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Sidemount Diving  

Sidemount diving...you may have heard of it...if your new to diving then maybe not...lets take a look at what it's all about...

Firstly where do we wear cylinders when we're underwater? On our backs right? Well since diving began thats been true and it kind of makes sense - a more natural, intuitive place. But more recently sidemount diving involving carrying one, two or more cylinders along your sides has been gaining popularity.

It can make divers more streamlined in the water, aids divers 'trim' (position in the water) and can be considered safer due to having all the valves where you can see them. As an additional bonus it can aid with carrying cylinders since you can put them on in the water and carry them one at a time down to the waters edge!

It does however have a few drawbacks...as you'll be generally using two cylinders underwater it can take a while to get used to the gas management (since you'll be swtiching between two cylinders), your buddy wont be used to the new kit set-up and finally it can be cumbersome if you have all your kit on before you get in the water...

I began sidemount diving a number of years back and whilst I don't get much opportunity to get out and dive recreationally in my kit - it is always an 'easy' way of diving, since all the cylinders can be taken to the waters edge (so no carrying lots of weight on your back!) and then just clip them on as soon as you get in the water. It also works with technical diving since your already using 'twin cylinders' and adding a few deco cylinders  doesnt make it any more difficult to your trim...

Sidemount diving came from cave divers but has moved into the recreational and technical dive area, whilst it will never take over these markets it is here to stay and suits some divers...

We run both recreational and technical sidemount courses......and if your really not sure why not ask us about our taster sessions where you can give it a go in the safety of the pool or confined water.....

 

Trainee Divemasters integral to dive operations  

'Divemaster' to the non diver conjures up a picture of the ultimate diver the 'Master of Diving' often regarded as higher up the professional ladder than the Instructor and probably rightly so! To me there is no more important course - lets face it, this is where the dive professional gets hands on with real life students and real life divers. Or at least they should! Through all my dive centres I believe that the only way a trainee divermaster should learn is the real hands on experience only 'real students' can provide. After all if I mock up problems then in the back of the mind of the trainee is 'well it is only Ian and he can sort himself out' whereas the real student generally can't. If they have that moment of panic, then it is exactly that - panic.... It's those real life experiences that you can't mock up when a student suddenly decides to take a regulator out the same time as they are doing a mask clear whilst trying to stay neutrally buoyant!

Our trainee Divemasters may be on a course for six months or even 2 years...but we know when they get to the end they have receieved the very best of training that means they will be able to deal with 'unexpected'. So with us - we train those Masters of Diving that go on to be really great instructors (although that route of course is up to them) and we know they truely have earn't that certification card. If its a badge then they should wear it with honour...

So massive congratulations to our newest qualified divemaster Amber... whom has overcome her own ups and downs of diving to reach this level.......

 

Review of Bare Celliant Gloves and Hood  

So last weekend I had the opportunity to test the new Bare Celliant 5mm gloves and 7mm hood.This is what they say...."Celliant Infrared technology turns wasted body heat into useable infrared energy. The lining is enhanced with 13 thermo-reactive minerals woven into the fabric of the glove that react to your body heat converting it to infrared energy and reflecting it back to the body increasing circulation and body warmth."

I usually dive with a Forth Element hood (5mm) and I have to say that the 7mm hood was in every way as comfortable as my usual. The vent on the top of the hood is great (something missing from the Fourth Element) and the glide skin skirt feels comfortable against the skin. The only downside is that the hood fits so well that when some water does creep in my god you dont half notice it!!! Priced at £65 it is way up there....is it worth it?...if it keeps the head warm then absolutely!!

Gloves are a can of worms for me...I have Reynaud's which results in very poor circulation to the extremities (ie hands) so I have tried and test many gloves over the years. The bench mark was set some years ago when Scubapro did a set of semi-dry gloves that were amazing (unfortunately they stopped producing them a long while agao and my pair have long been consigned to the bin). The best since then is my trusty Typhoon superstretch 5mm gloves which work really well. So how did these 5mm Bare gloves perform? Got to say really well. The superstretch neoprene means you can flex the fingers but the fit was so good (i had a large pair) that on the first dive I had no (or very little) water in the glove...resulting in warm hands...(this despite the wrist of the glove not being completely flat on top of drysuit seal)...At £46 they are up there but I can say that this is definetly my next purchase...if you get cold hands then defintely give these a go..

Ramblings of a dive centre owner  

We have added a new 'blog' section to our website...this now allows us to keep you updated on all the activities, hints, tips, new product, kit trials, courses and general information in one handy space without having to be a member of our facebook page (scuba scene dive club - if your interested!) or Instagram or any other social media site... keep popping back regular to see the daily, weekly or monthly mews of dive centre owner Ian or the rest of the Scuba Scene crew...

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