Dive Computers – Why do we need them?

While you are doing your Open Water Course you were most definitely taught how to use Dive Tables. Truth be told, how many of us use these tables today?

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Suunto Zoop

That’s because dive computers exist today, which does all the calculating for you. Mind you, the tables are still largely important should anything go wrong with your dive computer DURING an actual dive….

The worst thing you can do, is literally not have a computer at your disposal, or even worse, not use a dive table at all, even without a computer and solely relying on your instructor, Divemaster or buddy, which is seriously frightening stuff and we highly think that this is definitiely something you should not do!

Everyone has their own opinion on what to use and at what stage of diving, however, today dive computers have become so common and so easily purchasable that it doesn’t make sense not to have one.

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Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer

Computers aid you in diving longer – when you dive, and calculate on the dive tables you’ve learnt, these assume that you will stay at the same depth during the entire dive, which we all know is rarely the case. A dive computer constantly recalculates, following you everywhere you go, including your profile, how deep, shallow, how fast you move, and your time at those depths.

p.s – When diving with Nitrox it’s even more important to have a computer of your own. This is because it will help to calculate the best mix for your dive or give you the maximum depth for the particular gas you are using. Notwithstanding the fact that when using Nitrox, you are able to dive for longer, meaning it is even more important to track your depth and time precisely. We are a Nitrox only dive Centre. Don’t have a dive computer of your own? Don’t fret…..you can hire one from us. 

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Suunto D4i Dive Computer

Safe Dives – eliminating human error through dive tables make computers all the more worthwhile. We’re not saying that dive computers don’t have glitches, but if there are other divers with other computers it’s highly unlikely that other computers will have wrong readings at the same time. It’s also important to make sure that you change the batteries of your computer before a holiday or have a spare battery in your tool box.

Logs Your Dives –  almost all dive computers today, store and log dives. Hook them up to a PC to save all the information of each individual dive for later use. The software also gives you other information such as tissue absorption, and your breathing (SAC) rate if your computer has an optional transmitter that transmits the pressure in your cylinder.

No longer costly – as mentioned earlier, dive computers today are more reasonably priced. Obviously there are different ranges of dive computers, so it depends on the cost and rather what features you would like. If you’re going on the technical route, technical computers will also do recreational. Buy the right one first! Have a good look-around to find the right price for the right computer that suits you.

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Suunto D6i Dive Computer

We strongly recommend everyone uses a computer, even if supplied by the dive centre, however, fundamentals of learning the Dive Tables are immensely important as well. Having knowledge of both and using them to facilitate you in have a safer, longer dive is what we strive to achieve.

Some dive computers we stock are most of Suunto’s dive computer range including:  Zoop Novos, D4I’s and D6I’s Vyper Novo.

OSTC

For those intersted in Technical Dive computers our bestseller is OSTC which can
be used with Open Circuit and Rebreathers. We also have a small stock of Ratio Computers. 

 

 

 

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Ratio Computers

Have Diving Blues? Here are a few ways to keep yourself busy.

 

Going home after a wonderful dive trip, you might find yourself having Diver Blues. If you are one of those people that feel more at home in the water than you do out on the surface…we feel you! However, no need to fret…..don’t waste your days waiting for your next dive to come along as soon as possible. Take action and make most of your time on the surface. Here are a few ideas to keep you busy.

 

  1. Have your logbook entries up to date

apart from the fact that having your logbook up to date is an vital activity that needs to be done at some point. So why not do it as soon as you get back, since it is still fresh in your mind, so you can log your dives from your experience. Think of it as having a journal to capture memories from your recent trip. Also adding any dive statistics and equipment logs that might come in handy for your next future dives. In addition, maybe adding some small footnotes, photos, dive profiles from your dive computer and printouts.15311489_10154758400860879_464702085_o

 

2. Keep learning new skills with above-water diver training

There are loads of courses that you can get certified in that don’t require you getting into the water. This is a great way to keep you occupied while you don’t have any actual dives planned in the near future. This way your addiction to scuba diving is still fulfilled in different ways. Here are some non-diving courses we offer at our centre – click here

