Wednesday 27 August 2014

Best Dive Kit? Has to be the Dive Instructor's!

I am sure this will be a post that most dive guides and instructors from around the world can easily relate to.

You have students starting a new course or taking part in a try dive at your local dive site and you do your very best to fit them out with the best fitting equipment possible. To get the students comfortable is worth the extra effort at the Dive centre because a comfortable diver will have a better time in the water and be more at ease, making it much easier for the dive guide/ instructor.

So, you get the boots and fins...they are easy to sort out and pretty generic.

Breathing apparatus is fine. So long as the BCD has a good fit, they are, again pretty standard, as are the regulators.

Wetsuits are a little more tricky and we like to tell everyone that getting into a properly fitting wetsuit is the hardest part of Scuba Diving. It should be relatively tight and fitted so there are no gaping areas that will allow water to swill and cool you but it shouldn't be so tight that you cannot breathe or it is restricting blood flow!

The final piece of the puzzle is the Dive Mask!

Now, as we have mentioned before, the Diving Mask is a very personal piece of equipment. Since everybody has a slightly different shape to their faces, the way the skirts mould to the individual will be slightly different from one diver to the other.

The best way to test whether a mask fits your face is to place it against your face, with the strap and all hair out of the hair. Next, inhale through your nose and the mask should stick to your face without having to push or twist it on... until, of course, you exhale through your nose.

Then put the strap behind your head and tighten as needed. You should not feel any pressure on any part of your face from the frame (particular hot spot is the bridge of the nose).

As hard as we try to make sure the mask you will use with us has a god fit for your face, even taking a couple different spare masks along (just in case), there will always be at least one diver in the pack that will not get on with any of them and the only one left to try is the one on your face.

Surprise, Surprise... it's a perfect fit and the rest of the dive goes really well.

Do you want to try my Mask?

So, Why is the Instructor's mask always the best fitting one?

I am not sure really but it is a strange phenomenon. I know it isn't just because we all have amazing multi-face moulding masks and can only assume that it is something to do with confidence. If that Dive professional uses it, it must be good, so it will be ok for me!

I use a Poseidon 3dee mask and it is now at a point where I have 3 others in the shop for students.

However, on a recent Open Water Course I taught, I had to give the student my mask for the first dive and proceeded to give them the identical school one on the second dive.

Did it fit? Not a chance! Well, it wasn't the Instructor's.

Saturday 23 August 2014

Scuba Diving from Shore in Cyprus. This is Cyclops

To go with our blog about the different dive sites. This should match up to our Cyclops Dive Site Blog

Enjoy Diving with us!

Thursday 21 August 2014

4 Suprising facts about scuba diving you may not know

I was talking randomly with a friend not so long ago about Cling Film.

Exciting, I hear you say!!! Well, as a general topic of conversation, no it probably isn't but I did learn some interesting information which has certainly made my life much easier.

Did you know that there are small buttons on the side of the box for your roll of cling film that says "press here"? If you press, the box pushes inwards and holds the roll steady inside the box while you peel a sheet off. For my 40 odd years of life, I have never understood why cling film had to be so difficult to use and now I realised it wasn't. It's just me.

So, it got me to thinking about other bits of kit I use all the time and probably don't know enough about and having done a bit of research, here are a few interesting bits of information about scuba diving that you may not know

Tiny bit of Temper

We are all taught that our Scuba Diving masks should have lenses made of Tempered Glass because, when it
girl tries on a mask for scuba diving made from tempered glass
is tempered, it is stronger than normal glass and this is needed when you are descending to the elevated pressures underwater.

Did you know that Tempering the glass puts the outer surface into compression, while the inner surface is put into tension?

This stress means that, if the glass were to break, it would not break into jagged shards like normal glass would but instead, crumble into small granule-like chunks, making it safer for you!

Not all Nitrogen Bubbles are Bad

Wetsuits have been around since the1950s, developing from fragile suits to the more robust hybrid foam neoprene suits we see today.

Foam neoprene is a synthetic rubber that contains small Nitrogen Gas bubbles and it is these bubbles that are responsible for the thermal properties (and increased buoyancy) of a wetsuit. As we go deeper, the Nitrogen bubbles are compressed and we lose heat and buoyancy.

Breathing is Dehydrating

With every breath we take, we exhale a lot of moisture. If you have ever exhaled onto a mirror, you will see all the moisture fog the glass.

At rest we lose approximately 17.5ml of water with each breath and when we exercise, it can be up to 4 times that amount. Add to this, the dry, filtered air that we use when Diving and you can see why it is very important to drink plenty of water when we use Scuba.

All Things Being Equal
We are taught from early in our Diving lives that the Valsalva technique is used for equalising ear and sinus air spaces underwater, but did you know there are actualy a plethora of different ways to do the same job.

None are more effective than the other but a combination of options may help if you find you have stubborn ears.

