Re: Unrecovery: Another telescope guy in the fold



On 2006-08-24, Anthony de Boer - USEnet <abuse@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Eric Schwartz posted thus:
I tend to dive with 14-16 lbs on an aluminum tank, but 6-8 on a steel
tank. And anyway, for the sport diving I do, I'd rather rent a tank
anyhow; there's no percentage in lugging my own across an airport
terminal when I can just plug into someone else's.

There's basically no way you're flying with a scuba tank (historically,
not just recently); if you're not diving locally then the tank and
weightbelt are definitely in the rent-when-you-get-there category.

And you'll typically find that any given dive operator will include
tanks and weights in the price of the trip.

ISTR that the only way you'll ever get a scuba tank on a plane is if you
completely open the valve in front of the checkin people, and leave it
that way. From one point of view, this isn't necessary - after all, a
tank is designed to withstand 250 plus atmospheres of pressure, so going
up to fifty thousand feet (15,240 metres), where the ambient pressure is
about one eighth that at sea level, shouldn't register as a blip on the
scale. Considering how most baggage handlers treat luggage, though, and
the results of a tank suddenly and catastrophically losing its valve[1],
it's very necessary, and very much not surprising.

Of course, the weight of the typical steel cylinder (14 kg for mine,
IIRC) means that it's not really practical to take it as part of your
luggage.

Side note: a friend of mine had to put his gear into storage when he
went on a long trip (he was going to move cities at the end of that
trip). He had to take the valve off the tank completely, and put a slug
in its place, so the storage people could see at a glance that the tank
was at no more than ambient pressure.

Typically you buy stuff that has to fit you personally (mask, suit,
fins), stuff you want to know nobody else has peed in (suit, though
there are sanitary considerations with mask, snorkel, and reg too),
and stuff you want to know you can depend on not failing at depth
(mask, reg).

And BC[2]. Some hire BCs I've seen are pretty dire.

[1] The tank will take off. There's enough force in one of those things
to take it through a solid brick wall, according to the guy who took
me on my open water course; given that a full tank is at 200 or more
bar of pressure (that's around 2900 PSI), I can believe it.
[2] Buoyancy compensator. It's that nice jacket thingy that you strap
the tank to, before putting it onto your back. Also contains air
bladders, so you can control your buoyancy: put air in to start
going up, take it out to start going down (in simple terms).
Ideally, you should have enough lead weights that you'll be going
down at the start of the dive, but not a great rate, so you won't
need much air in the BC to end up neutrally buoyant.

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