Okay, I am going to venture into one of those “two sides of the coin” areas since even as we speak, hubby is as happy as the proverbial pig in mud because his rebreather has finally come in and they are training with it today and tomorrow. In the world of scuba diving, there is regular recreational diving with a single tank, and maybe nitrox and then there is recreational diving that moves into the technical diving mode that often involves double tanks, gases other than compressed air, a fair amount of extra equipment, and the option of learning how to penetrate into over heads environments, dive deeper than 130 feet, and other things that I have no interest in doing. My husband, however, as much as he loves teaching scuba, is like most professionals who want to branch out at some point. Becoming a boat captain is a frequent path, but ask any boat captain how that impacts on her or his ability to get into the water and dive. So, for others, turning to the tech side gives that new dimension to diving.
Rebreathers have always been a component of diving, although they were very complex, expensive, and definitely not for your average diver. In the spirit of free enterprise, manufacturers have been working for some time to convert much of the complexity from manual to computer-assisted and to bring the price point down from extremely expensive to ordinary expensive. That has now been accomplished, thereby opening a new market segment for rebreathers. In the most simplistic of terms, a rebreather “scrubs/filters” CO2 that you exhale instead of sending it out as bubbles. This means you can have extended bottom time because you aren’t expending your air as with a regular tank. And since there are no bubbles, it is particularly good for photographers, researchers, and being in an overhead environment. As I said in the beginning of the post, regular scuba and rebreathers are opposite sides of the same coin, so once my husband gets accustomed to those long bottom times, he’ll just have to figure out how to “go backwards” when we dive together. Believe me, I am not a candidate for a rebreather. Happy Diving though to those who are embracing this aspect of the sport.