Tag Archives: Dive Computer

Adapt . . . Improvise . . . Overcome

We scheduled two dives today with a group from Facebook to dive the Sharks Cove area this morning and I was really looking forward to it.

I wake up extra early, drive across the island to get to the North Shore early enough to find a place to park with my dive trailer. Two hours later everyone else shows up so we get ready for the first dive which will be entering at Three Tables and exiting at Firehouse.

After kitting up we walked all the way through the park to the entrance for Three Tables and started our surface swim out to the dive site. Since I am pulling the dive trailer with me I had to park up at the Sharks Cove parking lot and walk all the way to the entrance to Three Tables which is quite a walk caring all of my dive gear with me. By the time we reached the spot where we would descend I started having a minor asthma attack so I canceled the first dive and headed back to shore. A couple quick puffs of my inhaler and I was back to normal. I had not had an incident like that in years, then I happened to look at my inhaler and noticed that it had expired last December, luckily it still worked.

About an hour later the guys reached Firehouse and exited from their first dive, so I grabbed my gear and met them for the second dive, from Firehouse to Sharks Cove. Since I had the issue which canceled the first dive I decided to take my DPV with me for the second dive so that I could relax and not exert myself to avoid a relapse.

As we entered the water at Firehouse I put my mask and gloves on and started putting my fins on preparing to start the dive when a buckle on one of my Oceanic V-12 fins broke off in my hand. I carry extra fin straps in my dive trailer incase one breaks, but this time the stud that holds the buckle onto the fin broke off, so there was no quick fix to save the fin for the dive. I also noticed that my iGills backup computer had malfunctioned and would not start logging the dive. Since I was already in the water I could not open its case and reset it, so no iGills.

After thinking about it for a minute I got the feeling that someone just flat did not want me diving today. Murphy’s Law came to mind . . . “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. It seemed that Murphy was working overtime on me today.

Then I remembered a Marine Corps mantra . . . “Adapt, Improvise, & Overcome”. I decided that nothing was going to make me miss both of todays planned dives. Murphy had beaten me once, he may have won the first battle, but the war was far from over. I would make this dive even if I didn’t have a pair of fins to use.

I strapped the broken fins to a d-ring on my BCD, grabbed my DPV and headed into the ocean. Not having the weight of the fins on my feet made me off balanced to say the least. The first few minutes of the dive were comical as I fought for control of my balance and trim in the water. John, one of the other divers on this excursion suggested that I at least put the one good fin on, which made control in the water much easier. I placed the one good fin that I had remaining on my left foot, then hooked my ankles together and used a modified “Mermaid” kicking style for the remainder of the dive which helped quite a bit.

I got quite a few stares and inquisitive looks from other divers that we ran across on the dive. I bet they had never seen someone dive with a single fin like that before.

About half-way through the dive we came across a very large Hawaiian Monk Seal (#32) swimming overhead and I reached for my GoPro to snap a few photos as it was playing with a snorkelers fin at the surface. Just as I turned the GoPro on and got ready to start snapping photos it locked up on me preventing me from being able to use it or reset it.

With all of the problems on this dive, from dive computers and cameras not working to fins breaking and asthma attacks, I’m not even going to log this dive. Maybe I can try it again next time and have better luck.

UPDATE:  Since my camera was having issues, here is a video shot by John Dooling and some photos of the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, Hawaiian Monk Seal, and other sea life that we saw on the dive taken by Lisa Zick-Mariteragi.

Product Review – iGills SE-35

Every once in a while a product comes out that changes everything, and I believe the iGills SE-35 is one of those “Game Changers”.

I have been hearing a lot about the new iGills that allows you to use an iPhone as a fully functional dive computer and dive logging system complete with photos and videos taken during the dive, so I decided to try one out for myself and see what all the fuss was about.

The iGills allows you to dock an iPhone 3, iPhone 4, or iPhone 4S inside its waterproof housing and dive up to 130′ deep utilizing software from a free downloadable app that converts your phone into a fully functional and versatile advanced dive computer with an easy to use interface. For my testing I decided to risk it by using my most expensive iPhone model and used my iPhone 4S.

Some of the features of the iGills include:

  • Multiple dive modes including Air, Nitrox, and Gauge
  • Ascent rate indication
  • Nitrogen loading tracking across multiple dives
  • Time & Depth alarms
  • Altitude compensation
  • Automatically generated content rich dive log
  • Dive compass (gyro stabilized with iPhone 4 & 4S)
  • Emergency Flashlight
  • Dive camera (8 megapixel autofocus with iPhone 4S)
  • Dive Videocamera (1080p with the iPhone 4S)

Whats better is the iGills housing that contains the depth & temperature sensor and onboard computer does not use a battery. So you never have to worry about changing out a battery, or missing a dive because of a dead battery. Everything runs off of the iPhone’s own internal battery.

The entire housing is made from high-strength impact resistant polycarbonate, thats the same material that bullet-proof glass is made from, and all of

the hardware is made from marine-grade stainless steel so you know it is made to last.

The display is easy to read and the six button interface is easy to navigate, even while diving with 2mil gloves on.

I currently use a wrist mounted integrated Vyper Air as my main computer, but the iGills is much easier to read underwater, and much easier to navigate through the various screens and functions.

The iGills housing comes complete with instructions, a protective microfiber carrying pouch and wrist/BCD lanyard with quick disconnect.

The iGills SE-35 has my vote for one of the absolute best new products on the market.

For more information or to purchase the iGills SE-35 check with your local dive shop, or visit http://www.igills.com

The only drawback that I have found with the iGills SE-35 is that it does not offer air integration, so you still have to have a separate pressure gauge. If this can somehow be added in a future version, perhaps via bluetooth I would give this product a full 5 dive flag rating.

My Product Rating: 

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