Archive for October, 2010

Fall in Mexico

Saturday, October 16th, 2010
Swimming through pillars of coral

Swimming through pillars of coral

After missing out on vacation last year, Val and I decided to head south for some warm sun and diving.

We did not realize just how low the low season is there.  Apparently September and October are quiet down in Mexico.  We felt like we had the inflatable park resort to our selves.   Not that was a bad thing!

There were a few other divers, but even the boats were mostly empty.  This gave the resort staff time to work on a few projects, which they did very quietly.  On the other hand, everyone also received personal attention from the outgoing staff.

There have been a few changes since our last visit several years ago.  Damage from the hurricanes that struck the Yucatan is still evident, but there is also a lot of new construction.  The food was great as usual, and yes, I will be dieting for the next few months.

Before we arrived, we heard rumors that the weather had been windy the day before, and boat diving may still be suspended.  While true, this gave us the afternoon to unpack and unwind from the trip.   The next morning Val had the beach to herself, and I boarded the boat with a group of fellow photo enthusiasts.

Jumping into 85 degree water was a bit of a shock.  For me it was too warm.  I’ve never been in water above 80, and am not used to it.   I should have brought my shorty or 1 mil.  However, this temperature the fish were active.  We saw a lot of sharks, turtles, and rays along with schools of other fish.

After a few days, we made a number of new friends, and were able to hook up on dives, and meals.   We discussed travel destinations and dive history.   Places to go and things to see.     Underwater, we kept an eye out for each other, and provided models where needed.

I also had the opportunity to catch up some old friends that still worked in the area.  It was interesting to hear details of the storm damage over the years, as well as the changes to the Island.   The last time I was here, Nitrox was in limited supply.  Now Tech diving and gear / supplies are  available locally.   This would make a great place for Tech checkouts.  The dive sites are just a few hundred feet from shore. The water is warm and clear, and there is lots to see during deco.
Hurricane Paula threatened to head our way, so many of the resorts transported guests to more robust locations.  We felt like refugees walking through town in large groups.  We made it back the next day, just in time to pack for the trip home.   Oh well, one day of lost diving.

Count the Counter lungs

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

A friend just asked an interesting question:  Why have two counter lungs vs one?

I must admit, that no one ever told me an answer to this question, but here is my reasoning for 2 vs 1:
One counter lung only lets the scrubber work during half of the breathing cycle.
If the lung is on the exhale side, then it inflates on exhale, but gas only passes through the scrubber on inhale.
If it’s on the inhale side, then gas passes through the scrubber only on the exhale.

If you have two counter lungs, half the gas passes through the scrubber as you exhale, and half passes through as you inhale. This makes the gas pass inflatable Canada through the scrubber slower, (aka dwell time)  and therefore the scrubber is more effective.  I would also assume that the slower gas movement would decrease the work of breathing of the unit.