Dive boat staff = wet dust cap on Atomic Aquatics reg

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KristicallaT

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I have no idea why the dive staff would be putting the dust cap on when switching tanks unless there is a significant time delay in between. I would expect them to put the cap on if the dive day was done and breaking down gear. A short blast of air is SOP with the blast in the appropriate direction. But then again I am in the camp of thanks I got it because I pack my gear so to easily transport back to my room.

As for rinsing, during the dive trip I rarely rinse gear unless there is a easy to use dunk tank. And might just skip it depending on the water quality. At the end of the trip every gets cursory fresh water dunk with the BCD flushed out. Once at home everything gets a long (1-2 hour) soak and rinse. Regs are dried with the dust cap off. They are stored with the dust caps off.

As for rinsing AA regs. I tend to soak the second stage in and first stage out and above the second stage. Then swap.
The instance where it was totally wet (the dust cap) was after a specialty dive with a different boat than our regular crew. Since we were taking our gear and putting it back on our regular boat, he grabbed the tank off my back and slapped the wet dust cap on. The other few instances were at the end of the day (our regular crew was more conscientious–they'd blast the cap with air before replacing it). It's possible I'm being entirely too paranoid about all this, but I'm a relatively novice diver (I now have ~40 dives) and my gear is new, so I'm feeling protective & still getting the hang of what is "officially recommended" vs what is standard practice.
 

KristicallaT

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Generally I will not put the dust cap on when switching tanks. If it is rough and there is spray, then I might keep my thumb over the regulator inlet. However, of more importance is the benefit of remembering to crack the valve of the fresh tank to clear any water that has got into the valve on the ride out to the dive site.

Water trapped in the inlet of the valve is a significant potential reservoir for salt water to be blown into your first stage.
Thanks, I never thought about that. Fortunately I was sitting near the front, protected by the covered portion (I don't know what the official name is) of the boat, so the tanks were dry.
 

greeniguana

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36 years of diving I've never once contemplated the moisture level or NaCl concentration in my regulator dust caps.
 

sea_ledford

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As someone that worked on concierge service type dive boats, all you that are in the Don't touch my stuff, 'cause you'll mess it up camp are in the extreme minority. Hell, people that actually know how to set up their own gear properly are in the minority. Of course if I was asked not to set gear up, no problem! Less for me to do.

We would probably still have your tank off your back and out of your BC within 5 seconds of you sitting down though, it was just habit, and keeps the boat flow going. Unless it was a DIN reg, then you are on your own. Especially if we gave you the 300 bar valve.
 

Divin'Papaw

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As someone that worked on concierge service type dive boats, all you that are in the Don't touch my stuff, 'cause you'll mess it up camp are in the extreme minority. Hell, people that actually know how to set up their own gear properly are in the minority. Of course if I was asked not to set gear up, no problem! Less for me to do.

We would probably still have your tank off your back and out of your BC within 5 seconds of you sitting down though, it was just habit, and keeps the boat flow going. Unless it was a DIN reg, then you are on your own. Especially if we gave you the 300 bar valve.

I don't think any of us in that camp would disagree. I prefer being in the extreme minority honestly. I think it's a very sad testament to the state of training and qualifications of most divers today, but still ... hands off my gear.
 

Divin'Papaw

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You are correct, everyone has DIN regs around here. :)

I remember when buying my first reg 15 years ago agonizing over DIN vs Yoke. I went DIN. Today that cracks me up like it’s even a tough decision.
 

jmark18

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Please don’t do the burst of air. It’s noisy as heck and I always think someone has a leak when I hear it. Use a towel or something similar.
The blast of air aerosolizes the sea water and since it is close to the first stage it guaranties contamination of your regulator. This is an outmoded practice that has no place in diving. I dry my dust cap before replacing it or if I don't have a clean towel I clean it with some spit and put it back on. After years of doing this no problem with my first stage.
 

Scraps

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Wait!
What?
You're supposed to come back to the boat with enough air to dry the dust cap?
 

Scraps

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I have a practically brand new Atomic Aquatics Z2 reg set (which I'm still struggling to figure out the best way to clean anyway). On a recent trip there were several times when dive boat staff switched my reg over to a new tank before I had a chance to do it myself. The most egregious incident occurred when a guy literally grabbed the tank off my back before I could even walk to sit down, and put my dust cap on totally wet! I immediately removed it and dried it the best I could with a towel (no air to use...) but I'm like, WTH!? This was a special dive with different staff. Our regular staff were better, but even they did a cursory blast of air before replacing the dust cap, without checking it was totally dry. Otherwise these staff were wonderful, and they are very experienced & professional. Is this type of thing common? Should I be concerned about the well-being of my gear? Is there anything I can do to "clean" out any salt contamination? Do you guys gently prompt dive boat staff that you'll take care of your gear yourself?

KristicallaT--

Those of us who work on boats are accustomed to doing everything we can to make life easier for our customers. That means we do almost all the toting of and grappling with heavy wet stuff. Most customers appreciate this, and our alacrity in performing these tasks seems to be a big factor in the tips we receive.

It is normal for us to help customers out of their harnesses, usher them to an out-of-the-way seat, and swap tanks for them while they get a drink of water and catch their breath.

It's not exactly fair to describe this routine service as "egregious."

If you don't want the boat crew to touch your gear, don't hint about it: say so directly, preferably before we get underway. We are all about doing things your way, so we will be happy to oblige you if you tell us what your way looks like.

Please don't expect us to know intuitively that your gear requires special handling beyond the ken of a mere divemaster. And please don't get upset at us for treating you like a normal customer. Just tell us what you expect and understand that what you expect may be different from what most other customers expect.

Regards,
 
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