, we're surely going back. Don't go there without booking however, they're full for months to come.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

That's kinda cool I guess because of the heated water, but what's the point of going that deep there? Is it just to go deep?

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

Out for a ride, chillin out w/ a couple of friends. Going to be back for dinner


Exercises, yes. There were a bunch of two star divers in training with us and they tried a few things (such as changing the mouthpiece, switching to the secondary mask) at a depth that they don't normally reach in a pool.

Mainly, I went because I was curious to see it.

I forgot to mention, but the pool is also used by free divers. Every depth marker is written both upwards and downwards.

MA-Horus
Dec 3, 2006

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.



That's really cool. I'd love to have something like that just to practice and fool around in. And that mineral water sounds neat as hell, water temperature is thought to affect onset of nitrogen narcosis, right?

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

MA-Horus posted:

That's really cool. I'd love to have something like that just to practice and fool around in. And that mineral water sounds neat as hell, water temperature is thought to affect onset of nitrogen narcosis, right?

no, narcosis is just from pressure, temperature has nothing to with it

Icon Of Sin
Dec 26, 2008






I don't remember where I saw it, but I thought colder water influenced the onset of narcosis and made it more likely as the temp went down.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



From personal experience, temperature does seem to have an influence on some of the negative aspects of diving. I've personally felt more narced in cold water and DCI incidents are much more common at shallower depths. I'll admit I haven't seen a study on this but of all the DCI incidents I'm aware of, the majority involve cold water diving and those are usually in depths and general conditions people don't seem to have problems with when warm water diving.

Of course that isn't necessarily directly caused by temperature, cold water diving involves a lot more gear as well and the additional exertion could have a big effect on the DCI thing. Cold water also tends to be a lot darker and along with all that other gear there's probably more stress involed at similar depths so it could be much more of a cumulative thing.

HandlingByJebus
Jun 21, 2009

All of a sudden, I found myself in love with the world, so there was only one thing I could do:
was ding a ding dang, my dang a long racecar.

It's a love affair. Mainly jebus, and my racecar.



Icon Of Sin posted:

I don't remember where I saw it, but I thought colder water influenced the onset of narcosis and made it more likely as the temp went down.

My understanding is that it has an effect on getting bent because offgassing doesn't happen as quickly at lower temperatures. So longer safety stops and surface intervals are the order of the day when diving in colder water.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

again, temperature has no effect on narcosis, but it might impact your ascent because you're cold

HandlingByJebus
Jun 21, 2009

All of a sudden, I found myself in love with the world, so there was only one thing I could do:
was ding a ding dang, my dang a long racecar.

It's a love affair. Mainly jebus, and my racecar.



jackyl posted:

again, temperature has no effect on narcosis, but it might impact your ascent because you're cold

Getting bent != narcosis. I should have been explicit that I think folks were conflating nitrogen narcosis with nitrogen tissue loading.

Icon Of Sin
Dec 26, 2008






I wasn't, I remember being told that cold water directly contributed to narcosis. However, I just looked it up in the PADI Deep Diver course book and their contributing factors to narcosis are exertion, inexperience/lack of recent deep dives (they say that people who do deep dives more often seem to build a tolerance/resistance to narcosis), alcohol/drugs, anxiety ("low visibility, cold and dark water can all contribute to anxiety, and therefore narcosis"), and fatigue. I had thought it was a direct contributor, but got turned around somewhere along the way (it probably isn't even really an indirect contributor, just PADI covering their bases like they seem to do).

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

Out for a ride, chillin out w/ a couple of friends. Going to be back for dinner


That's just Padi's opinion. Cmas says that temperature affects nitrogen narcosis, in fact I've never been so calm and lucid at 42 meters.
Didn't Padi also say that narcosis isn't only given by nitrogen?

bonds0097
Oct 23, 2010

I would cry but I don't think I can spare the moisture.

Pillbug

I'm going to be in Monterey Bay at the end of May (26th through 30th) and I was hoping to dive Point Lobos ones of the days I'm there. Any local goons have a recommendation for a good dive shop for a guided tour?

Alternatively, if any local goon would like to guide me, I'd be happy to pay the park fee and buy you lunch/beer after the dives. :)

Red_Fred
Oct 21, 2010




Fallen Rib

Just signed up to do my Advanced Open Water (yay) and I'm reading the drysuit section of the book because I'm going to do the course in one. It says not to use your BCD for buoyancy except on the surface. This seems to contradict everything I've heard about drysuit diving. What's the deal?

bonds0097
Oct 23, 2010

I would cry but I don't think I can spare the moisture.

