Sunday, December 30, 2007

Diving ideas for Hawaii

A student asked about diving in Hawaii this next march, so I thought I'd offer my response here since I often get requests on dive locations and shops.

Hawaii in March is a fun time to be there. The weather is getting a little nicer on the north sides of the island but you may still run into a pelagic like the occasional whale shark or Humpback whale. As far as islands are concerned I think the best diving for newer divers is on either Maui, Kona and Oahu in that order. Maui is nice because you can go dive Molokini Crater and the small island of Lanai.

The crescent shape of Molokini provides protection from waves and ocean currents making this area one of the top ten dive sites in the world. Inside the crescent shape is a reef area with clear views to 150 feet. These waters are home to about 250 species of fish. Lanai is about an hour boat ride from the dive shop on Maui, but it offers some of the best diving in Maui. If the weather permits it’s worth the trip. There are over 20 dive sites on the island, although most dive trips will try to visit either of the two underwater cathedrals. They are actually large air bubbles that burst underwater creating these large rooms which look like a cathedral once inside. Use Lahaina Divers if you go there. Both places are perfect for your level of experience, and Maui is also very developed with nice restaurants and shopping.

For a more rustic stay I like Kona. The dives are great you can dive with the Manta Rays on at least one of the dives. The Manta Ray dive is a dusk dive, but only in 25 feet of water. The Manta’s come to feed on the plankton attracted to underwater lights and get close enough to touch, very cool dive!

Check out Jack’s Dive Locker for Kona, they have a large shop, great rental gear and big boats.

You can usually stay a little cheaper on Kona, and other things to do include a trip to the Observatory on the volcano and Place of Refuge; or go see where Captain Cook was killed for screwing with the natives.

And, if you’re feeling a little cozmo and want to mingle with the Harajuku Girls from Japan go to Oahu. If you dive here a great outfit is Ocean Concepts. A large PADI shop with newer boats and excellent staff. The dives on Oahu can be a little more advanced. Many times the first dive of the day is to a deeper wreck or reef around 85’, with a second dive to the shallow reefs around 45’. But since the wrecks have multilevels you can usually dive any of them with a Divemaster and they can take you on most dives; just ask ahead of time.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Welcome New NW Divers

This weekend we completed our open water checkout dives for a small but dedicated group of divers. Dave, Ragan, Christian and Brad all braved the chill and at times a little rain on the beaches of Alki.

Christian had his special 14th Birthday treat as his dad tried to sing “Happy Birthday” underwater. Somehow it didn’t come out quite right because Christian thought dad needed to “share air” when he heard the gurgling and bubbling and was ready to give away his alternate regulator. So Christian had to wait until our surface interval and was treated to a special birthday doughnut.

The water conditions were great; we had almost 30 feet of visibility and refreshing 52 degree water. Plenty of exciting sights as well; and although we didn’t catch sight of any octopus we were treated to numerous nudibranchs, sun stars, ling cod and multitudes of crab. Brad took advantage of the new Discover Nitrox Today program and enjoyed dives 3 & 4 breathing a nice rich 32% oxygen mix. While there isn’t much to notice in the way you feel, there was a big difference in the planned dive times or surface intervals.

We had plenty of help, Divemaster Jason Beckwith shared some secrets of technique with Dave and Ragan, while DM Chris Yeargin dove with they boys and I on our tours. Enjoy the pictures and call one of these guys for your next dive adventure,


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Truk Lagoon - December 14-21st, 2008 $2,895.00

Truk Lagoon Wreck Diving Adventure

Several open spots on a 7-day dive adventure on the Truk Lagoon Odyssey live aboard. Up to 5 dives each day, package includes one night accommodations at the resort and 7 nights on the dive boat. Dive boat includes all meals, drink and air fills including Nitrox.

Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime dive trip to Truk Lagoon December 2008. I’m sure you’ve hear of Truk and the incredible sights and dives. It’s a phenomenal dive trip for several reasons;

Marine Life, since the wrecks have been underwater for over 50 years they are covered in an abundance of corals fish and invertebrates. The colors vibrate with life in the 100’ clear warm water.

Wrecks, there are over 45 shipwrecks within diving limits including merchant ships, aircraft and even a submarine. All the wrecks are still in great condition with numerous penetration opportunities and the ship’s holds are still full of artifacts in many of the wrecks.

WW II History, this is where Truk shines. Truk was the “Pearl Harbor for the Japanese Imperial Navy. The Allied forces sank over 45 ships, in a three-day bombing raid called Operation Hailstorm. The wrecks are still in-situ, many still have empty shell casing, artillery guns and even tanks on board just as they were in the midst of battle when they sank.

Package Details, the trip starts in Chuuk, where we board the Truk Lagoon Odyssey. A 132’ liveaboard dive ship. The Odyssey is geared perfectly for diving; they have their own compressor and Nitrox membrane onboard so you can get O2 fills up to 100% if certified. Mixes up to 32% are included in the package.

On board the Odyssey the amenities are consistent with the world’s top liveaboards.

Six staterooms (14’ x 8 ’) with either king size or 2 twin beds

Two private single staterooms (11’ x 6’)

One stateroom (10 ’ x 9 ’) with a double/twin bunk

ALL staterooms have private ensuite facilities, air-conditioning controls, DVD player.

Plus there’s a separate entertainment lounge with TV, VCR (PAL & NTSC), DVD, stereo, library, large slide table, and bar.

You fly into Chuuk on Friday where dive boat picks us up for 7 days of diving up to 5 dives each day.

Wrecks, Wrecks, and More Wrecks!

Recreational Diving

Technical Diving

Ken & Windy Pfau with Terry & Donna Miller have put together the dive trip of 2008 and you are invited to come along. We have only 12 spaces for this trip so signing up early will be an advantage. You can travel for the diving or travel for the training. Better yet do a little of both and travel for the diving, training, and fellowship.

We are offering two options for this adventure. Option 1 is as technical diver. You can continue your dive education in Chuuk. The water will be warm, clear, blue, and no there will be no sand. You can complete your technical diving in the warm clear water of Truk Lagoon, diving some of the world's famous ship wrecks. Can you think of a better place to do mask drills, gas shut-down drills, SMB drills, neutral buoyancy drills, and out of air drills? Now I have to admit that Truk Lagoon may not be the most fun place to take a written exam...but it will be warm and the sunsets are just off the scale. So bring your calculator, manual, and pencil with an eraser. Starting your technical diving education in Seattle is fun and exciting, finishing your training in Truk completing dives 7-12 in Chuuk is just plain cool. You can train with Ken, Donna or Terry on some of the most interesting wrecks in the world.

Option 2 says that you have come to Truk Lagoon to dive, enjoy friends, dive, take in the beauty of the islands, dive, enjoy great food, dive, have a beverage of choice, sleep and dive. The pool is open and your diving is entirely up to you.

Included in the $2,895 cost of this trip is your diving, all of your air, meals, drinks, sleeping accommodations, and boat crew tip. We are not arranging for airfare as many people have indicated that while in the South Pacific they may want to extend their vacation. Some say they may want to stop off in Guam or Hawaii on their way home, and yet others have air miles they want to use to maybe get a better seat on the plane. Ken likes to ride up front with the we will meet in you Truk Lagoon.

Not included in the cost of the trip is the cost of your O2. But it isn't too expensive and it really is a must for those technical diving.

What to bring...your dive gear; technical or otherwise, lights, cameras, some clothes (but they are really overrated and you spend a lot of time in shorts or wet suits) a tropical wet suit 3.5 mm is recommended and a long suit is highly recommended as there as some sharp corners on these wrecks and a few jelly fish...well more than a few. Bring a save a dive kit inclusive with tools; once on the boat dive repairs are left to the divers and the crew, and the crew is not a well stocked dive center. The Blue Lagoon Dive Shop is a long ways away.

