In the last article, we tried to understand the importance of having our own equipment, starting with the essential ones. Actually, when it comes to diving, every equipment has crucial importance. We never take something unnecessary with us down below surface, because every weight we bring with us will create and obstacle, cause extra air consumption, which will decrease the diving pleasure we acquire.
When you feel confident about diving, there are some tools that you should have to become a fully equipped diver. That means, now you are ready to go deeper, challenge against high currents, narrow caves and reefs….etc.
Let’s see what they are.
Buoyancy Control Device ( BCD )
Normally, BCD is very easily accessible in every boat and diving center, since it is the most important tool for scuba. BCD is basically the thing not only keeps you on the surface, but also keeps you inside the water in the exact level you wanted and prevents you go deeper unexpectedly.
That is why, having your BCD, will make you more controllable about your buoyancy and take the actions more accurately and precisely.
BCD is connected to your air bottle with a cable apparatus, which allows you to chance air pressure inside your jacket, so as to arrange your depth.
With its junctions and pockets, your BCD is also your tool box, your hanger and your container, which you can store your weights without requiring a weight belt, or you can hang your camera, your gauges and flashlights, hooks…etc.
Diving computer is maybe a thing looking like a wristwatch, but it is way much more than that. It is your road map, which calculates your depth, remaining time that you can stay in every meters, your deco time which is necessary to submit for avoiding decompression….etc.
When some particular sensors are installed, it can also show air pressure in your bottle(s), as well. Diving computer is basically a calculator and indicator making diving easier and less troublesome for you.
Gauges ( Depth gauge, bottle pressure gauge and compass )
Except for electronic sensors in our diving computer, we have also manual ones. We can consider them as a secondary system. They are connected to the first stage of the regulator.
And compasses are usually worn to wrist, on the opposite side of the diving computer. Like this, you will be able to control both computer and your direction for safe navigation.
Since all of them are connected together, gauges are mostly something you buy as a combination with your regulator.
Surface Marker Buoy, “Sausages” ( SMB )
All advanced divers can face with high current at any time and drift apart from planned position, or you can choose a track that you are not planning to come back and wanting the boat pick you up from your destination. Other case is maybe you need to go back to surface by terminating the dive with an emergency exit. In this cases, you should be able to mark yourself, even when you are still underwater. It also helps you to mark the position while you are waiting for your deco time, and allows boat to find you during this time spent.
They are convertible and water resistant, which you can use your bottle air from your second stage to fill it up underwater and release to the surface with its rope allowing you to control underwater.
During night dives, cave diving, obviously it is a necessity. However, when you go deeper and deeper, color spectrum starts being eliminated by the water surface, and most of the colors starts being invisible, even though there is still light around. In colorful dive sites, if you are not seeing the colors properly, it would be a shame. That is why, flashlight is also a necessity of each professional divers.
Of course, it should be strictly watertight and having enough lumen to illuminate properly, which is approximately 2000lm and higher is suitable for a proper advantage. Closer to sunlight quality will give more pleasant experience, when you are able to see actual colors. Because, “light” is a tricky thing. Even a small unconformity on the device’s supply, colors will not be some as original.
Reef Drift Hook
Under heavy current, drifting is inevitable. To avoid drifting apart from the group or from your buddy, you need to be able to fix yourself somewhere and wait. Because, proceeding against heavy current will tear you apart and after some point you will feel the need to stop and take a breath for a while.
Usually, current expected diving pattern follows the reef, where current is less effective, so you can put your hook, anytime you want. When you get separated away from the reef, usually current increases and reaches to a point which you can’t control your navigation anymore. That is why, all advanced divers should have at least one hook apparatus, one of their pocket on their BCD
Underwater is home of natural beauties and fascinating habitat of water animals. On the other hand, there are some natural and unnatural bodies can create disturbance during diving. For example, you can tackle to fishing nets, or some wild iyv can tangle to your body parts or your equipment. They can be very stubborn and not easy to tear it off by hand .
You should fix it somewhere you can always reach and also easy to access, there usually engaged to the lower leg.
Rash guards are basically thin underwear, prevents your body against friction or rashes of the equipment, sunlight during summer period when you don’t wear wet-suits. Also you can wear them inside the wet-suit just to keep yourself warm.
Tools You Can Find on The Boat
If you are not diving privately with your team or buddy, only joining diving trips on liveboard or daily rented boats, it would not be necessary to carry the bottles all around with you, which is completely unnecessary. Every diving boat has its own bottles to supply to their visitors.
There are two types of air bottles:
-Aluminum Bottles, which are lighter than the steel ones, so it allows you to take less weight with you, before you dive.
This type is mostly used in tropical areas where you need less buoyancy, because of high saltiness of the water.
-Steel Bottles, are much heavier, so it requires you to take extra weight with you. Also steel material is prone to corrosion against salt. That is why they should be well maintained at all times.
With its weight, this type will help you to create stability in cold water areas, where you put on more thick suits which creates more buoyancy.
Lead Weights and Belt
Weights can be lined in a belt or can be stored in your BCD’s pockets, if available.
Quantity changes according to your body weight, suit and air bottle type you use on that diving. Long story short, more buoyancy brings more weight on your belt. They are made out of lead and they can be in 2kgs and 1 kg for each.
Buff, Actually, it is bandana, helps you to cover your hair to prevent intruding into your mask seal, causing the water coming through.
Actually, it is cool and with its interesting colors and shapes, it reflects your personality as a diver…