JANUARY 2011: My Surface Interval named one of the best scuba diving blogs

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Diving with a twinset: first thoughts

Just back from the pool and my first play with the new twinset and I wanted to share my first thoughts about the experience.

Firstly, big thanks go to Mark Dean and Vinni Howlett at Aquasport International for their help in correctly setting up the unit so I could correctly route the hoses and get everything balanced, and for recommending heavy-duty the Scubapro gauge and a Miflex drysuit hose to finish off the system.

Now what I have learned.

i/ I couldn't drop as much weight off the belt as I thought. I guessed that the weight of the extra cylinder would more than replace the lead around my waist, but it was suggested that I drop a few kilos and work my way from there. While carrying no extra weight is a possibility, it makes things difficult doing skills such as kit replacement.

ii/ With a dual bladder, don't forget to empty them both after first setting them up. While only one is used during the di (the other is for redundancy) make sure it is empty before jumping in the water. I forgot and, rather embarrassingly, couldn't leave the surface at first and ended up with my ass in the air.

iii/With single tank diving, we typically use our drysuit for buoyancy underwater, but with twins it is the wing that is the buoyancy compensator. It actually made diving a little more like warm water wetsuit diving and feels easier.

iv/ With single tank diving I find tilting my shoulders helps me glide around the water like an aeroplane. With twins, tilting shifted the weight too much and had the tendency to throw me off balance. Helicopter turns are the only way to go.

v/I'm going to have backache tomorrow - not from carrying the twins around but from having to reach behind to isolate the valves as part of a shutdown drill. More stretching needed. Getting to them wasn't as difficult at first but it does require the flexibility of someone who can stuff themselves into an empty jar for a party trick.

vi/ Remember which way is off for the isolator valve. I forgot and couldn't remember whether i had turned it off or on.

I just need to fiddle with the straps to get it to sit a little All in all, it was good fun. Now for open water practice.

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