Thinking Diver

Where divers think about stuff


Looking back at 2008, looking forward to 2009

by Erik Dasque

I read a very interesting thread on a french diving forum that I thought would be very interesting to mimic here.

2008 is almost gone and 2009 is upon us, it’s time to look back at what we accomplished and look ahead to what’s in store for us. So I’ll start, feel free to add your own in the comments at the bottom of this page.

1. What have you done, learned or improved in 2008 ?

After my MOD1 (Basic rebreather course, recreational limits) in 2007, I wanted to accumulate hours on my rebreather, to be as comfortable diving it as an AL80 but without getting complacent. I logged 50 hours which is not bad for me in a year (20+ of those came in a single trip with Monkey Diving in the Bahamas). I tried to improve my fining but I still have a lot of work on my plate.Erik on O2ptima, flying

I did a few dives nearing 3 hours and about 20 dives with a deco longer than 10 minutes but less than 30 minutes. Often I would hand longer on deco, to get used to it, which was important for me.

I also launched this site which is doing all right, with reviews of gear, tips and tricks, trip reviews. I am also finishing up the manual for using the Liquivision X-link with the O2ptima. I have also started a secret project that’ll marry my love of electronics, computer software and scuba.

2. Have you reached all your goals for 2008 ?

I didn’t have any goals in terms of certification for 2008, I wanted to log hours on the rebreather and dive more. I did both.

I also wanted to shoot, edit and publish a short underwater film that was a little more than the usual dive shoot. I think I succeeded in that with:

Into the realm of the loggerhead turtles By Erik Dasque
View in HD  Download 720p Version  Visit Erik Dasque’s ExposureRoom Videos Page

3. Have you bought new diving gear in 2008 ? What kind ? Are you happy with it ? Any regrets ?

Who hasn’t ? I set up a BPW for cold water diving, with a steel backplate. It’s exactly the same rig as my transpac warm water set up but with more weights all around (and red on black !). I also bought an AL80 and a Dive Rite first stage/second stage. Now I have two bailout tanks for diving in 2009 (AL40 and AL80). I bought a Liquivision X1 and sold my VR3. I have been very happy with the X1, as mentioned in my review of the computer. I also bought a JJ-CCR BOV which I have received but is not ready to dive yet.

4. What was your best dive of 2008 ?

Hmmm, that’s hard to say, I made a lot of great dives in 2008. Diving on the Nekton pilot with 10 rebreather divers on board was a treat and the dives were great. But going beyond my limits (while staying relatively safe) on the Hydro Atlantic, at 173ft and 30 minutes of deco, a real wreck was pretty awesome. The 2008 dive on the U853 was awesome too, it always is.

5. What was your worst dive of 2008 ? Any regrets in 2008 ?

Hmmm, no bad dive in 2008. I called a second dive on the Spiegel Grove early, last November, because I didn’t feel it. A dive week-end to the Oriskany was canceled earlier this year, it happens.

Regrets ? Not having extended my bottom time on the Bahamas trip a little further. I could have often done 3 hours when I did 90 minutes or 2 hours. Not that important though. Having flooded my lights on the first night dive in the Bahamas and being without them for the remainder of the trip. Not diving enough in Boston.

6. What are your goals for 2009 ?

Become really comfortable in a dry suit. I have had one for 2-3 years but gearing up is still a pain, it might always stay that way. Diving it is not bad but the surface stuff is a drag.

I’d like to do my MOD2, I think I am almost ready. I’d like to be able to reach 200ft which is where I’ll stop. I’d like to do a IANTD Wreck training if I feel like too much of a chicken for a Full Cave. I want to learn how to use reels and such so as to make my wreck dives safer and better.

I’d also like to:

  • Dive more in Boston, with different people
  • Reach 100 hours on the O2ptima
  • Dive in France each time I visit my parents(where I am from even though I lived there for 27 years next to the diving mecca my home country)
  • Make thinkingdiver.com a success (not commercially), with your help !

Here you go, your turn !

(Photo by Adrian Soler)


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