UWE was out on Saturday night diving the Hillis Explorer Rebreather at Porteau Cove. We followed an easy compass bearing out to the the fire hose and then turned right and followed it to the Jungle Gym, and then we stayed at about 50 feet heading out past the Granthhall. The dive went very well. We had one diver in Sidemount, then and another in doubles and me, well you guessed it, I was on the Hollis Explorer. The rebreather performed very well, though I think battery cell number three is having problems. I have been dealing with Gus at Hollis trying to figure out what the issues are.
Porteau Cove is an awesome dive site with so much marine life and artificial reefs that it is so much fun to check everything out, especially on a night dive. I am off to Ontario for the week, so I will land locked for a little, but I will be back at it next week!
UWE went with Ocean Quest Dive Center to God’s Pocket Resort in Port Hardy BC. Wednesday had us travelling to Port Hardy which had us leaving at 7:30 on the Nanaimo ferry, and a quick 5 hours later we were in Port Hardy. The drive was amazing, I had forgotten how beautiful the drive is on the island. Once in Port Hardy, Lyal picked us up with the boat and we were off to God’s Pocket Resort. This was my first trip to God’s Pocket Resort and I have to say I was very impressed. The Pocket was beautiful, it was not till I realized how organized and beautiful everything was at the resort.
We headed out the next morning to do our first dive of the week, which was a checkout Dive.
I decided to bring my Hollis Explorer Rebreather as my choice of diving method, and I was very impressed on what an awesome time I had diving this rebreather. During my first dive of the dive i had the luck opportunity to enjoy time with 50 to 100 Hooded Nudibranchs, these are so cool to sit and watch as they remind me of the venus flytrap. Our next dive had me enjoy an encounter with a free swimming Giant Pacific Octopus.
The next day, I was treated to the beauty of diving Browning Pass, and once again I was treated to a free swimming Octopus, on a wall with such beauty. There are finger sponges, Basket Stars and Red Irish Lords to name a few. The water was amazing with easily 30 – 40 foot visibility. Browning Wall has easily been the highlight of BC Diving for me.
God’s Pocket Resort, is a classy place where you get royal treatment, awesome food, well organized dive boat with an elevator for getting the divers out of the water. I am already planning my next trip to God’s Pocket Resort and beautiful waters of the Pacific Northern waters.
This past Sunday had me out diving the Hollis Explorer Rebreather. I have been chomping at the bit to get out and dive my Hollis Explorer. I finished the Advanced Rebreather course on the 3rd of April and while changing in the parking lot, I was hit with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, or Mennier’s Disease. Though the diagnosis will be clinical with no conclusive evidence of either, it has kept me out of diving. I finally tired of being out of the water so I decided to dive on the Sea Dragon Charter I had arranged on Sunday, and I brought my Hollis Explorer with me.
It had been three weeks since my last dive, so I was a little nervous maybe in the set up, as this would be my first dive since the course, and though the Hollis Explorer is easy to set up predive and then dive, I still wanted to make sure things went off without a hitch. Though stupidly I decided on Friday to try and take the Update for the LSS from Hollis (V 4.2). What a mistake that was. Each time I tried to run the update, things would only load to a certain point then freeze up. Each time I had to unplug, and then plug into power and walk away to hope it would reset. It did, and I tried to update a couple of times but no luck.
One thing I discovered was that I should have thought through how busy the morning would be the day of the charter since I was the one that arranged and organized it. I got to the Dive center at 6 am, so I could pack the scrubber and finish the set up, attach the head etc. I figured once on the boat I could do the pre-dive and pre-breath. This was very difficult as it seemed every time I started the pre-dive, I would get called away to help one of the customers on the charter. After about the third attempt, I decided to skip the first dive so I could get the pre-dive completed without interruption. Once I got everyone in the water, I started the pre-dive and discovered it was not holding the evacuation test. On three different occasions, it failed, so I tore it down to bare bones and rebuilt it. On this occasion it finally passed though everything looked correct, something was wrong.
We jumped in on a nice deep wall, where we went with to of the Dive Masters in Training, Roland on Sidemount and Amy on a 100 cuft cylinder. We settled on 80 feet and just slide along quietly and enjoyed the scenery. The Hollis Explorer is a dream to dive. Everything I did three weeks ago came back quickly for me, and I noticed my Buoyancy was even better then last time on the Hollis Explorer. I left my DCP in auto this time, and I had no issues with the solenoid firing and wanting make me positively buoyant. It was great, at about 25 minutes in on the dive at 80 feet, I was still showing 40 minutes on NDL. One of the things I found interesting, I read a few posts on various websites with people complaining that the Scrubber was only allowing 90 minutes of dive time though the scrubber is suppose to be good for 120 min. Mine worked fine, though when I first hit the water, it said only 90 minutes, but that did not tick down for sometime and when I exited the water after 60 minutes on diving, my filter indicated about 70 minutes of scrubber life left.
