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    February 24, 2015

    The Second Retro-Macho Dive

    February 21, 2015

    Having successfully tested Joe’s retro equipment, and setting the depth record for the regulator at 74 feet, it was now his turn for the dive.

    I needed to get back into my truck to get my own gear.

    I wish I had my keys in easier access, because I now had to peel my newly acquired wetsuit off to get my keys and squeeze back into the thing – the entire process was more strenuous than the last dive.

    Joe is ready!

    Joe was going to do an ultra-macho retro dive – no pressure gauge, no BC jacket and the double hose that I just tested that has no auxiliary second stage – this is how Mike Nelson from Sea Hunt did all his dives.

    I was actually a little nervous, because I would have to deal with any issues that he had, but I had full confidence that he knew what he was doing.

    As we were walking down, Joe said, “You are only going to hold the depth record for about an hour.”

    The dive plan was to go down the shelf, hit depth and then angle over to the “Crab Shack” before heading back in.

    The “Crab Shack” is a bunch of stacked cinder blocks in about 65 feet.

    We made an easy entry and swam out just a little ways before we descended.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #488

    Dove with Joe R.

    Veterans Park, Redondo Beach, CA

    In With: 2800 psi
    Out With: 1400 psi, I think
    Max depth: 85 feet
    Waves: Flat
    Visibility: 15 feet plus
    Water Temperature: 59 degrees
    Air Temperature: 64 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 25 minutes

    I followed Joe.

    Macho Joe.

    I was so glad I was in my own equipment.

    Some divers complain that my gear is “old” and maybe it is, but it is not obsolete.

    Macho Joe.

    Joe was a little under weighted and had a hard time staying down, but he made it to the shelf and down to 85 feet.

    Yeah, he was now the record holder for depth with that ancient regulator.

    Fuck!

    If we were having a contest, I may have pushed it a little deeper!

    I had asked Joe if Lloyd Bridges of Sea Hunt may have breathed through that regulator.

    He said, “It is quite possible, he filmed it in the area and it is contemporary with the period.”

    We did the dive plan successfully.

    Unfortunately, no more underwater pictures came out.

    Joe must have iron lungs; he went deeper and lasted longer on that regulator that I had described in my previous post as “It was like taking a drag off a hookah with a clogged bowl.”

    We made an easy exit after surfacing at 15 feet.

    Lloyd Bridges  could have  breathed through this regulator!
    The regulator looks very simple…

    A simple design
    Upon Joe opening it, I realized how simple is really is… a big diaphragm with a little trigger mechanism the size of a match book that opened up an air valve the size of a pen top.

    Diving is a fucking hard job, but someone's got to do it!
    This shirt says it all!

    Debriefing with the King Of beers ensued.

    I may be doing a repeat of my trip to Albania presentation for Dive N Surf.

    I also learned, contrary to what I have been told about “modern equipment,” that when you turn your air on, always point your gauges to the ground.

    Someone was almost blinded when the pressure gauge exploded and threw glass everywhere.

    I have also been told that I need to post more.

    Thank you Joe for the great diving experience!

    February 21, 2015

    Retro-Dive Saturday! Diving With Gear From The Late 1950s!

    Inspired by the TV Show Sea Hunt and a recent article by guest author John Ratliff, I was invited to do an old school double hose regulator dive by world famous diver Joe R.

    Having offended everyone on my last dive because my wetsuit no longer had an ass to it, Dan from Divevets donated an old wetsuit to me.

    Dan said, “I bet you’ve never had a $500 wetsuit before?”:

    “This is a $500 wetsuit?” I asked.

    “Well, it was, now it’s just old and encrusted with piss,” he responded.

    Dan gives me a wetsuit!
    Thank you Dan!

    Joe offered me the first double hose dive.

    “I bet you want to do the first dive, so I’m letting you,” Joe said.