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3. Have your equipment checked

You know what they say…..SAFETY FIRST! There is no better managed time checking that your equipment is preserved and managed in good condition so as to avoid any accidents on your next dive trip. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind while checking your equipment:

  • Check your cylinders, BCDs and regulators and make sure to have them all serviced. On another note, be sure to clean your cylinders with oxygen if you plan on using Enriched Air Nitrox.Enriched-Air-Diver
  • Have a look at your dry suit and make sure all the zips are in working condition and that the suit is sealed off completely.
  • Check your regulator hoses and O Rings for wear and tear
  • Observe your SPG and your compass for any signs of pressurized cracks.
  • Have a look at your clips to make sure none of them are covered in rust.

These are some of the essential tips you should know when checking out your gear. It is of most importance that you know what to look out for before diving again. If you want to know more details on how to repair your own kit, have a look at our Equipment Specialist Course. Also another great way to keep your dive blues at bay.

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4. Organize photos from your trip

If you are an underwater photography enthusiast, make sure to organize your photos. So make the most of your time above the water to categorize all the images gathering dust on your hard drive! Tag them, edit them, put them into individual albums and maybe print and publish your favourite ones. One way to get your photos out is find a diver photo community on an online platform or social media site to share with other divers. Another way of getting exposure is to enter into photo contests.

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5. Plan your next trip!

Instead of just dreaming about when you’ll be diving again, use this time above water to plan your next diving trip. Sit down, relax and do some research on where you’d like to dive and what course is next for you. As you are well aware, there are endless wrecks, reefs and caves around the world for you to explore. So the longer time you have to plan the better for you to make the most out of your next trip and the more detailed the trip can be!

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If you’re thinking of planning your next trip to Malta, we would love to hear from you! Get in touch with us and we’ll set up the best dive tailored to your next certification.

 

What is Nitrox and why we use it?

In diving terms Enriched Air Nitrox indicates a nitrogen and oxygen mixture. Having higher oxygen levels than the usual 21% found in natural air. You can easily spot a nitrox cylinder with its green and yellow band. Which usually has the mix percentage of nitrox and oxygen written on the tank.

It is this high percentage of oxygen and low percentage of nitrogen that allows divers to elongate no-decompression limits, lessen surface intervals and an added security for decompression sickness in some diving situations.

We all learnt through our certifications that water pressure makes nitrogen get absorbed into the bloodstream when you dive.  When there is higher pressure the more the nitrogen gets dissolved. It is important to remember that when nitrogen reaches certain levels, you must start to prepare to go back up to the surface slowly, so as to avoid two things:nitrox1

  • mandatory decompression stops
  • or a bad case of decompression sickness

There is another way to go about it however, and this is called Equivalent Air Depth (EAD). This is when you replace some of the Nitrogen with more levels of Oxygen. Having obviously less Nitrogen means that it will not be absorbed into the bloodstream as quickly, leaving you with a longer no-decompression limit….and more time underwater.

Be careful, however beneficial this might be – breathing in high concentrations of oxygen has its own downfall. This could lead to oxygen toxicity, which can cause distortion to your vision or seizures which can possibly lead to drowning.

Dive centres usually have the right mix, which is usually about 32%. This makes everything a little less complicated. This way your chosen dive centre can just adjust the mix to your own dive plan respectively.

Want to know more? Check out our web page for: Enriched Air Diver

Meet the Dive Team – Jasper

Jasper Mulda

 

Jasper, originally from the Netherlands, came to our Dive Centre and enjoyed diving with us for a Summer. He then decided he wanted to come back and do his Divemaster Internship with us. He stayed on and joined the other candidates on the IDC and passed with flying colours! 

After spending the winter in Thailand he came back to Divewise to join the team again….so he comes in handy with Dutch clients and speaks some German too.

With that lovely mop of blonde hair and big smile he has become our “Cool Diving Dude” and is a pleasure to have around.

We asked him a few questions so you could get to know more about Jasper…..

Who are you and what do you do? 

