'Just Where Do I Put All My Dive Kit'?

Hurrah! A fresh solution that stops that frustrating moment of 'just where do I put all my stuff'?

Apeks Tech Shorts, XRay Magazine, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, scuba diving, rebreathers, storing spools, cargo pockets, streamline , DEMA Show 2014Ardent drysuited divers will probably all agree that there are many joys of diving in a wetsuit. A wetsuit is quick and easy to don and you are most likely to be diving in warm(er) waters. What a treat! Kit up goes really smoothly until you hit that horrible moment of 'bother, I miss my drysuit cargo pockets. Just where do I put all my stuff? Spare mask, wetnotes, reel, line markers or delayed surface marker buoy and cuddly toy'?

There are two solutions. Get cargo pockets added to your suit or go for the quicker, easier option - wear a pair of diving shorts. Currently there is a choice of diving shorts on the market. Most of them keep the shorts secure with a drawstring at the waist. This works, but it is not an optimal solution.

I was therefore curious to see at the 2014 Las Vegas DEMA Show that Apeks have looked at this product with fresh thinking and walked a different path. Their solution for securing these Tech shorts? An adjustable waistband augmented by an adjustable belt.

How does this work? Think nappies! Simply pull on the shorts and get them comfortable. Then grab the left hand back flap and wrap it around your left hand hip and over your left stomach area. Next you grab the front left hand flap and velcro it on top before repeating the same process over your right hand hip. Finally you clip the belt home and your shorts are nicely secure. The waist band is wide and there is velcro aplenty on the flaps so that you benefit from great adjustability and a snug fit.

Apeks Tech Shorts, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, XRay Magazine, DEMA Show 2014The two large cargo pockets have been designed to reduce flap whilst providing flexibility of use to the diver. Each pocket has an 'expansion system' fitted to the outside of the pocket. Basically velco tabs that allow you to velcro down or release the pocket, so that you can use the pocket just for wetnotes, or truly stuff it to full capacity. Time to explore inside a pocket and you will be pleased to know that you can clip off and secure your pocket contents to the stainless steel integrated D-Rings. The pocket should be quick to drain courtesy of 4 large grommets and the pocket itself is secured and closed by a large velcro pocket flap that keeps everything in place.

In summary, Apeks have designed and manufactured quite a sophisticated pair of unisex diving shorts. With a choice of 5 sizes - small through to extra large - I can see they will quickly become the dive short of choice for many divers. And for drysuit divers who don't have cargo pockets, this might be an economical solution to your storage issues.

First Published: X-Ray MagazineMay 2015 Issue 66, Page 51

"Solving the Mystery of Dying Starfish" wins Emmy for Laura James

Laura James, Puget Sound, Seastars, Solving the Mystery of Dying Starfish, Star Fish Wasting Syndrome, Meg Rebreather, GUE, Seattle, This Girl Can Dive, Sea Otters v. Climate Change, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving, female divers, sea hero, Cox Conservation Hero, Sustainable West Seattle,
Laura James in her beloved Puget Sound

Talk to filmaker and underwater explorer Laura James for five minutes, and the name 'Puget Sound' will be mentioned in the conversation somewhere. You soon learn this is no coincidence. Laura's self imposed mission is to share the undersea world of this Washington State Sound in such a way that people discover what is going on beneath the waves, and learn to love and protect the Sound as much as she does.

It does help that this self-effacing West Seattle advocate is a respected, Emmy award winning, accomplished recreational, technical and rebreather diver with north of 5,000 dives underneath her belt. Using the power of film and journalism she highlights pollution problems and other environmental factors that impact on this inlet of the Pacific Ocean.

In 2013 Laura James collaboratived on a report 'Sea Otters v. Climate Change' and won an Emmy Award for her photography in June 2014. The report was honoured as best 'health / science feature / segment'.

On 6th June 2015 Laura earned her second Emmy in the 'Environmental Feature / Segment' category for her story 'Solving the Mystery of Dying Starfish'.

Drained: Urban Stormwater Pollution, Laura James, Halcyon, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving, leading female diver, environmentalist, sea hero, scuba diver, Megalodon rebreather, Global Underwater Explorers
Laura is an active GUE and Megalodon CCR diver

"I had noticed on my dives in Puget Sound that the starfish were getting sick, deteriorating and subsequently dying quite rapidly. Other people had reported it, but nothing was happening about this mass mortality event, and I felt the 'Star Fish Wasting Syndrome' needed highlighting.

