We are pleased to announce that we now an office Shearwater Research dealer and currently have the awesome Shearwater Petrel in stock. The Shearwater computers are a specialty product and have a highly reputable history int he technical diving community. Described as being as easy to use as an old Aladin, but with all the latest Air, Nitrox, Trimix and CCR support – these computers are arguably the best available on the market. The standalone Petrel retails at $995, however we have introductory specials so call us today. More information on the Shearwater computers can be found on our product page.
Grab a ScubaPro Everdry4 and keep warm!
Winter Introductory Offer: $999.00 (RRP $1399.00)
You can feel it in the air, and you’re layering up to head to work in the morning. Winter is on its way and while the water is still warm now, in May, by the end of June it’s going to start getting unpleasant in a wet suit.. But don’t let it be an excuse to stop diving. Owning a dry suit is cheaper than you may think and you’ll thank yourself for it when the water drops below that comfortable 17-18 degree mark!
St George Underwater Centre have a special Winter Introductory offer for the Scubapro Everdry 4mm Dry Suit. This suit looks as smart as it actually is....with a warm construction, neoprene seals and socks (you just slip on your normal boots and go!) it even comes equipped with a thigh pocket for extra gear. Come in and take a look at one for yourself, because at this price, we reckon Kel has gone craaaaazzzy!
We are proud to announce that we are the first Australian dealer of the Underwater Light Dude range of primary canister lights. From our tests to date we can say that these lights are the best in terms of technology and quality. These lights are for serious divers and have been field tested to 200m. CNC milled out of solid Delrin and hard anodized aluminum, the lights have no moving parts to fail and switch on using the latest piezo technology. Add the best in LED and lithium battery technology, these lights will be the envy of any diver whether in a cave or wreck, or just swimming around a reef.
Two models are available, with more information available on our website:
- LD-26 RRP $1695 – an 8 degree beam that produces 2600 Lumen of light on setting one at 25 watts. It has top and side mount gland options with two Li-Ion battery pack options of 96 & 144 watt hours. Setting two produces over 1750 Lumen at 14 watts. Setting three produces over 750 Lumen at 5 watts. Setting three can be used safely out of the water.
- LD-15 RRP $1495 – a 6.0 degree beam that produces over 1500 Lumen of light on setting one at 16 watts. It has top and side mount gland options with a NiMH 54 watt hour and two Li-Ion 96 & 144 watt hour battery pack options. Setting two produces over 1100 Lumen at 10 watts. Setting three produces over 800 Lumen at 5 watts. Setting three can be used safely out of the water.
Although it’s been hard keeping these units in stock, we have one LD-15 left after a busy Oztek weekend. More units are coming next week, as well as demo models for any serious about buying.
Call us for our best discounted price and you won’t be disappointed!
Hard back plate with built in holes fo mounting twins
Low profile design reduces drag
Adjustable and elasticized cummerbund
SMB or torch pocket on exterior
Large gusseted pocket for storage
2 x non-dumpable back pockets
Rear, left & right shoulder dumps
Stainless Steel D-Rings
BCD retainer holes
3 x retractor holes
SQR patented weight release system
Made from TPU (technical polyurethane). Great strength and puncture resistance.
The Repel BCD is fantastic for any level of diver. Let it take you from your first dives, all the way into advanced diving with the twin-tank ability! With plenty of room for all your diving accessories, the Repel is perfect for recreational and professional diving.
The TPU material is quick drying and means that your BCD will be dry well before that of your buddies and is very strong and resists abrasions and punctures.
The Apollo Repel retails at RRP $699.00 but for this weekend we will be offering for $400.00! After this weekend, we’re continuing the Introductory Price of $499.00 until the end of February.
Closed Circuit Rebreathers
Rebreathers have come a long way since their first invention some 200 years ago (or 400 years if you go back to a design by Drebbel in the early 17th century). Recreational rebreathers have improved significantly making them much safer when used correctly and with appropriate training. One such closed circuit rebreather is the MKVI from Poseidon. The MKVI uses a prepacked CO2 absorbing cartridge which provides a dive time of up to 3 hours (and perhaps more) and an integrated computer for setting and monitoring the PO2 set point.
