Yesterday I finally received my new drysuit: Bare X-Mission. And of course I had to give it a test-run today!
Test Dive in Friedberger See
Friedberger See close to Augsburg was the perfect place for the test dive: Only 35 mins by car from where I live and a relatively shallow lake with maximum of around 12 meters depth. So ideal for a nice and easy test dive.
Bare X-Mission – love it!
OK – long story short: I love the Bare X-Mission! Initially I wanted to buy the Waterproof D9X BREATHABLE which I liked because its so super light weight. But I was not happy with the fit. L a little bit too small and XL much to big. So I had to look for another brand.
I ended up with the Bare X-Mission and I am super happy with it: Its clearly a notch up in terms of build quality, material, features and price – but absolutely worth it.
Today I did the Deep Diver Specialty Course. Did three fantastic dives in Lake Starnberg in Germany up to 40 meters / 130 feet deep.
While I have been diving in these depths (and deeper) already before it was the first time for me to do that in a local German lake like Lake Starnberg. And this comes with some special environmental factors:
Practically almost a Night Dive
Diving 40 meters deep here means practically doing a night dive as its quite dark down there. So its mandatory to carry a lamp plus a backup lamp.
Today also the visibility in the more shallow areas was pretty poor. So good navigation skills with a compass are helpful 🙂
Water temperature drops to about 5 degree celsius even in summer at that depth. This means you have to have cold water ready gear – especially your first and second stage need to be certified for cold water. I am diving with Apeks MTX-R.
I am also diving in a drysuit in order to keep my body warm.
While the overall environmental factors sound challenging its actually an amazing experience to dive that deep. The darkness and the underwater landscape just look completely unreal – this is what an astronaut must feel hovering over a foreign planet!
is a very nice place to dive! The owner has really taken good care of the place and it has actually a bit of “German Gemütlichkeit” – only garden gnomes are missing! 🙂
So an ideal place to go scuba diving on Vather’s Day! Especially as there is also a nice grill area.
Great Scuba Diving
The lake at this time of the year is only is about 5 meters deep. Later in June and July the depth increases to 10 or more meters as groundwater will feed the lake. This water basically is melted snow from the nearby mountains.
Nevertheless its a lot of fun to dive here. You will find a beer-table under water with bottles, a sunken small boat and a lot of sturgeons hanging around.
Semi-dry diving suit
Unfortunately my dry suit had a hole in one of the cuffs so the 2nd dive was not as “dry” as I wanted it to be.
And it was not as warm as I wanted it to be! 😉 After 15 mins I gave up and enjoyed the nice, warm day on the surface!
The Echinger Weiher lake is located north of Munich. Its a small lake that is not very deep – maximum 9 meters. So very easy diving also for beginners. The under water world looks amazing as there are multiple areas with “white fog”: Some kind of fermentation gas and liquids building a white substance that makes the ground of the lake look like a planet right out of a science fiction movie.
Very much aligned to that look and feel you also find an …. Alien under water: An alien statue that somebody put there – nicely decorated with a regulator! 🙂 Fits nicely into this unreal underwater world!
Need to bring my camera next time, but you will find lots of pictures using the search engine of your choice.
I have finally received my Dry Suit and Rescue Diver Certification Cards. I did the respective training classes already a couple of weeks ago, so its great to finally hold the precious cards in my hands! 🙂
Speciality Diver – Dry Suit Diver
I did this PADI class on 5th of March earlier this year when the water temperature was just around 5 degrees celsius. So the value proposition of using a dry suit was very clear immediately! 🙂
First time in a dry suit
So far I was a pure vacation-30-degree-celsius-neoprene-diver. No diving with dry suits and no regular diving in local lakes at all.
So the first time in a dry suit was… well interesting: Everything is a little bit tighter, movements a bit more difficult plus you have to manage an additional buoyancy device: The dry suit on top of your wing or jacket.
But once I managed this “new device” that keeps you warm and comfortable even in cold water it was great to know that now I can extend my diving season basically to the full year! 🙂
One of the most intense classes you can do in the non-professional / non-TEC portfolio of PADI certifications. Its basically a three-day class with one day of theory, one day in the pool and the final third day in open water.
Your learn how to recognize and manage emergency situations. E.g. how to get a panicking diver out of the water.
I would absolutely recommend this class to every diver and it would be good if PADI would define a short (lets say one day) refresh class – so that people who did the full class before can get an efficient refresh.
I already did more speciality classes since I did the “Rescue Diver” – including “Nitrox Diver”, “Equipment Specialist” and “Night Diver”. You can ready about my night dive here.
On the last weekend of April 2017 I did my PADI Night Dive Class. This was very exciting as it required to do 3 night dives.
I like Night Dives
This was not the first time I did a night dive. I have done maybe 10 or 12 before, but these where all in nice warm waters like Red Sea or Indian Ocean. So a bit warmer compared to what you get when you jump into a lake in Germany end of April…
Cold local lake with drysuit
So these dives took place in one of the local lakes in the Munich area (Friedberger See). Temperature has been clearly below 10 degree celsius. But my Waterproof drysuit kept me warm and comfortable.
In total we did 3 dives – the last one was just after midnight. What a nice scenery this was: Clear sky with moon and stars and you go for a dive! 🙂
All dives went nice and smooth and I earned my official PADI Night Dive certification card!! 🙂
I have finally received my new regulator for scuba diving: The APEKS MTX-R. This is the latest (and greatest?) regulator from APEKS and it is specifically positioned as very rugged and cold water resistant.
Cold Water Configuration
I decided to go for the MTX-R as I started to do drysuit diving this year and plan to do regular diving in local lakes. As the water temperatures here can be clearly below 10 degrees celsius a dual first stage configuration is required for safety reasons.
The first test of the MTX-R will be next weekend during my Rescue Diver training. As we just got snow again in Munich I am sure the dive is going to qualify as a cold water dive! 🙂