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Blinkin flip...

Well, I got to try out all my shiny new equipment on Wednesday night in the pool - and all I can say is I was bloody knackered! After picking up BC control almost immediately and swimming round the pool in a shorty wetsuit almost salmon-like for 6 weeks, it was a massive shock being in a dry suit for the first time, and i'm still aching all over!

Biggest problem I had was dumping air from the suit, i've got a shoulder dump valve, but found it awkward rolling over and back to get the air to the dump, had to be careful not to let the weight of the cylinder pull me on to my back. Then there's the <ahem> feet in the air situation, jeez thats hard work to get out of (or it may have been 'cause I had to do it so many times - on purpose of course!).

Anyway, i'll be having a few more practices in the pool before i hit open water, and I will be getting myself some ankle weights me thinks!
 

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Justin - don't do the ankle weights! You honestly don't need 'em. Just practice and practice again.

Diving a drybag in a pool is more difficult that in open water IMHO.

I was diving recently with someone with ankle weights on and watched them bicycle through the water stirring up sh*te like nobodies business.

Ankle weights cause bad body position and they make finnig harder.

I'm sure someone on here will be a devotee but I've seen too many people with 'em struggle.
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Agree with Gavin there.
I bought a suit pre-Xmas and struggled (still do a bit) but I really dont like the idea of trying to fin with extra lead on my legs. My suit has neoprene lined boots so has even more of a tendency to 'float' but I am determined to not use weights if I dont have to. Have a few goes in Open water before you decide, but remember buoyancy is most difficult near the surface (to about 6/10m IMHO).
Matt
 

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Thanks for the advice - thats one of the problems with our pool, only 7ft at the "deep" end... The diving officer seems quite keen to get me open water now i've got all my kit, so i may get to try things in slightly deeper water next weekend!

Cool, i've got two balls...! (And I mean by my pic/name on the left!)
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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If your dry-suit leaks you'll have two frozen balls!
I didnt much like my dry suit when I first dived with it, now I want to sleep in it.
Have fun.
Matt

(Edited by MATTBIN at 12:26 pm on Feb. 21, 2003)
 

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You will probably find this whole idea of rolling in the water to dump air less hassle in open water anyway.  If you have a standard shoulder autodump you will find that as you descend you will be adding little squirts of air on the way down until neutral.  When ascending you will normally be in a head up position and it will dump anyway (Keep practicing those inversion exercises ;) ).

Also inversion exercises are more difficult in a 7ft pool where your legs have a tendancy to flap above the water.

When you do get chance to do your first OW dive in the drysuit I would find a buddy who is pretty switched on, go somewhere reasonably shallow 5m ish and get them to go fairly negatively bouyant, hold onto a convenient part of you ;) and then you can practice your inversion exercise again.

Daz
 

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IME, there's nowt wrong with using "manacles" until you've got a bit of experience, just like stabilisers on your first bike, but don't hang on to the "crutches" too long.
Last year I had a trainee who had some serious "feet " issues, used leg irons for a while but seemed happy enough without them last time I saw him
Chee-az
Steve
 

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Point taken Steve - I'll bow to your instructing experience on this one.

Fi used ankle weights for a while but that was to compensate for too big boots - since she got the boots changed the manacles came off.

I think that not enough time is spent during O/W training on the importance of body position. It's a skill like anything else and assists in so many ways.
 

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Big boots caused me to get (make) myself some ankle weights.  Bits of lead piping, nice and cheap, all described on another thread somewhere.

Went to the Red Sea some weeks back, and didn't take the weights.  Found, to my delight, that I didn't need them!

However, on my return, when diving with a lot more insulation, I found that I was more prone to floaty feet - I think due to the increase in air volume in suit.  Managed OK, but did the last dive with the leg irons and did find life easier.  The Jury is still out for me, but if you can avoid them, do so.

I find venting air is also a pain, although the autodump works well enough at depth.  I use my wing for buoyancy for the first five or six meters, then thereafter use the suit.  This means that I know I can dump air quickly from my wing if I have to and won't go screaming to the surface uncontrollably.  You'll find that the biggest problems come above 5 or so metres, and this is the range to hone your skills first, IMHO.  

Most people seem to use just the DS once they've perfected their buoyancy control, and this seems to be something to aim for.  There is a great thread on here with lots of tips for correcting floaty feet, "kicking out" of trouble and inversion handling. I think it's titled "Dry suit course".  Have a look, and best of luck.  Dry suits are great, but do take some getting used to.
 