For the last few weeks, John Mckeon and I have been undertaking a course with Fil Gray so that we can be certified with TDI to use the Poseidon MKVI. Mike Loricco started the course with us but had to drop out due to bad ‘flu.
We are proud to announce that pre-mixed Nitrox 32% is now available at St George Underwater. Our dive club members will also enjoy discounted gas fill prices that keep a lid on fill prices. See our competitive pricing model below.
How does it work?
We pre-mix large amounts of Nitrox 32% and store it in our bank system, just like we do with normal air. When you come in for a fill, we decant directly from the bank into your cylinder.
When will it be available?
From August 2012, all staff at St George Underwater will be able to fill cylinders with Nitrox 32% from our dedicated Nitrox fill panel. It will be available during all shop open hours just like air.
Does my cylinder need to be oxygen cleaned?
As pure oxygen is never put directly into your cylinder, it does not need to be oxygen cleaned. The process is safe and saves you both time and money. Of course, if your tank has been oxygen cleaned the process won’t affect the tank so it can still be used for other mixes.
Can I still get other Nitrox mixes?
Yes. Custom mixes will continue to be available at the shop along with 100% oxygen and trimix on a request basis.
Can I top up my cylinder with Nitrox 32%?
Yes. We can top up cylinders that contain Nitrox 32%, air or other gases. There’s no need to drain the cylinder of you want a straight 32% top up.
Unlimited gas pricing available
We are also introducing a very special unlimited gas yearly offer. It allows a single nominated cylinder to be filled an unlimited number of times in a one year period. The catch is the gas must be either Nitorx 32% or air and you must pay in July.
Pre-paid 20 fill gas cards.
We still have the pre-paid gas cards with 20 fills which are a great way to save time and money. Simply buy a pre-pay card. which includes 20 fills and use them as you dive. Cards will now be available in Nitrox 32% and air. No cylinder restrictions exist so you can fill any cylinder you like with your credit.
You need to be certified to use Nitrox
Using Nitrox has lots of benefits, including extended no-deco bottom time, shorter surface intervals and increased safety. To start using Nitrox you’ll need to be certified and a PADI or TDI Nitrox course costs just $199. Courses can be run at almost any time so contact us if you need to get certified. You’ll also need a Nitrox capable dive computer and we have them available in the shop.
|Air – Single Fill||$9||$12|
|Air – Pre-pay 20 fills||$160||$210|
|Air – Unlimited Fills (12 months)*||$350||$385|
|Nitrox 32% – Single Fill||$15||$18|
|Nitrox 32% – Pre-pay 20 Fills||$270||$325|
|Nitrox 32% – Unlimited Fills (12 months)*||$450||$500|
|Custom Gas Pricing|
|Custom Mixed Nitrox (O2 per litre + air)||$0.03 + air||$0.04 + air|
|100% Oxygen (per litre)||$0.03||$0.04|
|Trimix/Helium (He per litre + air)||$0.08 + air||$0.09 + air|
* Note: Unlimited gas is for a single cylinder, sold in July only.
Example club pricing for 36% custom Nitrox (80cf/11L):
(40 bar O2 * 11 L * $0.03) + $9 air fill = $22.20
Example club pricing for 100% oxygen (3 L CCR cylinder):
200 bar O2 * 3 L * $0.03 = $18
With Winter upon us the water temperature around Sydney is dropping and I already experienced water below 16ºC at Shiprock over the June long weekend. As the water temperature drops it gets much harder to stay warm for an entire dive and we end up cutting our dives short due to cold rather than running low on air. When I check my dive logs for past years I see that the water temperature in Sydney is frequently below 16°C most of the time between June and November and I even have a dive in late November 2010 when it got down to 13.2°C. I remember how cold I was on that dive. What can we do to stay warm?
The problem of staying warm in water is due to a bit of physics. Water is a good conductor of heat and so heat is drawn away from our bodies and lost in the water. Air, on the other hand, is not such a good conductor and can actually works well as an insulator. This is why being in water at 15ºC feels so much colder than air at the same temperature. In water we lose body heat quite quickly. In the air we just have to put on a few layers of clothes which trap warm air around our bodies greatly reducing the rate at which we lose heat.
