Chowder Bay 21-02-09


 I've been doing my TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures course and trying out a number of different twin combinations.  My first dive on twins was with 11.7L Luxfer alloy tanks.  I was weighted down with a 6lb wedge and 12lb weight belt on my new Halcyon wing and backplate.  It was also near dark.  I did not do well.  I could not reach the valves properly, the closed wrong one off at one stage, leaving me fumbling for my second reg and breathing in salt water.  My buoyancy control was poor as well.  And my back suffered badly.  I calculated I was carrying about 53kg on my back, and while some might be OK with that, my back is not that strong. 

My second dive was on 2 x 12.2L Fabers without the wedge or weight belt.  So a lot less weight, but still with 6lb in my pockets still over weighted. Third dive was on a pair of Faber 10.5L tanks banded together but no header.  These were much more comfortable and I felt I had much better buoyancy control, esp as Ronnie had us hovering at 1.5 to 2m for up to 20 mins.  I found that with 30 bar in the tanks I could descend with 3lb but could not with no extra weight.  Noting that the header weights 2kg (less the valves it will replace) I will need very little extra weight. I've also tried a pair of Faber 9L tanks.  These sat very high on my back and while much lighter than the 10.5's the tanks seemed to be too high.  With these I could descend with 30bar, using only 2 lb of extra weight.  With the header, I would not need any additional weight. 

On this dive I took my camera and we headed south from the dive flag, coming across the motorbike and a large metal container (several meters long and high).  Coming back we came across the row boat.  Then we headed across to the chains and under the large float in the middle of the bay.  WE headed further SW into deeper water but after a few minutes turned back as Jen's air was getting down.  There is lots to see at Chowder Bay and it is a safe dive area (except for the motor boats).  If you had to ascend in the middle of the bay I would recommend putting up a safety sausage first.

This site was last updated 29/12/10