Interested in diving Truk Lagoon? A $850 non-refundable deposit holds your space. We anticipate this trip to fill up quickly as it is advertised throughout the diving community world wide. So secure your space and let the wreck diving adventure begin.

Questions on expectations? Talk with Donna, Terry or Ken.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New PADI Specialty

PADI introduced a new Specialty for divers that are interested in testing the water in tec. Details are below, I'll publish a schedule of my first class soon.

PADI Tec Basics

(New this August 2007)

Course Overview: The course is designed to be a bridge from PADI courses to DSAT courses providing recreational divers an opportunity to gain exposure to tec diving and learn and practice entry level tec diving skills. It introduces recreational divers to tec diving without them having to make the larger commitment (in terms of equipment, time and cost) of the DSAT Tec Deep course. PADI Tec Basics dive scope is within recreational limits, using segments from DSAT Tec Deep 1. Likewise, this specialty course may be credited toward DSAT Tec Level 1. In addition, the course provides DSAT Instructors a recognition level for students who choose not to continue on to full technical training.

Diver Prerequisites

1. PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or qualifying prerequisite certification.

2. PADI Enriched Air Diver or qualifying prerequisite certification.

PADI Rescue Diver is recommended.

Student Equipment Requirements

1. High capacity single cylinder with Y or H valve. Twins with dual manifold and isolator valve are recommended.

2. Primary and secondary regulators – primary regulator must have seven foot / two meter hose for air sharing.

3. SPG

4. Harness with shoulder and rigid hip D-rings.

5. BCD – wings (redundant buoyancy is not required for this course; however, students should be aware that redundant buoyancy device is required for Tec Diver 1)

6. Dive Computer

7. Appropriate Exposure Suit

8. Weight System

9. Dive Reel

10. Knife / cutting device

11. Slate

12. Compass

13. Lift Bag

Required Student Materials

DSAT Tec Deep Diver Manual

Minimum Age:

18 years of age

Maximum depth:

80 feet.

Dives (Confined Water)

2 dives

Dives (Open Water)

2 dives

Academic Content:

Students must read chapters one and two in the Tec Deep Diver manual and complete the Knowledge Reviews for each. This must be done as pre-study. There will be one classroom session to review missed questions on Knowledge Reviews and any other questions students have.

Practical Applications:

Divers learn how to calculate turn pressures based on rule of 3rds, SAC rates, standard gear configuration and additional tec diving basics

Confined Water:

Conduct Training Dives One and Two as outlined in the Tec Deep Dive manual where divers practice shut-off drills, S-drills, deco bottle staging and deployment of lift bags.

Open Water:

Repeat Training Dives One and Two in open water applying the skills to the open water environment. Students calculate a turn pressure based on thirds and write it on their slate. Students also list the skills for each dive on their slate.

Course Credit:

Since the PADI Distinctive Specialty Tec Basics is actually a portion of the DSAT Tec Diver 1 course, Tec Basics may credit toward Tec Diver 1. Tec Basics divers should know that if they choose to move up to Tec Diver 1, their instructor may request a repeat of some confined water sessions and practical application sessions, depending on the interim between Tec Basics certification and the start of Tec Deep 1. Divers who do not complete Tec Basics in doubles and / or have not been diving in a technical rig should have sufficient time for practice in doubles prior to doing any dives in open water. Training Dives One and Two, Practical Applications One and Two and Knowledge Reviews One and Two may be credited toward Tec Diver 1.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Diving Hawaiian Style

