The fun they had at TEKCamp

An awesome week of meeting the best UK technical divers and learning from them

Diving in The Red Sea

Warm water, clear visibility makes for a great holiday!

Malinbeg Harbour

Often, the simplest local dives are the best.

The Want



"Once you buy the gear, diving is cheap."

I have heard that statement sold to new divers, myself included, SO many times. To some extent it's true, but only if you dive air, dive from the shore, and don't have to travel too far. Most of us slightly more seasoned divers will appreciate that statement is mostly balls. The primary additional expense to a qualified scuba diver is the accompaniment of the dark passenger; 'The Want.'


This post is aimed to prepare a new scuba diver for The Want. No one is safe from it, but at least this article may allow you to understand the dark passenger you have invited into your home.


What is The Want?


The Want is an evil scuba demon that every diver faces on pay day, and fights an eternal battle with in between. 

The Want requires feeding on a regular basis, and even once fed it soon develops a new hunger; a thirst that cannot be quenched.










What does it need?


It needs scuba stuff. This may consist of gear, gas fills, holidays, or a dive. However, it's stable diet is scuba gear.



What type of gear, specifically, does it want?


Anything. It will devour everything scuba related, or anything that may be considered remotely beneficial to diving; this includes a new scuba wagon; so beware!



But i already have scuba gear; how can it still want?


It wants more. It wants new. The Want has no desire to use the same old scuba equipment for a long period of time. 

It is a manipulator, a puppet master, and you will feed its every desire. 

The Want will convince you the gear you currently own is inadequate, archaic, looks crappy, and MUST be replaced; immediately.








I have no money; how can i feed it?


The Want has no empathy for your financial burdens. It will convince you to sell 3 items of gear in order to buy one new shiny piece. It will allow you to borrow more than you earn, convince you that finance is "ok" and "everyone does it."



Any diver will recall owning other items related to a distant hobby or interest. No more; the want will have pawned all such items to feed the need, the addiction.

The king manipulator will also twist your thought patterns beyond all rational thinking. Any time you receive a bill for telephone, heating oil, car repairs etc, and it is less than you predicted; The Want will convince you there is excess money, have in fact saved money, and it should be used to purchase scuba gear at once.




How can i survive The Want?


Feed it.



There is nothing you can do. It demands you buy a shiny Shearwater Petrel, the beautifully crafted Hollis Stainless Steel Spool, the warmest undersuit money can buy, a dive light that will blot out the sun.


There is nothing you can do ... ever.




What has The Want has done to I Are Diver?


It has nearly bankrupted me for starters.



I have sold a faber twinset, added money to it, and bought a set of euro cylinders - purely to satisfy The Want and it's urge to look cool.

I use mostly Halcyon kit; its ludicrously priced, but i must have it all ... and it MUST match. Nothing else will do.






I almost sold my Scubapro regs to buy Halcyon regs - and they are the SAME design! It be madness.

Scubapro = Halcyon


What does it want at the moment?


Currently i am in the process of obtaining a new drysuit. I know, i know; i have a perfectly adequate, dry, Seaskin drysuit that will facilitate all my diving. The Want has convinced me it's a little tight, i need a pee valve, and perhaps it might break soon?


New drysuits for everyone!


It also wants a computer, but it tortures me with so many options that i cannot decide which one. My twitter friends will appreciate the pain i go through in my purchasing decisions (sorry Jay!) - i need to keep The Want happy don't I?




CONCLUSION

Perhaps this post will prepare new divers for the extortionate financial journey ahead, or ease the conscience of every diver that has just dropped a grand on a new dive computer. It may also be used to defend another credit card bill to a divers better half?


Those with a non diving spouse, count yourself lucky - we have TWO dark passengers in our house...

BUY SCUBA GEAR!


Safe diving folks...

Review: Tektite Strobe 200


Tektite Strobe 200


As the title suggests, this post is a review of the Tektite Strobe 200. For those who are unaware of it's function, a strobe is a light that flashes; that's about the height of it. Strobes aren't the most exciting of things, but are highly functional and can be heavily relied upon by a diver for locating a shot line, boat ladder, the shore, or a dive buddy.


A strobe is a handy light to have in your kit bag. I currently have a different model of strobe, but the switch is a bit rubbish so i tend not to use it very often. I was keen to take this little flashy thing for a dive.



TECHNICAL STUFF (what Tektite say)



Specifications:-



Depth Rating: 500 feet (150 m)
Bulb: Xenon strobe
Bulb Life: 1,000,000+ flashes
Burn Time: 30+ hours
Batteries: 2 C-cell Alkaline
Weight: 0.75 lbs. (0.34 kg)
Dimensions: 7.25" (18 cm) L x 1.9" (5 cm) Dia



Where to buy:-


Tektite UK Strobes





WHAT I ARE DIVER SAYS




PRICE


£42



LOOKS / BUILD


Tektite Strobe 200 - in orange


I don't know what it is with Tektite, but they seem to like bright colours; a lot. Unlike the Tekna Lite 3, which came in yellow, the Tektite Strobe 200 is bright orange. Personal preference of course, but it's certainly not to my taste; what's wrong with techie-black?


rear attachment point



Build quality is good, a sturdy, chunky piece of kit with minimal moving parts.




FEATURES


It's great to see a manufacturer keeping things simple. The light is operated by screwing the head of the strobe clockwise; hence eliminating the need for a switch. As with their back up light, no switch is a big positive; less moving parts the better. Two o-rings protect the body from flooding.

2 C cell batteris, xenon bulb


It has a ridged handle for grip, an eyelet on the end for securing a lanyard (not included), and two slots for attaching the included velcro strap. The velcro strap would be suited for attaching to a divers arm, a bcd, shot line, stage bottle, or dive ladder.

The velcro strap is a handy solution, although I'm a personal fan of a bolt snap and a length of cave line through the eyelet; i find it easier to use underwater. However, Tektite have gratefully allowed the diver the option; nice touch.

included velcro strap


It requires two C-cell batteries to power the xenon bulb. As usual, the batteries are a good choice as they are readily available, both at home and abroad.

batteries located under bulb




TEST DIVE


conditions: UK waters. Dark, murky, visibility 2m.


operating

The strobe is a chunky big thing and getting a grip of it in cold conditions, even wearing dry gloves, was no problem. A simple twist of the head and the flashy thing came to life. Nice and simple.

fills the palm of adult hand


brightness

A strobe is used mostly as a locating device; i like to think of it as an underwater lighthouse. Therefore, it is only of any use if it is bright enough to see pretty far away. The strobe did not disappoint.


I tied the strobe to the shot line; the plan being to use it as locator beacon when the dive was over. The visibility was poor, but as i finned away from the shot i was still able to see the flickering white light up to 10-15m away. I was especially impressed as i could barely see my buddy's 21w HID light right next to me.


When the dive terminated and I returned to the stern of the wreck, I could clearly see the strobe flickering away awaiting my return. It was great to know the light was working in my absence.





VERDICT


It's got everything a diver needs from a strobe. Ok, it looks a bit horrible, and is a bit big to simply stick in your pocket and forget about, but functionally it is an excellent piece of kit. The strobe does as it is designed; it puts out a very bright flash, and is easily operated.


I'd be happy to rely on the strobe to help me find the shot line on a murky dive, or to help a dive boat locate me on the surface. It would be fantastic attached to a dive buddy in bad visibility or a night dive.




PROS: Easily operated, bright flash, multiple attachment points, long burn time, takes normal batteries (C-Cells).

CONS: Looks horrible (in orange), Xenon bulb (would be nicer if LED), quite big.