Taking a shot on CCR
Some months ago, I decided talking Chris Chellapermal of Nomad Ocean Adventures about a growing inquietude. Since I started diving, Tec diving started looking more a good option and since I started Tec diving, Closed Circuit went further than the mechanical fascination to a more than plausible kind of diving. But, is it really for me? Cris then told me that they offer a rebreather ¨DSD¨, from that moment i knew i had to try.
CCR is an older method than open circuit diving, people have been trying to build rebreathers for more than a century now, even before we really understood how gases interact with our tissues.
Why is this? It is because CCR is the ideal way to dive, imagine that you go to cinema to see a movie, then you order a 25 litre cocacola because you will want to drink 1 of those litres, the rest you will just spill it, When you dive in open circuit this is pretty much what you are doing.
Then why CCR is not the diving standard? SCUBA diving is a inexpensive safe way to dive at recreational conditions you can go tens of thousands of dive centres around the world rent your (too often) poorly maintained equipment and go diving for 30 to 50 minutes being almost certain that you can surface and have some piñas coladas in your hotel (if your hotel serve piñas coladas). In the other hand rebreathers are a complex pieces of engineering, a failure is harder to handle and poor training and maintenance of equipment is paid with serious injuries, and we all have at some point dived with someone irresponsible, you know what I´m talking about. So not because rebreathers are dangerous but because they are meant to be used with head and proper knowledge. Like a sport bike compare to a scooter.
Then why to go CCR?From the economic scope Rebreathers in the long run are cheaper than OC when you start paying for the gases. Gas consumption is much lower, on deep dives you will carry less than half the weight, simply because you waste less. In diving times, diving 2-3 hours is not uncommon and in shallow dives you might not even incur in deco time whatsoever, if you incur in deco this is much faster than OC. If in your drive back home through some mountains or you live high, rebreather is the safest dive method to spare yourself from a DCS since you will be diving always the optimal mix of gas for every depth you are in, nitrogen absorption will be much lower than its analog dive in OC always. Because you are breathing warm air, the air you breathe from rebreathers is warm and with certain amount of humidity what makes it more pleasant to dive. Rebreathers operation is incredibly silent, is not uncommon that during your rebreather dives you will meet some fishes you won´t see as often or at all in OC dives including reef sharks that run away from the bubbles noise, another one is that you don´t make bubbles. Many of us joined the diving because of the feeling of flying and the feeling of being another fish, with a CCR you are the closest anyone can be right now to be another fish. So after knowing all this and being a responsible diver.
Why not give it a try?
Pictures by: José Prieto