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Gear checkup before a dive - secret checks

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Sbiriguda, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Divectionist

    Divectionist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Gold Coast, Australia
    I go over my equipment post cleaning/drying and inspect it as I pack it up, bp/w, regs, fins, exposure gear goes in a big Pelican air box, pony and accessory clutter into a small box. I like these boxes because they are hard shell and sealed air tight, so if they are packed well, not much can happen on the way to the site or marina.

    Other than tools/spares, and seasonal exposure gear variation reflected in what I pack, I always take exactly what goes in the water with me.

    For gearing up, I made my own pre-dive checklist with the acronym

    BCD (hose connected, inflator button test, pull dump, orally inflate wing for entry). Also includes the drysuit inflator check, if I wear one.

    Lights (both lights present, chest D ring light bungeed neatly)

    Accessories (spare mask, DSMB, whistle in suit pockets)

    Computer (on wrist, correct nitrox is set, battery ok)

    Knives (Knife and trilobite both present)

    Pony (gas turned on, hose neatly bungeed, check pressure and test breathe)

    Air (main gas on, pressure ok on computer, and test breathe)

    Weights (correct setup for chosen exposure gear based on a list I have)

    Slate (optional - when solo diving, depending on the site, I may jot down a contour of the shoreline or site, north point/compass heading info to help navigate back, distance in m converted into kick cycles, turn pressure if relevant)

    I run through this when I set up, and once again briefly before I get in.

    When buddy diving, I like it if we can give each other an overview of the important parts of each other’s equipment.

    I don’t let DMs swap my tanks on boats to make sure my regs stay dry, the tank is at the right height, and nothing gets fiddled with carelessly.

    If there are communal rinse tanks on boat trips, I only use it for a quick rinse but have my own rinse routine at home. There is simply no time to do it thoroughly in that setting.

    I look after my gear and know that I can trust it at the start of every dive. I use my safety stop to practice or contemplate what to do when certain failures strike, which is always possible, what it would feel/sound like, what the most important thing to get control of would be (e.g., inflator disconnect and air dump, spare mask deployment, or switching to bailout gas).

    The only less objective check list may be an attempt to keep my movements slow, controlling the mindset to be ‘observe, think, act’, and watching my breathing to gauge comfort and stay clear of the potential for panic. Gear and theory won’t help you if your head fails you. Equipment failure can be practiced, but won’t assist at all if there’s a stressful situation to manage that has nothing to do with it, and depending on the diving, the latter may be far more likely.
  2. NothingClever

    NothingClever Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
    Nice mnemonic, Divectionist....I like it.

    I’m glad I’m not alone in having a deep aversion to non-dive buddies touching my kit.

    My life, my kit, my responsibility.

    My wife and I are researching a dive vacation to the Caymans. I saw lots of advertisements for “valet diving”. I called and told LCBR and CBBR I don’t like anyone touching my or my wife’s and asked if the valet services were mandatory. I re-assured them I wasn’t looking at how to cut costs but that “valet diving” is not, IMO, the type of diving that reinforces good dive habits.

    On LOBs, if the charter provides onboard fills, I’m happy to pull off my first stage but I ask they leave it off and I’ll put it back on.

    Also, no matter the type of diving, break down, rinsing, drying and packing are my responsibilities and the sequence of opportunity for thorough equipment inspection.
    FreeFlyFreak likes this.
  3. Norwegian Cave Diver

    Norwegian Cave Diver Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
    As a cave diver we don't use BWRAF. I found it doesn't really work that well. Were taught the following...

    First is Bubble Check
    Second is gear check

    Right to Left.
    Top to Bottom.
    Front to Back.

    Lets begin...
    (Me) Right arm - nothing on my right arm
    (You) Right arm - ...
    (Me) Right D Ring and general area around the D ring - Cave markers - Long Hose Reg
    (You) Right D Ring and general area around the D ring - ...
    all the way over to the Left Arm.
    Then top of head to your feet - Helmet weights pockets fins etc.
    Back to the Butt D ring.

    Third is air/gas check
    Regs must both be breathed from with face in the water. Your answer should be... "Long hose reg breathes easy and dry" "short hose breathes easy and dry"
    Air/Gas pressures are discussed. Turn pressures are discussed.

    Fourth - is dive plan.
    Sbiriguda likes this.
  4. Ayisha

    Ayisha DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    Remember to check batteries too. Everything that needs batteries has batteries and is functioning, and everything that needs charging is fully charged or has enough of a charge.
  5. vovanx

    vovanx Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: pl. Earth
    Being Wary Reduces All Failures :)

    my secret check is tighten the OPDVs. had a few surprised looks on the boats lol.

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