Overall I am very pleased with the Hollis Explorer and I am looking forward to dive her some more!!
UWE is excited to announce we have been awarded the PADI 2013 Elite Instructor Award for certifying more than 200 certifications for PADI. We were lucky enough to have some excellent opportunities to many different courses for Ocean Quest Dive Center in Burnaby. We taught many Sidemount courses, Tec Sidemount as well as the Sidemount Instructor course as well. We also did many Deep courses, and one Extended Range Deep course which was a ton of fun to teach.
The most important thing to note though, is that even though we taught many course we also ensure that we teach to the highest level possible ensuring we give more then just what is in the instructor manual. If you are looking to take a course, and you want it taught to the highest level then be sure to check in with UWE and Ocean Quest Dive Center.
UWE and Ocean Quest are excited to announce that Greg and Ken has completed the Hollis Explorer Course this past week. The Hollis Explorer Course is an excellent and challenging course to complete. Though we have many years of experience and have in-depth knowledge of diving, there is always more to learn. The Hollis Explorer is an eSCR Hybrid Rebreather that is an easy and fast setup, with a 10 or 15 minute automated pre-dive sequence to do in order to get into the water.
I found the setup of the Hollis Explorer pretty easy to do. The back mounted counter lungs are easy to install and pretty difficult to confuse. There is really only one way that they will install. I was diving the Hollis Explorer with 40 % NITROX in my cylinder which allowed me a 100 foot MOD for my dives. With the automated DCP engaged this allowed me to keep a high PO2 which allowed me a longer bottom time while still remaining within the No Decompression Limit. I found it challenging with the solenoid firing at depth to remain at a constant depth without venting the loop through my my mask. This will take more practice to make it a natural maneuver without thinking through how to keep level. But with everything practice makes perfect.
I want to address the comments I have read on Scuba Boards about the scrubber life. There is a thread that has been going on for sometime
reference the scrubber life on the Hollis Explorer not operating as advertised and I have to disagree totally. As it was explained to me, the scrubber indicator on the handset will indicate 90 minutes at the beginning the dive but if you pay close enough attention the the handset you will see that it does not count down based on minutes of the dive. For example my last dive was 87 minutes in length and when I exited the water it indicated I still had 74 minutes of scrubber life, which would allow me more then enough time for a second dive. I am totally sold on the Hollis Explorer, this is a fantastic eSCR rebreather that is well made, and easy to set up predive and then dive! We took the training through Bill Coltart who is a very knowledgeable and professional instructor!! Bill thank you for the Hollis Explorer Course, I look forward to diving with you again soon!!
Our Rec/Tec Sidemount Class is done over a 4 day period of time with one evening being a classroom session that not only discusses Sidemount, the benefits of diving sidemount. The many different configurations for Sidemount, and also we work on the skills we will be conducting in the pool and ocean in the classroom so we can practice good form. We also stress that we do things to make getting into Sidemount a little more user friendly, things such as longer chokers and tail clips so when you are learning it is less frustrating getting in and out of your set up. We also stress that as you become more comfortable with diving sidemount, you can tailor your set up, shorten chokers, everything to make it more streamlined. We also show you that we a training to dive open ocean sidemount, not Cave sidemount, so things will be a little different then what is read on all these forms that discuss how things must be, but do not address the issues with cold water, dry gloves and open ocean. Everything you learn with us, can be tailored for the environment you are diving in.
Our pool session covers advanced fining techniques, lost regulator procedures, S drills, Valve drills, as well as detaching and swimming with the cylinders in front of the diver. We also stress proper trim, which is so very important in your proper diving position. As the training progress, we will conduct video play back so you can see what you are actually doing during the skills practice and we find that people improve so much more quickly by seeing what they look like in the water.
Once the pool session is completed we head to the ocean. In order to be successful in the Recreational training you need to complete at least three dives and demonstrate proper and say skill execution. We continue to stress proper trim, which we see improvement from the pool, though not perfect, you can still be successful and complete the course and struggle with trim. Trim is mastered by diving, and though it is easy once you are able to do it, it does take practice. To complete the Tec Sidemount part of the training there are two additional dives that you must complete with wearing up to 4 cylinders, and complete the various skills that you need to demonstrate. We use the Tec Sidemount course as the stepping stone to the Tec 40 training as we need to have good bottle handling skills in order to be successful in the Tec 40 program so its a good idea to take this prep course.
Once again well done to everyone for their great work on the Rec/Tec Sidemount Class. Interested in taking the Sidemount course, feel free to email us or call Ocean Quest so we can make arrangements with your training.