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Discussion in 'Off Gassing' started by Doomanic, Jun 11, 2009.
How was the trip?
Really good! Dolphins and turtles and wrecks. Oh my!
Drove up to Cheshire today as tomorrow we are going around the new house with a borrowed laser measure so that we can work out where our furniture will fit. Took two bikes needing servicing, four rugs needing cleaning/ tidying up and two cylinders for oxygen clean. All offloaded satisfactorily and will be ready for collection after the move in February. Now in a spa hotel for the night with dinner booked in an excellent pub.
And, at last, my SD training seems to have woken up with a missed lecture sorted for Thursday. Maybe I will be going to Malta on 21st (or 22nd ). I know the BSAC world lives on volunteers but the communication skills of the club I've joined are disappointing. Hope that the Cheshire club is better or I'll have to go back to PADI
Have a word with @clique about clubs up there as he used to be a member of one.
Not too sure how far it is from you as it's too far norf for me, but these guys are active and have a mega club house too.
Malta changed to Lanzarote yesterday, that didn't work, so dives will be later. I'll discuss my options tonight - if I get the theory exam out of the way this month, I think I've got a choice of flying to the island of choice from Manchester and meeting up with the current club or finishing off with a Cheshire club.
What customs like for phone batteries coming back. Did you dive with any dive shop if so were they any good as I am out there end of January.
I didn't have an external battery pack so not sure, but they were much more relaxed generally.
Dived with Blue O Two.
Had a great dive in Holme Bank chert mine on Saturday with another from here. The access is so much less effort than Dinas. Sidemounting went well too although there's no real places where backmount can't be used. Had a primary light failure too! Connected a LFM NW7 to a 6.6AH battery; definitely not enough for 2 hours. Will use the 18AH battery next time. It's a brilliant torch though as its wide beam is great in the clear waters of a mine and the central light is great for signalling.
Very interesting weekend in general. The highlight for me was proving that a Subaru Forester is the absolute tool for the job in pulling a front-wheel drive car up icy snowbound farm tracks! Was staying in a very off-road caver's hostel with access only through about 800 metres of farm tracks which the Forester didn't bat an eyelid through the snow and ice. Same with driving home out of the Peak District National Park where my front-wheel-drive afflicted buddy had to use snow chains!
Yep, snow chains! Transforming sloppy diarrhoea into firm turds since 1904.
Whoever said you can't polish a turd was correct, however you can turn it into a better formed turd.
Now to resist the urge to buy a Forester as I've been stuck on three occasions (twice in snow, once in mud, plus the earlier December fun) in the past month.
@Wibble glad the torch was good , I love mine (no pun) if you've an 18ah battery that should last a life time , I use mine with the 11ah battery and that'll easily do a weekends normal diving.
@Tribal Chestnut i used to drive Vauxhall frontera's which generally had a terrible reputation but mine were good, the benefit in snow/mud of selective 4wd was amazing , you could drive normally whilst everyone else stood still (or just spun still). If your diving in such off the beaten track places I recon any 4wd car will benefit you, the subaru's do look good though.
Isn't more battery perhaps the wrong solution? I see many cave divers opting for lower power lights (9w or 12w) as small light head and small battery are adequate with zero ambient light whereas a light cannon merely adds excess weight with no benefit.
If your diving requires such vehicles then, IMHO, you are doing something very, very wrong!
[QUOTE="If your diving requires such vehicles then, IMHO, you are doing something very, very wrong![/QUOTE]
My 4wd's were dive orientated , but mainly to tow , launch and recovery ribs. Don't have that need currently , our club rib now lives at Portland. Diving nowadays seems to involve plenty of kit and camping over so a VW van does the job.
Our ancient BMW, 10 years old with 160,000 miles is getting to the point where it could cost us serious money (or, more likely, need to be scrapped) at any moment. With the move to Cheshire, where muddy roads start at the end of our drive and the Welsh Mountains and Peak District are just down the road, we are thinking of replacing it with a 4X4. Current favourite is the Seat Ateca. My understanding is that tyres are as important as power to all wheels.
Was is a primary light failure or did it just run out of charge? If it simply ran out of power you really need to revisit your planning for these dives, yes you have backups but you really ought to burn-test your lights and know how long they'll last and dive accordingly.
Agreed on tyres @JohnL, the Dunlops on mine are atrocious. They'll be going on the rear soon and something grippier on the front.
As for @Dave Whitlow, only on two occasions was I diving as one was parked up on muddy grass nr home. The early December nonsense was en route to Wraysbury, so doesn't really count either.
I'd have a van of some description if I could as it'd be far more practical for lugging bikes and stuff about, but with year round visits to places that get far more snow than Herts, combined with muddy non-diving activities, it looks like my hands might be tied.
For the avoidance of doubt this wasn't me, but another chap (I think I might have mentioned on here one of the other occasions upon which he needed rescuing!).
I was using it on the 'normal' 6.6AH battery which was complete flat I got home and plugged it in. So it's just over an hour when using full beam.
As with all cave diving, I had three (tested) backup torches to hand (one on each chest harness strap, one in the pocket -- plus at least two on the buddy!), so no issues. Was nice to do the drill though. Do need to drop down to The Line as a first priority though.
As for the NW7, it really is a good torch. In the clear waters of the mine/cave it's really nice to have the wide beam on to illuminate the whole passage, plus the narrow beam for signalling and 'probing' in the darkness. I doubt the wide beam will be used as much in the sea where the back-scatter will be horrible.
May well consider a larger battery though as 75 mins ish really isn't enough (although using the narrow beam would give 6 hours of light). For future caving trips I'll use my 18AH suit heater battery unless I get a bigger primary one.
I rarely use the wide beam in the sea , as you say loadsa back scatter. Does work quite well with a gopro though. If your using both beams all the time you will eat up the battery.
It was quite a luxury to have the wide beam in the 'cave' as you have that wider view of the whole passage, as opposed to flicking the light sabre all around. Would be rubbish in silty conditions though. When I took it into Vobster & NDAC over the last couple of weeks I only use the wide beam for a couple of short tests (hence no issues with burn time).