UWE was out the other night diving at Whytecliff Park on my Hollis Explorer Rebreather. The conditions were not the best, but as we descended deeper the visibility improved drastically and we had an excellent dive. We descended in about 30 feet of water and headed down the slope. The visibility was about 20 feet. As a slide along the sand with the rebreather, I was once again treated to the cool things that my Hollis Explorer Rebreather allows me to get closer and closer to the marine life without scaring them away.
Our dive lasted about 60 minutes, I want to say my unit performed flawlessly, but I can’t. Since I had the head, handset and hud replaced I have been having battery problems with the unit. I keep it on charged, and when I put the unit together it’s fully charged, I have been having 0 battery ascend immediately warnings. The unit had been off charge for about 1.5 hours by the time I hit the water, then 60 minutes later I had the “Ascend Immediately” warning, though it’s impossible that the unit had last power that quickly.
I knew the system would have it’s problems as I know it is still very new on the market. I have to say Hollis has been very supportive, and I have been dealing with Gus, who has been fantastic. If you want to try something cool….come dive the Hollis Explorer Rebreather!!
UWE has completed the Hollis Explorer Course that was taught by Bill Coltart from Pacific Pro Divers out of Courtenay. The course was very well run and we were able to put some of the video’s together, we hope you enjoy. I am hoping to be up and teaching the Hollis Explorer Course by late summer. I am currently spending my days diving this amazing machine that is easy to set up and predive.
Looking forward to seeing you out there diving the Hollis Explorer!!
Uwe has decided to do a full gear review of the Hollis SMS 100 Sidemount BCD. It just so happens it’s the BCD that we chose for use on our PADI Sidemount course with Jeff Loflen early this summer. I have to say, I would have to rate it as a 9 out of 10. I have been very impressed in the Hollis SMS 100, it;s easy to wear, easy to customize and also, fairly well priced for a BCD.
I have had about 40 some odd dives on the Hollis SMS 100, the BCD is a sturdy, easy to dive. I have not used it as a back mount BCD but I have a couple of the local divers who have and they were very impressed. In order to cold water sidemount, I decided to turn my bungees around and use the clips on the assessor D-rings in the back on the bcd instead of the quick links, and on the quick links I put a big 3 inch Stainless still sliding gate clip, so it was easier to use when wearing dry gloves.
Though I have not used many Sidemount BCD’s I think the Hollis SMS 100 is a well made, rig, and I think this will be the main BCD for diving from here on in.
If you are interested in Sidemount Training let us know or contact Ocean Quest Dive Center about the training course. They have the Hollis SMS 100 in rentals for use on the course, so what better way to know which one to buy then to dive it first!!
Stuart from Ocean Quest Dive Centre, filmed and edited the Tec Sidemount pool night….. where Greg, Jeff Loflin and Kevin Kidd exposed many of the Vancouver Dive community to the advantaghes of Sidemoung diving. Each person who participated had an opportunity to try single sidemount, and then double sidemount.
Each person got approximately 30 minutes to swim around in the pool utilizing the sidemount equipment, which was the SMS 100 from Hollis, and the Hollis SMS regulators. Overall everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. Low and behold 3 weeks later we were able to teach our first Sidemouung Course with 7 students
UWE is excited to announce, we were lucky enough to participate in the PADI Tec Sidemount course being taught by none other then Jeff Loflin. Jeff came to Vanocuver to run a Discover Sidemount program which was arranged by Greg and Deirdre McCracken the owners of Ocean Quest Dive Centre in Burnaby. Greg invited me to join in the full PADI Tec Sidemount program that Jeff would be teaching over the 5 days that he would be in Vancouver.
Thursday night we were treated to a PADI Tec Sidemount presentation that Jeff gave at Ocean Quest, and we learned the why’s of Sidemount. I had been pretty lucky to have already purchased my Hollis SMS100 before the course, and that allowed me the opportunity to get a couple of dives in prior to the course. Already being a Tec Deep Instructor, and Trimix Diver, I found it rather easy in the skills department, but Jeff was able to provide some awesome insight on how to make things easier….and I think the biggest message I got from the course was to keep an open mind. Skeptical at first as it seemed like an ardusous task to shore dive in two separate 80 cuft tanks from a logistics stand point. Jeff quickly provided the tips and tricks to make things easier. Once in the water though, it is simply a dream to dive in.
The 5 dive course, with a 4 hour pool component, was a lot of fun. We learned various regulator recovery skills, bottle staging, and organization skills. Once in the ocean we practices the same skills again, and this time we added in the Decompression stops, NOTOX drills and various other skills that Jeff wanted to throw at us.
I am pretty close to being able to apply for my instructor rating in Recreational Sidemount, and I have a few more dives to make in order to apply for the Tec Sidemount Instructor rating. It’s nice having goals to shoot for, with the PADI Sideomount course.
Intrerested in learn the PADI Tec Sidemount, or Recreational Sidemount….then be sure to drop me an email.