Some options are; Yawning, Swallowing, The Frenzel Manoeuvre, Politzerisation, The Toynbee manoeuvre, the Lowry Technique and the Edmonds Technique. You can google the ones you don't know, as I would be writing for an eternity to cover the others :)

Hopefully, I have surprised you with a few interesting facts that you didn't already know about Scuba Diving. 

Do you have any interesting facts that could surprise us today. Please share them with us in the comments section.

Sunday 17 August 2014

Northern Diving

Thursday 14 August 2014

Cyprus Dive Sites- The Chapel

Continuing on with our theme of local Dive Sites here in Protaras, we move a little further around Cape Greko, past Konnos Beach to a tiny white chapel on a cliff top. This Chapel is the marker for 2 potential dive Sites depending on how deep you wish to venture and how exciting you want our entry to be.

We will look at Dive one, which sees you walk down a windy path to a handful of steps at the waters edge, where you can slowly lower yourself into the water and put fins on.

amphora pottery fused into the rocks at chapel dive site
As you drop below the surface, there is a slowly descending route marked out between the boulders that guide you to the masses of Amphora resting between 6 and 9 metres deep. Some say it is from ancient moored ships that would anchor in the small bay while others say there was a potters at the top of the cliff that came down with a landslide to deposit its wares into the water. Either way, you can still make out the handles and mouths of the old pieces of pot quite clearly.

Continuing around the headland, you will find the bottom gently slopes away, allowing you to go slightly deeper to around 24m or stay shallower at 18m or even 12metres, depending on your comfort and desires.

There are lots of little spaces for Octopus to hide and you will often find Starfish, nudibranchs and moray eels lurking in the dark recesses of the plentiful nooks and crannies. I have even seen a couple firework anenomes and Umbraculum Umbraculum at this dive site, which are pretty rare in Cyprus.

You can go treasure hunting at the furthest point of the dive, as this is where the locals and tourists like to come and do the cliff jump. On every dive, we will find flip flops and shorts, room keys and hairbands but if you are very lucky, sometimes you can find something of value like a nice pair of sunglasses. We were speaking to a diver here not so long ago that found a gold sovereign ring!!!

Follow your path back at a shallower depth to make your ascent and be aware of any boats that may be overhead and you will find that this is one of the most diverse dive sites we have for variety of fish.

Even on land, around the chapel, you will see tourists, divers and even brides, so there is definitely something for everyone. Will you enjoy it?

Well....eerrrrmmm!!!... I DO!!!

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Scuba Addicted Divers? That is SAD!

Sunday is the day that many Dive Centres close their doors and give their Scuba Instructors a well deserved day to off-gas a little.
megalodon ccr diver waves to the camera underwater

This week, we had some technical divers in with us at Scuba Tech and decided to organise an exploration dive somewhere new with depths suitable for both Technical and Recreational Diving.  Since it was on a Sunday, we invited some of the local Diving Instructors along with us.

Everyone jumped at the chance and it suddenly occurred to me that the willingness of these instructors to scuba dive on their days off could only be a sign of one thing.

We are all SAD (Scuba Addicted Divers)! Are you?

Your Garage could be a Scuba Shop

lots of diving equipment, masks and snorkelsYou have so much Diving Equipment that your inside cupboards and storage will no longer hold it all and your vehicle that meant so much to you when you first bought it has been relegated to the curb. In the meantime your wetsuits, drysuits, cylinders, BCDs, regulators and other diving paraphernalia are slowly building and taking over.

Your partner will no longer enter the garage because of that unique diving smell but you could spend hours checking out all the bits of kit you have accumulated over the years. Much of it, you don't even use any more but daren't throw it away just in case, one day, it comes in useful.

That Diving computer might need a new battery and depth sensor but one day, you might need it!

Are you out this Weekend? Of Course!

Except your friend is talking about the local pub while you mean the local Quarry.

Weekends are no longer about family time or going out on the lash. Weekends are for getting wet; wherever, whenever and if the club are going for a post dive beer, well that is ok, so long as it doesn't interfere with your diving!

Where is your Tan?

You have just been on a lovely beach holiday, so everyone is expecting to see a bronzed body return.

Unfortunately, if you have any colour at all it is usually on your lower arms and legs (up to the point the boots begin at your ankles) and maybe a bit of burnt skin around where the mask sits on your face.

It is hard to get tanned when you are 30m under the sea!

Your Mastermind Speciality Topic is Kit Configuration

What more needs to be said. It is important!

Baked Bean Diet

baked beans in tomato sauce

You live off a diet of baked beans to enable you to save up for that latest piece of diving equipment that you want... no need to own!

Be it a new wetsuit/drysuit, the latest GoPro camera or a brand new rebreather, Scuba Equipment is never cheap and when you are a real scuba addict, you will give up a lot of luxuries in life to get it.

Now, where's that tin opener?