Pillbug

Red_Fred posted:

Just signed up to do my Advanced Open Water (yay) and I'm reading the drysuit section of the book because I'm going to do the course in one. It says not to use your BCD for buoyancy except on the surface. This seems to contradict everything I've heard about drysuit diving. What's the deal?

While there are certainly conflicting opinions on the subject, I believe the reasoning is that you only want to have a single source of buoyancy to keep track of during the dive. There's a more detailed discussion about the subject earlier in the thread and people seemed fairly split.

bonds0097 fucked around with this message at 02:01 on Mar 20, 2015

cowofwar
Jul 30, 2002

by Athanatos


Red_Fred posted:

Just signed up to do my Advanced Open Water (yay) and I'm reading the drysuit section of the book because I'm going to do the course in one. It says not to use your BCD for buoyancy except on the surface. This seems to contradict everything I've heard about drysuit diving. What's the deal?
It simplifies things to only use one buoyancy control device and you can't not choose your dry suit because you will need to add air going down to prevent a body squeeze and let out air on the way up as a result.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Yeah, dry suit diving adds a fun new element (enjoy relearning trim and bouyancy). The BC (unless you're doing fun tech diving with lots of extra ballast) becomes a strict redundanct source of buoyancy in case of suit failure. As has been said you have to use the suit to 1) Prevent suit squeeze and 2) Insultate yourself since water is a good thermal conductor and air isn't so you really want a layer of air between you and the suit. If you're familiar with having to add and dump air from the BC, imagine balancing this with also adding and dumping air from your suit as you ascend or descend on the dive. The potential for losing track of where the air is and potential for panic if you start an uncontrolled ascent gets much, much higher.

Icon Of Sin
Dec 26, 2008






My dive partner put up some of her pics from our trip to FL 2 weeks ago! :)

This one is me, right above the entrance to Devil's Ear cave network at Ginnie Springs:



Ceiling of the Ballroom, Ginnie Springs:



Shop owner, me, and 2 others at the bell in Blue Grotto:



Artsy shot of someone at the Devil's Den, FL (I think):

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Red_Fred posted:

Just signed up to do my Advanced Open Water (yay) and I'm reading the drysuit section of the book because I'm going to do the course in one. It says not to use your BCD for buoyancy except on the surface. This seems to contradict everything I've heard about drysuit diving. What's the deal?

I've done it both ways. The issue is if you need a lot of buoyancy (if you're overweighted, or if you're carrying around a lot of tanks) then using just your drysuit gets difficult to impossible. A drysuit with a ton of air in it is also a real pain: the bubble will move around, especially towards your feet, and if you're new to drysit diving you can find yourself getting pulled up by your feet.

If you're properly weighted and diving a single tank then using your drysuit alone is totally workable. If you aren't, or if you're planning on doing more tech-type stuff in the future, then just put in enough air to keep the squeeze off and use your BCD for bouyancy.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Since I seemed to have killed the thread, here are some pictures! I went diving in Canada and it was amazing.

Saw some Stellar sea lions (I think they noticed us):


Saw some mating Puget Sound king crabs:


Saw an ancient looking yellow eye rockfish:


Plus crinoids (never seen them in cold water before!), octopus, warbonnets, rock fish I'd never seen before, and absolutely huge lingcod.

Icon Of Sin
Dec 26, 2008






DeadlyMuffin posted:

Since I seemed to have killed the thread, here are some pictures! I went diving in Canada and it was amazing.

Saw some Stellar sea lions (I think they noticed us):



How did you not die with one of them this close to you? :stare:

cowofwar
Jul 30, 2002

by Athanatos


Icon Of Sin posted:

How did you not die with one of them this close to you? :stare:
Animals like sea lions or reptiles like crocodiles and alligators are actually quite docile underwater.

Icon Of Sin
Dec 26, 2008






cowofwar posted:

Animals like sea lions or reptiles like crocodiles and alligators are actually quite docile underwater.

Fair enough. One of my bio professors says she wouldn't go near one on land or in water, that's why it's weird to me to see a pic that close up.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Icon Of Sin posted:

Fair enough. One of my bio professors says she wouldn't go near one on land or in water, that's why it's weird to me to see a pic that close up.

Your professor would probably think we're idiots for getting as close as we did. One of the other divers had worked with them before and she stayed well back for a very long time.

I kind of wondered a bit about the safety of it, but the dive outfit seems reputable and the sea lions were not at all aggressive. Also, we didn't approach them at all. We stayed quite a ways off from their rock and the curious ones came to us. The boat captain made a big deal out of having us stay away from their rock so they didn't get defensive, and to not push back or really react to them, or it would encourage rougher play.

Still, getting felt up by something this big is a bit scary. It's interesting, I've been buzzed by California sea lions a million times, but never had one actually make contact. The Stellars didn't have that problem.