We just got back from a wonderful trip to Maui and Oahu. If you’ve never dove in the Hawaiian Islands it well worth the trip. One of the advantages of Hawaii is that it’s quick 5 hour flight from Seattle and there are no customs hassles once you get there.
The diving in Maui is some of the best on the islands. I chose to dive with the crew from Lahaina Divers out of Ka’anapali. The guys were knowledgeable and competent; plus they gave me as much latitude with my dive profiles as possible. We made several dives out off the island of La’nai to the Cathedrals I and II. The Cathedrals are left-over mega lava bubbles that filled with water and make spectacular cavern dives. Wildlife included shark, dolphin, and bunches of cool little critters. The visibility was a good 100’ and toasty warm; but you probably already guessed that. We also trekked out to the Island of Molokini. The island is a sunken crater which makes for fabulous dive and snorkel site. Dives inside the crater are ok; you see bunches of butterfly and trigger fish. However my wife Windy saw as much snorkeling as we did on our dives; octopus, moray and other neat fish. We ventured to the back wall the following day and were pleased to find white-tip reef shark, Galapagos shark and even a frog fish in over 200’ of underwater cliffs.
Often overlooked is the diving within Oahu. The island usually makes people think of Wakiki and surfing; but he diving on Oahu is good as well. It’s one of the few islands with diveable wrecks. With Ocean Concepts we dove the Mahi wreck; one of the best wreck dives on the island. The wreck sits in about 95 feet of water with much of the superstructure intact. It’s a former 176’ minesweeper/cable layer that was sunk in 1986 to become as an artificial reef. It has become one of the most popular wrecks in Hawaii but because the tower collapsed in one of the hurricanes divers are advised to remain on the outside of the wreck.
The second wreck I visited I chose to dive with Island Divers on what they call the LCU; an upside-down landing craft (as in beach landings) lies in 95'/29m of water on a sandy bottom with spotty reefs surrounding it. Not the most exciting wreck since it lies keel up; but it offers a nice swim-through underneath the wreck and is often home to shark. There is also a tighter swim-through through the pilot house, but no penetrations without being hazardous. One final wreck we visited on the trip was the Sea Tiger, definitely one of my favorite wrecks on Oahu. It’s large for the island; there are several swim-throughs and penetration possibilities. We spotted eagle rays circling the wreck, and several leaf scorpion fish. Sunk in 1996 by a submarine company the Sea Tiger doesn't have a whole lot of coral growth but even so schooling fish, moray eels, and nudibranch are very common. I went with Aaron’s dive shop for this dive, and we chartered the “Moe Mac” for the trip. The Sea Tiger rests upright on a sandy bottom at 130'/40m, but dive depth is generally between 80-100'. Apart from missing wood planks and some decay inside the wreck the Sea Tiger is very much intact and impressive site. All three shops did a good job. Ocean Concepts had the best dive boat, but were fairly restrictive in their dive policies. Island Divers had the best attitude with experienced divers, and Aaron’s had the best atmosphere of a dive shop community if you get to the North Shore. I would recommend any of the three; but a lot depends on the DM and captain.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Calculating your air consumption or SAC rate

Ok, the other day I had a discussion with a couple of dive friends about SAC or air consumption rates. SAC is the acronym for “Surface Air Consumption” and is a variable rate that helps technical divers compute how much air they will likely use at depth. It’s usually calculated in two forms; “working rate” and “resting or deco rate”. The formula for calculating your rate is actually fairly simple:

The calculation is performed by calculating the volume of gas used (PSI used * ( Tank volume rating / Tank pressure rating )), dividing this by the time at depth, then dividing this result by the pressure at the average depth ((D/33)+1). This result is the Surface Air Consumption (SAC).

