The biannual ice dive

On Saturday I went ice diving. It is now two years since I got certified and this time I joined another group taking the PADI ice diver course. I brought my camera and came away with this short video showing how much fun we had despite the cold water. We actually had -1°C!!

Advertisements

Best dive of the year 2012: The seal encounter [video]

 

Recently I was asked to identify my best dive of 2012. This time it was easy. The seal encounter during my trip to Väderöarna on the Swedish west coast. It was amazing!

Towards the end of a dive at “Trolleskär” my buddies saw the seal of which I, the only one of us carrying a camera, only caught a glimpse of. Camera was off of course…

Hoping that the seal would return I turned on the camera and we lingered in the same spot for a few minutes. Finally we gave up and continued the dive.

However, at the safety stop, one of my buddies is deploying his SMB, with me filming for future reference and feed back, luck strikes for real!!

The very curious seal returned and circled us, nibbling at our fins. What an experience! Although only a couple of seconds on film, it felt much longer in real time. Definitely the best dive of 2012 and a great reminder of the adventures that can be found below the surface!

So, which was your best dive of 2012?

Equipment upgrade part I: My new neoprene boots are fintastic!

Late last year I finally decided to buy a new dry suit. Somehow I kind of had grown out of the old one… After some deliberation, I chose to go with a shell dry suit and settled on Ursuit’s new Heavy Light Kevlar BDS. (Maybe I’ll write more on making that choice, and what I think about the suit another time). Anyhow, after having made about 20 dives with it I realised that although I’m wearing two pairs of socks, the boots where way to big, and needed to be changed.

My first thought was to go with the same boot model and just pick a smaller size, but after talking to some people I wasn’t so sure anymore.

Basically it came down to choosing between two different models. The standard neoprene boot that is quite sturdy with a thick rubber sole, which was originally fitted to the suit (and also on my older one). Or, the thinner “tech dry boot” that is made  in 4mm neoprene with only a thin sole, thus offering more flexibility but less stability.

After visiting the shop, talking to the guy who would do the “boot job”, and more importantly, trying several sizes of both types of boots, I decided to take a chance and go with the more flexible “tech boots”. Don’t ask me why they call it that…

After almost a week of nervous waiting I finally got the suit back. Fortunately, I had a chance to go diving just a couple of days later. 🙂

So what about the result? Well, it’s nothing short of spectacular!! In my big ol’ boots, I felt the fins moving around on my foot, and the sturdy rubber boot made it difficult to angle my feet. Now, with the tighter AND more flexible neoprene boot, the fin fit like a glove, and frog kicking didn’t require much effort at all. In terms of flexibility, it’s like wearing a pair of socks!

So if you are about to get a new dry suit, make sure you think about what boots you want!

Dive safe,

K

 

 

Learning by snorkeling: an underwater nature trail teaches about life in the Baltic

      

Last week end I decided to go snorkeling in order to try a brand new underwater nature trail provided by The Swedish Archipelago foundation. The snorkeling trail is located at Björnö nature reserve in the Stockholm archipelago (location on map).

So what is a “snorkeling trail”? Well it’s exactly what is sounds like. an underwater trail, with buoys marking spots where information tablets are located on the bottom. The information tablets are placed at depths between 1 to 3 m, and contains a short informative text about marine life that can be found along the trail. A line on the bottom connects the slabs so you don’t have to lift your head out of the water to find your way to the next buoy.

I found the underwater nature trail very appealing. Experiencing the snorkeling trail really is both a great way of getting some exercise and a fun way to learn about marine life! It was really cool trying to spot the fish I had just read about. The only drawback was the water temperature, I used a 7mm wet suit and still, brrr… But hey, its Sweden! Get used to it ! 😉

Overall it was a great experience and I will definitely come back. I hope someone will make a deeper “scuba trail” in a similar fashion.

Dive safe,

/K

[pics from Swedish Archipelago Foundation website]

Video: Poseidon talk about their new tech rebreather

In may, the Swedish dive gear manufacturer Poseidon introduced their new TECH rebreather. In this video from  the 3rd rebreather event, Poseidon talks more about the new rebreather unit, which will go on sale in November 2012. More information can be found here.