Tag Archives: Vancouver BC

Recreational Sidemount Course – June 2014

Recreational Sidemount Course - June 2014
Recreational Sidemount Course – June 2014

UWE and Ocean Quest Dive Center are excited to announce we have completed another Recreation Sidemount Course – June 2014.  We started with our first classroom session on the evening of the 26th of Sept.  We learned all the things needed to be a Sidemount Diver, as well why one would want to dive Sidemount.  Once we completed the presentation we started to do dry land practice so the student would know what to expect in the pool, which was completed for the 28th.

During the pool session, we practiced all the various skills the diver will need to successfully dive sidemount.  We also worked on fine tuning the gear as the 29th was our Ocean day where with would be doing 3 dives.  During the ocean session, all of the students did an excellent job completing what was asked of them.  One of the big things that was stressed as well, is to make your own decision on gear selection based on first hand knowledge not what someone tells them it should be.  All the loud voices for this kind of training are basing gear need on Cave, fresh warm water diving and have zero experience in what is is like in the cold waters off of British Columbia, in a dry suit with big dry gloves on.

If you are interested in taking a sidemount course, be sure to let me know, I will help get one organized for you.

Once again well done to all on the Recreational Sidemount Course – June 2014!!!

Porteau Cove

Hollis Explorer at Porteau Cove
Hollis Explorer at Porteau Cove

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!

#hollisexplorer, #hollis

Hollis Explorer Rebreather

Hollis Explorer Rebreather
Hollis Explorer Rebreather

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!!

Porteau Cove

Ken diving the Hollis Explorer
Ken diving the Hollis Explorer

UWE  was out diving at Porteau Cove, enjoying their Hollis Explorer Weekend.  We set the Hollis Explorer up on the day before, ensuring that all appropriate check lists were followed.  We did a quick negative pressure test, just to ensure the final checks the next day would go off without a hitch.  I noticed after trying to take the Hollis Firmware update the HUD was not working 100 percent.  So, the big questions was weather to cancel the dive on Closed Circuit and dive regular Open Circuit.

I got out to the Porteau Cove, and completed the Pre dive series prior to donning my gear and I notice the HUD still no acting properly, though it was running.  Deciding to ensure I paid close attention to the handset I decided to try the descent.  Rene and I decided to enter the water at Porteau Cove by going down the stairs since the tide was way out.  Once entering the water we descended right at the beach level and started out in the main area of the dive site here at Porteau Cove.

The HUD flashed up right on descent and started to work properly for me so it was off to the dive. The

Ken Diving at Porteau Cove
Ken Diving at Porteau Cove

conditions were fantastic, with visibility ranging between 10 and 40 feet at depth.  We spent about 2 hours underwater, and with me diving the Hollis Explorer, I was able to get very close to the marine life without disturbing them.  The Explorer worked flawlessly, and I am very happy with the purchase. I have been having some minor problems with the unit, but Hollis, Gus specifically has been awesome ensuring that Hollis stands behind their unit totally.

I will be leaving for a trip to Port Hardy to stay at God’s Pocket resort to get a weeks worth of diving in, and I am planning on bringing my camera and my new Hollis Explorer Rebreather!!

Interested in diving Porteau Cove, need information on the Hollis Explorer, let me know and I am more than happy to give my advice, and dive briefing.  Either email me here, or stop by Ocean Quest and we can have a chat about your diving needs

 

#hollisexplorer, #porteaucove

Diving the Hollis Explorer

Hollis Explorer eSCR
Hollis Explorer eSCR

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.

Diving the Hollis Rebreather
Diving the Hollis Rebreather

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!!

Dive Masters in Training

Dive Masters in Training
Dive Masters in Training

UWE and Ocean Quest were out this weekend working hard with our Dive Masters in Training, assisting with the Advanced Open Water course, as well as diving off Sea Dragon in Howe Sound where we conducted a Sidemount Charter.  Overall things went very well. Our Dive Masters in Training split up on Saturday in two groups one with three and the other with four.  We did Discover Scuba Diving training in the Ocean, SMB Deployments and then my favourite slow ascent practice which was in preparation for the Sidemount Charter the next day, as well for this upcoming weekend when we do our Deep Dive Scenario.

Our Dive Masters in Training did a fantastic job, assisting in the Advanced Open Water course, where I gather there was a good learning curve in what it means to to assist in training, and being ready for anything arising that must be dealt with.  There were currents and strong winds to deal with as well, a pair of divers needing assistance on the surface which had no ties to our training.

On Sunday, the Dive Masters in Training lead the dives off the Sea Dragon charter where there was a huge learning curve having to deal buddy separation, bad visibility while also assisting on the ship preparing the the customers entry into the water.  Overall our Dive Masters in Training did a great job!!  Well Done!!