The procedure for finding your SAC rate is to first identify your tank’s working pressure; that’s the pressure stamped on the tank eg. 2450 psi. Second is to find your tanks official volume at that pressure. This is a little harder, since many tanks don’t specify it on the tank so you may have to visit the manufacturer’s website and identify your tank by size and pressure. Fortunately some tanks are labeled. So, if my tank is rated at 2450 psi at 80 cubic feet I can easily calculate that at the surface each cubic foot is equivalent to 30.6 psi. (2450/80).
Now since the air is compressed at depth, but I still need the same volume for each breath; my consumption increases as I either breathe air that is more dense (depth) or faster (rate). What the SAC does is to determine a baseline at the surface which I can use to calculate at a specific depth my usage based on my prescribed rate. We isolate those variables by performing the following exercise. First to find your working rate you need to dive to a specific depth; most often we use 60’ saltwater or 60 fsw. Once at 60 feet we record or pressure as accurately as possible (helps to have a digital pressure gauge). We then swim at a steady depth (60 fsw) for 15 solid minutes, recording the pressure at each 5 minute interval When we’re done we now know how much air we consumed in psi for a 15 minute working swim. Let’s say we use 1000 psi out of the tank when we’re doe.

Since the air is denser at depth we need to calculate the affect in atmospheres (remember that 33 ft salt water per atmosphere from Open Water Class). So we have to figure in the equivalent by taking our 60 ft dividing by 33 for each atmosphere, and then adding our 1 atmosphere for the pressure exerted by the air at sea level.

I now have everything I need to finish the calculation. I would take my psi used times the volume rating for the tank divided by the tank’s pressure rating (1000*(80/2450)) = 32.65. I then divide by my time at depth 32.65/15 = 2.17 I need my pressure at 60 fsw which is (60/33)+1) or 2.81 atm. And 2.17/2.81 = .774! Or, it means I breathe at a working rate .774 cubic feet of air a minute on the surface. Now all I need to do to figure out how much air I would breathe at 99 fsw is to multiply my SAC rate by the atmospheres of that depth (4) which would be 3.09 cu ft each minute.

I can then do the same exercise for a resting rate, and figure how much air I would use during my safety or deco stop.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Caribbean Dive Sites

Ryan Turner wrote:
Hi Ken,

I'm going to be booking my excursions here sometime over the next week or
so, so if you have any suggestions on the best
spot to go, please let me
know cause I don't want to miss out on a good dive opportunity. We're going
to Nassau Bahamas, St Thomas and St Maarten. Thanks a lot.

Hey Ryan,

Nassau has several good spots, one place I know that does a good job
is Stuart's Cove. They are the biggest shop; and are known for their
shark dives (a little controversial because they will feed sharks.
They can be a bit of a cattle-boat dive operation with up to 20 divers
on a boat. Contact info:
Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas S-1875
South, West Bay Street
PO Box CB 13137
Ph.: (800) 879-9832
Fax: (242) 362-5568
Another choice is Nassau Scuba Center, they are more of a Mom and Pop shop with smaller groups. They also do the shark dives, but there have been reports that their rental gear is a little dated and worn out. If you don't mind the group size Stuart's is probably the better choice. In St. Thomas Blue Island Divers has a decent reputation. St. Thomas has a bunch of good wrecks, and many of them are in OW depths so you shouldn't have any problems with finding dive trips from the ship that work. Blue Island Divers Suite 505, Crown Bay Marina Sub Base, St Thomas, 00802 United States Virgin Islands ++1-866-scuba-VI ++1-866-728-2284 In Saint Maarten there are several good reports for Dive Safaris. They cater in diving with the cruise ships, and are known for taking good care of new divers. Their contact info is:

Dive Safaris in Philipsburg
Phone: 011-599-542-9001
Fax: 011-599-542-8983

Dive Safaris in Simpson Bay

Phone: 011-599-545-2401
Fax: 011-599-545-2429

Hope this helps, Ken

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What's so Technical about Tec Diving?

