Sunday, October 08, 2006

My Equipment

Below, I list my free-diving setup in its current form.

The gloves are very important to take photos. Free-diving, I am always slightly positive buoyant. To take a picture, I often have to grab onto rocks. In HK, these are full of barnacles. The gloves take quite a beating. These are Kevlar, and super-long lasting. They also protect much better against bites and stings than neoprene.

The socks are just for convenience in my fins. Mine are a bit over the top, actually semi dry with double cuffs. I had originally bought them to wear them inside my booties for scuba in Germany’s cold waters.

These are straight forward carbon blade free diving fins. Excellent.

They buoy performs as a small support vessel. Here, I put the camera, a grab bag, and sometimes even drinks, and drag it behind me. It is supposed to protect against HK’s rowdy boaters, but I am not too sure about this. Mostly, it allows me to take a rest.

The knife is key. Scuba divers tend to show off with knifes that fill Rambo with envy. Usually, they could do with a small jacket knife. Free-divers however need large knifes. Hong Kong waters are full of ghost nets, and mono-filament lines. With the low visibility, these are easy to get entangled in. A scuba diver has all the time in the world to free himself, a free-diver has about two or three slashes. The knife is titanium and free of corrosion. The sharp tip is usually used only for spear fishing. I used to prefer chisel-style tips. The sharp tip however turned out to be very useful for rescuing fish from ghost nets.

The elastic belt has two advantages. Firstly, it enables deep breathing before a dive. Secondly, it won’t slip off the hips. Since I don’t wear any neoprene suit, this belt can be a bit scratchy. The small karabiner is used to fix the anchor, so I can drag the buoy hands-free.

The anchor is made by Christel’s dad. Excellent.

The mask is a low-volume free-diving mask. I bought it years ago for a couple of Euros, and only started using it regularly in HK. The snorkel’s bright color helps to be seen by boats and buddies.

Clear Water Bay village beach, same same

I went to the village beachClear Water Bay had high visibility, sometimes close to 10 meters, but no fish. Besodes my frienly murray, in which I seem to bump every time, there was very few fish. However, with water clear liek this, it was still great, especially since I was able to do some deeper dives in the bay. Further out however, the top meter was a bit turbid.
I have to figure out something about the buoy, since I get tagled in the line quite a bit while dragging it behind.