… or an introduction to what I just spent a minor fortune
buying investing in
Well I sort of had to now that I’m soon going to be a divemaster trainee. Oh okay I didn’t exactly have to since it is possible to use the dive equipment at Buddha View. But it will definitely make me a better dive to always wear the same equipment so that I’ll get to know it really well. Plus it’s nice to know that it’s always there and not rented out to customers.
Does it sound like a million excuses? It might be.
Investing in my own equipment WAS expensive (especially because I always want that little extra – as an example I didn’t need the flex hoses for my regulator but they’re really awesome and so I bought them) but it’s a good investment in my opinion. And I really can’t wait to go diving with my new gear!
This post is mostly for all you guys who don’t know anything about diving. For the next couple of months I might write a lot about diving and equipment because.. well you know right.. So I’m thinking that it would be helpful if I just introduced you to the most basic equipment.
Let’s start with the buoyancy control device also known as the BCD. As you might have picked up from the name it is used to regulate the buoyancy by inflation or deflation – it is connected to the tank which is mounted on the back of the BCD. BCD’s come in many forms the two primary being the jacket-style and the backplate/wing system. The jacket-style is the most common and it works like a vest where all of it is inflatable. The backplate/wing system works by having a metal backplate with an inflatable donut so that it’s only inflated on your back. The ladder is mostly used by experienced divers.
My BCD is an Oceanic Excursion 2 and it’s sort of a mix between the two styles. It has the jacket features meaning that it fits nicely but it is only inflated on the back which gives a better position underwater.
It has two large pockets and lots of D-rings where different stuff can be attached – both things are really good for divemasters and instructors since you often have to bring a lot of stuff underwater. So I think that I’ll be really happy with this BCD when I get to know it.
Just to clarify something then the inflation and deflation of the BCD are used to regulate the buoyancy but the small adjustments underwater are done through the breathing (inhaling will of course make you more buoyant and exhaling less buoyant and this can be used when encountering various obstacles underwater).
Next up is the regulator which is showed on the left picture. It is an Oceanic Alpha 9 CDX 5 with an Oceanic Alpha 9 octopus. The regulator consists of the so-called first stage which is the “silver”-thing. It connects to the tank and is responsible for the first reduction of pressure (from the high pressure in the tank to around 7-10 bar above the surrounding water pressure). Then there are four hoses each with a different purpose. First is the so-called second stage which is the white “thing” I breathe from. It is responsible for the second pressure reduction and delivers air with the same pressure as the surrounding water pressure which is what I want to breathe. It has a mouthpiece specifically moulded for me to make it as comfortable as possible. The yellow hose belongs to the alternate second stage also known as the octopus. It is in case my buddy runs out of air then we can share my air. Since it is connected to the same tank as my primary second stage then I can’t use it myself if I run out of air. Therefore you always dive with a buddy (and check how much air you have left often so you never run out).
The third hose belongs to the submersible pressure gauge which tells me how much air I have left. The last hose is connected to my BCD so that I can inflate it.
On the right picture you can see my divecomputer which is a wristmounted model. It is an Oceanic VEO 2.0. The divecomputer can tell me my depth, water temperature, how long I’ve been diving and for how long I can stay down. When you’re breathing air underwater nitrogen is accumulated in the body – the deeper you are the more nitrogen is accumulated. Too much nitrogen is dangerous so therefore there are limits to how long you can stay down. If you dive without a computer then you use tables that show the bottom times for each depth but this does not take into account that you rarely stay at the same depth throughout the whole dive. A computer does that thereby giving you the possibility of longer dives.
The last I’ll show you are my mask, fins and snorkel. It’s all pretty basic but good.
I hope that this helped you understand more about diving and especially the dive equipment. And please just ask if there is something that’s still unclear or you’re just curious and want to know more!