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Hello,
I think I am the expert on this subject,...wait..let me explain, as I said many times I dive in a wet suit but due to extended range dives I changed to a drysuit and was shocked, as if I started to dive from scretch. I use a membrane drysuit and felt very restricted compared to my lovely 5mm. Now with some practice and some help from this forum I am getting used to it. Also as my suit have gaters in the legs I don't have problems even if inverted, I only feel the boots expanding and nothing else. Another problem I had was putting too much lead which made my diving horrible, so best practice with a buddy and ask advise, I don't think there you should have a problem asking about drysuits compared to here Malta where only few use them.
Good luck
 

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</span>
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I think that not enough time is spent during O/W training on the importance of body position. It's a skill like anything else and assists in so many ways.
<span =''>

Agreed, but often half of the battle is getting them under in the first place, I regularly encounter trainees who won't put enough weight on to achieve neutral buoyancy,  so I tend to latch onto any method of getting them to add lead  that I can find. Usually this is because they've been talking to diver X who uses SS BP & twin 12s and they can't see why that makes a difference. No doubt I'll be full of such tales next week after the training weekend - We'll probably be the bunch at Wast near the little junction.
Have fun with your CPROx course
Chee-az
Steve
 

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Know how you feel I had an Otter Membrain suit and it took some getting used to. Then I got to love it and even binned my ankle weights. Then the Winter came so I go out and get a 5mm Neopreen O3 suit. MMMMMM toasty and warm. Unfortunatly floaty so its back to the ankle weights and practice untill I get it right.

Its like hiring a jeep in Gozo. At first its scarey coz theres no breaks, it dosent drive in a streight line and the tyres a bald. Then after two or three days of driving it you suss it out and adapt and its sudenly fun to drive. Who needs brakes any way.  

You fly home jump in your own car and drive away and nearley put the whole family through the windscreen at the first set of lights as the servo assisted anti lock cuts in.

(Thats what its like when you go abroad and slip back into a wet suit again)

Mark Chase
 

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Charter Boat Skipper, Salvage Diver & YBOD abuser
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Hi Pierre,
How's the decision-making progress going? Have you had a test-drive on the box yet? Unless you are certain you want to go down the CCR-route don't try one- if you do you'll HAVE to have one, irrespective of the cost's involved. There's no going-back!
Warm-water+wet-suit+mega-vis+RB = :palmtree::coolrainbow::dance::angel::knocked-out::cheering:
Even- cold-water+dry-suit+shit-vis+RB= :spank::monkey_2:
All the best,
    Terry
 

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Hi Justin
Ankle weights I love em, can’t do without them, mind you I don’t do a lot of swimming mainly because I am partially disabled [done me foot in about 20 yrs ago fell off a roof] so can’t swim to far anyway, keep going round in circles, So if you can do without them it is most probably good advice, wouldn’t want to swim any distance with them on anyway. I only use them to help keep my feet close to the seabed. Working on a wreck site you don’t want to be bouncing around, so the extra weight helps. Sorting a dry suit in a pool wouldn’t have thought that to good an idea you need a bit more than 7ft to make a proper job of it. Dump valves. When I had my suit made some years ago I was asked where I wanted the dump valve, I had heard so many negative views on them I told them not to bother, mind you that was some years ago I expect they have inproved now. I use the old Navy method put a couple of fingers in your neck seal and let the air out slowly. I only do the shallow stuff these days so I don’t really need one. Control my ascent on my stab jacket only use my suit inflation to keep me on the surface.
Take care and happy diving
Bob.
 

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I think some of you are being a bit dogmatic about ankle weights. I don't use them now as I have a heavier pony bottle but I did for a long while, particularly in the  winter, when I had double thermal underwear under my undersuit. It was a good way of taking a couple of kilos off my weightbelt and it  actually improved my trim. And, I promise, I did NOT stir up a lot of sh*te when finning. As regards the risk of their snagging on monofilament etc, with modern shot ankle weights, the risk is minimal, in my opinion. I'm not saying ankle weights are necessary but I really can't see why anyone shouldn't use them if they want to. I don't think I have suddenly become a better diver since I started leaving my ankle weights at home. :wink:
 

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Hi Pierre

I have contacted the dive centre and tryed to book the Sub. We have three divers up for it so we only need two more to make the date.

What depth is the Blenham is it possable to do it as a second dive after say a 3-4 hour intervall?

If the sub blows out is the Blenham a do-able alternitive dive site?

We (Pilot Divers) look forward to meeting you, think of a good resturant (preferably cheep) and we can do some diving and grab some food too.

Or alternativly come over to Gozo and we can dive then hit the Argentinian Steak House.


Mark Chase
 

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Hello Mark,
The Blenhim is at about 38 to 42m, I don't think is advisable for a second dive, especially from the sub 55m+. If sub is not good then blenhim is same. Also a good dive is the Em El Farud Oil Tanker as a second dive, about 8min from shore and at a depth of 34m seabed but you can do it and stay above 25meters. Yes I like to meet you, maybe join you for sub.
 
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