“Five Bells” Job Done by Tony Liddicoat

Review by Robert Groth

For an avid diver, this book is a must read. Tony Liddicoat has been diving for over 44 years, and, as one of the book’s typists commented, “I don’t know how you’re still alive.” Tony pursued commercial, military, and recreational diving and his diving career has taken him all over the world. In 1981 he was named British “Diver of the Year”. The book includes chapters devoted to his time diving as a wreck excavator in Kenya, his military assignments in Germany and the Falkland Islands, as an Army diving instructor in Belize, and commercial and recreational diving throughout Europe. I particularly enjoyed the wealth of pictures he has in his book, like the picture of He and Jacques Cousteau talking aboard the Calypso, the pictures of his time excavating wrecks in Mombasa Kenya, or his cover photo of him on Soldier Magazine in November of 1988.

Picture of the recovery of a Wessex Mark V helicopter which sank off Portland Bill, UK in 1974

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The Tech Photographer

by Pete Nawrocky

Many of today’s divers are engaged in “technical” diving. Simply stated, “any dive in which a diver cannot surface immediately and directly to the surface, is performing a tech dive.” However, most of the time “tech” diving is looked upon as dives requiring gas mixtures other than air or dives that require decompression or entering overhead environments. It may be necessary to switch regulators underwater or work with computers that need to have gas changes accomplished during hang times. Carrying the extra load of double tanks and stage bottles causes even more drag. Now add a camera into the whole mix. Before you decide just to “grab and go” do not bring a camera into any situation that you have not encountered before, plan your dive carefully.
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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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