What is a dive club for in this day and age. Is it still relevant? For many of the long time divers in the Splash Water Sports family, the 50 Below Club was our central focus for diving activities. The club provided a venue to meet other divers, see and discuss dive destinations, and plan local activities.
Many of us made lifelong friends at 50 Below, some still dive with Splash some are just friends. When you are at 50 below you aren’t a doctor, plumber, or old retired guy, you are a diver with knowledge and experiences to share. There is usually someone in the room who has been where you have questions about, or just answers to your questions, on diving.
At a club meeting you are getting information from real people not anonymous sources on the internet. So come on back to the 50 Below you past participants and welcome to new ones.
I will be doing a presentation on Jeff Mazzetti and My live-aboard on Lost Island Voyages in the Bahamas, and our resent trip to Bonaire. Had I known I would be doing this I would have been more careful about remembering all the parts for my cameras, but we will do our best.
On lost Island we spent 10 days sailing on a live-aboard to parts of the Bahamas rarely seen, hence the name. Many of the dive sites were not in sight of land, and most not in sight of inhabited land. Our captain knew places to dive that only he had markers on it was very interesting and brought back a sense of adventure I hadn’t felt in a while.
We did 3-4 dives a day and several night dives. On Bonaire we stayed at an different resort the Divi, which despite its name is based out of Charlotte NC. The diving was great, with many of the group doing their shore diving from trucks in the afternoon as well as the boat dives. It was a great group of people and a wonderful trip. Look forward to sharing it with you, Dick Jones.
Splash Water Sports first 50 Below meeting of 2017.
Rockefeller’s Grille – Banquet Room
1831 McKees Rocks Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
When: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 – 7pm if want to get there prior to the show to order some Dinner, 8pm – Showtime!!
We here at Splash are regularly asked” Why should I dive Enriched Air?”.
First let’s explain what Enriched Air is. It’s basically the same Air that non-enriched Air is, but the Oxygen Blend is higher. The Air we all breathe every day is 21% Oxygen with the other 78% being Nitrogen. In the context of recreational diving, what Enriched Air does is it increases the Oxygen percentage up to no more than 40% (more reasons on that later).
Now, let’s talk about why we dive Enriched Air. Due to the lower Nitrogen percentage, when we dive with Enriched Air it reduces the amount of nitrogen absorbed into your body vs when you dive regular air. That means you get extended bottom times within recreational limits. When diving Air at 60 feet you have a No Decompression Limit of 60 minutes bottom time. With an Enriched air blend of 32%, your NDL at 60 feet would be 78 minutes. That’s a gain of 18 minutes bottom time! The added No Decompression Limit time also really benefits you if you are diving multiple days and also reduced fatigue from those same efforts. In addition for divers not at optimal fitness or perhaps growing older the increased safety of reducing nitrogen, and increasing available oxygen make for peace of mind.
At this point, you might be asking yourself “this seems easy, why I need a class to dive Enriched Air?”. While diving Enriched Air has its benefits, there are some dangers as well. When it comes to breathing a higher Oxygen percentage it reduces the maximum depth that we can breathe that gas. So it’s important to lean what those limitations are in order to keep you safe and diving another day. You also learn how to analyze you dive tank, as it’s up to you to know exactly what your Oxygen percentage is before you get into the water. Another important step in the process is how to program your computer with the correct O2 percentage so your NDL limit is correctly displayed.
So while yes there are benefits to diving with Enriched Air, it is by no means not a necessity. If you dive in the 30 – 60 foot range, most of the time your tank will run out before you run out of NDL time on both Air and Enriched Air. So our instructors at Splash are asked by someone if they should take the class, the answer they’ll give is that you shouldn’t unless you. But if you ask any of them if they dive Enriched Air, they will all say yes.
If you are interested in becoming a certified PADI Enriched Air Diver, you have a couple of options. The First is to sign up for the monthly Enriched Air Class available at Splash and involves classroom work that generally only lasts 1-2 hrs. with no dives required. Call the store at (412) 531-5577 for information. The Second option is you can sign up the PADI Enriched Air Diver Online E-Learning class here and start learning right away. Either way, we think you will be glad you did.
