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Want to start Rebreather training

Discussion in 'Rebreather Diving' started by Atomic_Diver, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. bdombrowski

    bdombrowski Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Sarasota FL
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    Well, I'm 44 and I want to dive a CCR. Primary purpose is better yields in my photo and video work when working with marine life. I'm tired of skip breathing and its probably more dangerous than most realize. So I have a purpose rather than just being able to tell everyone I'm on a CCR. I'm planning to train on the Optima FX in Jan. Three friends already have them.

    The two things that concern me are: 1) CO2 isn't measured in a CCR yet it can accumulate and kill you in less than 60 seconds. 2) The required pre & post dive tasks compound those associated with camera and video gear. I could probably say '3' task loading during the dive, but obviously I won't be diving with a camera on the CCR for some time until I have safe CCR diving habits baked in.
     
  2. Mr.X

    Mr.X ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    2,449
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    I used to do a lot of video work with the RB - insurance and documentary stuff. The advantages I see with the RB are less bubbles to scare away truly shy animals, and if you are penetrating less crap falling on your head, or into the water to screw up your shot. In Fla. caves - not so much of an issue unless you are going into major restrictions. The big rooms no biggie. As per task loading - it's big as you've intimated. Your spending most of your free time cleaning and prepping for the next session while the other guys go have a nap. As per the CO2 - it's very, very sneaky. This is why I won't dive particular RB units when the work is hard and heavy.

    If your budget allows you get someone to act as your second. This means they are watching your PO2 through the HUD, or back of the unit (Cis/Ouroboro) and they help with lighting or other. Overall, I don't miss those days too much because it was a lot of work. However, when you get those killer shots , or footage it feels great...unless the divers you are working with have already silted up everything with their OC rigs. :)

    X
     
  3. bdombrowski

    bdombrowski Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Sarasota FL
    110
    16
    18
    Hi Mr X. Thanks for you sharing from your experiences. I've been diving with a camera for about 20 years now. In fact, I can't remember the last time I didn't have either my video rig or the SLR system with me during a dive. It's second nature now. My buoyancy and camera handling technique is now pro-level. So task loading itself isn't something new. The tasks on CCR will *very* different however, so I have a lot to learn. Survival first, images second.

    A couple things I like about the Optima FX are: 1) Cartridge scrubber media. 2) The DIVA right in front of your face gives you a visual and vibratory alert (vibrates your mouth if you're on the loop) if your PPO2 is going out of spec.

    I was doing some googling on rebreather CO2 accidents and found this well done video by a news crew. They have a staff u/w photog who had a CO2 accident. The cause was disturbing IMO, because it falls on the fault of training. I can't see this happening the same way on cartridge scrubber media. Check this out:
    Rebreather Incident 2 - Incident - YouTube

    Regards,
    Brian
     
  4. bdombrowski

    bdombrowski Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Sarasota FL
    110
    16
    18
    Also Mr X. You're spot on about the 'work' involved in serious video. However, I 'love' work when I have a passion for it like I do for u/w photog. When I'm idle, I'm bored, and feel like i'm wasting time. It's probably my obsessive personality. Those killer images make it worth it, as does the satisfaction of making a footage sale to production companies.

    The captain of the liveaboard I spend my summers on told me I should get a rebreather because I stay up late and seem to enjoy screwing with my cameras all night when everyone else is winding down or in bed. lol
     
  5. Mr.X

    Mr.X ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    2,449
    126
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    Best! Since you're an old hand with the camera/media stuff you'll love the RB and the added danglies won't affect you much. The Juergensen DIVA controls with Smithers flash code helps a lot. Especially when you're trying to focus on stuff, or panning divers/creatures and can't look at your handsets for minutes on end.

    If there is one caveat with RB's - it's trying not to work too hard because the tendency to over breathe some scrubbers is a realistic possibility. I got 'kabonged' twice already. 240' and 210' chasing the action. Not fun at all and man-o-man you get the **** kicked out of you when that happens. When I got off the loop and onto OC bailout it took a few minutes to get back to normal. Your muscles and brain do not function 100% afterwards. More like 50%/ That said - I will not dive particular units deep, or work hard on them.

    As for the working after the dive - glad you like it. I didn't much like it because on top of what I used to do with RB prep, camera prep, edit etc is also do crew work. Lines, driving, latrine work. Exhaustion sucks when the other guys are snoring in their bunks and wake up refreshed, or hung over after too many beers. :)

    Cheers,

    X
     

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