There are three may ways to combat the heat loss in water, or at least slow it down long enough that we can feel warm for an entire dive. They are:
- Wet suits
- Semi-dry suits
- Dry suits.
We’re all familiar with wet suits and they successfully keep us warm if the water is not to cold. They work in two main ways. First, the neoprene in the suits is a good insulator because it has tiny gas bubbles trapped in the fabric. The gas acts as an insulator. Second, the wet suit traps water between the body and the suit so that the water warms up by absorbing body heat. If the flow of water in and out from under the suit is restricted, the trapped water stays quite warm.
Ideally a wet suit should be tight fitting to reduce the amount of trapped water and also to reduce the amount of water flowing in and out. If you lose weight, the suit may become too loose and be less effective for insulation.
There are two main problems with wet suits. First, water still flows in and out of the suit and so the warm water is lost and replaced with cold water. Secondly, gas bubbles in the neoprene compress with depth reducing the insulating properties of the neoprene. Additionally, the more you move the more water will flow in and out. If you move more slowly, for example while taking photos, there will be less flow. Unfortunately, less movement also means less body heat generated so you still get cold.
A thicker wet suit, for example, 7mm instead of 5mm, will provide more insulation but as the water gets cooler even this may not be enough. Additionally, a thicker wet suit is more buoyant and so more weight is required.
Another alternative to improving the insulation from a wet suit is to wear an insulator vest under the suit. This provides an extra layer of insulation and helps to trap water under the suit better. St George Underwater has a range of vests which may help.
Ultimately, a wet suit just isn’t going to cut it in very cold water. The water temperature at which you’ll still be comfortable in a wet suit will vary from person to person. It also appears to vary with age. Last Winter I did OK with water down to around 15ºC in a two piece 7mm suit with an insulator vest underneath. This year in the same gear I’m already struggling at around 16ºC. Most people will struggle in a wet suit if the water temperature is below 15ºC.
A variation on the wet suit is the semi-dry suit. It works on the same principle as a wet suit but has seals on the ankles, wrists and neck to prevent or at least greatly restrict the ingress of water. The zipper also seals restricting water flow. Water will still get into the suit but there is less of it and almost no flow in and out. This makes it a bit easier to stay warm, or at least stay warm longer. The seals are similar to those on a dry suit and need to be quite tight and it is important to have a good fit. Like a wet suit, a semi-dry needs to be tight fitting.
Dry suits are seen as the ultimate method for staying warm and are even effective in arctic conditions. Dry suits have very tight seals around the wrists and neck and the boots are built in. A proper fitting dry suit will not let any water in at all. By staying dry, a dry suit provides much better insulation because a layer of air is trapped around the body. Additionally, you can where one or more layers of clothes under the dry suit to provide extra insulation. This makes dry suits more flexible as you can add or reduce under garments to suit the water temperature.
There are two main types of dry suits: membrane and neoprene. Membrane suits (also called shell suits) are basically just a layer of membrane (rubber, nylon etc.) which simply provides a seal around the body. The suit itself doesn’t provide insulation or buoyancy. Insulation is dependent on the under garments and buoyancy from the trapped air. You can probably get by carrying less weight with a membrane suit.
A neoprene dry suit sort of combines a wet suit with a dry suit. The suit still provides a sealing outer layer but the neoprene provides both insulation and buoyancy. You may still need to wear under garments but can usually get by with less. The extra buoyancy may mean you need to carry more weight.
As a dry suit has air trapped inside the suit it needs to be hooked up with a low pressure air feed from your regulator. As the depth increases the air inside the suit gets compressed and so more air needs to be added, just like with a BCD. As the depth decreases, the air expands and needs to be purged. This needs to be considered when diving with a dry suit.
Unlike wet and semi-dry suits, a dry suit is loose fitting to allow for under garments and a certain amount of air. The wrists and neck need to be very tight fitting to ensure no water gets in. Ideally the dry suit should also be the right length and also the right girth so it allows just enough air and not too much. If the suit is too long, for example, there well be rolls in the outer layer trapping more air and making the suit more buoyant. Trying to get rid of that air will result in other areas of the suit not having enough air and the suit will press tightly on your body reducing the amount of insulation.
