Dan and Justy Down Under


March 10, 2005


I got to try completely new scuba technology... to me anyway! Normal scuba gear, what most people in the world use, is an 'open' system. This simply means that after you breathe the gas from the tank, the system is open and allows the excess gas to exit in the form of bubbles. Since we usually metabolise a very small percentage of the gas we breathe in, this also means that the open system tend to 'waste' a lot of the gas.

What I got to try today and tomorrow is called a rebreather, and it can be 'fully-closed' or 'semi-closed' system. Because these systems recycle the gas you breathe by sensing the gas make-up, and adding oxygen when necessary, they do not 'waste' gas. They require very small gas cylinders, have no visible bubbles (on the fully closed) and only a small stream of intermittent bubbles on the semi-closed, make no noise... and so on.

There are as many benefits as there are drawbacks to these systems, but they do allow for getting closer to marine life, staying longer during your dives and spending less on expensive gas mixtures. That being said, they cost an arm and a leg, are hard to maintain as the industry has a constant turn over, take a lot of dedication to learn and use properly.

My first try could have been better, but its left me with an idea of what it takes to 'fly' these units underwater. They are, in a sense, like wearing an airplane on your back when you consider all the controls, gauges and buttons you have to mind. I am looking forward to learning more over the next few days.

Itinerary Highlights
January 20: Winery Tour
21-23: Moreton Bay Diving
25: Australia Zoo
26-30: Lady Elliot Island
February 13: Diving the Yongala
15-17: Cape Tribulation + Daintree Rain Forest
17-20: Atherton Tablelands
22-28: Coral Sea Diving Liveaboard
March 11-13: OzTek Dive Conference: Sydney
14: Fly to New Zealand
20: Poor Knights Islands Diving
31: Mt. Cook
April 2-4: Queenstown
TBD: To Be Dreamed

Digital Pix Courtesy of Shimmivision.com
More Digital and Film Pix Coming Soon.