    I was given two gifts – a vintage, old school diving mask and a 2015 calendar from PETA, my biggest fan base, especially during lobster season.

    Joe gives me gifts!
    Thank you Joe!

    Macho me!

    I was then told, that not only would I be diving with the double hose, but I would actually be testing the regulator after Jocko of Dive N Surf serviced it.

    I think some people would have been a little concerned that they were being used as a Guinea Pig to test recently resurrected dive gear from when Dwight Eisenhower was President…

    But then I thought… “What would Mike Nelson from Sea Hunt do?

    Me and Mike Nelson from Sea Hunt

    He would take the challenge – and the scary part is, when I had those thoughts, it sounded like the character Mike Nelson.

    Plus, Jocko is one of a couple of people that I trust to service my gear.

    So, Joe gave me a briefing on this gear…

    “Just keep the regulator in your mouth, because it’s really hard to purge.”

    “It is going to be hard to breathe compared to new regulators, and will vary depending on the angle of your position.”

    “If you need to purge the regulator of water, lean to the right, so that your left shoulder is higher.”

    Holy Fuck!

    What was I getting myself into?

    I asked Joe, “So, do I at least look macho in this diving set up?”

    Joe responded, “You would look macho in a tutu.”

    I can’t help that, I guess.

    We geared up.

    Fitting into Dan’s old wetsuit was like stuffing a boiled sausage back into it’s skin.

    I had to suck in my gut while Joe and Dan held the seams together and zipped me up.

    I decided to leave my newly acquired vintage mask in my truck, and bring my regular mask – I already had too much new gear to worry about.

    We walked down and made an easy entry.

    Joe told me, “I will just follow you… stay shallow, go over the shelf, whatever… when it’s no longer fun, just go up.”

    I was diving on a steel 64 from the late 1950s, too.

    I am weighted for Aluminum, I fucked up and didn’t take any weight off.

    Also, there was no fitting for an inflation hose for my BCD, so I would orally have to inflate the jacket on the surface.

    Joe did offer to blow air in at depth, if I needed it.

    So, onto the dive… we submerged.

    Logged SCUBA Dive #487

    Dove with Joe R.

    Veterans Park, Redondo Beach, CA

    In With: 2400 psi
    Out With: 900 psi
    Max depth: 74 feet
    Waves: Flat
    Visibility: 15 feet plus
    Water Temperature: 59 degrees
    Air Temperature: 64 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: About 20 minutes

    Holy fuck!

    He wasn’t joking when he said this regulator doesn’t breathe like modern regulators.

    It was like taking a drag off a hookah with a clogged bowl.

    Me with the double hose.

    Slowly breath in… slowly breathe out…

    The ironic thing is, when this regulator was made, 75% of the population smoked cigarettes; how the fuck did they manage?

    Or maybe they were just used to being Oxygen deprived?

    The Sea Hunt Character Mike Nelson didn’t appear to smoke, only because a tobacco company wasn’t their sponsor.

    Bouncing off the bottom!
    I was way over weighted and kept bouncing off the bottom.

    Plus, I had no inflation hose, and couldn’t manually inflate my jacket because I couldn’t flood the regulator.

    Joe gave me a few breaths to fill my jacket… but it was really pointless.

    I didn’t want to waste his time, or air.

    I went down to 74 feet, setting a new record for depth with this regulator and headed back.

    I had no compass and was getting lost.

    Joe handed me his compass, but all I could do was head East.

    After we came up the shelf, it was getting tiring to breathe off that thing.

    In 20 feet of water, I signaled to go up… I had a headache.

    This was a unique and rewarding dive!

    It reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw – “Do you remember when diving was dangerous and sex was safe?”

    We made an easy exit, but were off course by about 300 feet.

    Choked on a double hose.
    Degearing, I also forget I was wearing a double hose.

    The next dive was Joe’s turn.

    Will he break my depth record?

    Will he turn purple at depth?

    Stay tuned for the next post!

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