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Thread: Ever built a Hookah?

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Another "safety first" whiner. As a master scuba diver for over 20 years, I can't stress enough how easy it is for things to go bad - even when 6 to 8 ft. down. Here in the states a course to get certified is about $300. Worth every penny.

    Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I have cleaned the bottom & changed props on a # of 50' boats - including my own. I did find that I used less air in the Bahamas than I do in Maine... I do it with a single 80 tank & have been able to do the whole boat easily with one tank. If your bottom is really bad, the first time might take 2. The idea of a hose getting tangled/caught in something (prop, rudder, whatever) is enough to make me prefer a tank.
    I've already piped up here but don't know how to be diplomatic about my real concern regarding this thread.
    Take to your local coroner. That may clear up your risk assessment in a jiffy.
    You don't even need a scuba course to increase your survival odds considerably.
    Just never hold your breath and don't go deeper than the bottom of your boat hull.
    You'll get an hour off each 80 cubic foot tank filled to 3000 psi.
    Don't mess with DIY.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Christie View Post
    I've already piped up here but don't know how to be diplomatic about my real concern regarding this thread.
    Take to your local coroner. That may clear up your risk assessment in a jiffy.
    You don't even need a scuba course to increase your survival odds considerably.
    Just never hold your breath and don't go deeper than the bottom of your boat hull.
    You'll get an hour off each 80 cubic foot tank filled to 3000 psi.
    Don't mess with DIY.
    Thats OK Tom, I don't do diplomatic much myself. I guess I'm pretty determined to do it myself. I'm just that kind of guy. So I started this thread looking for advice about how to, rather than advice not to. But the latter is fine. I think the rules here are that no one owns a thread once started, and you can post whatever you like provided it's not gratuitously offensive.

    I do sometimes find it surprising that on a forum devoted to wooden boats, which are one of the last bastions of do it yourself, there are always plenty who say No, get an expert, buy off the shelf. I do understand and appreciate the expressed safety concerns. And I acknowledge the dangers, as well as the al Ost instant panic reaction when air is denied. I even felt some of that doing my first test at sea level, without even getting my head fully underwater. Not enough air is not a nice feeling! But let's keep seperate the risks of diving per se and the risks of home built equipment.

  3. #73
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Thats OK Tom, I don't do diplomatic much myself. I guess I'm pretty determined to do it myself. I'm just that kind of guy. So I started this thread looking for advice about how to, rather than advice not to. But the latter is fine. I think the rules here are that no one owns a thread once started, and you can post whatever you like provided it's not gratuitously offensive.

    I do sometimes find it surprising that on a forum devoted to wooden boats, which are one of the last bastions of do it yourself, there are always plenty who say No, get an expert, buy off the shelf. I do understand and appreciate the expressed safety concerns. And I acknowledge the dangers, as well as the al Ost instant panic reaction when air is denied. I even felt some of that doing my first test at sea level, without even getting my head fully underwater. Not enough air is not a nice feeling! But let's keep seperate the risks of diving per se and the risks of home built equipment.

    Absolutely. I was referring to the risks of diving. Knowledge is a good thing...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  4. #74
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by simonmags View Post
    An interesting read Phil, picked a good time of year for testing it out too, water should be nice and warm this week.

    Have you had a chance to look at the setup that the dive shop at Noarlunga use? When we take the kids down to the beach there it's not unusual to see some people out with the hookah setup they run.


    Can the air from a normal piston driven air compressor be filtered for breathability with the right filters? I'd looked at it briefly to combat sanding dust and for spray painting, feeding the air into a mask like the ones 3m make.

    Keep us posted how the cutoff switch works too.

    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
    You just need something like this Simon, this is a cheap electric spray gun pump but is basically a vacuum cleaner on blow instead of suck:



    This was a very quick and dirty set up using Tyvek overalls and a cheap face mask with the hose gaffer taped to the back of the suit hood, but it worked brilliantly when I was sanding the antifoam off of my hull



    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...rebuild/page20
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  5. #75
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Christie View Post
    I've already piped up here but don't know how to be diplomatic about my real concern regarding this thread.
    Take to your local coroner. That may clear up your risk assessment in a jiffy.
    You don't even need a scuba course to increase your survival odds considerably.
    Just never hold your breath and don't go deeper than the bottom of your boat hull.
    You'll get an hour off each 80 cubic foot tank filled to 3000 psi.
    Don't mess with DIY.
    Tom and Garrett. I agree with all your concerns, having worked as a diver at admittedly not a particularly difficult level.
    I would not touch a DIY outfit having seen what trouble can be got into with professional equipment.
    It's all very easy to dive down, it's coming up that's where the problems start.

