Random Jottings

Cylinders, lead weight belts and stability...........

Sometimes an idea forms on what is going to happen and to be honest you have to go with it!

I had some great dips recently but the upshot is that there is simply no way that I can do deeper dives using a standard 12l twinset, it just doesn't sit right and caused a great deal of post dive pain and discomfort......not good and rather restricting in what and where I dive, unless I go back to diving a rebreather but that is another topic.

I have also found that a combination of a standard 12l plus any walk approaching the distance of Harbour Road to the end of Beadnell Point to dive on the north, or wall n' Yewglen, side of the reef is not practical. Unfortunately this wipes out lots of exceptional dive sites with the only glimmer being that I am in the fortunate position of having a boat moored in North Sunderland Harbour and another ready to lauch where I want, but you don't do shore dives from a boat, do you?

The upshot of this is that I needed to find some practical way of carrying more gas than a single 10l tank when I am boat diving and the answer seems to be in high pressure 7l cylinders twinned up.

Why so? You may ask, well from a 'gas' persepective they are the equivalent of a pair of twinned 10l tanks, so plenty of air there then and of course they are much lighter at 19.6kg rather than 27.2kg.

Now the lightness does make things easier as I can carry this 8kg of lead on a traditional weight belt that is only round my midriff and applies no weight through my spine as you do get with the harness. Now I do really prefer a harness but for boat dives I am able to get away with a belt as there is no walking where the damned thig slowly works it way down and onto your hips.

So this set up is really good, plenty of gas and less weight applied via my spine than on a short walk shore dive where I would be wearing an 10l tank at about 12kg then another 14kg of lead carried via a harness (circa 7kg).

The hidden benefit is that underwater this low profile 7l set-up gives much more stability than a standard single tank as the weight is more evenly distributed across your back, meaning that should you turn and twist there is less liklihood that you end up like a tortoise on it's back.

Don't even go down the route of small AP evo rebreather or something miniature from a similar maker, I am in total agreement that should my dives be more than 25m then this would be the way to go, however looking at my profile over the last five years there is just no need as I am only completing ten or so 'deep' dives a year, not really sufficient to justify this route.

All of this does however mean that I will be cleaning the 12l twinned up cylinders and selling, or attempting to sell in the very near future. So keep an eye on ebay and.....................

Dive safe!



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