My name’s Jasper Mulder and I work at Divewise as a Diving Instructor.

When did you start diving?

Oh…..I started out in 2014, and haven’t looked back since!

What made  you start diving? 

I have been doing water sports since I was very little, about around the age of 5 actually……then at the age of 10 my father took me for a little dive in Greece and that was that….I was hooked! I wanted to become a diver.

How long have you been working with Divewise? 

Well this will be my third season actually…..Time flies!

Where and when was your last logged dive / dive related experience? 

This morning at Cirkewwa, We went to the P29 (patrol boat)

What keeps you diving and how do you keep the passion? 

One of the things I like to do is to teach, share my knowledge and experience with other people who share the same love for the ocean as I do…..apart from obviously the silence, peace and tranquil feeling the underwater world gives you.

Favourite Dive Site? 

Santa Maria Caves

Whats your favourite Wreck in Malta? 

I would have to say, the Um El Faroud and the SS Margit

Favourite Piece of Dive equipment and why? 

I guess I’d say, my mask….reason being it’s what allows you to see the beauty of underwater life clear as day.

Favourite Course to teach? 

Open Water or Wreck Specialty 

What’s next for you? To further your dive certifications…. 

I really want to learn Freediving…..I can image the freedom one feels when having trained your body to last a long time underwater with no substitute of air!

Name one experience that you’ll never forget while working with Divewise.

I remember when I was ready from my Divemaster Course. I was assigned to do a Discover Scuba Course in Dutch, which is my native language. But since I had learnt everything in English, I found it hard to translate what I had learnt and explain it in Dutch! It was a very weird situation indeed. 

If you could have any one super, what would it be? 

Teleportation

Give us a short sentence that describes you and your relationship with diving….. 

The quieter the better!!!

What is free diving?

In the easiest form of putting it, Freediving is basically breathold diving. If you’ve ever swum underwater and held your breath, even for a few seconds, you have already experienced Freediving.

This sport in it’s early days was only practiced by expert divers and/or photographers. However, it has now become an increasingly popular hobby within the generic world of sports activities.

Now, to explain what freediving is in the simplest way; diving without any aid of breathing apparatus in turn not leaving any harmful effects on your surroundings. In order for freedivers to execute this task, they must learn special techniques to hold their breath without resurfacing for the duration of a whole dive! Fascinating….

Different Types of Freediving 

While the technique of freediving is the same in any environment, it does not look the same in every case.

Competing freedivers practice 11 different disciplines. All of which include the breath hold technique but are subjected to different circumstances and environmental changes.

Furthermore, whilst training, generally most freedivers learn to practice holding their breath while staying in the same place, while another person times them. This is called Static Apnea and forms part of the Padi Basic Freediver Course.

Freediving opens up a new world where marine life tends to get closer to you – no noise and no bubbles!

 

Divewise Merch

For those of you who don’t know, and for those of you who do…..we have lots of cool merchandise available!

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From mugs, to log books to cool customised T-shirts, for the diving enthusiast who’s been to our centre and dived with us…..we think these are the perfect gift! (Or maybe you want one all to yourself)…..Either way, have a look!

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T-shirts range from sizes between Small and Extra Large to accomodate everyone.  Here are the prices for some of the Items:

  • Mugs – €10.00
  • Logbooks – €20.00 (these are handmade!)
  • Beaufighter/Rozi tshirts – €15.00 (Special Offer) and €2 will be donated to Project Aware
  • Surface to Beyond T-Shirts – €25.00
  • Eat, Sleep, Dive T-Shirts – €15
  • Torches vary from €69 – €10915311631_10154758401535879_790667898_o
  • Most of the other T-shirts are also €25.00 – contact us for more information on any items.
  • We also offer a Malta – Gozo – Comino Book which is €30.00. It has beautiful dive scenes from all over the islands with awesome and intersting information regarding each site, and other useful information detailing wrecks, marine life, history and much more.
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We hope you like our stuff as much as we enjoy using them! Please speak to us if you are interested in ordering any of the items, so we can check if there is still stock left.

