Jill and Stan Waterman, an author, film maker, producer, documentarian, and living legend. Stan received a Pioneer award, and Jill the Wyland Icon award at the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences banquet in Orlando.
I’m preparing for a speaking engagement at Baltictech in Poland this fall and asked the moderators what topics were of interest to divers in the Baltic. They gave me a great list. Some of these topics have been covered in the past on RebreatherPro.com, but it looks like a good time to reprise some key articles and bring them up to date. I’m going to target this list for my blog posts for the next month or so. Stay tuned… and if you can, come and see the presentations at Baltictech 2011 in Gydna, Poland!
To BOV or Not to BOV
BOVs can be handy devices, allowing you to leave the rebreather loop in your mouth if you need to switch to open circuit. I’ve owned rebreathers with integrated BOVs and others without. PADI/DSAT has recently determined that they will require all recreational and technical rebreathers used in their training programs to have installed BOVs operable with one hand. That pretty much sets the bar for all manufacturers to meet.
Keep the following principles in mind:
They are easy to switch to open circuit, but don’t be hasty and switch back until you are certain you know what is going on. Sanity “breaths” are a misnomer. One or two breaths will not change to PO2 in your body. You need to take your time. If a problem is solvable and safe, then there may be ways to switch back to the loop. However, if you switched because you felt funny, its smarter to stay off the loop and get your brain back in gear.
They MUST be hooked to a meaningful gas supply or they are useless. If your BOV is plumbed to your onboard diluent, then you still have to switch to your offboard tank.
You must test your BOV underwater every time you dive to ensure it is functioning properly.
You should carry a second stage on your offboard tank for other divers or for BOV failures.
Is your BOV tested and proven to be “Class A” for the depths and workload you intend on using it at? Are the sliders, connectors and convenience items that you added going to restrict flow at depth?
One issue you may experience with BOVs is an increased drag in high flow and scootering situations. A streamlined design is critical in these applications.
To BOV or not BOV is a big question. I suggest mapping out a risk/benefit list and checking all the variables before making the choice that is right for you. -- Jill Heinerth
Need to buy a fancy dress! I just got some amazing news... I am receiving the Wyland Icon Award!
Artist, Wyland founded the award and presents it annually to acknowledge individuals who exemplify the adventurous spirit of the underwater world and inspire others to do the same. I will be the 7th woman to receive the icon award and join such notables (and my heroes!) as Jacques Cousteau, Lloyd Bridges, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Eugenie Clark, Rachel Carson, Zale Parry and Robert Ballard. Check out theWyland Foundation.