Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dive #169 - inVested in Union Lake

The temperature has dropped pretty significantly in the water as November rolls on.

Water temperature was a brisk 45 degreesand the dive was around 30 minutes. 45 Degrees is getting out of the diving comfort zone.

On the upside, I had a new device to help with keeping warm.

My dive buddies and I are experimenting with converting Tourmaster Synergy vests to battery power for use in diving. I bought he vest, Chad bought the batteries and waterproofing materials and is making it all work together pretty brilliantly, we're testing it out.

On the upside, it worked and felt really good in the water- I was the warmest diver there.  In fact I no longer got the shivers and instead actually got cold hands.  Most of the time I'm too focused on a cold core to notice the hands so this was progress.  The downside is the controlled is under the drysuit at the top left chest position and with the two button configuration you can't tell what button you're hitting or if your equipment is knocking it on or off.  A one button controller to cycle through the temps would be a smarter set up, or just a straight on/off button.  We may change the controllers as a result.  Also the battery life wasn't great so we need to look into why it didn't last as long as we figured it would.

On the upside aside from a crazy lone boater out on the water, the visibility was great except where he tore it up with his engine on the way out..  Plenty of fish and crayfish were seen. 

We did an ascent drill from 28 feet to hold at 20 feet and I did it pretty well.  Given ascent drills are where I'm having the most trouble, I can use the practice.  An ascent drill you rise to a depth and stay at it, then move up to another and repeat - for example - from 28 to 20 to 15 to 10 to 5 - its harder to do than type about it as you try to not overshoot or undershoot your depth.  Ascent drills are vital to have down to advance to more technical diving as you don't want to overshoot your deco stops.

A nice dive, though a little wet as I had a leak in the suit at the chest area. This was disappointing as I had just replaced the chest inflator valve on the suit on Saturday as we figured that was the cause. On the upside, I was much less wet than I was prior to the inflator valve change so I probably have had two leaking areas in the suit. I think I found the pinhole tonight on a seam when checking the suit with a flashlight in a dark room. I sealed the hole with aqua seal and hopefully I'll have a drysuit rather than a wetsuit once more.


Jon said...

Heated clothing can suck a lot of power. One of my fellow motorcycle riders was wearing a vest, gloves and pants, and the alternator and battery, both, on the bike couldn't keep up, headlights kept getting dimmer and dimmer.

Aaron said...

Good point. I think we're going to try changing the controller and setting it for only an on/off mode at the middle heat setting (which is about 10 volts draw) and that should give us theoretically about an hour's worth of battery life, sufficient for most dives.