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November Charlie Posted - Dec 31 2007 : 01:11:37
Seems dead in here! No posts for 20 days now. Let's liven it up - anyone still diving this time of year? Anyone get any good diving toys for Christmas?

I'll start. I'm still diving. Water temps in the low 30's, so we're diving dry now, and shallow - all there really is to do is scallop diving. Not to say that's not worthwhile. Turns out the hype is true - Nantucket Bay Scallops really do taste noticeably better than any others, especially when you dive for them yourself, shuck them yourself, bandage up your hand yourself after sticking a shucking knife into it, et cetera, et cetera....

My in-laws gave me a new (manufactured Sep 06, VIP'd this month) steel 100, an X-7 high pressure Worthington tank, with the Thermo Pro Yoke or DIN valve - has the insert you can remove with an Allen wrench to make it DIN. It's a sweet tank - rated for 3442 PSI service pressure, and the local dive shop (The Sunken Ship, Nantucket) owner and his employees are top notch guys, they don't short fill tanks. Should buy me at least another 20 minutes of bottom time, plus at least 8-10 lbs less lead I need to hump around. WAY better than the AL80's I've been borrowing.

My wife and sons gave me a new Mares Abyss regulator - reeeeeal nice. I'm ordering gauges from Scuba Toys as soon as I hear back from them with a price on a Tusa mini-console (SPG and compass) and Mares M2 wrist computer.

My parents bought me a new pair of ScubaPro Jet fins - I had been using one Rocket fin and one Turtle - almost identical, but still slightly different, and one had torn at the foot pocket anyhow. Also a new drysuit hood and new wetsuit gloves. Lost my old wet gloves - they were constructed of more Aqua-Seal than neoprene when I lost them, so I at least got my money's worth out of them.

Bought myself, a couple days before Christmas, so I could go diving after I lost my Bare neoprene wet ones, a NICE pair of White's Titanium dry-gloves. They have a double cuff - one goes under the drysuit wrist seal and seals against it, the other goes over the wrist seal. Picked up a used Zeagle Ranger in great shape a little earlier in the fall, too. Did some moonlighting to be able to buy a few toys to keep me sane, and buy similarly nice Christmas presents for the wife and kids. Worth every minute to make every dollar to get that feeling when you see that smile, that look, on your wife's and childrens' faces.

Les, I wish BoatFix carried dive gear! If BoatFix carried gear in the same price neighborhood as the site I currently get my gear from, I'd revert to BF for it in a heartbeat, as I'm sure many RO's would!

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lobsta1 Posted - Jan 02 2008 : 15:22:15
Mike, boatered won't allow me to email without a subscription.

Mike, got your message & replied.

Ghost, I was in my 30's when I started diving, so my PADI card is only dated 1980.
Ghost Posted - Jan 02 2008 : 13:43:12
I still have a functioning USIA suit with hundreds of dives on it. It's the suit that I keep on the boat now for lines, logs and other unplanned events. My main suit is a DUI with the telescoping torso. A lot of folks like the 50/50 versions better becasue they are warmer, but the DUI is the best fitting flexible suit I've ever tried. Easy to get on, easy to move around in and very streamlined. By far and away the most flexible suit. I liked the USIA suit but after the DUI you notice the extra drag of the USIA which is inherently a baggy suit. With the DUI, I can wear a ton less lead and that means a smaller bubble in the suit. The smaller the bubble in the suit the better your buoyancy. The better your buoyancy the better you enjoy the dive and your air comsumption will cut in half. That suite made me a better diver. No kidding!

For warmth, definately get an argon tank. The C4 thinsulate DUI undergarment is the warmest i have tried. The extra thick USIA was next in line, and the green DUI fleece suit was by far the coldest. Again, lots of folks swear by the warmth of the crushed neoprene and I believe they are warmer, but they have a lot more drag and a lot heavyer suit. I still avoid them in favor of the lighter suit. The compressed neoprene also wins on durability.

Forget the ankle weights while your at it. If you have that big of bubble to content with, find a way to get the bubble size down. Either have the suit taylored or duct tape your calves after you get in the suit to keep the area from expanding. I learned to dive the USIA with out ankle weights but that suit naturally has a big bubble. Trust me, you will be a better diver if you get that suit bubble size down.

