It’s Friday evening and on my bed lies my trusty dive gear. I’ve already hooked my regulator up to a filled cylinder and pressurised it; there wasn’t a single leak. After removing it I checked all the seals on both my reg and BCD (Buoyancy Compensating Device), and everything was exactly how it should be. I continued checking every piece of equipment as tomorrow was going to be a big day, I will be diving the SAS Fleur, and I need everything to be perfect.
Saturday morning is finally here. My box is packed from the night before and I feel more ready than ever. I make my way past the navy to the harbour for the launch. Once I arrive I start setting up all my equipment and my world implodes on itself. I forgot my mask! It must have fell off the bed when I was packing all my gear in to the box earlier that night.
Luckily for me the boat had many years of experience, and masks seem to be items that often grow legs! The Divemaster handed me an old but much appreciated mask. What followed was one of the best dives of my life.
When I got back to shore I asked the wise man if I could have a look at what he had beneath the hatch labelled “save a dive kit”. Below is what I found:
- Mask Strap – make sure it’s as generic, you’re buddy may have a very different mask to yours.
- Condom – yes a condom. The uses of this piece of rubber are endless. You can cover a cheap gas station torch with it when doing night dives or even grease your seals with the lubricant on it.
- Shifting spanner – a shifting spanner can cause damage to your equipment if not used carefully, but due to the space it saves I would highly recommend it over other spanners.
- O-ring pick – your nails are not the right tool for removing o-rings.
- Allen Keys – the 8mm is the most important as it removed inserts from cylinders. Depending on what size your low and high pressure plugs are, you will also need the correct size allen keys for them.
- Low Pressure Air Gun – this is a very useful tool when you need to blast dry air in to your housing that it does not fog up. You can also clear out your dust cap with it after a dive without the high pitch noise a cylinder valve makes. When servicing a piece of equipment on the spot this can also be very useful.
- Silicon Spray – do not use this on zips
- Fin Strap – Again, make sure this is generic as it can save your buddy’s dive too.
- Spare Mask – just what I needed!
- Neoprene Cement Adhesive
- Zip lubricant
- O-rings – most dive shops sell comprehensive sets
- Bungee cord
- LP and HP plugs
- General multipurpose clip – these are much cheaper
- Bolt snap – this is the ultimate SCUBA clip, I find the stainless steel ones work much better than brass.
- Screw clip – very useful when trying to keep slates together.
- Cable ties
- Spare mouthpiece
- Spare snorkel holder
- Spare weight stoppers
- Dry rag
- Drysuit talk – if you want to preserve your dysuit seals then this is crucial.
With this inventory of spares and tools this kit has saved many dives. Naturally the first thing I did when I got home was to start collecting all of my old gear and parts from around my house to make up my very own: DIY save a dive kit.