25 August 2008

Review - DAN Surface Signal Kit

I picked up the DAN Surface Signal Kit yesterday. Just as stated on their website it includes - 6’ orange safety sausage (with lpi attachment, dump valve and reflective strip), Wind Storm whistle, signal mirror and chemical lightstick. Accessories are incorporated into sausage’s base; clips to BC. Dimensions: 7.5” wide x 3.0” high (rolled); 7.5” wide x 72.0” high (unrolled).

also stated the tube can be inflated with the low pressure inflator hose from your BC or by mouth. It just took me 4 deep breaths. A small threaded fitting on the tube is then adjusted to keep the tube from being accidentally deflated. There is also a tiny dump valve near the base for deflation. Update - It can also be inflated via octo through the bottom.

One side of the tube (sausage) has a reflective strip and a small clear plastic
sleeve near the top which is most certainly for inserting the glow stick. The glow stick is nice but hopefully if I was stranded at night, at sea, I would still have a working dive light with me. But, again the more light the better your chances of rescue.

The signal mirror is small but I believe would be effective. There is a small hole in the middle of the mirror with a grid in it. Somehow, while looking through this hole from the back, you can see the reflected spot of sunlight even while aimed at the sky with nothing to shine it on. This is a great advantage if trying to aim at (signal) aircraft. Instructions for use are also printed on the back of the mirror.

The storm whistle is light and loud. I took it out of the kit and clipped it on the right shoulder of my BC.

The kit sells for $75.00 from DAN but I picked it up at Underwater Sports, here in Seattle, for $32.00. Must have been a sale or something.

15 August 2008

How Hawaii became a second Cozumel

We were going to go to Hawaii in January with Christine's sister and her husband, Eric (my main dive buddy so far). They had rented a condo and asked us if we wanted to join them. We agreed. Christine and her sister worked out a deal that if we joined we would chip in some of the price. I won't go into details but it was a lot of money which we would have coughed up anyway except our expenses, lately, are a little to much then our income and we wanted to catch up. So, sadly, Hawaii is out for now. I work for a hotel so we'll go another time and get a hot rate on a hotel.

Another friend of mine just got certified however. Knowing how much I am yearning to go diving, Christine agreed to let me go with him on a 'cheap' dive trip somewhere with money I've saved in a little personal spending account I have set up. We decided on Cozumel. He's never been there and I want to do some more in depth diving off the island. Plus the price is right. Christine could have gone but not being a diver and having been there already she decided she would be a little bored while we were out to sea each day. She's not a lay in the sun, beach bum, kind of person.

Thus is how the Hawaii trip became Cozumel II.

03 August 2008

Peppermint Mead Update #30

On July 25th I tasted the peppermint mead. It tasted like a plain mead until I saw what looked almost like a halocline or a thermocline. The mead was clearly stratified with the peppermint flavor up in the top half of the carboy near the tea bags. I removed the tea bags and racked. The racked mead, having been mixed together, tasted wonderful. It had been sitting on the peppermint tea bags for about 11 days.