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Hi,

I'm shortly off on my 1st liveaboard trip, having scooped a late deal on the Cyclone out of Sharm. I've read through other posts on this board re the boat, and it sounds great.

I have a couple of questions.

My current travel insurance, covers me to 30m. It is a very good quality insurance policy, that I get via my credit card (free coverage if I book a holiday on the card), but I'm wondering if 30m is going to be enough on this trip, or will it limit me, and/or p' off my buddies? I'm on the 'Wrecks and Reefs' itinerary, so expect to do the Thistlegorm and others, but probably not deep stuff like the Rosalie Moller, nor any penetration/overhead.

I'm an RD going on Divemaster  in training, done lots of shore based tropical and some UK diving. Previous deepest 36m on Elphinstone (we were in a ripping current, and just kinda ended up there as a group - the point is I'm happy going deeper, I don't necessarily 'need' to go deeper, but if its likely, prefer to know about it in advance, and I don't want that to happen again uninsured. I don't want to potentially limit what I and buddies can do on this trip, by my 30m insured limit).

2ndly. I read one detailed trip report on the Cyclone here (cracking post, you know who you are, you x-posted it on Divernet), so have some idea of what to expect from a liveabord. Does anyone else have any general tips for a first timer?

Cheers!
 

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Cyclone is a fine boat, although I can only comment on two. Can't remember the name of the dive guide, although we had Grant & Sonia with us as well before they joined Excel.

You will likely go deeper than 30m, especially of you go to the Rosalie Moller, 30m to deck level, 46 inside the engine room, but only go inside with someone who knows it well. Get more insurance, Buddy, DAN, Westfield. If you think you may do 2 or 3 trips in a year, think about an annual policy. I carry my gear in a standard luggage case, not a dive bag, as far as I'm concerned they advertise the fact that there is easily sold stuff inside. If you use a cive bag, seal the pockets with cables ties, rather than bothering with lots of padlocks. If someone wants to get in, then the locks wont stop anyone anyway.

First thing is get your bunk - try for a mid ships cabin, the front ones may get wave slapping, the stern one have the engines. Some early starts are made. Just dump your bag on the bunk. Then sort the dive kit. Cyclone has a lower area next to the ladders, and an upper area. The lower area means you can sit ready to go.

A tip I learnt, take a few packets of sweets - winegums and the like.  The first time I went, some had
sweets, I didn't and after a while I needed some sweetness. If you want beer, take your own, either buy at the airport just before you exit it, or buy in town if you get chance. Beer on board wont be so cheap, although soft drinks were free. Drink plenty of water, 3l day at least, they have a couple of water dispensers on board.

I would recommend a drysuit, it gets windy this time of year, and you won't want to have a wet suit on in that chill. Wear a fleece for the same reason. I also find it chilly on the plane. Don't take too many clothes, 2/3 pairs of shorts and a half dozen T shirts. You don't wear footwear on board. It's all weight, and you wont need it. Hat/sunscreen.

Cylinders are ali, so you might want to clamp a weight to the cylinder with the cam band. They get a bit buoyant. Socket adaptor for torch charger. I assume you have a computer as you will be doing 3/4 dives each day. Take a backup if you can. Take spares - mask, o rings, batteries, fin straps and any appropriate tools.

I will add if I think of anything else.

Adrian

PS. The pic in my profile was taken diving the 'Elliot' (nee 'Jutland') in the Gulf of Suez, taken on my Cyclone trip.
 

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Hey thanks Adrian,

there is so much information in your post, that I'm going to revisit it again tomorrow and make notes!  


Much appreciated!
 

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Hi, Officially the limit of ANY diving in the Red Sea is 30m but it depends who you're diving with. I have insurance that covers me to 40m and there are some that will cover to 50m. The big question is if you're willing to go deeper than you're insured depth? If you contact the insurers you might be able to get an extension to the depth limit.

I was on the Cyclone last April abd she is excellent - Enjoy
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ] Hi, Officially the limit of ANY diving in the Red Sea is 30m but it depends who you're diving with. I have insurance that covers me to 40m and there are some that will cover to 50m. The big question is if you're willing to go deeper than you're insured depth? If you contact the insurers you might be able to get an extension to the depth limit.
I know what the official limit is, and they seem to stick with it in Sharm, but hey if people stuck to it throughout the Red Sea, no one would ever get to dive the Rosalie Moller, and probably many other 30M+ wrecks, and reefs like Elphinstone too...

I met people who did 'Cruise+Stay' off Marsa Alam last Autumn, the guide took them down through a swim through at 46m, without warning. If you consider how much treatment in a hyperbaric pot costs, it is a unnerving.

So, no, I don't want to go more than a metre or two past my insured depth. I've put a call in my insurer and asked them whether they can extend my depth limit to 40m, and if not I'll probably buy additional dive covergae through DAN, or Tony Backhurst.

Cheers!
 

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I read that 15 litre tanks are available on the Cyclone 'on request'. Who might such tanks benefit, apart from air hungry people who want to do longer dives ??
 

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I haven't been on the Cyclone but on the "Deep south" trip on the Excel last June we rented 15 litre steel tanks and were very glad we did. All 4 of us are experienced divers (12-20 years' experience) and I wouldn't say any of us were air guzzlers but some of the dives (e.g. Elphinstone) were quite deep (around 35 m), which, together with the at times strong currents, would have meant very short dives at some sites if we had used smaller tanks. Besides, it's great to be able to do 60-70 minute dives on the easier sites.
 

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Thanks John, that is very useful, and interesting food for thought. I think I'll call and reserve a couple of 15's (I just hope I'm not buddied with 'guzzlers' on 12's!)
 

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IIRC, the 15s are also steel. You only need one, its filled between dives.

Adrian
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (NHG @ Jan. 13 2004,19:35)]Thanks John, that is very useful, and interesting food for thought. I think I'll call and reserve a couple of 15's (I just hope I'm not buddied with 'guzzlers' on 12's!)
Again, I don't know about the Cyclone but the standard tanks are normally "aluminium 80's", i.e. 80 cu ft, which is in fact only 11 litres,filled to 200 bar. A 15 L steel tank is a much better choice, in my opinion. Try and talk your buddy into choosing the same-sized cylinder.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (John Gulliver @ Jan. 13 2004,21:14)]Again, I don't know about the Cyclone but the standard tanks are normally "aluminium 80's", i.e. 80 cu ft, which is in fact only 11 litres,filled to 200 bar. A 15 L steel tank is a much better choice, in my opinion. Try and talk your buddy into choosing the same-sized cylinder.
Cyclone has 15L if booked in advance!

Regards

David
 

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I talked to Tony Backhurst today. apparently 15's are available, but at an additional cost. Also, they say that they are usually only requested where one of a buddy team is a guzzler (well, not their words), to give them a more even bottom time.

If like me you're going alone, there seems to be no advantage requesting a '15', as 'probably everyone will be on 12's'
 

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If it's the same as on the Exel, the additional cost is reasonable - cheaper than nitrox, for example. I still think it's worth renting a 15 L cylinder. An 11 L cylinder pumped to 200 bar only gives you 2200 L of air, which is probably considerably less than you're used to diving with, and you presumably won't have a redundant air supply. My recommendation is still rent a 15 L cylinder and persuade your buddy to do the same. Othewise, you'll be doing short dives at some sites, which is a pity when you've paid a lot of money to get there. Still, it's up to you.
 

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Could always consider diving independant 12s...

I was not charged for the extra cylinder when I did this.
 
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