Jul 072015
Three rebreathers in Tank Cave

After a productive Saturday morning on the Mt Gambier main street buying tiles for my kitchen floor, and a pleasant Saturday afternoon dive in Kilsby’s, Sunday brought a relaxed two hour swim through Tank Cave. The site was open for Sunday only and the four of us were the only ones there. This made getting in the water a lot easier – no rushing to clip on bailout with someone standing awkwardly hunched in dive gear (or the reverse). With three models in the water at the same time this was the first opportunity to test out all of my strobes on a single dive in a while. A couple of my inon Z240s have been playing up with electronic [read more…]

Feb 102015
Rebreathers in the Shaft

The Shaft is a beautiful dive, and an impossible cave to photograph. After I finally achieved that classic shot of the sunbeam down the middle of the hole, rockpile lit up and diver frozen up in the shallows, I declared I never needed to take photographs in there again. And yet, two summers on I was headed over to Gambier with my parents for a fun family weekend with a Shaft booking in place. A couple of weeks beforehand Kelvyn was chatting to the landowners about the long-discussed intent of opening the site up to rebreathers. While there have been “special interest” dives in the Shaft on rebreathers previously regular diving has all been run on open circuit. Letting a [read more…]

Dec 092013
rEvos on the J1 submarine

About the wreck The J1 sub is one of five J-class submarines outside the Heads, lying in about 32m of water. She’s starting to fall apart now, especially around the middle section where she’s broken in half. The conning tower is gone and the fish school between the struts of the hull. About the dive With the exception of a couple of weekends spent exploring in Elk River I’ve been trying to get out on my rEvo every weekend since getting back from training in Bali and caves in Indonesia. It’s been good to get into a rhythm with the unit. I now feel more confident that I’ve remembered most of the bits that I need and haven’t left the [read more…]

Nov 182013
The rEvo and the camera part II

I already talked about my rationale behind taking my camera on my MOD1 rEvo course – I wanted to learn how I was going to handle both camera and rebreather at the same time, all while under supervision. During the course I learnt a few tricks and techniques for stowing the camera while dealing with a rebreather issue. The second part of managing the two together was working out how to take photos while diving closed circuit. I’m sure this is going to be a continual learning curve for the next year or two, so I’ll probably be revisiting this topic a few times. Here’s some initial challenges and thoughts. My first observation is on buoyancy. I know I tend [read more…]

Nov 112013
The rEvo and the camera part I

There’s a varying range of opinions on the compatibility of underwater photography and diving closed circuit. I know photographers who say they’d never dive a rebreather because the camera takes all of their attention. And I know rebreather divers where the last thing they want is another complicated device they have to swim around with. For me I average about 100 dives a year and in the four years since I’ve had my camera rig less than 5% of those dives have involved leaving the camera behind. So the question isn’t whether it’s going to work, it’s more about how I can make it work. The cave diving I do already demands a split focus. Caves require situational awareness, and [read more…]

Nov 042013
Choosing the rEvo

When I bought my current dSLR, I knew I was choosing an underwater camera rig over a rebreather. I could barely afford one expensive toy let alone two. At the time it was absolutely the right choice. The camera has lasted me four years so far, and I hope to get at least another two out of it. Despite the release of a new model I’m still more than happy with the shots I can get out of it. Since investing in my camera set-up, I’ve had a huge amount of fun taking photos, learning and improving my skills. This didn’t mean I forgot about the rebreather though… For me the rebreather advantage is significantly in the ability to use [read more…]