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Hopping my way to full cave...

Discussion in 'Technical Diving' started by Manatee Diver, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    2,228
    2,151
    Picked up my drysuit today.

    Video of my first time putting it on.


    It fits, as one would expect with a custom suit. The neck seal was probably the hardest one, I kept hitting my nose on the ring. Thankfully when I did the full suit test fit the sweat lubricated and made it easier to get into. It looks like I will have to get new fins, as we tried it with Dive Rite mediums and they didn’t fit. So I am going to borrow a set for my first dive, as I don’t want to buy a larger set of DR fins only to find that I need negative fins.

    Right now getting suited up seems to be a two person job, but hopefully I can figure out how to get it down enough to suit up my myself.
     
    Robbyg, jale, Marie13 and 2 others like this.
  2. laikabear

    laikabear DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pasadena, CA
    320
    228
    That was hilarious! I know a lot of people use talc on the seals, but I use water based lube. It is less messy than talc and I think it works better. Yes you get some lube in your hair but you're going diving. And, I like to pour water over my head once I have the suit on if it's hot (it usually is here) anyway.
     
    Marie13 and JBFG like this.
  3. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: acworth ga
    626
    479
    Spray bottle with 1/2 conditioner (or 2 in 1 shampoo + conditioner) and 1/2 water. Lubricate the inside of seals with it when getting and the outside of the wrist seals when getting out and they slide over like butter. Learned that from a buddy who learned it from an instructor who later taught me some other courses.
     
    Marie13 likes this.
  4. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    2,228
    2,151
    Jimmy Carey used to be funny. But I agree water based would likely be less of a mess.

    I'll give that a try.
     
  5. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    2,228
    2,151
    Well I made my first “dive” with my drysuit. I was able to put it on myself with only minimal strugge, though I needed help with the zipper getting it off. I didn’t test the plumbing, I wasn’t in the water long enough to have to go. I now understand why I see people just hanging out by the stairs. When I got done I didn’t want to get out of the water. I was actually comfortable at the end of a dive.

    I’m very feet light, often ending up feet first that even with pulling my legs in I couldn’t recover from. I shortened my tank leashes and that helped a bit, but not completely. I am going to move my hose clamps forward a bit to pull my tanks even further back. I will also rent a set of jets fins to see if that helps. But that also means that I need to adjust my short hose length as it is just the right length right now.

    I was mostly dry, apparently I didn’t have the seal on my right wrist seated right. And felt a little water in it, it wasn’t until I took the suit off that I realized that both my base layer (J2) and undergarments (arctic) were completely soaked up past my elbow. I do need to adjust all the seals. My wrist seals particularly on my right side are too tight it is pushing against the nerve causing pain.

    Need to head back later this week after more adjustments.
     
    Marie13 likes this.
  6. dewdropsonrosa

    dewdropsonrosa ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago, IL
    478
    754
    They're really mostly-dry suits. If you had less than a cup of wringable water in the wet arm, that's a reasonable success!
     
  7. Manatee Diver

    Manatee Diver Stop throwing lettuce at me! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Tampa Bay, FL
    2,228
    2,151
    At the Ginnie check in desk, "Have you dove here before?"... "Yes."

    Over the past week I've talked with a fellow amputee cave diver referred to me by Hubie (see page the first couple of pages of this thread), who dives dry often as he is in Canada. And I made a number of changes. First I moved my tank bands up three inches from almost at the bottom of the tanks that it was at before. With the goal of pulling my tanks down a little and thus shifting my trim. I also dug out an ankle weight that I had as I was told in the end I am going to have to add some weight to my prosthetic leg as you can't eliminate all the air spaces. Next I rented a set of jet fins, heavier fins means more weight in my legs, which seems a common requirement among drysuit divers. I also decided to add a little weight as I was struggling to get down with full tanks and empty wing/suit. Finally unrelated to drysuit and trim, simply due to Chris keep on pointing at my butt plate and the huge Mares D-ring thingy, and him saying that it has to go. I switched out the Mares thingy and butt plate for a smaller double D from Piranha MFG.

