Scuba Gear

The other day I ordered my BCD, computer, regulator etc.  After I ordered it I talked to a friend.  Today I changed things a bit.  I talked to a couple different people and took the best of both worlds IMO.

I started by trying on the BCD’s that they had in shop.  The shop only sells Oceanic BCD’s so I had about 4 to choose from.  Right off the bat I ruled out the traditional vest because I had used it both in class and on the dive on sunday.  While it’s functional it’s not real comfortable, especially for a woman with a chest.  I tried on the Hera because it’s designed for a woman’s figure, supposedly.  Now to give the benefit of the doubt the one they had on hand was a small, but I didn’t like the way it felt.  It was all about padding and actually went a bit off the deep end by padding the cumber bun.  Then I tried on the Islander 2 and I liked the weight and the feel of it.  It’s lightweight and not as large as a traditional vest because it’s a back inflated BCD.  Lastly I tried the Biolite which I didn’t like.  I’m not real sure I can place it but it just didn’t feel right. 

I wound up with the Islander 2 and I’ve been solid in that decision.  The guy that sold it to me also uses this BCD and he pointed out several features that I like.  The first is the balanced weight placement.  Because the BCD is back inflated it will tend to pull you horizontal in the water and that puts you face down when perhaps you want to be vertical to make a swim on the surface.  This is balanced out by putting the weights on the sides, the tank and some more weights on the back.  It doesn’t feel constricting and the salesman was able to show me how to adjust the straps just right. 

The first stage I just went with a basic option with 4 ports.  I then picked out the GT3 regulator and the Air XS option.  After that it was just about the computer.  I chose the Veo 1.0 and asked to have a compass added in. 

Today my friend asked about going down to the shop with me after I told her what I ordered.  I met her for lunch and told her about the choices that I had made.  She talked me into 2 things.  I actually changed from the Air XS to a regular octo.  Her rational for this was that an octo hose is long and allows you to keep a panicked person at arm’s length while the Air XS requires that you take out your regulator and give it to the panicked person.  The problem with that is the hose on your regulator is short and the panicked person would have to be face to face with you and would be flailing and possibly grabbing at you etc.  By keeping that person at arm’s length you increase safety.  Some may not agree.  At first I didn’t agree, I was thinking of streamlining.  But my friend pointed out that even if I never become a rescue diver or a divemaster I still may need to rescue someone.  If I’m the one there I’m the one that has to save their ass. 

The second thing I changed was from the GT3 regulator to the EOS.  The reason I changed is that the EOS has a swiveling head and will help prevent jaw fatigue.  It may not be an issue now but as I become better on air and stay down longer it could be.  Also a current can pull your reg in a certain direction away from your face and cause you to have to bite down.  With the swivel it’s easier for things to bend and move so this is lessened. 

In the end I think it will be pretty close to the same with the downgrade of alternate air source and the upgrade of primary air source.  Jeanie also set me up with some accessories that I will need. 

Next friday we will be starting our Advanced Open Water class on the south shore.  When I spoke to Pat today she this way we would be able to plan in advance because it’s a safe bet.  The shop’s boat runs on the west so we will be booked on someone else’s boat with our instructor.  In the winter you can’t be sure the conditions on the west will be good because it does get significant surf.  My gear will be ready for this so I’m excited!  Yay!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 06:13:50

    Congratulations on your new gear! So exciting! Looking forward to hearing how the class goes.


  2. oceanboundsadventures
    Feb 14, 2012 @ 08:40:32

    New gear is so much fun! (usually) I have a lady hawk by scubapro that I’ve dove with since certified and love it.


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