  6. #76
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    I ran out of air on my first ( dive school) deep dive. I was at 25m, I took a moment to go back through the lectures to find the correct solution then followed my smallest bubbles up and thus breathed an "empty" tank to the surface. It was gratifying to have paid attention in class.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  7. #77
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Hoses can (should) be kept neatly so this doesn't happen - but I do understand the tinkering part! Still wish you'd consider certification - you'll learn a lot,
    People who don't dive don't have any idea about the freedom that buoyancy control and an independent air supply gives you. They see divers stumbling around ashore with all that gear but really it's all about performance underwater. I'd like a hookah to keep on the boat but I'd always use scuba where I could. Working under a big, long boat, a hookah would drive me nuts.

    In thinking this through since Phil launched the topic, and cleaning my boat with scuba the other day, I've pretty much decided that I'l keep a tank and basic scuba gear on the boat on all trips - for fun and to deal with tangles etc. I'll use scuba to clean the hull, prop etc.

    Phil, I think you know I admire resourcefulness, innovation and an adventurous spirit. I'm not risk averse and OHS drives me up the wall. But having done a lot of diving and also used a hookah for what you intend to do, I think there are complications and risks that are not obvious and that you'd be better off to stop being a stingy bastard and get some scuba gear.

    Rick

  8. #78
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    I ran out of air on my first ( dive school) deep dive. I was at 25m, I took a moment to go back through the lectures to find the correct solution then followed my smallest bubbles up and thus breathed an "empty" tank to the surface. It was gratifying to have paid attention in class.
    What sort of dive school was THAT?

    Rick

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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    What sort of dive school was THAT?

    Rick
    One where they were SERIOUS about making people remember to check their tank pressure before going in?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  10. #80
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    What sort of dive school was THAT?

    Rick
    Byron, can't remember the name.
    I was the only one to use up his air, maybe it was the tank fill, maybe it was me but a good lesson none the less.
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  11. #81
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Rick, yes, I appreciate your thoughts, as always.

  12. #82
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Some people do use much more air than others - every dive school knows this. Some people cannot ascend safely from even shallow depths, due to unknown health issues. That's why every dive school taking people deeper for their first time would always have them accompanied, would be checking their air and state of awareness frequently, and would never allow an out of air ascent from 25m. They would give you their spare regulator immediately and ascend slowly with you.

    In dive training, you have to do an out of air ascent - not from 25m, I can't remember the depth. You have to make an audible singing noise all the way up to prove you're not holding your breath and also control your buoyancy so you don't 'do the missile'. The instructor accompanies you all the way and monitors the singing and buoyancy. If you can't do it, you don't get your card. It's good training.

    I've seen some dive leaders allow some pretty extraordinary risks and I've seen a student nearly drown an instructor on the instructor's first course after he became an instructor but I've never heard of a dive school letting a student run out at 25m nor allow an out of air ascent before. That school was hopefully short-lived. You could easily kill someone like that.

    Rick

  13. #83
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Fortunately I take theory classes seriously and have a motto of "Panic Later''.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Just one more thing Phil. The crappy stage 2 that came with the commercial hookah had moving parts that could, and did, detach. In my case it was a small metal rod. Small, detachable parts in a regulator are a very big no no, for obvious reasons. Check the regulator you've bought to see what it has. If it has anything that could detach and be breathed in or forced into your windpipe, then get rid of it. Also true of mouthpieces - the tabs that you bite on can break off and enter your windpipe. That's why they're a disposable item that should be replaced regularly.

    Just remember the last time you choked on food, drink or saliva. If that happens underwater, you die. If you can get to the surface and have the buoyancy to keep you there, you might be okay - but do anything you can to avoid any risk of choking in the water.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Fortunately I take theory classes seriously and have a motto of "Panic Later''.
    I guess you missed the bit where they suggested checking your air frequently? Or was that not included? How could you think it might have been the fill - wasn't your air supply checked beforehand? The whole thing seems as slack as it gets!

    When I ran out, I simply broke every rule in the book, too gung ho, too slack, too inattentive - until I ran out. Very stupid. The dive boat skipper insisted on putting me on oxygen for an hour, wisely. I still got a migraine that afternoon out of it but, otherwise, no ill effects. You should have been put on oxygen too, Peter, as a precaution.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    As it was a beginners's class the instructors were checking everything, I guess I ''assumed''.

    My ascent was problem free and I suffer no ill effects. Certainly no migraine.
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    I’ve sucked in the sides of a tank a couple of times and each time it has been due to faulty hire or faulty ships equipment - i.e. faulty gauges. But each time it has been a relatively shallow dive and, having done a course at some stage that required me to experience an empty tank as part of the course (a recovery course for equipment and bodies), I’d recognised the signs of an emptying tank soon enough to finish what I was doing and get to the surface safely.

