Frequently Asked Questions – Side Mount

What is side mount diving?

Side mount diving is mounting one cylinder on each side of your body. It is used mostly by cave divers for exploring into restrictive underwater cave passage that isn’t accessible by standard back mounted cylinders. A BC harness system is responsible for holding the cylinders in place on your side.

What are the advantages of side mount diving?

Side mount configurations allowed the diver to maneuver through much smaller passage by placing the cylinders on the divers side, thus reducing the overall girth of the diver. Side mount rigs also allowed for the easy removal and replacement of cylinders underwater, enabling the hard-core cave explorer to squeeze through even smaller restrictions by removing one or both of the cylinders and pushing the cylinder in front of them through the restriction.

Do you need a special certification to side mount dive?

No, you don’t need a side mount certification; however using a side mount system does require training and practice. Before diving a side mount system in a cave, practice in open water to get your buoyancy, technique, and kicking technique correct.

Do you need special equipment to side mount dive?

You need a special BC harness system that accommodates attaching a cylinder to both sides of your body. You need two cylinders, two regulators, and two pressure gauges. There are a couple of manufactures such as Dive Rite that uses the Transpac system and Advanced Diver Magazine that makes the Armadillo system. Proper sized tanks, such as steel 80s are extremely important for proper technique. Using large steel tanks are cumbersome and difficult to swim. Tank valves with a left and right handed post are also important so that it’s easy to access the valves when diving.

How much does side mount equipment cost?

A side mount BC harness system can cost $450 to $550.

Grotte de La Mescla – “A Dive Rite of Passage”

by Geoffrey May

I was ecstatic as I punched “send” and officially bought my airline tickets to the French Riviera. I really would be flying to La Cote d’Azur on the Mediterranean Sea, and my heart pulsed wildly as the primal urge to go cave diving began to kick in.

Immediately I began banging my computer keys in the quest to find a great cave to explore. My first email was to Segytek, the Dive Rite Distributor for all of France. They were kind enough to forward me the email address of their friend and fellow cave diver, Frederic Bonacossa. Frederic lives close to Nice and knows all about the diving in the area. From the moment we established contact, Frederic proved to be the ultimate guide. We began our email correspondence exchanging niceties, but soon enough we were beginning to devise our plan. My first questions: “What is the must-do cave dive in the area?” And, “How soon can we go?”

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Recent Diving Events In Australia 2011

Australia is no stranger to diving events and each year it hosts certain events which are renowned for their prominence. Also, new events are springing up all the time to celebrate one of Australia’s biggest assets – diving sites along the Great Barrier Reef and beyond. 2011 has started with a big bang as diving events have sprung up everywhere and here we are going to relive some of the best that have graced the coral so far:

Sundive Byron Bay Photo Shoot-Out

This annual diving event is aimed at taking pictures of undersea life while diving. It is the Sundive Byron Bay Photo Shoot-Out at Byron Bay, NSW, Australia. This event will be held from May 22nd to May 30th 2011 and is expected to be a complete success. Sponsors donate prizes that are to be handed out to the winners of the competition. The winners are kept secret right until the last minute on the 30th so that it gives other divers the time to take some pretty amazing photos of the coral reef and the life surrounding it. There have been some very famous photographers discovered at events like this and this is why these types of events are important. Documenting everything that goes on down deep in the water is important to our future generations so that they can see exactly what the area was like during our life time. Every competitor is awarded something which makes this even unique. There is great diving, great dining and fun entertainment is provided. This event is not as big as others in Australia, but it is just as important so that diving as a leisure activity can be passed on and enjoyed.

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Getting Your Photo Files Organized

Hard drives, CDs, DVDs, and slide sheets can all be used to organize and preserve your photos

Everyone, at some point, has to think about getting his or her photo files organized. Some just procrastinate and some just feel overwhelmed by the thought of organizing lots of images and don’t know where to start.

For the folks still using film negatives/slides it may be a question of space as well as organization. For my slide files, I use hanging slide sheets (see photo) placed in a stackable file cabinet unit for hanging files from your friendly local office store. The archival slide sheets and the file hanger are separate items, made by companies like Vue-All, Print File, and Clear File. They are available from photo supply outlets locally or online from B&H Photo in New York and others www.bhphotovideo.com.

To use this filing system, it needs to be kept in the air-conditioned part of your home. No storage in the garage or storage unit, please. Film, slides, prints, and digital storage devices react poorly to heat, humidity, mold, freezing, oils, ozone, UV, ants, mice, roaches…well, you get the idea. Keep your photo files protected in the A/C. Some photographers go to even more extensive measures to protect the longevity of their photos, using separate climate controlled storage away from their business or home.

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