While you may get lucky and find an off the rack dry suit that fits well, in many cases a custom made suit is necessary.
Diving with a dry is a bit different than diving with a wet suit. The air in the dry suit provides buoyancy and you have to be mindful to add or dump air as your depth changes. The suit also provides buoyancy in different places to what you might be used to and so it may take some time to get your balance correct. One particular thing to be careful with when diving with a dry suit is air getting trapped in the legs forcing your legs above your head. Most dry suits have automatic valves to help combat that problem but they will need to be adjusted correctly.
Dry Suit Trial
Last Winter I had a trial of an Apollo 4mm neoprene dry suit from St George Underwater. I did 5 dives in all with water temperature ranging from 16.3ºC down to 14.9ºC. This was an off the rack suit and as I have very small wrists. I had a lot of problems for the first couple of dives keeping dry with water leaking in around the wrists. I pretty much solved the problem by using Apollo Bio-Seals (separate items sold at the shop) around my wrists and neck. These are basically elastic straps worn on the wrists and neck under the seals on the dry suit and I found them to be very effective. I was completely dry for the last two dives, which was lucky as the water temperature was 15ºC and 14.9ºC respectively.
I had no problems at all adjusting to using the dry suit and found it very comfortable and quite warm, especially when I stayed dry. The only other issue I had with the suit was the fit. The suit was a but long for me and so I had rolls in the legs, arms and torso. This trapped air in some parts of the suit and meant I didn’t have enough air in other pasts so the suit was pressing against my body making it feel cooler. Despite this problem I was still warmer in the dry suit than I would have been in my two piece 7mm suit.
While the dry suit was warmer and more comfortable I did find a few disadvantages:
- The zipper goes across my shoulders at the back so I always needed someone’s help to get in and out.
- The suit was very buoyant so that I need to carry the same amount of weight as with my two piece 7mm suit.
- When the suit got wet on the inside it took a lot of time to get it dry.
The advantage of being warm and comfortable for the dive more than makes up for those minor disadvantages.
When I buy a dry suit, and I will almost certainly buy one at some point, I will get it custom made to ensure good seals on my wrists and neck and also to make sure the length is correct. I would also request a front zipper.
Try a Dry Day
How do you know if a dry suit will work for you? As I said earlier, dry suit diving is different from a wet suit. I know some people that just didn’t get used to it. The best idea is to try one so you know if it works. This is especially true to determine if you can get by with an off the rack suit or you’ll need one custom made.
St George Underwater is having a
Try a Dry Day
Sunday 24th June 2012.
Call the shop and book your spot to come out with Apollo and try diving in a dry suit. You’ll get a good idea how it feels, how different it is, and most importantly how much warmer it can be diving in cold water. You’ll also know if an off the rack suit will work for you.
And diving, too. When I last bought a pair of wetsuit boots I just went for something cheap that fitted and would keep me warm. Boots with thick soles were available but I didn’t think I would need them. I admit that was a bad decision. A number of times over the life of the boots I ended up with sea urchin spines in my feet and also had discomfort while walking over sharp rocks too and from shore dive entry points. While diving in Borneo in October, the zip on one of my boots broke and it was time for a new pair.
I went to Caitlin, told her I needed a new pair of boots and said I wanted a pair with decent soles on them. She recommended a pair of Mares TriBoot 5 boots. After trying on a few pairs to get the size right, I settled on size 9. They felt a little loose but the next size down was too tight. I’d rather have them feel a bit loose than cramp my feet.
The first dive I did in the boots was at Bare Island. We walked around the eastern side of the island to enter on the far southern side. The rocks are quite rough and sharp but the boots protected my feet well. In fact, they were very comfortable and didn’t seem loose anymore. In the water, the boots also did their job keeping my feet warm and were still comfortable inside my fins.
The boots include a raised knob just above the heel which secures the fin strap. I was a little concerned it might be tight on my Achilles tendon but the knob works well and caused me no problems. It works very well with the bungie strap on my new Scubapro Seawing Nova fins.
I have done 15 dives since then, including a number at The Leap, The Steps and The Monument, all of which can be hard on the feet. I’m very pleased with the boots.
While boots are only a small part of the diving kit, I see no reason not to find a comfortable pair that also protect the feet while walking to and from a dive site. The Mares TriBoot 5 do just that.
