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New equipment and dive buddies...
AirOn - 8/02/2007 4:51 PM
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Category: Educational
Comments: 2
Doing NAUI open water, we do rescues from above and below water.

I did my checkout dives solo so I was issued a dive buddy upon arrival.

I`m diving a Seaquest Balance BC with the Air 2 on it. (Aqualung not Scuba pro?)

Make sure your dive buddy knows your equipment and you know theirs!

When we were first setting up our gear I did what my class instructor said, I went over and checked my dive buddies gear before helping put it on him. I even confirmed his rental OCTO was working. Why... because as my dive buddy... that OCTO was

I asked if he wanted to look at my gear... Evidently his instructor didn`t advise him the same. The instructor said we didn`t need to bother with the gear checks. "Ok" was my responce "but I`m diving an integrated air and a back float BC..." Having experimented with BOTH types of BC setups Vest and Back, Octo and integrated, in my pool training I felt it was pretty significant and wanted to point it out.

Well when it came to the surface rescue portions of the class... I was face down in the water and he couldn`t roll me. He had inflated my BC fully... which ment he was not going to get me on top of the air bladder. After a few minutes I lifted my head and wispered "Its a back float BC... let some of the air out." To which I was told by the instructor to "Shut up, your unconscious..."

Then when we were doing the under water rescue he would get me to the surface but over inflated the BC again... so i just relaxed in the 80 deg water as he tugged at my BC.

When it came time to do the share air... I did a quick swap from the Air 2 and held out the primary to him. I grabbed his BC and pulled him in as he cleared the primary and after a breif exchange of hand signals up we went.

After getting to the surface the assistant instructor tells me... "Hey, You don`t give them your primary you give them your Octo." I replied... "Integrated air... NO OCTO."

As far as MY use of the Integrated Air source... I do like to decent using the pull dump on the hose not the button. The up side is i don`t need to undo the velcro keeper to get the air a path vertical and just tug the head of the air source instead. The nice large valve on the shoulder opens and I don`t even need to kick up or squeeze the air bladder to decend.

The other bonus is the people that think its funny to sneak up and steal air from the new divers... can`t find and octo to steal from. When I found a guy trying to locate it on a later dive, I pulled out my primary and smiled some bubble at him. Granted then I had to clear my mask... After the dive he came up to me on the boat and complimented me on my gear.

So I`d have to say that both pro and con is people not being farmiliar with new gear designs.

I`d say less drag is an added feature... that thin little hose does have a fair about of drag, so does the octo head and the hanger for it. Its one less hose to get tangled or caught on something. One less peice of equipment to be dragging along the coral damaging the reef. One less peice of equipment to maintain and purchase.

The breathing is fine, its not as easy as my Atomic primary, so it can feel a little restrictive when I first breath from it. That does help keep it from free flowing though.

Thanks is your reading this, I`ll post later on what my thoughts are on the Suunto Cobra II dive computer.


AP - 4/01/2008 9:05 PM
First, I am shocked an instructor told a student not to worry about checking the equipment - isn’t that "Dive Buddy 101"?

Second, I am glad I read this, as I am enrolled in a rescue class and have the pool session upcoming, with the open water test in May. The back inflating BC issue hasn’t come up, but now I know. Thanks!

DragonMarino - 9/11/2007 11:41 PM
Yea, well, some instructors are not as knowledable as they should and for sure some don`t have the people skills. I also going to buy a integrated air, back inflated BC . I like the pros and about the cons. you are responsible for knowing your gear , you did the right thing , that`s why its so important to choose the right buddy , though I know you didn`t have a choice in that moment.