Email us at: info@divewise.com.mt. Otherwise, if you’re in Malta, don’t be shy to come say hello!  We’d love to help you pick the perfect merch for you!

Divewise Team

A year working with Divewise – Alana

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My name is Alana Mifsud, and I am originally from Gozo (Malta’s sister Island).

It’s already been a year since I’ve started working with Divewise, and all I can say is….I’ve never been happier! I came across working with Alan and Viv through some connections, and boy am I happy I was approached with that opportunity.

I am the Marketing and Social Media executive to Divewise, which has so many perks! I was never in the diving scene before this job and I will admit to you, dear readers that I have not yet been diving ever! (Shameful, I know) However, you can be rest assured that I have been asked by almost all staff including Alan and Viv on when I will do my first Open Water Course, or at least a Shallow Dive. I will do it soon, I promise!

Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog post about my time at Divewise so far, and introduce myself properly to our devoted clients and newcomers as well, after hiding in the shadows for a whole year! Working for Divewise is definitely more than a handful, however, I do mean that in the best way possible….I have learnt so much on the whole about the diving community in general and have made a few friends along the way.  Including non-human friends like; Marble our newest addition to the cat family that Viv and Sarah care for at the centre and how could anyone ever forget our beloved Jacques, the mascot of the whole business!

I must say, I do respect my bosses very much and they are the sweetest people I’ve ever met, which is definitely a bonus and one of the biggest reasons why a workplace strives; keeping staff happy; I can see is the case with all other staff members in the centre. Hey, even the animals are happy! They are such dedicated people and are amazing at showing their clients they are important. Apart from being friendly, respectful and caring towards everyone’s needs. It’s like having one huge family, which is not actually your family, but you know what I mean. 😉 Even though I am not at the centre as much as the other staff, I still feel that sense of belonging, which is very rare, in a sense.

I’ve discovered, read and learnt so much just by taking care of most of the social media pages and blogs related to the business. I hope in a way these articles and content have served their purpose and were meaningful to most of our readers who might find that they entail great tips for beginner divers (believe me I was learning with you) or maybe a refresher for those who have been diving longer.

I would like to put out there, that if you have a certain topic which you would like us to cover in our blog, please feel free to leave a comment or contact us directly and hopefully we can provide enough information for a sufficient and informative blog post for everyone’s benefit.

I would absolutely love to hear from you and maybe meet you in person someday when you are out at the centre.

Cheers!

Alana

The MV Rozi Wreck

_mg_3275The MV Rozi was a tugboat originally called Rossmore. She was built in Bristol in 1958 by Charles Hill & Sons. She was later re-named Rossgarth after she was sold to a different company; Rea Towing _mg_3259in 1969. The Mifsud Brothers Ltd then bought the tug (still named Rossgarth at this time) in 1972. She worked for the Malta Ship Towage Ltd when she left Liverpool and started her occupation in Malta.

She was then sold to Tug Malta to operate at the Grand Harbour in 1981. After several long years working within the Grand Harbour, she was decommissioned and sold to Captain Morgan Cruises who deliberately sunk the vessel. The tugboat was placed just off Cirkewwa in September 1992 for Captain Morgan’s Underwater Safari Tours. However these tours no longer exist today which left the site open to become one of the most popular dive sites, attracting many divers from around the world.

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_mg_3280The wreck is easily reachable from shore at Cirkewwa and simple to find as it is marked by a buoy. To get to the MV _mg_3267Rozi, one must pass over one of the most beautiful reefs Malta has to offer. Fortunately, the MV Rozi is one of the wrecks which can be entered safely, namely the engine room and the wheel house which have been emptied for this purpose. However, the rest of the wreck is also fairly accessible to explore.

Marine life you would expect to see are the Cardinal Fish, Rainbow Wrasse, not to mention Scorpion Fish and a lot of Sea Bream. To dive this wreck one needs to have an Advanced Open Water Qualification. It is a dive of 36 metres deep.

Want to dive this wreck? Get in touch with us and we’ll offer you a package you can’t resist.