We here at Splash Water Sports get a number of customers coming in looking to buy their first mask. Your mask is one of the most important, and personal, pieces of your scuba kit. It’s usually one of the first things you’ll buy.
There are so many mask options from sizes to material to brands like Oceanic and Aqualung to just name a few
, it can be overwhelming at first. So here some things to consider when buying your first mask…
1. This is the most important one, the big “C”, no not color – COMFORT. You want a mask that fits your face and your nose. Without putting the strap on, place the mask on your face and inhale …through your nose, when you let go it should stay on your face.
There are different kinds of skirts – transparent, colored, silicone, plastic. This comes down to personal preference. Transparent is better for beginners as it lets more light in, Opaque dark will reduce glare, but some will consider it more claustrophobic. Silicone is more durable, flexible and if taken care of should last for years. Plastic is less expensive, but also less flexible and won’t last nearly as long.
In most case the strap can be changed out, but a neoprene strap/strap cover will be more comfortable than a plastic strap – especially if you have longer hair that can get tangled easily.
2. Lenses. Single Lens, Split Window, Frameless. There are many options and for the recreational diver it becomes more about personal taste. Different frame types can make a difference in airspace volume (see #3), field of vision and peripheral vision. Frame types also work better for different nose types, a Split Window mask will might have more room for your nose than a single lens mask. Sometimes it takes trying a few different masks before you find the one you can’t live without.
There are also corrective lenses for masks if you normally wear glasses.
3. I mentioned High Volume and Low Volume, what’s the difference? A High Volume mask will be more buoyant because it is further away from your face. A low volume mask is exactly that, it has less airspace between the mask and the face – so it’s much easier to purge any water out of it.
4. Speaking of purge – some masks come with a built in purge valve in the nose. This comes back around to personal taste, but there really is no solid benefit to having a purge valve in the mask.
When it comes to choosing your mask, the best suggestion would be to stop by Splash and take time, ask questions and try the different masks on – nothing make a dive more enjoyable than having equipment that you are comfortable.
One of the questions we get asked here at Splash Water Sports is “How often should I get my regulator serviced?” Manufactures such as Aqualung recommends service at annually (most require service to keep the warranty valid). If you find you dive a lot, you may want to get your gear checked twice a year.
When the trained service technicians at Splash Water Sports do a full service, your Reg gets completely stripped down and taken apart. Each component is inspected for corrosion and cleaned, O-rings and filters get replaced. Hoses will be inspected and cleaned. As t…he Reg is re-assembled, some fine-tuning will be done to make sure that the regulator breathes easily without free flowing. The records will also be updated with who performed the service, when it was done and what service was performed.
Whether you just got on Instagram or are a seasoned social media addict (but you can quit anytime, right?) there are lots of ocean photo accounts, scuba diver accounts, and even dive magazine accounts to follow. But after a long look at the many accounts @Splash_Water_Sports follows, we’ve narrowed down our favorite accounts to 5. Check out:
Although the weather doesn’t seem to want to warm up Splash is getting ready for the start of the 2013 season! This 2013 season has a lot in store! We have lots of events going on that you can participate in and Just for Fun dives on the weekends. No matter your skill level we have events going on that you can join in on! Don’t forget to stop by the store and see what we have planned or are planning next. Also, stay up to date on our blog post. It’s now one of our goals to keep you involved with the store by keeping you updated with our blog posts! Stay tuned! (2013 Ice Diving Blog coming soon)
Splash recently had there annual Instructor Banquet where we celebrate and rewarded our Staff for the hard work they have put in the past year. Don’t forge to brag to us about your favorite instructor!
PADI TecRec Instructors Jon Kieren and Lauren Fanning got engaged during a record breaking 350 feet dive! Jon Kieren proposed to Lauren Fanning with his underwater slate, all she had to do was circle yes. The couple has since become the only technical divers to see the bottom of Salt River Canyon and probably the only ones to become engaged at the depth.