Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Stuff that works...

I've been a scuba diver since I was a kid, Two hose regulators were Chic and Sea Hunt was a new show...I've been a gear geek from time to time but always leaning toward simplicity rather than lot of stuff and push comes to shove I'd still rather free dive...but from time to time being able to stay down longer than I can hold my breath is needful...

Being on a boat of course makes it even more problematic...Tanks are heavy , take up a lot of room , cause wear and tear and then you need to fill them! Compressors able to fill a tank in any kind of timely manner are both expensive AND heavy and take up even more space.

The option we chose on So it Goes is a Hookah rig...When I need tanks I find I can almost always rent them and the Hookah takes up much less space and less weight than tanks.

Over the years I've discovered that a Hookah system is much more practical for working on the boat underwater and in terms of underwater photography and film making in 90% of the situations I encounter makes far more sense and in the 10% of situations that it does not make sense neither do standard tanks as that winds up being more the sort of thing for rebreather work.

While we were cruising with Loose Moose 2 I actually earned quite a bit along the way doing underwater jobs and it seemed wherever we went someone needed mooring worked on, a bottom cleaned, zincs replaced or needed some salvage work done. In fact my last hookah rig was paid for the very first time I used it and actually continued to show a profit the whole time we cruised.

While I have seen a lot of build it yourself Hookah set ups that seem to sort of make sense ( especially of the electric variety) on one level or another (and me being Mr Cheap seats) I still think it is prudent and smart to buy a commercial unit as the various companies building Hookah rigs have invested a lot of design time, expense and hard work into making SAFE products that work well. Point of fact my current Hookah rig (Brownies Third Lung) is a very big improvement to my previous one in that it is quieter, uses less gas and is just an all around better unit...They also make a less expensive model which is more than adequate for most peoples needs and quite a bargain in the Brownies 280.

One of the nice things about Brownie's is that they make an accessory that allows you to use a BCD which really should be a part of your kit, though it would be really sweet if someone were to come up with a BCD designed for Hookah divers...For the moment I am using a technical BCD which is way overkill for my needs when using surface supplied air so on the lookout for a more Hookah friendly rig.