Reports starting surfacing from Alaska to as far south as San Diego of tens of thousands of starfish dying. This raised the question of whether this starfish die-off was an indicator of a larger problem. At first it seemed only to affect one species known as the Sunflower Starfish (or Seastar). Then it hit another species, and another. In all about a dozen species of Seastars were dying along the Pacific westcoast.

I was fortunate that I had an amazing team of dive buddies behind me, helping make the video dives possible.  I had pitched the story a number of times, but no one bit until I shot the first batch of footage and then it took off. I worked with husband and wife team, Michael Werner and Katie Campbell.

I knew that Katie would be perfect to produce this and do the story justice after working with her on 'Drained: Urban Stormwater Pollution'. (This video won the Society of Professional Journalists award for Best Online Video for the Western Washington Chapter and was nominated for two Emmys. And it was also featured in the Reel Water Film Festival and Sea Cinema Film Festival.) We make a great team - Katie and Michael filmed the topside footage - whilst Lamont Granquist and I shot the underwater stock.

Laura James, Congressman Danny Heck, Sunflower Starfish, Starfish, Seastar, Puget Sound, Michael Werner, GUE, scuba diving, Seattle, Katie Campbell, Environmental Emmy, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company
Laura James with her 2015 Emmy Award

It was important to me that we got citizen scientists involved with this project. The big problem we had with this epidemic is that there was no baseline. Quite simply the starfish got sick and we noticed this. We needed a way to show this in real time - how it was spreading - hence we built a website to track posts to media sites using #SickStarfish. We encouraged Pacific divers to take photos of starfish and and hash tag it 'SickStarfish'.

I must admit I am still pretty stunned to receive this award because we were up against a great story about wolves. This Emmy is very pretty special to me. The story we created felt like my baby, from pitching it, shooting compelling underwater footage and then watching it grow and reach a national audience.

I want to shoot stories that connect with non-divers, that bring them along, without spoon-feeding or dumbing down the content. Jacques Cousteau brought diving stories into our living room. He invited us to join him on a grand undersea adventure. I don't have grand undersea adventures, I have environmental stories about Puget Sound that once heard, can help make a positive difference. Probably the most amazing part about 'Solving the Mystery of Dying Starfish' is that it inspired Congressman Danny Heck to write a Bill after he had seen the footage. For me that makes the process of 'tilting at windmills' worth doing."

Sea star wasting syndrome is still ongoing. If you wish to be part of the research, follow this link.

'Home Again' – Operation Dynamo Manx Tribute

TSS Mona's Queen III Anchor Memorial, Kallow Point, Isle of Man, Port St Mary, King Orry, Fenella, Discover Diving, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Scuba diving days out, Rained off, Pam Evans, Dunkirk survivors
The Dunkirk Memorial at Kallow Point

On Friday 29th May 2015 at 18.30, a memorial service was held around the restored anchor from 'Mona’s Queen', at Kallow Point, Port St Mary on the Isle of Man. The service was held 75 years to the day that three Isle of Man Steam Packet Ships were lost within the space of 24 hours at Dunkirk. 'Mona's Queen' was mined, 'Fenella' was struck by air attack whilst 'King Orry' sustained heavy damage following several air attacks.

The 'Mona's Queen' anchor, which was raised in 2010 thanks to the combined efforts of Isle of Man, UK and French naval and government representatives, is a permanent memorial to all the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company crew who took part in World War Two. Eight Steam Packet Company ships took part in Operation Dynamo - the historic rescue of the British Expeditionary Force - and brought 24,669 of them to safety. Of a total of 338,226 troops rescued, one in fourteen was brought out on a Steam Packet Company vessel.

TSS Mona's Queen III Anchor Memorial, Kallow Point, Isle of Man, Port St Mary, King Orry, Fenella, Discover Diving, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Scuba diving days out, Rained off, Pam Evans, Dunkirk survivors
TSS Mona's Queen III Anchor Memorial

During the service Pam Evans, the daughter of a Dunkirk serviceman, read her poem entitled 'Home Again'.

TSS Mona's Queen III Anchor Memorial, Kallow Point, Isle of Man, Port St Mary, King Orry, Fenella, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Scuba diving days out, Rained off, Pam Evans, Dunkirk survivors
'Home Again' - a poem written and read by Pam Evans

HOME AGAIN

The Ben-my-Chree came in as usual one early misty morn,
But this day was rather special for history was born.
She'd carried a priceless cargo across the sea that night
And a guard of honour greeted her in the early morning light.

