UWE and Ocean Quest Dive Centre is very pleased to announce we have two new people who have successfully completed the Sidemount course. The sidemount course had started out with four people, but we had a couple of students who had to defer their training to a little later day. The sideomunt course started on the 24th of Sept, with a classroom phase then off to the pool, where we worked on all the various skills that are needed to be successful on the Sidemount course.
Off to the ocean, and we showed that it is so important to take the actual sidemount course, so you can learn the various tricks needed to be able to get set up easily to ensure you are in the water, rigged correctly and in an effecient manner. We also, made sure that all of the students were able to successfully complete the lost regulator, valve drills, S drills, and the various other skills that must be done to graduate from the Sidemount course.
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!!
Uwe and Ocean Quest Dive Centre are very excited that we have completed the first PADI Rec Sidemount Course last week. We had 7 students join us for this fabulous and fun course. The course started out with a classroom session that develed deep in to gear configuration, dive planning, failures, and of course gas management. The students learned how to configure their gear, and how to utilize the various fault recognition and repair.
The second night of the course had all the students at SFU, where they got to put their classroom knowledge to action, where they practiced, valve failures, reg failures, lost regs, out of air drills, and my personal favourite the detaching of the tail clips and moving the bottle forward for a swim. I love this skill, and practice constently pool and ocean.
In the PADI Rec Sidemount course, we do three ocean dives. During the ocean dives we get to practice all the skills we learned in the pool, with the most important skill “Awareness” being stressed as one of the if not the most important skill. All of the students,did very well, proving that with a little training, it is very easy to learn and utilize Rec Sidemount diving. Personally, the biggest thing we learn on the course, is entering and exiting the water in a easy and organized fashion. Diving is really not that difficult, but it is kind of tricky learning how to safely and easily enter the water especially if we are shore diving!
Well done to all of the students, in their successful completion of the PADI Rec Sidemount course. If you are interested in learning, let me know, as we have our next course scheduled for October.
UWE is excited to announce that we have qualified and have been certified as the PADI Recreational Sidemount Instructor rating from PADI. After completing the Tec Sidemount Diver level course that was taught by Jeff Loflin, back in Jul, we have been out getting our dive nmubers up inorder to reach the number needed to certify as an instructor. We have had many shore dives as well as a set up boat dives on sidemount.
I have to admit Sidemount is living up to the expectations I have had for it. Diving from a boat is a breeze, shore diving is simple. There is less wear and tear on the body from lugging around heavy tanks on my back. I simply bring the tanks into the water with me, and I strap them on and swim off like there is nothing on me. I like the redunancy, and I have to say it is so very easy to stay in trim.
Greg and I headed out last Wednesday and conducted a Tec Decompression Sidemount dive. I found it so comfortable in 4 bottles, and the dive went off without a hitch. I enjoyed so much the easy of this formate of diving. Ocean Quest has scheduled a course for mid August and the numbers are climbing for participants. One thing Jeff siad when he started his presentation and it was keep an open mind. I have, and I am glad I have. Have an opion, provide yourself with and informed, come on out and give it a try on our course….after all what do you have to loose.