The Scuba Blog

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!!