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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 3:55 pm 
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Hey all,

I'm going to get certified in the next few months once I can find a good spot for a bit of travel and some downtime.

Any newbie recommendations? I've done temporary certifications around 6 times or so over the last two decades, so I've done some diving, but always shallow (up to 12 meters) with rented gear.

~DD

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 9:12 am 
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Honui Moai
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Western Pennsylvania?

I have a friend who likes to dive Dutch Springs when he is in Pennsylvania.

The YMCA or a community college could offer classes with pool sessions. Rum Mom in Gumbo Limbo parts would be the one to ask. I think that in landers can do the classroom and pool work at home and then get their open water cert dives in a ocean.

Gear tips depend on what you want to dive. You don't need a drysuit and double 120 tanks to look at tropical fish. I like a good fitting wetsuit and mask. I am more comfortable with older regulators of proven design. However, as with any vintage gear, you are dependent on the mechanic who services it.

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 5:56 pm 
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foredeckape wrote:
Western Pennsylvania?

I have a friend who likes to dive Dutch Springs when he is in Pennsylvania.

The YMCA or a community college could offer classes with pool sessions. Rum Mom in Gumbo Limbo parts would be the one to ask. I think that in landers can do the classroom and pool work at home and then get their open water cert dives in a ocean.

Gear tips depend on what you want to dive. You don't need a drysuit and double 120 tanks to look at tropical fish. I like a good fitting wetsuit and mask. I am more comfortable with older regulators of proven design. However, as with any vintage gear, you are dependent on the mechanic who services it.

Sent from somewhere

I did my certification in upstate NY and a full wetsuit was mandatory due to the temp of the water. Your dive shop may have rentals but a personally fitted wetsuit is always best (warmest). Currently, I have two, a 2mm and a shorty...the former for deeper water, the latter for tropical (shallow) dives. Both of mine are for tropical water, a farmer John may be needed for dives in your area. Good gloves and booties are a must as well.

RumMum is a certified instructor and would be the best for recommendations. I learned in the PADI system 34 years ago.

Equipment is, as Foredeckape said, a personal choice. Rent or borrow until you get an idea of what you want, especially until you decide where you want to dive the most: Tropical, temperate, cold, ice, deep (mixed gas) or just shallow (less than 30’). Stuff I always take with me are a mask, snorkel, gloves, booties, fins, a bandanna (my lack of hair makes it a necessity), a Lycra dive shirt and anti-fog. The rest I can rent if necessary.

- I like a mask with side windows so I keep some of my peripheral vision.
- My snorkel is curved with a bottom drain (positive pressure) but make sure your mouth piece is replaceable. I’m in the market for a new snorkel because my mouth piece broke.
- My BC is integrated with the weights. I like the performance of the vest, it’s easy to drop the weights (it has a ripcord) though many don’t like them due to the total weight (BC, weights, tank and regulator).
- I have a standard regulator setup (1st stage regulator, two second stages, a hose with quick fitting for my BC and a computer). I like the computer on the air hose so it can alert me in the event I lose track of time, consumption or a problem I’m not aware of (leak). Fortunately I’ve never used that feature. It also has a predictive program that will give me stats for each dive and give me max bottom times for future dives. Of course, I use it as a backup to the Dive Tables. I don’t dive NITROX or other mixed gasses, just compressed air.
- Fins, again, are personal but I would not recommend full foot fins, only the ones with a heel strap...they are easier to get on/off; they flex better; and if a strap breaks, you just replace it, not the whole fin.
- Good booties are a necessity. I like the kind that have a zipper so they are easy to get off.
- There are several types of gloves...three finger for cold water; light neoprene; or fabric/leather.
- A knife is a necessity when you inevitably run into monofilament line. I prefer a pointed tip but I also have a shovel tip.
- Tanks I rent. My dive shop has a Bakers dozen card, rent 12, get #13 free.

There is a plethora of other stuff you can get into such as travel bags, Lycra skins (makes a wetsuit easier to get on/off), hoods, flashlights, Brownies Aqua-lung, etc.

Good luck and, more importantly, have fun!

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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 11:37 am 
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Keep in mind that diving carries inherent risk to your life.

I was doing tri mix dives with all if the technical cave type gear. After one wreck dive I suddenly realized how many divers died on the Doria and that people on the local U boat had to be flown out.

