The Scuba Blog

November 20th, 2009

Scuba Gifts, Dive Stickers, Books, Pins, Dive Patches, Jewelry, Mugs and More

Posted by admin in The Scuba Blog

Scuba Gifts
Getting ready for the holidays and I like these items for stocking stuffers, dive flags, coffee cups and mugs with scuba diving themes.

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Holiday scuba cards, house banners and much more. I have been looking for a shop that has a bunch of scuba type gifts for a while now and this is it.
We are going to start adding more review type articles and start reccommending items that we think are relavent to the scuba experience.

Hoping everyone has had a great year and we are definately hoping that 2010 is a great year for scuba !!

March 16th, 2009

What Is The Difference Between Oceanic DVT and Non-DVT Regulators

Posted by DiveMaster in Scuba Gear Reviews and News

Malcolm has asked the following question:

What is the main difference between the 
oceanic eos yoke Regulator and the non 
DVT-Din regulator? What is better?




 Oceanic EOS Scuba Regulators


Hello, The DVT refers to a spring loaded 
plug that is built into some

of the Oceanic regulators that seal 
the first stage opening and stops

 water flowing in if the first stage 
was accidently dropped in the

water.  As far as what version is best? 
The DIN is a completely different 
configuration meant to be used with a DIN 
valve. But the basic answer is that the 
DVT is a great add on and does make it a 

better regulator.  Thanks for your 

interest in scuba diving.
March 28th, 2008

Basic Snorkeling Gear Questions: Mask Size, Snorkel Types and More

Posted by scuba_daddy in Scuba Diving Articles and Information

We often recieve questions like this and all to often we always answer them in one form or another. 
So, here is some more information for those of us who may have forgotten the basic scuba and 
snorkel gear questions. 
Question: In snorkel equipment what do the sizes represent? 
Answer: Fins and Booties come in Men’s sizing with Women breakdowns. 
If you are speaking about Mask Sizes for say Small to Medium Faces, then these 
take into account facial features that may be an issue when it comes time to fit.  
Women usually fit in Small to medium masks where Men tend to be fine in either style. 
Question: What size for an average size male? 
Answer: Medium to Large  

Question: What size for an average size female?
Answer: Small to medium
Question: What is a semi-dry snorkel? What are options?
Answer: Semi Dry comes with a Splash or Wave Guard to keep water out if a wave comes.  
A dry snorkel will stay dry inside when submerged.  For regular snorkeling most folks 
go with the dry one like the Oceanic Dry Snorkel.
Question: Do the inflatable snorkel vests adequately replace the larger/bulkier 
"life saver" type vests? Reason - traveling and looking to save luggage space.
Answer: Yes a snorkel vest will pack deflated and is specifically used for snorkeling 
where one may need the floatation but is mainly a precaution.  They are also nice to add 
a few breaths of air while resting on the surface.  They are not to take the place of a 
life vest so whomever uses a snorkel vest must be a good swimmer and comfortable in the water.

February 29th, 2008

Do Scuba Diving Wetsuits Shrink?

Posted by Instructor Bill in Scuba Myths - Confirmed or Busted?

wetsuit_shrinkshrunken_wetsuitshrunken_wetsuitshrunken_wetsuitWe have can you help me with my homework all heard the line:  I just went to put on my wetsuit for the first time this year and it shrunk.  Now, the joke is that you may have gained a bit of weight and you are making an excuse that the wetsuit has mysteriously shrunk.   Well, best I can figure, the answer here is both.  Myth and Confirmed.  Here is why.

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Now, lets start with the confirmed part: Wetsuits are made primarily from Neoprene, a material that comes in many thicknesses but the main part is that is has air bubbles in it that add insulation to the diver or surfer.  Now, most neoprene over time has been proven to loose its “stretch” or not be as pliable, even stiffen.  Thus it can be argued that it in fact Shrunk.  Mainly because it doesn’t have as much stretch. 

Now the mythpart:  We also know that if you gain weight, work out or otherwise change your body by adding inches, then the suit will seem to be “Shrinking” as well.  The joke has always been that my suit shrunk especially when it comes to not admitting ones over indulgence during the winter may have actually been the cause. 

We also know that many wetsuit manufacturers like BodyGlove and Henderson Wetsuits have huge marketing departments that come up with many new ways to differentiate themselves from the competition.  Some may add a “Titanium” lining for extra warmth, or a “Platinum” glide skin interior for easier donning….. So how does this feed into the myth of a wetsuit shrinking you say? 

