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Gear Reviews

Gear Review: SurfEars

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Even as a kid I suffered from ear infections, but once I became a diver this seemed a problem that would be something I just had to put up with. Having tried all manner of potions and taken advice from plenty of divers, last year I suffered 2 perforated ear drums from particularly nasty infections. I had to see a specialist and his advice….”you need to stop diving”. I was shocked and tried to explain that diving was how I made my living, but he was unmoved and told me that I was risking permanent damage and ultimately loss of my hearing.

After some further discussions, he offered the suggestion “wear ear plugs” and I tried to explain that this was not possible as I needed to equalize the air space to avoiding causing serious damage. I came home from the hospital dejected. Luckily a diving friend phoned that afternoon and put me in touch with the team behind SurfEars.

They very kindly sent me a set of their ear plugs designed for surfers, assuring me that they were safe to dive in. They let air and sound in, but keep water at bay. I have to say that it seemed to good to be true! The ear plugs arrived in a neat case and had different sizes to enable the perfect fit. As they are very comfortable to wear, and you can still hear perfectly with them in, I could wear them on boat rides and protect my ears from cold winds too.

But…the big (and somewhat scary) test was to dive with them in. I waited for a nice easy going and shallow dive to test them out and to my surprise the ear plugs made it easier to equalize. After a couple of minutes I completely forgot they were in and I allowed myself to continue on a very pleasant dive.

I have used them for a couple of dive trips now and have not suffered from any infections or soreness of my ears – this is a major improvement from the previous diving trips! I even clip the handy pod to my BCD so that I do not forget to bring them along. They are now a permanent addition to my dive gear.

For more information visit the SurfEars website by clicking here.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Gear Reviews

Tried & Tested: OrcaTorch D630 Canister Dive Light

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The OrcaTorch D630 is a canister dive light designed for cave diving, wreck diving or similar technical diving activities. The light delivers up to 4,000 lumens, and its angle adjustable cable allows both 90°and 180° rotation between canister and light head. This makes the OrcaTorch D630 suited for both side mount and back mount diving. Its large capacity battery pack provides up to 5 hours at the brightest mode.

Features

  • Uses 5* CREE LEDs, max 4000 lumens
  • 90°~180° angle adjustable cable
  • 7° super focus beam
  • LED indicator offers an instant update of battery status
  • Rechargeable large capacity battery
  • 5 hours long runtime at brightest mode
  • Battery can be used as a power bank
  • Battery charging indicator displays the charging status
  • Easy operation with side titanium alloy button switch
  • Safe lock function
  • Intelligent overheat protection
  • Depth rated up to 150 meters
  • Constructed from aircraft-grade high strength aluminum alloy

Test Conditions

  • Location: Capernwray Quarry, UK
  • Visibility: 6-8m
  • Temperature: 14 degrees C
  • No of Dives: 2

Review

There is plenty to be impressed about with the OrcaTorch D630 Dive Light! On a recent trip to Capernwray I used it both as a light and gave it to my buddy to model for me, so that I could see it in action from both sides. Firstly, and possibly most importantly, it is really easy to use. There is a lock to prevent it being turned on accidentally, and this switch is easy to use even with thick gloves. Once unlocked it is a simple button press to flick through the modes. The dive was a bit green and murky, but this powerful light cut through the less than perfect water conditions really well. It is easy to mount and with the adjustable cable angle it can be put wherever suits you best and still have a good hose route.

I love the fact that at the end of a couple of long dives using this light, I was still able to use the battery to charge my phone! The D630 gives a clear indication of the power left in the battery, so you will never be caught short on a dive.

This is a great light for wreck diving or using on any overhead environment dive. I have not tried it at night, but I can be confident it would be outstanding for this too. It is a tough, rugged, quality dive light with both impressive battery life and light beam.

At £539.95 ($659.95) you are getting a quality light for your money. It is depth rated to 150m and the battery will last for 5 hours – so it is a great dive light to join you on your next adventure.

For more information visit the OrcaTorch website by clicking here.

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Gear Reviews

Gear Review: W7 Wetsuit from Waterproof (Watch Video)

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In a video shot exclusively for Scubaverse.com, Jeff Goodman reviews the W7 Wetsuit from Waterproof.

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Competitions

Egypt | Safaga, Brothers & Elphinstone | 27 January – 04 February 2022 | Emperor Elite

Jump on board this famous Red Sea liveaboard and enjoy diving the famous wrecks of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer.  Emperor Elite offers a contemporary living space combined with the best itineraries available in the Red Sea.

Price NOW from just £975 per person based on sharing a twin cabin including:

  • Flights from London Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner
  • 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees
  • Free Nitrox

Booking deadline: Subject to availability.

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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