Friday, July 29, 2011

Early Morning Stubborn Dive

Andrius and Saulius were up early this morning to head out with Sasha for a dive on the Stubborn.They are taking a rather big camera with them . . .

After missing his flight then doing his checks yesterday Chris is now finally heading off to explore the Imperial Eagle, while Chris Stubbins gets his check dives done.

Jason is going to be setting yet more challenges for Geoff and Nigel on the house reef today as part of their Tec 40 course.

New Side Mount Cylinders

New Side mount cylinders have just arrived so we now have 10 sets. Plenty for running side mount courses!

Geoff Nutt is currently doing his Tec 40 course with us. The course got delayed a couple of days so he could do his Deep Speciality, a prerequisite for the course, however he now has a twin set strapped to his back and is heading out for a tough day of training.

Chris is also doing a check dive today to get his gear ready for a good 9 days of diving . . . should have been 10 but he missed the flight!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Leading Recreational Divers? Why not take a Twinset?

It was an early start for Sascha this morning as he was in at 6am getting everything ready for an early dive on the Stubborn. John Kendell has been in the classroom all morning covering various topics of the Tech 1 course . . .

while Jack has been playing with his new squeaky toy . . .

On the odd occasion when Jason and Sascha have to lend a hand leading recreational divers on pleasure dives they always make a point of doing it in their twinset despite not really needing the extra air. They do this because they believe it’s still much safer for them to have the long hose and the additional air should anyone ever need it.

Aaron, one of the recreational instructors who also does tec diving, has decided to adopt this strategy. He has set up a rig that he can use for leading recreational pleasure divers like Jason and Sascha. Could this trend catch on? Maybe more and more recreational dive Instructors trained in technical diving will start to do this because of the added safety benefits for the people they are leading.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) Open Day Today

The Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) open day is finally here. John Kendell arrived yesterday and he and Alan have been in early getting everything organised.

However John is still making some time for a dive on the Stubborn with Rikkard this morning but he will be back in time to talk to people about the GUE courses.

John is expecting some interesting questions . . . why does everyone wear black? . . . Why does everyone use Halcyon gear? . . .

Alan got an odd collection of Balloons for his birthday yesterday.

Jack is not amused by them . . .

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rebreathers, rebreathers, rebreathers . . .

We’ve had lots of Rebreather try dives the last couple of days so Sascha has spent a lot of time assembling, disassembling and cleaning the rebreathers.

Jack’s had some trouble dealing with the heat. Viv has been keeping him in the office to keep him cool and out of mischief spent yesterday day expressing his jealousy at being left out by eating through the wetsuit hangars . . .

Caesar had such a good time the other day he has come back for more today. W are finding it reall odd that we have a Julius a Caesar and a Mark diving together. We are now just waiting for an Anthony!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Neoprene Pocket Shorts

Have you ever noticed that one of the only down sides to wet suits is that most of them don’t have pockets. Given that not many of us actually live on the coast, and cycling in scuba gear above water is not the most sensible of ideas, it makes sense that most diversz have to drive to the dive site. Which leaves us with one problem, where to put the keys? . . .

Not only are our keys a problem, there are various other pieces of equipment we might want to takes such as a backup mask or wet notes or a torch. If we had them all hanging off our D-rings we would look like Christmas trees.

For all these problems there is potentially one solution . . . The NEOPRENE POCKET SHORTS!

Here they are being modelled by Ed . . .

They are pretty much identical to the types of pockets you get on a dry suit. Make sure you get a pair that fit properly thou, you don’t want them falling down when the pockets are full!

Alan is going be wearing these magic shorts today. He’s taking them down to Polynesian at 65m to really test their durability. We will have to wait for him to report back on this one . . .

Friday, July 1, 2011

Get Ready for some Simulated Ascents

Alex’s gang headed out to the Beaufighter on Wednesday afternoon for a side mount experience of this stunning wreck. For those of you who have never done it the Beaufighter is a plane wreck that crash landed into the ocean during the war. It now sits at 38m upside down. It is only a small wreck but it looks spectacular surrounded by a vast stretch of white sand.Alex took some time out of diving this morning to try and fix up Harriet (the van) . . . after some confusion over some of Harriets quirks he managed to sort the problem. Sascha has returned from a short visit home and is taking Dennis to Zurrieq where he will be continuing his ART course with simulated ascents.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hollis SMS 100 vs the Razor System

Lots of Pleasure divers went off to explore the Imperial Eagle on the boat this morning as part of their various courses. It was a refreshing 17 deg down on the wreck, quite a big drop from a surface temp of 23! Harry is doing his Normoxic Instructor course, while Christen and Jason are doing a Normoxic course. Alex’s 3 guys are going to be doing the dive on Side mounts.

Today’s dive has turned into Hollis SMS 100 vs the Razor competition.

The question is which is better? The SMS 100 is a modular system making it great for divers who like to swap and change between back mount and side mount. The Razor on the other hand is designed specifically for Side Mount and so probably performs better with side mount as it is designed for only one function.

Watch this space to find out their results . . .

