Diving In a Wing & Backplate

After using a BCD for 20 odd years I decided it was time to get into the 21st century and treat myself to a wing and long hose configuration after trying one back in May with Amy - However, Alan is trying to get me into sidemount but I want to take one step at a time not being a regular diver


CONTENTS:

  1. My New Wing
  2. Testing the Waters
  3. The Long Hose
  4. Finning Time
  5. Dive Footage

1. My New Wing

When the wing arrived the straps needed shortening considerably as I am only 5ft 1" but we left some length to make any adjustments once I tried it out in the water..... Sarah did a great job and after the dive everything was perfect so she has a good eye for this sort of thing. It was a lot heavier than a BCD and the weight was more on my shoulders rather than around my waist so this was something to get used to,  I am not a spring chicken anymore but not afraid to try out new things in scuba.

Wing and Backplate

2. Testing the Waters

After a buoyancy check, I needed a half kilo in each pocket and I was wearing a long 5mm wetsuit as the water is around 26 degrees, plus I needed heavier fins as I now have floaty feet all of a sudden, which was a surprise. After having a swim in the shallows we then moved out onto the reef. Gauging how much air to have in the wing at a bit more depth took a few goes but soon found a happy medium that was comfortable.

Diving In a Wing & Backplate

3. The Long Hose

I had to get used to the long hose regulator system, which was pretty straight forward but seemed strange to breathe off. I was made to breathe off the long hose not the one around my neck, then common sense kicked in and I remembered Sarah & Amy briefed me about the long hose being for my buddy in an emergency, and the one on the necklace was then my back up.

Diving In a Wing & Backplate

4. Finning Time

Sarah offered for me to try frog kicking, after we did a few exercises on the benches at the centre. Total failure for me as my left leg has a mind of its own. Trying to concentrate, I started to sink to the sea bed or my right ankle and foot would rotate at a different angle and rock me to the left. So Sarah swam in front and I followed trying to copy her technique.

Diving In a Wing & Backplate

The more I tried, the worse I got and I couldn't tell if I was horizontal or diving upright, so had a rest and enjoyed the marine life and tried again. Still couldn't get anywhere and knowing that I was not going to get this straight away, so I held onto a boulder and Sarah guided my legs and feet, then let go for me to continue but after 2 - 3 kicks my buoyancy went again. I just started laughing and gave her some un lady like hand signals to have a break for the day.


5. Dive Footage

After the dive, we watched some footage that Sarah made, so I could see what I was doing wrong. From now on, I will be lying on the bed in front of my mirrored wardrobe to practise and keep trying. I am not going to give up easily and practise is permanent or so they say.

Anyone willing to share some tips feel free, I am all ears.

Diving In a Wing & Backplate

Written By: Vivienne Whitehead

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