Surface Marker Buoy


What is it?
The surface marker buoy (or SMB) is an essential piece of equipment which allows a dive team to mark their position either on the surface or underwater.

Why should I have one?
Just as with backup lights, SMB's are not only for technical divers. Marking one's position in the water with an SMB may be the only form of communication between the boat and the diver in less than optimal conditions.

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Standard Gases by JJ


Before I begin any discussion of the specific gasses I chose for GUE I want to reiterate a few aspects to standard gas selection. I recognize that this may appear to be old hat but some of the concerns seem best answered in this format. Please recognize that the constituents of a particular set of standard mixes are less important than the utility of standard mixes in general. In other words you can always find a "better" mix at a given depth; this is also true for a range of depth segments.

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History of the Back Plate


By Greg Flanagan
In 1979 cave diving was still very much in its infancy and as a junior at the University of Florida, I was privileged to be taking the first cave diving course offered by the newly formed NSS Cave Diving Section, taught by none other than Sheck Exley.
The serious cave rigs of that period included double 104s worn with a Navy harness or a simple three strap harness, both of which consisted only of stainless steel tank bands and webbing. There rigs were used in connection with a belly-bag BC for buoyancy control. 

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Updated Pre-Dive Checklist

G - Goals - What do you want to do? Whats the plan?
U - Unified Team - Who does what? what order?
E - Equipment - Have had two different instructors do slightly differentthings. One does the equipment matching check here. The other just goes over any specialized equipment needs. i.e. Reels, scooters, cameras and the like.

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Understanding Balance & Trim by Quest



Good trim requires that a diver move through the water in a horizontal position with the feet up. Most divers swim in a foot-down position using a kick that gives downward thrust. This attitude increases the surface area of the diver that must be pushed through the water, which requires more energy and increases air consumption. Also, much of the downward thrust caused by the kick is effort wasted against poor buoyancy control-- part of the kick must compensate for the diver’s lack of neutral buoyancy. It is also crucial to realize that the feet-down position will lead to dead coral, bad visibility and damaged cave, all of which should be important issues for divers.

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