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Roll Up, Roll Up . . . for the GUE Open Day

Love them or hate them, if you want to know more about them and what courses they offer - as they do run some courses that can be very beneficial - come and learn about them. We are hosting a GUE open day on Saturday, 16th July with John Kendell which will give you plenty of opportunity to ask questions and get detailed information about any courses you may be interested in. For those of you who are looking to try something a bit different or focus on problem areas but not sure what course you should be doing this may be the perfect opportunity for you to investigate some new options.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Harry Gets Ready for His Normoxic Instructor Course

It was man vs dog in the office this morning as Jack managed to stealthily nick Alan’s undersuit just as he was putting it on . . . Jack won initially but then Viv came along and got them back no problem! Progress is being made!

Aaron is adjusting the Halcyon harnesses for Harry and Florin so they can go and do a check dive on the house reef to make sure everything is working properly and is fitted correctly. Then Florin will be let loose for some pleasure diving around the island.

Harry is here to do his Normoxic Instructor Course so Alan will be setting him lots of challenges during the course of the week. Good Luck Harry!

Alan has gone to the Stubborn today on his Side mounts while Jason continues with the Advanced Recreational Trimix Course.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Le Polynesian

There have been a few dives going out to Le Polynesian the over the last couple of weeks. Jacques has made a video on it which he sent to us the other day which you can see if you follow this link:

For those of you who have not been, or those of you that have been but don’t know much about it I thought I’d do a blog on it.

Le Polynesian is also known as The Plate Wreck because she sunk so quickly most of the plates and other some other artefacts can still be found on the wreck. She was hit by the torpedo of a German UC22 on the 10th August 1918 and sank in 35 minutes.

She lies at her port side on a 45 degree angle 7 miles outside of Valetta Grand Harbour. The two deck guns, one on the bow and one on the stern are still present. Due to currents that are nearly always present, which vary from mild to very strong, there is an amazing amount of marine life to be found at this site, like big grouper and large schools of barracuda. Take a look at the divers bubbles when they are ascending in the video! If certified, there are lots of penetration possibilities on the Polynesian.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beach cleaning you say? Bring out the Side Mounts . . .

We had a very bizarre morning on Wednesday. Staff, divers of all types and snorkelers from the Hilton, Intercontinental and the Westin Hotels all grouped together in a big team effort to clean up Dragonara reef, Casino Reef and the Roman Baths.

After another of our “expertly” drawn maps was constructed everyone volunteering got split into groups with an Instructor to guide them.

Everyone was briefed on where they would be collecting rubbish and they were each given a bag.

While this was going on Ed was strapping himself into a Razor Harness to try it out for size.

Nearly there, now the other one . . .

I think that’s the first time I’ve seen him laugh! we must be on to a winner with these . . .

The snorkelers headed off out on the boat with Phil. Their job being to collect any floating rubbish and - if they are good at duck diving – some rubbish off the bottom.

The divers went off to their allocated section of the Reef with their guide and collected want rubbish they came across along the bottom.

With Jason leading the way his group managed to collect some odd items of rubbish!

Well if you know Jason you know he’s always up for a bit of a challenge . . .

I just hope that pipe wasn’t connecting anything important :s

After all the hard work everyone involved was rewarded with a buffet of sandwiches, cakes, fruit and every non-alcoholic drink you can think of, courtesy of the Westin Hotel.

Naturally Nev and Alan made sure anything left over was stored safely in the fridge for later . . .

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dry suit and Steel tanks? It can be done . . .

Before the Side Mount course began Steve did a dive to the P29 on his Side Mounts with the some of the Techwise staff and some of the people who did the course.

There has been some scepticism about using steel tanks and dry suits in side mount diving. The aim of this dive was to show everyone that diving Side Mounts with steel tanks and a dry suit can indeed be done . . .

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Side Mount Course, Day 1

First they invaded and successfully destroyed Sarah’s clean classroom

Then they headed outside to play with their box of goodies . . .

Their first new toy was the razor harness

Steve selected his model for the course . . .

They had to adjust the harness so that everything that attaches to it will be easily accessible . . .

It is defiantly one streamlined piece of kit! You get the option of switching to low profile D rings if you prefer.

Nowadays all people who do the side mount course with Steve must purchase the razor harness as in the past when people used to turn up with whatever harness they owned he found it very difficult, even impossible to teach the skills he wanted to because the equipment simply made the skills impossible to perform. In the end most course participants ended up buying the razor harness after the course anyway. So now to make sure everyone gets the most out of their time on the course he insists they purchase the harness to begin with.

Then there was the pouch . . .

The Bat wing came next . . .

The way it is set up depends on whether you are diving in a dry suit or a wet suit . . .

Jason also contributed to the work load . . .

Until he got distracted by the mystery of his missing sandwich . . .

I wonder who that was . . .

Then it was time to suit up assemble the equipment

And head to the pool . . .

Where, after Steve had made sure they had attached the side mounts correctly . . .

They were let loose in the pool to work out how much weight they need to add

I for one was very jealous.

Boo boo was in awe at how good his buoyancy was with the side mounts saying its definalty a winner for him!