She was bringing back the anchor from the valiant 'Mona's Queen',
Lost at Dunkirk in 1940 in that hellish dreadful scene.
In the 70th anniversary year of Dunkirk's historic days,
The 'Mona's Queen's' great anchor at last they hoped to raise.

Nearly all our boats were commandeered in Operation Dynamo,
Along with all their crews of course, they had no choice but go.
Yet they helped rescue British soldiers from the enemy's desperate hand
And played their part in no small way in the saving of our land.

Almost 25,000 men its said were saved by our Manx boats alone
With the bravery of their seamen, who helped get them safely home.
My Dad he was a soldier just one of thousands on that shore,
Hoping desperately for rescue which looked less likely more and more.

Along with all those others he waded out up to his neck,
Till pulled aboard a destroyer he he landed on its deck.
He never said a thing about the awful sights he must have seen.
But I always will remember these things he said he'd seen.

As a Scouser born and bred of course the Isle of Man boats he knew.
He recognised them right away, King Orry, Mona's Queen, Fenella too.
And he saw the Mona's Queen herself come under fierce attack,
Enemy plans were bombing her, no way could she fight them back.

She sank it seems quite quickly, half a mile away from shore,
Killing twenty four of her civilian crew and who knows how many more.
Her sister ship Fenella, suffered likewise and was caught.
Dad witnessed her sinking - I really can't hep but wonder just what he must have thought.

Happily he got home safe or I would not be here.
And its solely thanks to him of course I was brought up to revere,
The memory of all those service men and civilians who were not able to return,
But gave their lives bringing triumph from disaster and the enemy overturn.

So now we have the anchor back. A symbol of the war,
And the loss sustained by millions which time cannot restore.
Tell your children, tell your grandchildren, if you remember don't forget,
How much was owed by so many to our Manx boats and how very great the debt.

And let us all give thanks that now the day has come along
When in some small way the 'Mona's Queen's' - back home - where she belongs.

Isle of Man, Ellan Vannin Pipe Band, Rosemary E Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Kallow Point, Port St Mary, TSS Mona's Queen III Anchor, Pam Evans, Bernadette McCabe, Captain Peter Corrin, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
The Ellan Vannin Pipe Band on 75th Anniversary of Dunkirk

If you are ever diving the Isle of Man, it is worth taking a walk up to see this memorial. It is approximately 10 - 15 minutes walk from Discover Diving in Port St Mary.

Yes! You Should Still Do Your Rebreather Prebreathe

Beneath The Sea Show, Dr Simon Mitchell, DAN Rolex Diver of the Year, Dr Neal W Pollock, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Pod Diver Radio, Joe Cocozza, rebreather, prebreathe, diving safety
Joe Cocozza (sat to the left) interviews Dr Simon Mitchell on pre breathing a rebreather

 

In July last year I wrote a LinkedIn blog calling for Auckland based divers to take part in a rebreather study that was being conducted by Dr Simon Mitchell and Dr Neal Pollock.

The results of this useful research were first unveiled to the world in September 2014 at EUROTEK, the European Advanced Diving Conference. Dr Simon Mitchell presented 'The Five Minute Prebreathe: Sensitive Test For CO2 Scrubber Problems Or A Waste Of Time' to a packed hall of international delegates.

Since then there is some mixed messaging about should rebreather divers do a prebreathe? Or is it just a waste of time? If you didn't attend either EUROTEK or OZTek and hear Simon Mitchell's talk, what should you be doing?

Joe Cocozza of Pod Diver Radio interviewed Dr Simon Mitchell at this year's Beneath The Sea show about this hot topic.

During the interview Dr Mitchell stated, "this study has been mis-interpreted by some people to suggest that the prebreathe is completely useless. We are not staying that. We absolutely believe that a prebreathe should be still be done for the other reasons. Checking the loop function is correct, adding oxygen and maintaining a set point. These are all critical things.

What we are saying is that you should not do a five minute prebreathe in the expectation that it will reveal any carbon dioxide problems. Or put it another way, if your five minute prebreathe is ok or appears ok from a CO2 point of view you cannot rely on that. That is the point we are making. Of course you should always do a prebreathe."

To hear this interview in full, click here.