I like simple vintage gear and relatively shallow warm water. I'd still do a deco dive, but only in clear water with little current. A steel tank on a back plate or in a harness, a horse shoe BC, Reno 911 trunks, jet fins and my mask with prescription lenses is my happy place. I still dive my commercial regulators. But have a few vintage single and double hose setups to play with. It is nice to be able to carry all your gear in a knapsack and walk down to the dock.

Doing an ice dive is still on my bucket list.

Sent from somewhere

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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 1:39 pm 
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The great thing about doing certs in cold water (usually fairly murky, unless you've got a spring fed pond/lake) is that once you do your checkout dives pretty much anything tropical is a cake walk.

Most of my ~350 dives were in Lake Michigan on wrecks.

I like Mares all metal regs, those babies will NEVER freeze up on you because the whole body is basically one big heat sink.
You do pay for that in weight though, they're heavy. And expensive.

If you're planning on diving locally and fairly often you'll probably want to look at drysuits eventually.

It's early in your diving career, but if you want to approach things with an eye to future (and potentially more technical dives, but not necessarily) I heartily recommend taking a DIR approach. Or at least taking a look at it.
(and, yes, I know this point of view can be sort of contentious)

When I was actively diving our team was basically all set up in a DIR configuration. There's a lot of comfort in knowing where everything is on all of your buddies.

Lastly, rather than a regular and expensive dive knife, I recommend EMT shears and, if necessary a line cutter, which is great for mono-fil or other fishing line.
Cheap shears are a few bucks, and you won't cry if you lose it in the murk like you would with a $50 dive knife. When we did need to carry knives we usually used
cheap serrated steak knives you can get at the hardware store 4/$10 and we'd grind the points off to a round profile.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doing_It_ ... uba_diving)
https://www.divein.com/articles/do-you- ... ent-setup/
https://www.gue.com/diver-training
https://www.diveoclock.com/blog/DIR/

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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 10:17 pm 
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Bait knives from the marine chandlery are cheap and work. Friskers, the sewing scissors company makes a heavy shear that found it's way to my regular tool box since it is good for cutting shim stock.

DIR backplate and wings for sure. I don't know that a walk in SCUBA class would let you use DIR gear.

Back when I followed the tech and cave boards, John who runs Northeast Scuba now was a good guy to buy from. He has used gear.
http://www.northeastscubasupply.com/

Marine Consignment stores tend to have some dive gear if you must go from a jacket BC. When, not if, you are near the Mai Kai, over by where Creepie Tiki was is a good one. There is also brownie's third lung up the road.

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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 10:51 pm 
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foredeckape wrote:
DIR backplate and wings for sure. I don't know that a walk in SCUBA class would let you use DIR gear.



You're not wrong there. It's been a long time since I was certified, but I've seen PADI's 'simplification' of their cert program.

My PADI instructor was one of the Old School sort who still used the ~1976 program checkouts, even though they were 20 years out of date.
(spoiler alert, he was also my fencing instructor, LOL).

The original PADI certs were basically Navy SCUBA certs. Nowdays they're "Hey, so I heard you'd like to go underwater for half an hour".

PADI has long ago lapsed from "let's keep people safe" to "how much can we farm people for?"

It's sad.

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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 11:46 pm 
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foredeckape wrote:
Keep in mind that diving carries inherent risk to your life.

...

Doing an ice dive is still on my bucket list.

Sent from somewhere


Do an ice dive. It’s awesome.

But like you my deep diving wreck days are long gone by. You can only spend so much time on the knife edge before you get cut


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 10:22 am 
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thekazz wrote:
foredeckape wrote:
Keep in mind that diving carries inherent risk to your life.

...

Doing an ice dive is still on my bucket list.

Sent from somewhere


Do an ice dive. It’s awesome.

But like you my deep diving wreck days are long gone by. You can only spend so much time on the knife edge before you get cut


Ice dives are indeed awesome! They're even better when one of your buddy has a heated trailer to change out of your half frozen gear in. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 2:20 pm 
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Avai Rona
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I dove the Finger Lakes, upstate NY in college. Far too cold for me.

The only ice diving I'll do now is into my ice bucket to refill my glass.

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