    Getting to Ginnie, I was surprised how busy it was for a Monday, quite a few divers with classes and a ton of tubers. I also realized that I forgot to trim my seals. It was too hot to trim the neck, so I just trimmed the wrist seals as that was giving me the most issues from the seal pushing on my nerve on my wrist. I then started the setup process, which probably took about an hour. I needed some help gearing up but that was mostly because I stuck my prosthetic leg down the wrong leg hole. A local instructor on break helped me out, and I was able to don it myself without too many issues. The amputee I mentioned above suggested using a ziploc bag to help glide my leg into the hole, and that worked.

    After suiting up I did the usual cooling down, followed by shuttling tanks into the water, and finally putting on my rig. The Jetfins were a little hard to put on my prosthetic side, and I needed someone's help to get them on the first time on that side. My tanks were both hard to clip on and easier at the same time. They were harder in that the shorter leashes meant I had to maneuver the entire tank instead of just the leash, but without the butt plate, it was easier to find the drop D-rings. With the extra 5lbs of weight I added I noticed that it was easier to descend than last time, but it wasn't super easy, which often is what I am looking for. Once I got in, I noticed I was a little feet down, but overall my trim was heaps better than last time. I actually felt confident enough to enter the ballroom.

    While inside things went fairly well, except I noticed that my prosthetic side was pulling me up more than other side. So I exited, took my tanks, and ring off; and marched to my car pulling out the ankle weight that I brought. Now I will say that just going to my car without any help was a huge win for me. While I appreciate all the people that helped me shuttling my leg back/forth and otherwise helping me at the dive site, being fully independent is awesome. Now the amputee suggested putting it on the inside, since this is a test, I just strapped it to the outside. Get back in the water in gear up and head back in, now I felt a whole lot more balanced.

    Over the next two hours between chatting with folks, I made a number of trips down into the ballroom. I practiced ascents, descents, feeling the squeeze, relieving the squeeze, dumping gas out of my suit, recoveries. Sometimes things didn't go well. One time I let too much gas get into my boots and it felt like it was popping my fins off until I hit the top of the ballroom and I was able to recover. But overall I felt that I was 90% there. I need to fine tune my trim, and once that is fine tuned I would probably look at hose lengths again. I also need to get my tanks down to 700 psi each and do a proper weight check. But I think I am almost there, I was confident enough that I am now a proud owner of a set of Jet Fins, in OD green of course.

    After the dive I still needed help getting the zipper the last couple of inches to get out. And my undergarments were pretty damp most likely from sweat as it was all over (except my prosthetic side), though I was dry. I was also quite comfortable despite two to three hours in the water. I've gotten a little better in my process to put it on and take it over without everything getting dirty. I have a broom, a water sprayer, and a Blue H changing mat.

    Next week, if I can't get to Ginnie by Friday. I am going to bring my big reel to run a line in the Ginnie basin. To test my buoyancy control by doing some line drills, and running a line into and out of the ballroom. I am also going to bring my GoPro so I can record it and check my trim not just for feel but how it looks from the outside.

    Also in an unrelated note I discovered an area of the ballroom that I didn't know existed. I have at least a dozen dives in the ballroom, I thought I knew it pretty well. But not as well as I thought I did.
     
    laikabear, Marie13 and tmassey like this.
  8. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    8,630
    7,167
    Does this butt plate make my butt look big? :D

    Glad to hear things are going better.
     
  9. rddvet

    rddvet DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Florida
    1,516
    1,428
    @Manatee Diver its very busy here right now. Surprisingly busy. I just moved to a dry suit with attached booties as opposed to using rock boots like I have for 10 years. I still haven’t perfected not getting everything dirty but it was easier to stay clean with rock boots.
     
  10. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    8,630
    7,167
    Me, too. I just wrap my boots in plastic grocery bags until I can get home and rinse them off.
     

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