Have you heard of Hyperstrech or Yamamoto SCS Titanium Super Stretch neoprene?   They are all part of the newest kind of neoprene that are so stretchy with memory so they always come back to the original shape.  This makes them much better than the neoprene wetsuits of the past.  This also may just make this a Myth as those of us who like to say the wetsuit shrinks will have to come up with some other excuse.  Darn, I was getting so used to that excuse…..

What will your excuse be?

February 11th, 2008

Technical Scuba Diver Dies Diving on Navy PBY Catalina Amphibious Patrol Bomber in Lake Mead

Posted by DiveMaster in The Scuba Blog

pbyThe National Park Service is investigating the death of 40-year-old Michael Lawrence Anderson of Las Vegas, who died on a technical dive to the wreckage of a Navy PBY Catalina flying boat that crashed into Lake Mead in 1949.  (Picture of a PBY Boat from Internet Left)

At 1:52 p.m. Sunday 2-11 the National Park Service emergency dispatch center received a 911 call and rangers arrived at Boulder Basin by 2:09 p.m.

Park rangers performed CPR on the diver for about 45 minutes. Mercy Air ambulance also responded, but the victim was pronounced dead at 3 p.m.

Anderson was diving with three other Las Vegas men when he apparently had a problem with his air supply. Assistant park superintendent Gary Warshefski said the divers were working about 150 feet beneath Lake Mead’s surface at the time of the accident.

The Catalina flying boat crashed into Lake Mead on Oct. 24, 1949. The aircraft, converted for civilian use by the Charles Babb Company of Los Angeles, took off from Boulder City Airport for a test flight and attempted a water landing in the Boulder Basin area of Lake Mead. But the landing gear was still down, causing the plane to flip and catch fire.

Four of the five men on board died. Pilot Russell Rogers and mechanic Charmen Correa, both from Southern California, went down with the wreckage. Fellow Californian Clarence Masters and Boulder City Airport Operator Ted Swift were thrown clear of the plane but never regained consciousness.

George Davis, the only member of the group strapped to his seat, survived with a broken leg, cuts and bruises.

The Patrol Bomber, built for the U.S. Navy in the 1930s and 1940s, was used in World War II. The aircraft that went down at Lake Mead is is two pieces, resting at a depth of 190 feet below the surface.

All of us at The Scuba Blog offer our condolences to the family of Mr. Anderson.

Source: Las Vega Sun

February 1st, 2008

Where Has All The Good Scuba Diving Gone?

Posted by Instructor Bill in Confessions of a Scuba Diver

batch plantWell, I write this with a heavy hand as it has come to my attention that one of my favorite diving destinations is continuing to lose water depth.  Yes that is right, the dive sites I used to know and love have pretty much disappeared.  OK, I know the suspense is killing you.  I am referring to Lake Mead in Las Vegas Nevada.  Yep, I have cut my teeth here and now it is a completely different diving destination.

Dive spots like the Batch Plant and the Tortuga are high and dry.  Bummer.  On the good side, this means that suff we could not dive on because it was to deep is now in recreational dive limits.  So, I guess we will take the good with the bad.

 So, happy diving for now.  Remember: A bad day Blowing Bubbles is better than a day at work!!

January 15th, 2008

BCD Size Chart and How to Properly Fit a BCD Men or Women

Posted by Instructor Bill in Scuba Diving Articles and Information

As a scuba diver, the most important pieces of equipment are those that make up the life support system.

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These include your regulator system (1st & 2nd stages, depth & pressure gauge & dive computer), buoyancy compensator device (BCD) and alternate air source (octo, octopus, occy). This equipment not only allows you to enjoy the underwater environment, it is also the only thing keeping you alive while you are there. 

The people of this world come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Scuba equipment, unfortunately does not.

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Lets focus on BCD’s. Once you have decided on a particular style based on your diving preferences, you will then need to find the correct size. Most manufacturers have size charts in their catalogs or on their websites to use as a general sizing references. If you don’t have a catalog, don’t worry, we have added all the size charts to our site when yo are looking at a product. 

Sizing for BCD’s is usually based on height and weight and include ranges for each size category.  Generally you can choose the size of a BCD based on your T-Shirt Size.  If both your height and weight fall into one particular size, then you more than likely will wear that particular size. If you height falls into one size category and your weight falls in another, it would be safer to base your decision on the weight range rather than the height. Almost all BCD’s have user sizing adjustment straps which means that one size may fit a wider range of heights and weights. If your weight falls close to the heavier end of the range then it is safer to go with the larger size. 