Tec Diving, DIR, GUE, Hogarthian, Cave Diving, Wreck Diving, CCR, Open Circut Twins.... The list of terms goes on.
So how does Tec Diving differ from "recreational diving? The simple explanation is that technical diving is that diving world that lives beyond the standard recreational world we learned about in our Open Water Course. It often includes depths beyond the recreational standard limits of 130 feet; or dive times that require decompression stops. Essentially, if you couldn't do a CESA (Controlled Emergency Surface Accent) without harming yourself you are entering in to the area of tec.
So, what's the "tech" part of the sport? Well, the technical aspects come into play when you consider that without the opportunity to "humm" yourself to the surface if things went bad you need to have a plan, gear, skills and experience to get home ok. Let's look at each of those to see how the tech gets into the label.

  • Dive Plan In the Open Water course you learned how to use a set of dive tables to calculate your nitrogen loading, surface interval and maximum NDL (No Decompression Limits). In Tec Diving, you not only calculate your nitrogen loading; but your gas usage and needs, alternate gas switches and any decompression stops if necessary. Plus, a set of plans if you happen to go too long or have to go too deep.

  • Tec Gear In recreational diving we get by with a dive that if we forgot something; or a piece of equipment failed we would just end our dive an go home... with technical diving we may not have that option. So the gear and configuration of that gear needs to provide life support even if we had something really bad happen like blowing a high-pressure hose at depth.

  • Dive Skills This and experience are probably the most overlooked and dangerous elements of technical diving. You can go buy a set of twins. You can plan to dive to 185 feet. You can stay down there for 20 minutes...But, if something was to happen would you instinctively know what to do. Remember, you'll be narc'd, scared and flustered. That's why most good Tec Classes are intensive and expensive. If you want to get Cave Certified; it's a week long course and they will screw with you. Period. Too many dead cave divers.

  • Experience So you take a tec course, get certified to dive to 165' now what. You should build experience and keep the skills fresh.

Alright, so is Tec Diving for everyone? Absolutely not. But it is the way to safely dive beyond 130'. It is the way to have a 45 minute dive at 90' in Truk on the wrecks. It is the way to venture into gin-clear caves. And it is the way to venture into wrecks and see how the inside of a shipwreck looks. I would argue that it's the only way to do those things.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

UW Photo Class Notes

Awesome dives today with Bandito Charters on the Ocean Quest. Captitan Gorge' Potts took the four of us (Aaron, Jesse and Michael) off to two of the best spots for Underwater Photography; Pt. Defiance North Wall and Zee's Reef.

Michael and Jesse were trying out their new skills learned in the pool; like white balance, composition, lighting techniques and learning how to avoid the dreaded back-scatter. The first dive to the wall we set out to use natural light, and adjust the white balance to get more color in the shots. I followed suit with my Cannon D30 and Ikelite housing. I took along a new toy this dive to see if the hype was worth the money. I added a Green Magic Filter. Magic Filters are designed and made by Dr Alex Mustard. Photographers have been using the filters in blue water for a couple of years with great results. The new filter for green water just came out so I wanted to try it. The photos above were taken in natural light, the shot of Aaron was taken at 60' in the Pacific Northwest. You can see the red tint of the filter in the light from his Light Cannon, but the detail and color in the rest of the photo is great. The kelp shot was taken at 30' without resetting the white balance; but it provides a neat mood. I would recommend the filters, and plan to show students how to use them in my next UW Photo class.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Pretty Cool Video Sites

Don't know if any of you've ever seen this video site before, but it's got a great interface. I think most of the videos are pulled off of YouTube, but the search parameters are scuba specific; plus you just have to define your tags and you get the shots. The site is called the Scuba Channel I linked in a video of a Wolf Eel that's pretty good. It reminds me of a dive Tony and I did down at Sunrise where the eel wouldn't leave Tony alone. I've had them cuddle around for a snack; but these guys are getting all-kinds of friendly.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Ultimate Drysuit Drying Rack

Some of you that have been out to my garage have seen my drying rack; others may have heard about it. The problem started when I got tired of smelling like an old pair of gym sneakers after each dive. With my DUI the crushed neoprene stocking foot anytime I get a little wetness in the feet it never seems to dry. So Aaron and I did some research, a lot of R&D and came up with a great system. It's made entirely of PVC, so there's nothing to rust.