St George Underwater Centre is now an agent for GoPro Cameras.
GoPro make a range of what can be best described as Sports Video Cameras. They are very small, lightweight, capable of shooting high definition video (up to 1080p) and come with a housing that is waterproof to 60 metres. They can also take photos up to a resolution of 11MP (depending on the model).
These cameras are great for diving because they are so small and light. The can be mounted on your mask, worn on your hood or wrist or simply carried for shooting whatever you may encounter.
There are two main models (at least in the interest of divers):
- HD Hero Original
- HD Hero2 Professional
Both shoot video in 1080p, 960p, 720p and WVGA. The original is limited to a wide field of view (127º for 1080p and 170º for the other modes) where as the Hero2 allows the video to be shot in on of three different fields (170º, 127º and 90º) of view in all video modes. A field of view of 170º is almost as wide as a 10mm fisheye lens on a digital SLR camera – that’s a very wide angle of view. A FOV of 90º is still quite wide but closer to a 17mm lens on a DSLR.
Both cameras have a battery life of around 2.5 hours when shooting in 720p/60 fps mode. i.e. you could easily record a whole dive.
For a more detailed comparison, see: Product Comparison: HD HERO2 & HD Hero Cameras
The cameras don’t come with a screen but you can buy them as an optional accessory. The screen fits onto the back of the camera making it marginally fatter and also includes a replacement rear door for the housing. Unless you plan on wearing the camera on your mask or hood, a screen is a good idea for framing your shots.
With the screen attached and switched on the battery life is reduced however it will still record 720p/60 for up to 1.25 hours, more then long enough for a single dive.
Another recommended accessory is a corrective flat port on the front of the housing. By default the port on the front of housing is curved. This works fine out of the water but underwater can result in less than sharp footage. A few third party companies make an add-on port which does not compromise the seal on the housing. I have installed the BlurFix adapter on my GoPro and I now get very sharp footage. The added advantage of the BlurFix adapter is that it uses a standard lens filter as the port so a coloured filter can be used to correct for the loss of red light underwater when shooting with natural light.
The quality of the footage on these cameras is exceptional, especially when you consider how small and inexpensive it is. It is comparable to professionally shot footage.
Here’s some footage that was taken on the recent drive trip to Borneo. All expect the last sequence (leaving Kapalai) was shot with the original HD Hero. The last sequence was shot with a Nikon D7000 DSLR.
There are some more videos at St George Underwater’s Vimeo page.
Please call the centre for more information and pricing.
St George Underwater Centre currently have a wonderful deal on a BRAND NEW Apollo BCD and Regulator, saving big money for some fantastic gear!
We have a brand new, never been used Apollo Bio Lift SQR BCD in a size large in store at St George Underwater Centre. The BCD is a perfect recreational BCD, with a plush padded cupport, integrated weight system, lots of D-rings for clipping on your goodies and nice, deep pockets. The BCD also features a soft neoprene padding around the neck to avoid stitching hitting the tender spot along your hairline (trust me, you notice it!).
The Bio Lift SQR is a retail value of $1299, and we have only one left, in a size large, for the sale price of $500!
Looking for a new set of regs? Try these! The Apollo Bio Regulator is a great, easy to breathe regulator and is the perfect reg for any level of diver. Coming with your 1st, 2nd and occy stages, thhis Bio Reg set comes with a flex occy hose for easy use with your buddy and the 2nd stage regulator is a ball bearing, meaning it moves with you and you’ll never feel like your reg is restrictive when you move around underwater. Apollo scuba equipment is made in Japan and are known for quality diving equipment! These regs are brand new, and we have recently replaced the mouth pieces, so you’ll be the first and only person to use these regs!
We have one reg set left and Kel has marked these down to $499.00! These won’t last long, so come in and grab them soon or you’ll miss out!
Special Deal! If you purchase the Apollo Bio Lift SQR BCD (Size large only) and the Apollo Bio Regulator set for $1000 and recieve 5 free tank hires OR 10 free air fills.
Come in and see our staff to try on the BCD or we can arange to send it to you if you don’t live locally!
Send us an email at email@example.com or give us a call on 02 9502 2221!