Poseiden made a good reg, but they were always finnicky. They flow nicely when tuned, but tune you will. They are good regs for guys who like to tinker. Personally I went to other designs that were decent flowing and less work and more reliable. I like regs that I don't have to open up for years and years at a time and just keep working. I liked the Scuba pro balanced 1st stages, and the older balanced 2nd stages like the G250. The newer ones seemed to go out of adjustment all the time though. The Poseiden is the Luger of regs, nicely machined but don't get it dirty. The Scubapro 1st stages are the 1911 .45, always reliable. Apeks/Zeagle were a well kept secret for awhile, very inexpensive and never had to mess with them, but last time I checked they were suddenly expensive. The scubapro 2nd stages are the pain in the arse as they require new seats and the parts are harder to get without paying the obscene dive shop prices they want to charge for upkeep. That's why I went to the Apex at the end. Very reliable and very easy to get parts. Just about anybody can put them in and easy to keep adjusted.

Oh, and if your diving in 32 degree water, think about staying home! Brrrrrrrr........

Al, my NAUI card says 1982 and I know all about horse collar BC's. Funny thing is, the horse colar's worked better than the jackets and now all the rage is back mounted BC's!


November Charlie Posted - Jan 02 2008 : 11:31:13
Al, I just noticed you don't have an anchor, so you probably didn't get the PM, and you don't have the 'e-mail button' on here. Shoot me an e-mail through the forum here, with a return e-mail address in it (BoaterEd fowards them 'blind', I believe, so you'll have to type out your email add. so I can back to you.) That spare fleece jumpsuit needs to get out of my closet, but I keep stopping short of throwing it away, since I always figure I'll run into someone that could use it that is as cheap as me when it comes to buying new stuff vs. not having to. Send me your email address, though, we'll talk.
November Charlie Posted - Dec 31 2007 : 22:56:59
The latex seals usually only blow out when you don't have spares. I've probably changed out a hundred drysuit seals (we used to use drysuits with latex wrist and neck seals at work, and we rode those suits hard and put them away wet, so someone was always splitting a seal). You CAN, however, get them to last quite a bit longer if you always talc the bejeepers out of them before putting them on, and wipe them with 303 (it's kinda like Armor-All, but waaaay better) when you're not wearing it. Keep your zippers waxed, just like any drysuit zippers, and the seals clean, talced, and 303'd, and be wary of watches, rings, and overstretching the seals when you put them on and off, and you can get a long time out of them. This USIA drysuit that I dive now still has the original seals, 6 or 7 years old, both zippers clean and the suit bone dry. Only issue I have with the seals is they are too tight around the new White's neoprene dry gloves I just bought (got a great price on them, too - the guy that owns the dive shop out here on the island is real good to me), so the inner cuff on the glove kinks a bit and lets in some water. Also found that with the Jet fins, I don't need ankle weights. I liked using them with my other fins (Turtles - apaprently they're not as negatively buoyant as the Jets) whether I was diving dry or in my 7mm two piece, with 5mm booties. That wetsuit could float a bucket of bricks. Nonetheless, though, the colder it is, the more lead I like to wear over the drysuit so I can get away with more nice, warm, air inside it. Sucks when you need to add cold tank air in 32 degree water.

I'll PM or e-mail you about the undergarment.
lobsta1 Posted - Dec 31 2007 : 21:27:15
Mike, I have not kept up with all the gear through the years. If it works, I keep it. I still have my old Conshelf 14 regulater. My Unisuit I bought used 10 or 12 years ago. It is all neoprene with attached hood & feet with a front zipper. It still has the original seals on it. They have stretched, but I can't see latex lasting that long. All neoprene is far, far warmer than the easy don suits out now. Since my Imperial bubblesuit days, all I've ever worn is Patagonia long johns under my suit. When I did my zincs with the same Patagonias in Oct., I froze.

Be aware that the neoprene suits are a lot more difficult getting on or off. With the Unisuit, I used 30 lbs of weight with ankle weights also. Tried the same weight with the DUI & I was severely over weight. I think I will have to take 5 or 6 lbs off the belt. I am 5'6" & 162 lbs. When I 1st bought the Uni I was 5' 7" & 140 lbs. It's tough getting old, but it beats the alternative.