There are some factors that you need to take into account when determining sizing for BCDs. One of which is to take into account what you will be wearing with regards to an exposure protection. Will you be wearing a swim suit or a lycra skin? Will you be wearing a .5, 3, 5 or 7 millimeter wetsuit? How about a drysuit? You could put on each suit and then check the fit on each one but you would probably end up with heatstroke if you were to do that. The following guidelines will help you avoid this ordeal. 

Loosen the shoulder adjustment straps, sternum strap and waist strap.

Put the BCD on wearing a t-shirt and adjust the cummerbund to fit snugly across the abdomen. The velcro on the cummerbund should overlap a minimum of two to three inches. (see photo 1).   


Connect the waist strap buckle and tighten it to a comfortable fit. (see photo 2).

Connect the sternum strap buckle and tighten this so the shoulder straps are in a position where there is no chance for a shoulder strap to be able to slide off the shoulder. (see photo 3).

Tighten the shoulder straps last. (see photo 4).


When you look at all of the straps that you tightened, there should be at a minimum of 1-1 1/2 inches to 2-2 1/2 inches of excess stapping left over. The BCD overall should fit snug but with some room for a wetsuit or drysuit. Look in the mirror or have someone look to see if there are any gaps around the shoulder area. (see photo 5). If there are, like the picture, you should try on a smaller size. If the BCD does not have weight integration capabilities then you would also want to make sure that it is not hanging down in such a way that it would impede access to the weight belt release buckle.

What About Womens Scuba BCD’s

For years the scuba industry made BCD’s based on the male physique. They placated the female dive population by adding pink to a man’s small or extra small and calling it a women’s BCD. Women, traditionally, have a shorter torso length than men and for years had to deal with the shoulder gapping of the supposedly female BCD. The last 10 to 15 years brought dramatic changes to BCDs for women.

A Female BCD is unique in that it allows for more comfortable positioning along the bust area. Smaller busted women may prefer the straps to come over the front of the bust whereas larger busted women may want the straps to go along the sides of the bust. It is also a shorter torso length and is cut higher around the hip area so your BCD is not wrapped uncomfortably around the hips. For a safer and more enjoyable dive, women please purchase a BCD made by a women for women. And how should it fit? The same instructions as the mens bcd.

December 19th, 2007

Choosing a Mask Skirt Color.

Posted by DiveMaster in The Scuba Blog

clear skirt maskblack skirt maskTo choose a mask to fit properly you will first want to choose the proper mask style for your face size and special features, etc.  Take a look at the “How do I choose the right dive or snorkel mask?” in our Gear Questions area.

Now you are ready to choose the skirt style and color.  Most skirt “sealing surfaces” come in clear silicone.  These are most popular because they allow ambient light in for the wearer and ease the “claustrophobic” feeling often times associated with the underwater experience.

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Black skirts have all the functionality of the clear versions but they do not allow ambient light in.  This may be an issue for some while many like it because the distractions of the ambient light are mitigated allow focused vision profile.  Another benefit you cannot see the sinuses draining.  Not cool if you are an Instructor or with someone you are trying to impress.

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So, there you have it, choose your mask and when in doubt, ask and Instructor. 

December 19th, 2007

Choosing the Proper Snorkel?

Posted by DiveMaster in The Scuba Blog

dry snorkelSnorkels have changed allot but have always stayed in 3 basic categories.

  Dry, Splash Guard and Basic or traditional.  The dry snorkel gets its name from staying dry when you go under water, (providing the user keeps the mouthpiece in when doing so).


A dry top or splashguard style has the same attributes but not the dry feature that seals when taken under water.  The splashguard keeps water from freely entering the breathing tube when a wave may accidentally come over or the user mistakenly dips it under.

 Lastly a fixed position mouthpiece is best for snorkeling as the mouth piece will always be in you mouth and no jaw fatigue.  For Scuba the best is usually the corrugated version as when you are not using it, the mouthpiece flexes down and out of the way so you can make room for your regulator.

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  The jaw fatigue factor is not as important as usually you don’t need to use it as often.

December 15th, 2007

Proper Scuba Dive Weighting for Buoyancy Control

Posted by Instructor Bill in Scuba Diving Articles and Information

 weightsGuidelines for Proper Weighting.  We all know that most new divers tend to need a bit more weight than seasoned ones because Buoyancy Control takes several dives to master.  Common types of weights include pouchstyle with lead pellets (left) or solid lead style. 