I've spent a lot of time around California sea lions underwater, but I wouldn't approach one on land. Doubly so for the Stellars.



cowofwar posted:

Animals like sea lions or reptiles like crocodiles and alligators are actually quite docile underwater.

I'd take this advice with a gigantic grain of salt regarding the reptiles. I wouldn't get in the water with a croc or alligator. Sea lions and harbor seals seem to be ok if you let them approach you on their own terms. I've never approached one.

DeadlyMuffin fucked around with this message at 02:01 on Apr 1, 2015

Suave Fedora
Jun 10, 2004


sct posted:

Anyone live down in South Florida and dive often? I am looking for someone to dive with outside of just buddying up with my brother all the time. (He's great to dive with but he can't afford to go as often as I like to)

Just sent you a PM. Anyone else in Miami/SFL who is interested in forming a goon group, PM me.

Suave Fedora
Jun 10, 2004


I'm late to my own celebratory post, but last Sept I got my SCUBA cert for open-water after completing the checkout dive at Epcot's DiveQuest, where you swim in their aquarium they have inside the Nemo ride (formerly The Living Seas). It was a great experience. You get a backlot tour of their operations (how they feed the animals, how the water is filtered, etc) and do a 45 minute dive in crystal clear water with a few sharks, 2-3 turtles, rays and fish. You do follow-the-leader for 15 minutes then are free to roam pretty much anywhere except near the dolphin pen, which is separated from the main aquarium with long bars. If your family is there, you can swim by their area to wave hello and do silly underwater things.

(not my image)

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Suave Fedora posted:

I'm late to my own celebratory post, but last Sept I got my SCUBA cert for open-water after completing the checkout dive at Epcot's DiveQuest, where you swim in their aquarium they have inside the Nemo ride (formerly The Living Seas). It was a great experience. You get a backlot tour of their operations (how they feed the animals, how the water is filtered, etc) and do a 45 minute dive in crystal clear water with a few sharks, 2-3 turtles, rays and fish. You do follow-the-leader for 15 minutes then are free to roam pretty much anywhere except near the dolphin pen, which is separated from the main aquarium with long bars. If your family is there, you can swim by their area to wave hello and do silly underwater things.

(not my image)



I'm jealous! I signed up for SeaQuest, and when I got there, they said that the aquarium was closed for repairs and that they notified everyone in advance (they didn't notify me). I was there for a wedding, so it's not like my entire trip was ruined, but I still wish I would have gone. They gave me a phone number to call to talk to someone in customer service, but I never did. Seeing as how it's Disney, I feel like if I did call, they would have given me a million comps, so I wish I did :(

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Quick question on backplate and wing, I've ordered one from the States as I really prefer them, my own in the UK is for doubles and dive centres pretty much never have them as rental gear, but after clearing customs and everything, turns out the shop forgot to include the waist buckle and the bolts for attaching the plate to the wing. It's an Oxycheq wing and light plate, it's got 2 cambands so I'm wondering if anyone here has experience and could tell me if I need the bolts to keep everything stable or if it should be ok when the tank is strapped on. It's an issue since if the stuff doesn't arrive in time (it's en route but I'm expecting customs here to keep it for a couple of weeks because of course they will) then I'd still like to be able to dive with it. The buckle is a standard weight belt style one so no problem borrowing a replacement.

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Tomberforce
May 30, 2006


MrNemo posted:

Quick question on backplate and wing, I've ordered one from the States as I really prefer them, my own in the UK is for doubles and dive centres pretty much never have them as rental gear, but after clearing customs and everything, turns out the shop forgot to include the waist buckle and the bolts for attaching the plate to the wing. It's an Oxycheq wing and light plate, it's got 2 cambands so I'm wondering if anyone here has experience and could tell me if I need the bolts to keep everything stable or if it should be ok when the tank is strapped on. It's an issue since if the stuff doesn't arrive in time (it's en route but I'm expecting customs here to keep it for a couple of weeks because of course they will) then I'd still like to be able to dive with it. The buckle is a standard weight belt style one so no problem borrowing a replacement.

Assuming it's similar to my bp/w setup with single tank adaptor, you'll need the bolts to keep the whole system together. If you don't have the supplied bolts you should be able to pick up stainless steel replacement bolts, washers and wing nuts fairly cheaply from local hardware stores which should make do till the specific ones get there. Or go into your LDS, if there's one near where you are in the UK (I know they aren't everywhere!).

My mate had a small Oxycheq wing (I have dive a Hollis) his is a really nice piece of kit which I was trying to remember the name of the manufacturer of - you've just reminded me, so thanks!

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