P.S. Will the undergarment fit me?
November Charlie Posted - Dec 31 2007 : 18:44:39
Speaking of drysuit undergarments, I use a heavy polar fleece one that was incidentally, also made by USIA, very similar to the ones we used to use at work under the survival drysuits, except doesn't have the black nylon shell on the outside of the flece. Have two, only use one, e-mail or PM me if you're still looking for an undergarment, if it's about your size, we'll talk, but definitely let me know what you think of the Poseidon drysuit. The guy that taught me to dive, as well as his wife and the divers that work for him, all dive Poseidon drysuits, and he swears by them, but he's also a Poseidon dealer. Not that he isn't completely on the level and the square, but I'd like to hear some other opinions, too. Probably going to look around for a used one unless I can find a bit of side work to come up with over a grand for a new one.
November Charlie Posted - Dec 31 2007 : 18:37:33
Al, tell me what you think about the Poseidon Unisuit. I like Poseidon, I learned to dive on a Cyklon reg, and actually just picked up a Cyklon with Din to Yoke adapter, and depth and SPG gauges, for $70 shipped on Ebay - just sold some boat parts that were just taking up room in the shed now that I'm not moonlighting much to free up some cash for gauges, and happened to come across it. Wasn't described well in the listing, had to look at the pictures at the bottom of the page to know it was a Poseidon they were selling. Seller (pourportedly, and to the best of my brief, halfhearted research) was a Boy Scout troop trying to raise money for a trip. Local dive shop here is a Poseidon dealer, so I'll have him service it and have a real good reg cheap for a spare. Cyklon first stages are set to a strange IP, so I don't think I can use it with the Abyss, or the Cyklon second stage with the Mares first stage, but I could be wrong.

But back to the Unisuit, I was thinking about a Poseidon drysuit later next year, seems more comfortable and easy to use than the USIA shell type I have now, but the idea of dropping as grand on a drysuit scares me. My USIA has latex socks, too, not crazy about that. I'd prefer attached boots. What's you think of it, what kinda waters where you diving it in, etc. ? I know Poseidon makes top shelf, bulletproof gear. Also know my wife will kill me if she knows I just bought that Cyklon.
lobsta1 Posted - Dec 31 2007 : 11:14:47
Well, I started diving back in 1979. Everyone I started with gave it up years ago. For the last 10 or 12 years about 95% of my dives have been solo. I do go in shallow sheltered coves as the Admiral doesn't swim & is petrified of the water & she is sitting alone up in the boat.

Last two seasons I couldn't dive as I had put on a few pounds & the old Poseidon Unisuit just wouldn't fit any more. In Oct. I found on Craigs List a virtually new DUI 50/50 Flex suit for $300. Even had the right size feet. Used it at the end of Oct. to put new zincs on the boat. Definitely going to have to buy an undergarment. The Patagonia long johns I bought in the 1980s just can't cut it without the neoprene from the old suit.

Going to have to buy a BCD. I used to wear the old horse collar & not even that with the Unisuit. Don't trust the latex seals not to rip on the new suits. Actually the only time I've ever used a jacket type BCD was in Aruba a few years ago.

I am retired now & with the phenomenal prices on gear now, I couldn't begin to get into diving now. I had to scrap two sets of twin 50 AL tanks & a single 80 as they were all from 1980. Shops won't fill them anymore. Bought two used Al 80s with a 1993 date & current hydro on them.

I'm just a Unifinger typist so I'm done for now.
November Charlie Posted - Dec 31 2007 : 02:12:15
Actually, the White's gloves are neoprene. I have a few pairs of the orange gloves - same as the blue ones, but flock lined, just don't have rings forthem. I had originally bought them for work, and they worked awesome keeping my hands dry andwarm on long SAR cases. One of these days I'll buy some glove rings and install one of the pairs of them. I think I paid less than ten bucks a pair for them.

So far, I'm loving the Ranger. I'm still fairly new to diving, just got 'officially' certified this summer, and didn't have money for the BP/W, got a great deal on the Ranger, but I will eventually, when I someday have a toy budget again, go the backplate route.

Jetfins - can't beat them. There's a reason they haven't changed the design at all for almost 40 years.
Ghost Posted - Dec 31 2007 : 02:04:43
Diving no, but I did find my scooter covered in sawdust as i cleaned up the shop this last long week. Apparently I've got a second one down there too. Forgot all about it. I bought two off ebay to repair. One was complete junk, first motor I could not get apart but got almost my money back selling the bad one for parts. The other was stellar and I rebuilt it, but never got rid of. I'll have to list it on ebay. Let me know how you like that Worthington. My favorite tanks were 104's and 80's. Looks like the x8 is the new 104 and the x7 is like the old 95's. Should be a nice tank. Jetfins are the best, hands down.

Those gloves will be nice. I'm not familiar with the white sealing system, but it looks like they use the standard blue gloves. You can get extra blue gloves from most commercial fishing stores (I used SEAMAR), and can get them for like 3 or 4 bucks a pair for just the glove. Find a place and order extra yellow removable liners so you always have a dry pair.

The zeagle ranger was a decent BC, even if it did have more d-rings than a Seattle goth party. If you like the ranger, consider a blackplate/wings for more versatility but you will like the ranger.

Get a pair of double 104's for the ultimate bottom time balanced rig! My favorite.


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