I have over 3000 and still have a challenge every once in a while.  Here is the best rule of thumb for weighting that I have found:

FRESH Water:

Swimsuit or DiveSkin- Begin with 1 to 4 pounds / 0.5/2kg

Thin 3mm wetsuits or Shorty- 5% of your Body Weight

Medium Thickness 5mm suits- 10% of your Body Weight

Cold Water 7mm with hood/gloves- 10% of your Body Weight plus 3-5 pounds / 1.5/3kg

Neoprene Drysuit- 10% of your Body Weight plus 7-10 pounds / 3-5kg

Shell Style Dry Suits w/o under garment – 10% of your Body Weight plus 3-5 pounds / 1.5/3kg

Shell Style Dry Suits w/ heavy under garment – 10% of your Body Weight plus 7-14 pounds / 3-7kg

The undergarments vary quite a bit as they can realy add allot surface area to you thus increasing the amount of weight needed to stay neutrally buoyant.

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Salt Water Diving (add to above calculations for Fresh Water)

100 to 125 lb (45-56kg) add 4 pounds (2kg)
126 to 155 lb (57-70kg)  add 5 pounds (2.3kg)
156 to 186 lb (71-85kg) add 6 pounds (3kg)
187 to 217 lb (86-99kg) add 7 pounds (3.2kg)

Always do a buoyancy check before beginning your dive and also factor in that if you are diving with an aluminum 80 tank you will need to add a little more to compesate for the tank toward the end of the dive.  If you are diving with a steel tank the same holds true except you will need less weight.  That is why it is so important to perform a neutral buoyancy check before beginning your dive. 

December 11th, 2007

Merry Christmas or is it Happy Scuba Holidays?

Posted by DiveMaster in The Scuba Blog

I was just thinking….who cares if you say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays.  Bottom line regardless of religion we are all saying something to the world.  Love your fellow man and appreciate the fact that most of us are good people and when given the chance.. we do the right thing.  So Merry Christmas from TheScubaBlog and may all your Scuba Dreams Come true.

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December 4th, 2007

Mask for Men with a Mustache

Posted by Instructor Bill in Scuba Gear Reviews and News

Question: My husband has a mustache which has made snorkeling nearly impossible due to water pouring into his mask.  Can you tell me if you sell as mask for men with a mustache and if so, what set would you  recommend? 

Answer: Normally folks with Mustache will go with a nose purge style mask as it will always leak but at least they can clear easily by exhaling via thier nose.  He may also want to put vaseline on it to help seal along with trimming below nose.  Check out the Mask Category and look for Masks with Nose Purges.

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November 27th, 2007

Farting in a Scuba Wetsuit?

Posted by Instructor Bill in Scuba Myths - Confirmed or Busted?

farting in a wetsuit?farting in a wetsuit?farting in a wetsuit?I thought this was a good one.  If you fart in a wetsuit will it blow up with your gas?  I already know the answer but I figured it would be a funny addition to the Scuba Myth category.  While I admit that I have farted in my wetsuit, it has never blown up or expanded like the poor guy below.  I do remember a few bubbles escaping into the water, but I don’t think that I was letting that much escape.  Hmmm, makes you wonder.   I have even farted in a dry suit without any altercations. 

I wonder if anyone has done the number 2?  That would be a scuba discussion for another time I suspect.

 For now I say BUSTED!!!

November 20th, 2007

Useless But Important Scuba Information

Posted by scuba_daddy in The Scuba Blog

A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles per year.  Another study found Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of beer a year.  This means Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon.  Kind of makes you proud to be an American who Scuba Dives!!!!

Wonder how much compressed air the average Scuba Diver breathes each year?  Hmmmmm/

November 19th, 2007

Take it Easy on Yourself

Posted by nelliesciutto in The Scuba Blog

PADI Master Instructer Bill Gornet made my scuba experience so….easy. I had always had issues with clostrophobia and was, to be honest, a bit scared. Bill made sure I was completely informed about every little thing that professional essay writers we were about to do.

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It put me at ease instantly.

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I cannot say enough about how important it is to feel at ease when diving.

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If you’re all tensed up, you miss the beauty of the experience, and fresh water diving is quite a beautiful experience. I not only left with a grateful smile on my face, thanks to Gornet, but I bought equipment that very day as it was top of the line and very well priced. I surfed the Internet and contacted some fellow divers (okay, one was my husband) and found that I got a real steal on gear. I highly recommend this expedition. Nellie Sciutto

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