Sunday, June 03, 2012

Drysuit Repair and Dive 214

Last night after dinner I met up with Jeremy at his place so we could try and figure out why my drysuit has been leaking so much lately.

The best way to test a drysuit for leaks is to fill it up, fill it with air and apply soapy water to the outside of the suit where you believe it is leaking. The escaping air, too minute to see, will make the soapy water foam up and thus help pinpoint the leaks.

Since I've been leaking like a sieve at the sleeves after we changed my drysuit wrist seal configuration and went to a permanent ring system, that was where we started.

So with a kid's play bucket secured with electrical tape to occupy the neck seal, cuff dump sealed with electrical tape and gloves on and drysuit zipper zipped we gave it an inflationary rush of compressed air:

Zombie Drysuits will look like this when they walk among us someday. Be warned.

We found the leaks and they were very apparent, the bubbles coming fast and furious, right at the seam when the drysuit sleeve was stitched together and where the sealed seam contacted the dry glove ring - on both gloves and on both seams. No wonder I could wring out my undergarment arms after a dive.

We resealed the dry ring adhesive at those points and tested again - no leaks the second time around.

The proof of concept was of course to get in the water and subject it to a few atmospheres of pressure.

So this morning I got together with Keith and Chad and we headed off on a long dive in Union Lake. The wind was up but it was otherwise a sunny day. On the upside, the strong winds reduced the number of boats on the lake by quite a bit.

We decided to do an extensive dive to check on the lines in the lake and map out the lines. We passed the boats I normally go by and headed for less visited areas of the line and visited the boats there. Boats like the cement boat - a speedboat with some sacks of cement, in it to make sure it stayed down, hence its name. We also passed the Skippy boat, a boat the is nose down into the bottom, stern pointing straight up and looking like a monolith when you come up on it. Kinda cool.

We found a few golf balls, followed the lines around and got compass headings for each of the direction changes in the line and each line split and had a nice 60 minute dive. I was quite pleased with this dive - good control, excellent buoyancy and awareness.

Our maximum depth was 50 feet and water temp at the deepest we went was about 50 degrees, but was typically 55 degrees for most of the dive.

When I got out of the water, I was quite happy to see and feel that I was in fact dry instead of sopping wet hands and arms as usual. I had felt quite a bit warmer during the dive as when you're not wet, you stay much warmer. We still plan to Aquaseal the cuff rings around where they meet the suit as a final measure to prevent leaks.

Even without the finsihing touch of the aquaseal, it's great when a drysuit is fully acting like a drysuit again.

afterwards we went to the Library Pub for some adult beverages and lunch along with good diving-related conversation.

A great and dry dive on a beautiful Sunday.

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