PADI's TecRec Blog – All Time Top Ten

PADI Tec Rec Blog, Vikki Batten, Blue Lake, scuba diving, rebreathers, RF3, Rebreather Forum 3 Proceedings, A Deceptively Easy Way to Die, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, EUROTEK
PADI TecRec
 has just published their 'all time top ten blogs' on tecrec.padi.com. A bitter sweet moment for us. Roz's article - 'A Deceptively Easy Way to Die' - had the largest number of hits. The advice is still pertinent if you have not read it.

Here's a link to the top 10 articles.

#TBT – Dive Girl; Get Off On Your Kit!

About a million years ago, to be precise December 1998, a new diving magazine was launched in the UK called 'Dive Girl'. It had a short life, but it is still remembered with affection by some divers. I didn't know it at the time, but writing an article in the debut edition would help launch my writing and PR career in scuba and technical diving.

This is the first piece I wrote. I could write about any piece of diving equipment I liked. I chose my Aquion Pro Harlequin drysuit. It had taken me three years of hard saving to get this suit, and when it arrived, I was that excited, I almost slept in it on the first night. I can get very attached to my diving equipment. Whilst I don't dive this suit any more, it still makes me smile every time I open the garage door.

Sixteen years on, it is also great to see the other lady featured on this page, Mary Tetley, is likewise still involved with scuba diving too. Today Mary is the CEO of the British Sub Aqua Club.

Dive Girl Magazine, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Mary Tetley, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club, Aquion Pro drysuit, Apeks valves,

How Honest Have You Been With Your Family About Diving?

EUROTEK advanced and technical diving conference, Vikki Batten, PADI, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Leigh Bishop, Mark Dixon, Dr Neal W Pollock
Vikki Batten about to dive at Ginnie Springs © Copyright Karl Shreeves PADI

We are aware there has been more than 60 'recreational' diving fatalities worldwide since 1st January 2014. In the UK this subject is rather raw at present; we lost 4 divers in 4 days during last weekend's Bank Holiday.

Vikki Batten, (PADI Director, Rebreather Technologies) will be delivering a talk on Sunday 21st September at EUROTEK.2014 entitled 'The Aftermath Of Incidents'. This topic is rarely discussed professionally, and will be a useful tool for dive centre owners, managers and dive pros.

Vikki has experience of dealing with the fall out of serious incidents from both a personal standpoint, and as part of her role at PADI. She has taken part in extreme dives herself and been on the other side of the fence. In January 2012 she received a phone call advising that her partner had a serious case of DCS (decompression sickness) following a dive beyond 200m / 656f depth. She then spent the following week not knowing whether he would survive, and if he did, what state he would be in. In her professional capacity Vikki has been involved with people reporting incidents, providing support to ease their distress and assistance with practical matters in the following months.

In this presentation Vikki focuses not on the victims of incidents, but on the fallout that their fellow divers, friends and family experience. Vikki asks whether your family would be prepared if you had an accident? Have you faced the possibility that diving could kill or injure you? None of us like to think that we could become a victim, but preparing yourself and your loved ones for this eventuality is Step One in preventing it or minimising the damage it could cause.

Vikki looks at the reality of incidents and their consequences, and discusses ways to prevent a tragedy becoming an even bigger disaster. This is an interactive talk, so come along prepared to take part in this rarely discussed aspect of advanced and tec diving.

Not sure when Vikki is speaking? Click this link to access the handy EUROTEK.2014 Conference Schedule.

 

DUI Purchases OMS

Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, OMS, DUI, IANTD Technical Conference, Fraser Purdon, David Jones, advanced and technical diving equipment, Simon Lodge, Divers Warehouse, Bts, Graham Blackmore
The author working the OMS stand at the 1999 IANTD Technical Diving Conference, Coventry

BREAKING NEWS - Overnight Diving Unlimited International, along with their European partners, Bts Europe AG and CCR Sp. Z 0.0. has announced the acquisition of Ocean Management Systems.

The new company will be called Ocean Management Systems GmbH and will be based in Germany.

“The OMS brand is recognized worldwide with a solid reputation”, said Susan Long, DUI’s President & CEO. "Our goal is to bring divers the quality products they have come to expect from OMS combined with DUI’s reputation for exceptional customer support. Our partner, BtS, will do the same for divers throughout Europe. We will be working hard over the next couple of months to streamline the OMS product line with a release in early 2015.”

DUI will be distributing OMS throughout North America, Central and South America, Australia, Korea and Japan.

BtS will be distributing OMS throughout Europe, Russia and China.

International DISTRIBUTORS interested in OMS should contact Thomas Dederichs.

