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!!