There's a place for the boots, my hood, each glove, and the drysuit hangs upside down so everything drys fast. Each terminal point has vent holes and the best part is I have a small fan that I can attach to the bottom and it forces air throughout the suit and it dries the toes. The arms go around another pipe so they get dry, and with the wheels, I wheel it off to a corner of the garage for drying. I can actually get all of my dive gear onto the rack including BC, Fins, Reg etc.

Underwater Digital Photography Class

Michael at the Seattle Underwater Sports store was nice enough to gather a few students for an Underwater Digital Photography Course on July 14th and 15th. We'll spend a little time in the pool Saturday farting around with gear, making sure stuff doesn't flood, and how to keep it all dry. Then on Sunday the 15th it's a two-tank dive with Rick on Bandito Charters to go take photos. The cost will be $150 plus $80 for the dive charter. There's two spots still open if you're interested. I think this is one of the most under-rated classes for divers. I can't tell you how many times I've seen divers on vacation trying to learn how their cameras work; let alone how they should work underwater. Essentially there are 3 areas where most underwater photographers go wrong:
  1. Composition: How many times can you take a shot looking down at the bottom, seeing a fish's head and expect that to be interesting? Usually you see a mass of coral or sand with very little pop.
  2. Lighting: We loose all reds in as little as 10 feet, without a little help with a strobe or filter the subject matter gets all green or blue and becomes uninteresting. Or we use the internal flash of our camera and all of a sudden there appears an underwater snow storm.
  3. White Balance: Now this is a real technical term for camera geeks; but it's a way that even the lay photographer can adjust for underwater light and get decent shots without learning a ton of Photoshop techniques.
I'll spend some time in a future blog on this subject suffice to say that with a little practice you can have a positive effect on all of your underwater shots.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Alex & Becca Eisenberg Get Certified

Two new divers achieve their PADI Open Water Diver certification. Alex and Becca just completed their checkout dives last night at Mukilteo T-Docks. The girls did a great job with all the skills and will be awesome divers when they hit the warm clear water of Cozumel later this year. Their parents, Paul and Chris took the Advanced Open Water course a couple of years ago, and now they've become a diving family.

Congrats Girls, hope you do some more diving here in the PNW.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Taking care of your drysuit.

Hi Ken!
I hope you are well and having a nice summer!
I have a quick question: every time I wash my dry suit, a little water does make it in the suit. The inside boot sole is material, so it never quite dries up (I am not talking wet, just damp). I was thinking of using desiccating salts (the type they put in new electronics or hand bags prior to purchase)to avoid the formation of moistures. Do you think this would be safe (for the suit)? Also, should I be washing or dry cleaning the under garment?
Thanks for your help!
Good questions. Often you'll get dampness from perspiration and possibly a little seepage from the seals. I haven't heard of anybody using the salts; but usually many people pick up one of those inexpensive boot dryers to get some circulation in there. Someday I'll post a drysuit rack and dryer I've built.
I wash my undergarments with a mild laundry soap about once every 3-4 dives or if it gets wet with salt water. About every 5 washings I'll apply a fleece waterproofing I get from Seattle Fabrics. I suppose you could dry-clean and not worry about the waterproofing if the process leaves the waterproofing.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Opening the Skooba Spot Bog

Hey Divers,
Time to get online. I've been procrastinating putting up a website for too long; now I just decided to put up a blog instead. If I get time later I'll post a real site.
I think the main reason for starting here is to provide a way for past students and divers to share events, ideas and adventures. I'll be talking about future classes, dives and trips; and hope others will as well. I don't plan of getting overly formal with it; but want a place to post thoughts.

Ken Pfau
PADI IDC Staff Instructor
DSAT Tec/Deeep Instructor

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