    On scuba I check my gauge every ten minutes or so out of habit and as much as you get a good idea of what sort of time you can get out of a tank on a resort dive - working under water uses up quite a bit more air and it’s harder to gauge a tank on time because it’s harder to know how much you’ve been exerting yourself so it is even more important to have reliable gauges.

    The great benefit of the hookah set up, be it a tank on deck or a pump, is that it so much easier to get in and out of a boat, particularly a high side boat like Balia, and so much easier to work with less gear to restrict your range of movement. For me it’s usually just a weight belt, fins and mask.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  18. #88
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    There's no doubt about that - it's a lot easier getting in and out of the water! I'm sure it's a familiarity thing. I just found the hose really annoying. If I spent a lot more time on hookah, I guess I'd get used to it. Don't forget you were in warm water Greg (I assume). When you have a much thicker wetsuit, or a dry suit, you need that weight. Then tanks become much less of a burden because it's a lot more comfortable having the weight on your back rather than around your waist.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Yes, it's amazing how comfortable all the kit is to swim with on the surface , if you have a snorkel. On that course we were diving on Julian Rocks, it's about 2.5 km off shore. As we surfaced the instructor said,'' Your dive boat has drifted away, swim in." We did, no particular chore either, the buoyancy of wet suits and the tanks on our backs seemed to actually help. Sure I couldn't do it now.
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    You weren't training for the Commandos were you Peter? If a dive instructor made a student swim in 2.5km after a 25m out of air ascent today, they'd be gaoled! Everything you've said about this course you did sounds insane. Are you sure you weren't just having a nightmare? When was it?

    Rick

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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    Just one more thing Phil. The crappy stage 2 that came with the commercial hookah had moving parts that could, and did, detach. In my case it was a small metal rod. Small, detachable parts in a regulator are a very big no no, for obvious reasons. Check the regulator you've bought to see what it has. If it has anything that could detach and be breathed in or forced into your windpipe, then get rid of it. Also true of mouthpieces - the tabs that you bite on can break off and enter your windpipe. That's why they're a disposable item that should be replaced regularly.

    Just remember the last time you choked on food, drink or saliva. If that happens underwater, you die. If you can get to the surface and have the buoyancy to keep you there, you might be okay - but do anything you can to avoid any risk of choking in the water.

    Rick
    Thanks Rick, I'll,see if I can get inside it and see how it's put together. I went snorkelling under the boat again today. Definitely looking forward to having a hookah.

  22. #92
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    You weren't training for the Commandos were you Peter? If a dive instructor made a student swim in 2.5km after a 25m out of air ascent today, they'd be gaoled! Everything you've said about this course you did sounds insane. Are you sure you weren't just having a nightmare? When was it?

    Rick
    A very long time ago, I'd have been about 34 and very fit. So 34 years ago.
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  23. #93
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    It does sound like a very dodgy course.

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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    A very long time ago, I'd have been about 34 and very fit. So 34 years ago.
    That’s around the time I would have done my first dive course at Byron as well Peter, with Greg Blackburn at Byron Dive centre - two dorms for students at the back of the dive shop and about as far from a dodgy set up as you could get. It was a good set-up with good gear and Greg was a very good instructor and had a very good reputation. He also ran a number of advanced dive courses and instructor courses as well as an underwater photography course with Neville Coleman.

    I have some great memories and interesting stories from my dive trips back there (I was living in Alice Springs at the time and working for TAA so travel was cheap).
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
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    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  25. #95
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Perhaps he was on holiday? Are you kidding Greg - a new diver doesn't have his air checked and runs out of air at 25m, then ascends without assistance? That sounds like the dodgiest dive course I've ever heard of! There is no way that was kosher just 30 years ago!

    Rick

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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    I think Greg and Peter went to different schools!

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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    That’s around the time I would have done my first dive course at Byron as well Peter, with Greg Blackburn at Byron Dive centre - two dorms for students at the back of the dive shop and about as far from a dodgy set up as you could get. It was a good set-up with good gear and Greg was a very good instructor and had a very good reputation. He also ran a number of advanced dive courses and instructor courses as well as an underwater photography course with Neville Coleman.

    I have some great memories and interesting stories from my dive trips back there (I was living in Alice Springs at the time and working for TAA so travel was cheap).
    Greg, one day I want to see a list of all the jobs you've had.

  28. #98
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    I think Greg and Peter went to different schools!
    Actually I think it may have been the same school.
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    Perhaps he was on holiday? Are you kidding Greg - a new diver doesn't have his air checked and runs out of air at 25m, then ascends without assistance? That sounds like the dodgiest dive course I've ever heard of! There is no way that was kosher just 30 years ago!

    Rick
    I don’t know what the circumstances were with Peter being out of air, but as an instructor you also have a responsibility to the rest of the class who are on the bottom and the diver’s buddy should have accompanied him the surface - Peter didn’t say whether that was the case or not, just that he breathed an empty tank to the surface.

