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· DIR since '64
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259 Posts
It was a pleasure to dive with you too Mark ( & Janos ) Great couple of days & good company on the boat - which makes the time on those long rides out & back fly by.:angel:

There are several reasons why I binned OC diving, these being, in order of priority:

1) Gas logistics of doing multi-days diving.
I enjoy all types of wreck diving and found going between mix and nitrox diving a logistical nightmare. The year before I went CCR, I was running around with 4 twinsets in the car, to enable me to get the dives in. Particularly if the dives got canceled, I was always left with the 'wrong mix' - on CCR there isn't such a thing - particularly as I always dive with at least 50% helium, even for a 20m dip. In the last few days I have done a 50m, 65m then 35m all on the same gas. I wouldn't have been able to do the 35m one at the end on OC as I wouldn't have been able to get a fill in time ( all 7 o'clock leaves and late - backs ) Also any last minute changes of dive plan can easily be accommodated on CCR.

2) Safety on dives >50m. On OC, any problems in the last few minutes of the dive really eat into any contingency gas. My regular dive buddy on a 60m dive got a fishing hook caught in his fin just as he was starting his ascent. By the time he had realised and then fixed the problem, the contingency gas was more or less spent and he only just got to the first gas switch. On CCR the impact of a delayed ascent is just the deco penalty as you have virtually unlimited gas.

3) Cost. I enjoy living 5 minutes from the sea and as a result don't get paid a 6 figure city salary. On OC now, I would only be able to afford a few mix dives per month. On CCR, all my dives are mix and it only costs me about £5 in gas per dive now. I buy a twinset full of 100% He each year, which cost £70 and a 3l fill of 100% costs £6 which lasts 3 dives.

4) No narcosis - diving with >50% helium on all dives is very enjoyable for me. It is a side-effect benefit of CCR but well worth the effort IMO.

5) Expedition diving. Going to remote places where it isn't possible to get the vast quantities of gas/helium that OC requires limits what diving can be safely done. OK you can do deep-air in places like Truk, but that isn't my thing.

6) Pushing the bottom time. I am booked to dive Donegal/Malin Head this year ( from Loyal Watcher ) I did the trip back in 2005 on OC and had limited bottom time due to gas constraints. Going to North of Ireland is always a lottery with the weather and getting on the big wrecks such as Justicia or Audacious isn't guaranteed on any trip. I failed to get on the Justicia the last time, due to the weather. This time I am intending to get nice long safe dives when ever the conditions allow and kick the arse out of the dive as they say ;-)

Looking forward to diving you again Mark. I can collect tat and lobsters for you next time - I'll bring a bag.
 

· DIR since '64
Joined
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259 Posts
TBH I am not experienced with this deco station business - is that something that the boat uses or do you take it along with you as a team/group???
The Delta team have it as their standard operating procedure (sop) and have been doing it for over 10 years. Similarly their are other groups who use voyager, who also prefer the deco station approach. The first pair in tie-in the shot and the second pair clip the station to the shot via a quick-release. Each pair/team puts a tag onto a ring near the release, so the last pair can release the station by knowing everyone else is above them. The complecation comes when there are missing divers and the station can also be released at the top after a period of time. Each team supplies their own station, but must work closely with the skipper on the deployment and use.

90% of my diving involves bagging off - even for 70m dives. It is sop for most of the south coast boats. I regularly dive mid-channel in the shipping lanes and provided a plan is agreed and executed by everyone, there are no issues. Diving in 3s also helps here as each of the 4 teams have plenty of resources to fix most problems. Obviously on ccr, you don't take all possible bailout so drop tanks of 100% are available on the boat, with their own deployment system. This enables the skipper to just chuck a bottle in on a yellow bag.

I am cool either way, but out of preference prefer bagging off as then don't have to get back to the shot.
 
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