Closed Circuit Diving in Saint Martin

10 Jul

Hey readers thanks for reading another blog from Octopus Diving.

As some of you know, Octopus Diving is always trying to find new ways to provide great service and offer our customers new and exciting activities. So, we will soon be teaching Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR) Diving in St.Martin. If you just want to try diving with a Rebreather, there will be no need to take a full course, we will also be offering Discover Rebreather diving.

On Friday 2nd July Octopus Diving flew Richard Stevenson here to teach the Poseidon MK6 Discovery Closed Circuit diving course.

Richard Stevenson is the owner of Deep Blue Diving and Marine Services in my home town of Plymouth, in Devon, England.

When I first started working as a Divemaster I worked for Rich and his team at Deep Blue. There was an extremely steep learning curve teaching and diving in the rough, dark, cold waters of England. I loved it!

Rich is a world renowned CCR Instructor, Cave diver and most of all exploration diver and has dived the Carpathia and Brittanic on many expeditions.
Due to his track record, high standards and realistic training there was no other choice for an Instructor.

For those of you who don’t know what a Closed Circuit Rebreather is, let me explain:
The CCR recycles your exhaled air by removing Carbon Dioxide, adding Oxygen and air to provide the safest breathing gas possible at a given depth. All this is electronically controlled by 4 Micro processors.

The course started by assembly of the Poseidon MK6, once this was completed they were attached to our Dive Rite harnesses and back plates. The start up procedure is easy and makes the unit extremely safe. If the Oxygen or Air (Diluent) isn’t switched on the unit won’t start up and will automatically shut down.
It even completes a Positive pressure check on the counter lung which is where the recycled breath is stored, both inhale and exhaled breath.

Once we had checked our units, we headed out for our first training dive on Turtle Reef.
The feeling of no bubbles and no control of buoyancy using our lungs was strange at first but it gets easier.
Also with no bubbles the fish are extremely inquisitive and very close encounters with Turtles, Barracuda and reef fish are common.
The course isn’t just about diving and buoyancy control, it’s about staying safe, understanding the information on the Poseidon Computer and most of all analyzing and making the correct, safe decision in an alarm status.

The skills range from Open Circuit bail out ascents, SMB deployment neutrally buoyant to clearing a flooded system whilst still breathing from it.

Whilst the system is extremely safe in competent hands we always carry a bail out (an extra tank) which is an Open Circuit 80CU foot tank with a long hose and SPG attached to it. This is also filled with a Nitrox mix that is calculated using our known depth and our maximum PO2 at 1.4ata.

For the more experienced divers the No Decompression time on a wreck at 110 feet is approximately 30 minutes using a rebreather with just 3 stops (30 feet, 20 feet, and 10 feet) and a total stop time of 9 minutes. On air, you can only stay for about 10 minutes without clocking up any decompression time. So, this increases your bottom time by three times.

The Poseidon unit is aimed at the recreational diving market with a maximum depth of 40metres or 131.2 feet.
Our aim is for me (Chris) to teach the Poseidon MK6 with units available for our customers to use as soon as I become an IANTD (International Association Nitrox and Trimix Divers) CCR Instructor.
The Rebreather is also ideally suited to Underwater Photography as the lack of bubbles means that you can get super close to the wildlife. So Sally can teach professional underwater photography after the CCR course, this will be a package available soon.

We already have all the equipment required to boost Oxygen and are now the only “Rebreather Friendly” dive shop on St. Martin / St. Maarten. We have the Din M26x2 adapters for European tanks, 797 Sofnolime and Oxygen cells in stock and the knowledge and expertise on both the Poseidon and Inspiration Closed Circuit Rebreathers.

If anyone has any questions regarding the Poseidon Mk6 Discovery or would like to enroll on the next course in late November 2010, please don’t hesitate to email chris@octopusdiving for more information. We currently have 2 spaces available and have already taken one booking in the past week.

Enjoy the photo’s and look out for the video’s coming soon on You Tube.

Thanks for reading the blog.

(Chris wrote this blog).

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