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My Dive Gear
As remote a possibility as it might be, I thought you might be interested to know what gear I dive with. You may note that I have a lot of Mares stuff. That's not out of any special brand loyalty. It's just that the Planet Scuba shop in Bangkok is the most convenient place for me to shop, and they're the main importer for Mares.
- Wet Suit
- I have two. I started with a 3 mm Ocean Dynamics shortie. It seemed like a good idea at the time (you're going to read that a lot on this page.) After experiencing the generally warm waters around Southeast Asia, and getting lots of scrapped knees, etc. I now prefer a 0.5 mm Rip Curl long suit. I suspect the lighter wetsuit won't last too long, but it wasn't expensive. I always bring along the shortie just in case.
- Fins & Boots
- My first fins were a pair of Mares Avanti Excel Full Foot Fins. Full foot fins seemed like a good idea at the time - less to carry around, no straps to break - but on long live-aboard dive trips it seemed that the tops of my feet were getting quite raw. So, I recently invested in a pair of Atomic split fins and a pair of boots. I decided to go with split fins based on some comments by other divers on recent trips, but I haven't had them long enough to take any position on the whole debate.
- I have a Mares X Vision mask with a "classic" black silicon skirt. I think it looks a little bit funny - in a Batman wannabe sort of way - but it fits well.
- Mares Vector Origin BCD with the Air Trim option. The Air Trim seemed like a good idea at the time, especially as I wanted to get into photography, but I'm not sure it was worth the extra money. The Vector is definitely sturdy, but it has a very short-waisted design. I'm sure it is intended to put everything within easy reach, but I'd prefer something a couple of inches longer.
- I have a Sherwood Maximus Regulator with an Oceanic secondary and a console with compass. It's a nice setup, with a long hose on the primary so it can go under-arm. I bought it second-hand and the only problem is that the gages are in US units (PSI and feet). I need to change it one of these days.
- The Mares Mission Puck was the most inexpensive option at the time. It's big and clunky, but it does the job well enough.
- I bought the Canon Powershot G10 mainly with the idea of using it as an underwater camera, so I purchased it with the Canon WP-DC28 Waterproof Case. It's since become my primary travel camera for all purposes. The built-in underwater mode gives you a good color balance, although I still adjust the white balance once I get the images onto a computer. I recently added an INON S-2000 strobe to enhance my low-light shots.