November 16, 2011

What's in a profile?

I never missed the download feature from my dive computer. My Suuntos weren't downloadable and I didn't buy download cable to my Oceanic. But when I bought a Sub Gear XP10 and I read the manual I noticed I can download the profiles by IrDA. This infrared communication adapter is cheap and some older laptops have a built-in one. As I kept my old-school computers I found one which had this.

Since then I use to download my dives regularly. I add the additional information to the dive log software but I confess I still haven't found the reasons why do I really need this feature. This entry won't answer this question but at least I found a place where I can use them: this blog. I'd like to insert two dive profiles and tell about them. The first one shows a fairly typical dive in the Adriatic: it's quite deep. I don't dive for the computer but I'm proud to see this profile: not too much bottom time, gradual ascending, aren't any too fast swims up or down.... It's OK.

What this profile tell us about the Adriatic? Because of the industrial fishing in the shallow areas there are much less fish. The cat sharks and the lobsters live below 30 meters, the purple or yellow sea fans as well. Most of the divers plan to go deep in the beginning to find something special. The slow ascending is not only safer but let us to light into the holes and find the hiding animals. Many of these dives are wall dives so everybody has to be careful and maintain the neutral buoyancy. Because of the maximum depth I like to spend more time in the shallows, not only the 3 minutes long safety stop. The dive boat won't abandon us, the divers slowly get out of the water to the RIB, so instead of waiting in the surface I like to stay between 3-5 meters. Have a look at the temperature chart: in the summer close to the surface you'd think a shorty is enough but it drops very fast. At the deepest point it was as low as 15 Celsius degrees- those who like it hot wouldn't enjoy diving.

The other profile would be familiar for those who often dive in tropical seas. This was a dive in the Egyptian Red Sea where water temperature difference wasn't an issue. But I use to wear a thin overall even in warm water because we spend more time in the bottom: this dive was more than 70 minutes long. I prefer those dive sites where the reef starts at the surface, even the safety stop is fun in the coral garden. Instead of going up and down often I use to spend more time at specific points. For a few minutes I'm just watching the fish, trying to find critters. If I take my camera I try to shoot some photos. I don't need to hurry, in this depth I don't use much air. There are dozens of these shallow places in Egypt where you don't fight against the current, you can easily navigate back to the boat while you're wondering the splendid underwater world. Maybe these spots won't appear in the Top 10 guides but for me it can be the dive of my life - at least until it lasts.

I take my time. I don't swim too much: there is life everywhere, the Red Sea is beautiful. If it's possible I don't join the dive guides but dive with my buddy. I really love this relaxing way of being under water. I never miss offshore reefs where the chance of shark encounters are higher. If an animal wants to meet it'll find me and pose for a photo. That is why this is dive profile is much less exciting. I can download it to show and explain but I think the profiles don't tell too much about our favorite dives...

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