    I am very surprised about being told to swim back to the shore though - that’s just ridiculous! Not only is it a huge distance and plenty of sharks but there are dangerously strong currents running past Julian Rocks when you get out of the lee of where you might be diving.

    I did a dive there once and was buddied up with a (supposedly) experienced and licensed diver and, despite being briefed on where we would dive and warned about the currents running past, as soon as we hit the bottom this prick took off like a tagged barracuda and, I had to chase him and try and drag him back to the nursery where we had planned to be diving,

    I don’t know if he was on a death wish but when I finally grabbed him by the belt to stop him buggering off we were in about 35 metres and he showed me his air gauge as close to empty - no more than 20 minutes into the dive. I’d used more than normal chasing him but still had close to half a tank - but then this wanker took off for the surface and I had to follow. By this stage I wasn’t feeling terribly sympathetic towards him so followed at my own pace but kept an eye on him, half expecting him to get in trouble.

    When I hit the surface we were a good 2-300 yards or more from the dive boat and out in the current moving north fast and, whether they could see us or not, the boat couldn’t come for us because they had about a dozen other divers down, including about 6 or 8 new divers. I managed to get us back into the lee out of the worst of the current but it was a veeeeeeeeeeeery long swim back to the boat and by then the wanker that I was with new all about what I thought of him. He had been due to stay for three days and had paid to do maybe six dives, but he left Byron as soon as we got back to shore and I doubt whether he would have got a refund as the shop didn’t charge me for any of mine on that trip.
    Last edited by Larks; 03-08-2017 at 04:55 PM.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  30. #100
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Yes, I did have a buddy there, another student who offered to buddybreath with me but I remembered the lecture about compensation and how you could breath an empty tank to the surface, so chose to do that. No problems.

    I didn't want the other person to have to surface just for me.
    Last edited by PeterSibley; 03-08-2017 at 04:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    All new divers are taught to have a precautionary deco stop of about 3 mins from any dive to around 20m. That's been the case for as long time. This is to get divers into the habit of planning a deco stop but also to ensure that people susceptible to deco illness, which can be anyone, regardless of fitness, doesn't have a problem. If you'd actually paid attention in your lectures Peter, you'd (a) have checked your air before the dive (b) checked your air regularly throughout your dive, and (c) accepted your buddy's offer, knowing you had a mandatory deco stop. Your instructor should have insisted on all of this.

    Vigorous or sustained exercise after diving is dangerous, as is flying. Such exercise after an out of air ascent is highly dangerous.

    So no, I can't accept that you had the instructor that Greg thinks of so highly. You had the work experience kid!

    Greg, I've had a similar experience - really annoying. I only dive with a buddy when I have to, which is in sinkholes and caves. Otherwise, I dive alone. I take photos underwater so no one would want to hang around while I do that! Actually, wandering around reefs isn't the best way to see stuff, in my opinion. I like to find a spot and wait to see what comes to me, usually. I've found I see a lot more life that way.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    If you'd actually paid attention in your lectures Peter, you'd (a) have checked your air before the dive (b) checked your air regularly throughout your dive, and (c) accepted your buddy's offer, knowing you had a mandatory deco stop. Your instructor should have insisted on all of this.

    I guess I was lucky but didn't know it 'til now.
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  33. #103
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Yes, you probably were! Divers should never run out of air but they get slack, and do - like me (but never again!) But you said all this was during a course, on your first deeper dive. That's the unforgivable part. Whichever instructor was in charge should have lost his licence if it panned out as you describe. If you'd suffered serious deco or worse, he'd have been gaoled for manslaughter or criminal negligence. It's the worst instructor negligence story I've heard.

    By the way, I did a few dives with a really fat American couple - very experienced divers, in PNG. They could stay down on one tank for hours. I can stay a long time but these two were amazing! Not at all fit but were incredibly efficient underwater. The only guy I saw go into the chamber in Port Moresby was a young, strong guy from Melbourne. He stayed too long and didn't do a stop from about 30m. He started having muscle and joint pain that evening so they put him in the chamber on and off for a week or so. Cost him a fortune. Others have acquired permanent disability from these circumstances. It's a more serious issue than many assume.

    Rick

    Rick

  34. #104
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    My deepest dive at a SA sinkhole was 180ft, on an inert gas mix. My last dive on tanks after some years absence was with a work colleagues flub was not good. My 'buddy' was the worst diver I've come across, unsafe, took off and left me as soon as we were under. I had dived on that particular site before so I had a look about and went back to the boat.

  35. #105
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    Default Re: Ever built a Hookah?

    Sounds like one needs to choose diving buddies carefully, and be clear about expectations.

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