For more info on other wrecks, head to our other article with a list of wrecks you can choose from should you wish to dive our lovely waters. _mg_3263

P29 Wreck

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Previously named Boltenhagen (GS09) by its constructors in East Germany, the Kondor-Class minesweeper was separated from the Volksmarine (Naval Forces of Germany) just before the reconsolidation of Germany. She was later bought off by Malta in 1997, who renamed the vessel P29 and used it as a patrol boat, just like the P31.

She was launched in 1970 and was commissioned in that same year in the month of September. The P29 was the 18th vessel manufactured under the Kondor-Class. Like the P31, she was used to patrol river banks between East and West Germany, apart from acting as a minesweeper.p29

Before being sold off to the Armed forces of Malta, the P29 served in the German Federal Coast Guard. They kept her German name up to this point but changed her pennant number to BG31. Moreover, while under the German Federal Coast Guard, she was given a new refurbishment; her guns were disassembled, the equipment and radio inside the vessel were updated and changed, also her whole body was repainted. The BG31 was the last Kondor-1 and was later inactive in 1996.

General Characteristics:

  • Weight: 361 tons
  • Length: 52m
  • Beam: 7m
  • Draft: 2.5m
  • Propulsion: MD 40 Deisel Engines
  • Speed: 20 knots
  • Armament: 1 quad 14.5mm_mg_3387

On another note, this is where Malta decided to purchase this vessel, who, along with her sister ships the P31 and the P30 were also bought by Malta in 1992. It became a patrol boat under the Armed Forces of Malta, and was upgraded with some weaponry for protection. However, this previous minesweeper, now turned patrol boat aided the Maltese with securing the Maltese coast against smugglers and border control operations.
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Quite like her sister ship the P31, she was decommissioned in 2004 and scuttled off the port of Cirkewwa in 2007, where she lies 150 metres from the coast which is easily accessible from the shore, for divers and underwater species to visit her, acting as an artificial reef and also as a spectacle for divers to enjoy.

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You can find a video of a dive on both the P29 and the Rozi here an its location coordinates here.

This article caught your eye? Check out all the other wrecks found on the Maltese Islands in our other blog posts.

 

 

 

Meet the Dive Team – Marko Knezevic

untitledMarko…..where do we start! 

Originally from Serbia, Marko started his Divemaster Internship with us and is still a valuable member of the team today. Lovable character, and never stops smiling; he is great fun to dive with! We are convinced he runs on duracell batteries, as he is always on the go, we don’t know where he gets his energy from, and by the end of the season he never seems to get tired! Nothing is ever too much trouble for him an is marvelous with children and great with groups.

 

It’s time for some grilling! 

 

Who are you? What do you do?

Helloooo I’m Marko. I actually studied to be a PE Teacher! However diving got the better of me and am now an instructor for Divewise. Hehe

When did you start diving?

Waaaay back in 2010 

What made you start diving? 

The idea of breathing underwater was just baffling to me, I am not one to chicken out so I gave it a go and been hooked ever since!

How long have you been working with Divewise? 

This would be my 3rd Year…

Where and when was your last logged dive/dive related experience?

Today! Out on the house reef 🙂

Dive goals and What’s the next course you want to do & why?

Sidemount, because it gives you a sense of freedom from having cylinders attached to you. Basically you can take the cylinders off and can maneuver through wherever you want 🙂

What keep you diving and how do you keep the passion?

Apart from the fact that diving to me is more than just my job…….hmmm….I would say FOOD keeps me striving to keep diving, Haha. I love myself a good meal!

Favourite Dive Site? 

Oh definitely the House Reef at our Centre.

Whats your favourite Wreck in Malta? 

The Um El Faroud….Hands down!

Favourite piece of dive equipment and why? 

Cylinders of course, otherwise how am I supposed to breath under water? 

Favourite Course to teach?

Advanced Wreck Specialty

What superhero would you be? 

Spiderman

If you could have any one super power, which would you choose? 

Invisibility!

Closing short paragraph / sentence about you and diving

Like a fish in the water….or…maybe a frog?