Eb's Dive Report
- Rich and I arrived at Fortune Pond on Friday, a little before noon... Just as Ron and SwimJim were suiting up for their second dive. The sun was shining bright and sky was nearly cloudless. So we had a combination of excellent light AND excellent visibility. I put on my polarized sunglasses and looked down into the depths off the pier and... WOW... I could see out and down all the way to the bottom 60-70 feet deep.
- I suppose you can't call us "pure" vintage divers because of suits and computers. But we were all diving some level of vintage equipment. TWIN TANKs being dove only by the coolest divers, I thought I should get some pictures.
SwimJim is seen above with his Twin Steel 72s and Argonaut Kraken Regulator.
SwimJim and Ron SheriffDiver with double hose regs and Twin Tanks.
Rons Twin 72 Black Voits with Chevrons (above). SwimJim submerging in the background.
- After taking these photos, we got busy ourselves getting suited up. I got my Twin 48s and blue 50 Fathom set up for a nice photo:
Twin 48s are re-purposed surplus tanks, 1800 psi. Original Voit Manifold and Blue Chevrons.
- You can see Rich in the background getting his Twin 50s set up. Rich's 50s are brand new aluminum tanks with authentic reproduction labels from the 1970s. He's using a 1970s one piece USD manifold and 1970s tank bands adapted to a ScubaPro BCD. My Twin 48s have stainless tank bands and authentic reproduction harness... Both made by Allan Klauda.
- My Twin 48s haven't been dove very much and I didn't have my weights figured definitely. So I wore my SeaTec horsecollar BC in case I got a little heavy down deep. As it turned out I only made two buoyancy adjustments of about 1/2 breath and I stayed comfortably neutral down to 132 feet and back. BTW The SeaTec dump valve was super convenient for releasing air during ascent.
- Friday I actually dove the Twin 48s twice... The water was 37 degrees and 25-30 minutes per dive was about as much as we wanted to risk as far as avoiding hypothermia issues. The first dive we went down to 132 feet and the visibility was 70-100 feet all the way. Second dive, I used the same tanks but switched in my single hose Voit 40 Fathom regulator. This was significant as it was my Dad's first regulator when he took up diving in 1961. I was able to restore the second stage with a NOS diaphragm from either Rob or Bryan... It exhausts thru the middle and those are hard to find. Anyway, I attached it to a Swimaster MR12 1st stage and it breathes as good or better than any brand new single hose. This trip I rode the UV-26 scooter and also took a brief cruise down to the 130 ft marker. Another 25 minute dive. So you can imaging my surprise when I finished the dive and my Twin 48s still were 1/4 full. Even with the deep diving they seem to have PLENTY of air.
Above... Me with the Twin 48s and yellow hosed Voit 40 Fathom regulator... (Photo by Ron)
- For my 3rd dive, I took a Voit steel 50 cf tank with Oxycheq wing and homemade harness. I used a beautiful "Like New" Snark III regulator I restored last year and cruised back and forth with the scooter so that Ron could get some good video of me diving with my tank stand still attached to the tank! More interesting than that (I think) is the TOTALLY VINTAGE outfit that Rich was diving. The yellow tank was from Jack the Frogman and features a unique O-Ring adaptor for a 1/2 NPT valve. We had a heck of a time finding someone to hydro test this tank. Finally last winter, we asked our guy at the Hydro place if he could just test it with the O-Ring adaptor and use his 1/2 NPT spud. He said, "We can try". It passed hydro by a wide margin and now Rich is diving it like a normal steel 72!
- After the video session, I rode the scooter along the ridges to the south of the pier... What an exhilarating experience to be flying over a ridge and see the bottom 70-100 feet below... It truly felt like I was flying. I suppose the prop-wash of the scooter is like wind chill... I could feel the cold penetrating thru my suit on my chest. So when I arrive back at the pier, I was really chilled. Thankfully we had a hot sun shining and I was able to get out of my wet suit and into dry clothes to warm up. I didn't have to use the heated changing room this time.
- Friday night our four intrepid divers gathered at Alices Restaurant for a fine meal. In fact, I had already decided on a large brick of Lasagna when I was riding the scooter... And as expected, it was delicious.
- Saturday dawned 40 degrees cold, rainy, cloudy, and windy. We Fortune Divers can take a lot of cold but this was a bit over the edge. So we all called the trip a success, packed up, and headed out for the long drive home.
- I can't wait to go back to Fortune Pond June 21-22.