A 6 Pence Dive and Killing Ghosts in Swanage

Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Lisa Shafe, St Albans BSAC, Poseidon Rebreathers, diving Swanage, SS Kyarra, Shearwater Petrel, O'Three drysuits, AP Diving
Predive checks Image Credit: Mike Thomas

It was the perfect place to dive. The obvious choice. Back in 1992, my debut sea dive was underneath Dorset's Swanage Pier as I cautiously made my first ever night dive. A day later my first ever wreck dive was out of Swanage. So when a couple of friends hatched a plan to take me on my first UK sea dive on my Poseidon rebreather; the ideal solution was of course Swanage!

Swanage is actually quite useful as a 'first sea dive'. You can take a dip beneath the magnificent Victorian Pier to ensure your weighting and buoyancy are correct, before doing something more adventurous. We duly walked down the wide stone steps and did pre dive checks before gingerly stepping over, on and around the submerged rocks.

Experience is a good teacher. You quickly learn how to minimise risk to yourself and your kit. Walking into deeper water at Swanage is not that easy and there is a high chance you can fall over and hurt yourself or damage your equipment. As soon as we could, we gently dropped onto our knees and used 'pull and glide' techniques to get us into deeper water, where we could make a proper descent beneath the pier.

Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Poseidon Rebreathers, James Roberton, Steve Newman, Lisa Shafe, diving Swanage, Adam Wood, SSI Poseidon Training,
'Pull and glide' into deeper water Image Credit: Mike Thomas

After a quick non-descent (yes please I do need another 2 kilos), we gently dropped beneath the Pier. It looked to me as though the seabed was covered in tossed Marks & Spencer salad being gently washed about by the current. There was a good smattering of Sea Lettuce wafting in the water. I played with my buoyancy whilst watching a feisty Velvet Crab demand that I take it on. One of the things I really love about my Poseidon is how quickly I can get to grips with my buoyancy and get a reasonable position in the water. I have found that this skill is not so intuitive on other units.

Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company,  Lisa Shafe, St Albans BSAC, Divers Down, Swanage Pier, scuba diving in Swanage, rebreather divers, Poseidon Rebreathers, AP Diving, James Roberton, Steve Newman
Heading for the pier Image Credit: Mike Thomas

I glanced over to Lisa to check she was ok, to find her picking up a disc from the seabed. I inspected her outstretched palm closely. Tuppence. And then I spotted one too. We cruised the seabed, giggling as we found more coins. It was a useful drill because we were diving 3 metres / 10 foot. If you can achieve and maintain neutral buoyancy here, then you are in good shape for deeper dives. All too soon it is time to turn for home and head back. I surfaced triumphant gleefully clutching three tuppences. Treasure worth 6 pence.

After a reasonable surface interval debriefing, dive planning and enjoying ice-cream, we jump on a boat to head out to the SS Kyarra. Time to kill some ghosts.

Why the "ghost killing"? There are certain dives that are forever seared into your soul for good, or not so good reasons. My first dive after I had qualified as a diver was a "not so good dive". I did my four PADI Open Water dives in Stoney Cove, and a few weeks later my five PADI Open Water Advanced dives out of Swanage.

Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Poseidon Rebreathers, The Underwater Marketing Company, Lisa Shafe, James Roberton, Jared Hires, Dive Rite Transpac XT, O'Three Drysuits, Swanage Pier, Divers Down, shore diving in the UK, St Albans BSAC, AP Diving, scuba diving, rebreather diving
Surfacing! Image Credit: Mike Thomas

After listening to some very bad advice from an instructor, and not realising at the time it was; my first ever dive, as a qualified diver, was the SS Kyarra. She is considered a classic British wreck dive and she can be an awesome dive. The Kyarra is probably one of the most dived wrecks in the UK because she is so accessible from Swanage, a mere 20 minute boat ride. She was a twin-masted schooner-rigged steamer, built in the Clyde (Scotland) in 1903 and was torpedoed a mere 15 years later on 26th May 1918 by the German submarine UB-57. Today she lies in 30 metres / 100 foot.

30 metres temperate water diving off the UK south coast is a completely different animal to 30 metres blue water diving in Grand Cayman or Egypt. It can be as black as your hat down there, or the wreck can benefit from good ambient light. I have dived it in various light levels. And the wreck can be swept by quite strong currents. It is certainly not the place for brand new qualified divers to go exploring on their own.

