Joe Cocozza at DEMA: Day 2
Joe Cocozza reports live from DEMA 2014 to find out what's new in the dive industry - Day 2
Live Report From DEMA
Rebreather diving in the Caribbean
I started day two with an interview with Peter Seupel, the owner of Aquanauts Grenada. Grenada is arguably the scuba diving capital of the Eastern Caribbean. The islands offer coral reefs, spectacular shipwrecks – including the Italian luxury liner Bianca C which has been nicknamed the 'Titanic of the Caribbean', drift diving and a unique underwater sculpture park.
As Peter explained, Grenada is a place with both amazing recreational and technical diving. Aquanauts Grenada is a rebreather-friendly shop, fully rigged to support technical divers and rebreather divers. They offer all gas mixes including trimix and O2 fill-ups to 100 per cent, for the CCR diver, snofnolime is always in stock. The shop also rents out all the tech gear you need including stage bottles, doubles, side-mount rigs and rebreather bottles as well as complete AP Evolution/Inspiration CCRs. Certified rebreather divers can show up with just their wetsuit, mask and fins and hire the rest.
Check their website www.rebreathrgrenada.com for more info.
(Pod Diver Radio will be posting a post-DEMA episode with in-depth interviews. Including an in-depth interview with Peter Seupel of Aquanauts Grenada, so subscribe to stay tuned!)
Monkey diving with DIVE RITE
After my chat with Peter Seupel I stopped by to see my old friends at the Dive Rite booth and spoke with Jared Hires about the DiveRite’s new Nomad LTZ (the 5th generation side-mount diving system).
I have to admit that for the last six years I have been diving with the first-generation Nomad which I have really tweaked over the years and did not want to switch. But the latest side-mount BC from Dive Rite has some really sweet features: the exterior shell is made of an extremely durable 'SuperFabric' which is great for cave divers who are scrapping through tight pushes in hardcore cave systems. Even with 30lbs of lift it still has a low profile design. The additional lift is channeled and with contour for optimum trim.
Another cool feature is the inflator and exhaust valves which are placed at the front, inside of the wing and not on the exterior, keeping the valves safe and free from exposure.
The BC also has a third dump valve located the at the top inside of the wing with a pull cord routed down the left shoulder strap. There are multiple access points to vent air from the wing with either hand. The valves are now on the front, inside of the wing, the corrugated inflator hose routes from the bottom/right of the wing up the diver’s side and secures to the chest for easy access.
When I first started side-mounting (on the original Nomad) it took me a dozen dives before I had adjusted and tweaked my first-generation Nomad to perfection. With the Nomad LTZ, that process would probably take no more than one or two dives to adjust.
I think it is time for an upgrade. Does anybody want to buy an old Nomad on eBay?
Mermaids, kit and catch-ups
It was a truly interesting show day (I bumped into a Mermaid who was selling mono fins and a man selling 'frog spit').
DEMA is also a chance to catch up on the business of diving. I attended a PADI marketing seminar for instructors, a tech diving clinic and a regulator repair class. While walking the floor of the show, I stopped by the Scuba Tools booth and spec’d out some much-needed tools for my regulator repair bench. And, since I just love new dive kit, I spent time at the Aqua Lung and APEKS diving booth to take a closer look at all the goodies.
After very busy day, with a lot of walking and talking I left the Las Vegas Convention Centre via the Skywalk to head back the The Westgate Hotel. And who do I run into in the lobby? No other than David Doubilet, award-winning underwater photographer and DIVE Magazine contributor. We chatted about old times and his latest projects.
So after dinner it’s off to upload this blog and an (not very Vegas-like) early bedtime. However, tomorrow is a big day, with interviews with Hollis/Oceanic, Light & Motion and The National Marine Sanctuaries.