Rosemary  E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Poseidon rebreathers, James Roberton, Lisa Shafe, Steve Newman, Swanage diving, south coast diving, O'Three drysuits, Hollis F2 fins,
Heading Home Image Credit: Mike Thomas

My 10th ever dive was with someone vastly more experienced than I. He had 14 dives. And it was back in the day when octopus' were not mandatory kit. Between us we had a primary regulator each. And then we shared a watch, a depth gauge and the biggest knife we could lay our hands on. Long story short, after a 25 minute bottom time at 30 metres, we were off the dive tables with decompression obligations to fulfil. We didn't. Instead we made a very fast uncontrolled ascent from seabed to surface in a matter of seconds. To this day I still do not know why either of us didn't embolise or get decompression sickness. We were very very lucky.

Twenty two years later, not quite to the day, here I am jumping on the Kyarra with my Poseidon. Time to kill the ghost of that dive. It took ages to get down the shot. You can't descent quite as fast on a rebreather as you can on scuba. The viz was a tad milky and I wondered just how dark it would be on the wreck. We got lucky! The wreck was bathed in glorious emerald green light and the viz was pretty amazing. Ten metres plus. We both confirmed we were "ok" and started to bimble along the wreck.

An opening looked quite enticing. I could see it didn't go very far, something like two metres, but I was still curious. There was nothing of interest, however I got a little stuck. What immediately went through my mind was, "I have all the time in the world to get out of here." My Poseidon was giving me just what I needed at that moment. Time! After some gentle wiggling, I successfully reversed into the green sunshine.

Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Poseidon rebreathers, Poseidon Ambassador, Simon Morris, Steve Newman, Adam Wood, James Roberton, OThree drysuits, Hollis fins, Swanage diving, rebreather diving, Divers Down, Shearwater Petrel
Surfacing With Treasure - Six Pence! Image Credit: Mike Thomas

The wreck is pretty broken up, however you can still make out some key features on her. Pieces of deck. The cove hatchings around the holds. Bollards and some railings. Time to check my paddle and computer. 20 minutes before I hit deco, and I'd already been down there for 20 minutes. How wonderful to have the luxury of such long no-decompresion time and I marvelled at just what little gas I had used on the dive. I was snug, warm and very happy on my Poseidon.

Ahead of me loomed a vast boiler. I inched closer admiring the 'furry' boiler. It was covered in hydroids and small sea anemones. "Is anyone home?" I wondered. I peered in one of the fire doors expecting to come face to face with a Conger. Instead I was greeted by a blue lobster wiggling its tentacles at me.

All too soon we came the end of the wreck as I hit one minute of deco. Time to dispatch my delayed surface marker buoy and head on up. I love how my time machine can allow me to do a 50 minutes run time with pretty much no deco, on a wreck at 30 metres. Pure Poseidon pleasure!

Poseidon Rebreather, Divers Down, Swanage Pier, Spike, Greenforce Torch, Richard Pyle, Bill Stone, James Roberton, Simon Morris, Steve Newman, Tasha Wallace, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company
A Successful Day's Swanage Diving! Image Credit: Rosemary E Lunn

CCR Divers at Inner Space Assist Decompression Research

DAN, Divers Alert Network, Dr Neal W Pollock, Jenna Wiley, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Dr Stephen Thom, Microparticles, Decompression Stress, Divetech, Inner Space, Nancy Easterbrook, Cobalt Coast, Lighthouse Point, Jay Easterbrook, Steve Tippetts, rebreather diving in Cayman, tech diving in Cayman, deep diving in CaymanHave you attended Divetech's Inner Space and wondered why the blood samples were collected by the DAN team led by Dr Neal W Pollock?

They were used to see if microparticles (MP), fragments of cells that accumulate in the blood in response to a variety of stressors, are a good indicator of #decompression stress. The MP measures are compared with the bubble data collected onsite with ultrasound techniques.

The MP assays are completed by Dr Stephen Thom at the University of Maryland. Dr Thom gave a presentation at the ONR-NAVSEA Progress Review Meeting that took place in Durham on 15 to 17 July. He summarised the current status of his research on circulating microparticles (MPs). These are small fragments shed by various cells that have been exposed to stress and can be found in divers after diving. Here is a report on Microparticles and Decompression Stress from 'The Dive Lab'.

Pictured here is Divers Alert Network Research Associate I, Jenna Wiley. She is taking blood from a deep trimix CCR diver during Divetech's Inner Space.