What to pack:
The dive operation on board provides tanks, a compressor and weights. Each diver needs to bring his own equipment. Before you come on board you must have tested your equipment to make sure you are comfortable with it and it is not damaged.
- Dry suit with hood
- Thick and warm underwater garment (2 sets), dry gloves or adequate thick wet gloves (make sure they will keep your hands warm in sub-zero waters)
- 2 separate freeze protected regulators. We dive with special bottles with two separate outlets The tanks are fitted with a “Y” or “H” valve configuration, with DIN or Yoke (INT) adaptable connections.
- Pressure guage
- Stabilizing jacket or some kind of BC with quick release – divers without BDC trusting only their dry suit for buoyancy control will not be allowed to dive.
- Depth guage, watch or computer
- Knife and a torch
- Mask, fins and snorkel (Please note that the snorkel is a vital part of the safety equipment and will often be used when snorkelling with for example seals)
- Weight belt (weights available on board)
You need two sets of regulators;
1st set includes: Freeze protected First stage
Second stage (incl. hose)
Hose for BC
Pressure gage / computer
2nd set includes: Freeze protected First stage
Second stage (incl. hose)
Hose for Dry suit
Cold Water diving & staying warm:
Diving is an equipment intensive activity. Ice diving requires an extensive amount of additional equipment because of the cold weather and water, and the remote location involved. Diving is no fun if you are cold. Divers in cold water may have a higher air consumption rate, expend more energy, and can become more fatigued. Cold water also decreases a diver’s ability to perform complex tasks that require manual dexterity. Staying warm is an important element in your polar diving adventure.
Normal regulators will not function in sub-freezing water as both the first and second stage will freeze. You are required to bring two sets of regulators (1st & 2nd stage), suitable for cold-water/ice diving. Some regulators can be fitted with an environmental seal kit, others come environmentally sealed from the manufacturer.
To avoid regulator malfunction, regulators must be cared for properly before, during and after diving. Regulators should be kept dry and warm before the dive; store them in your cabin. Avoid breathing from the regulator before submersion, except to briefly ensure it is functioning, but when doing so, exhale after removing the regulator from your mouth so as to avoid freezing the second stage with moisture from the exhaled breath.
If during the dive your primary regulator freezes up and causes a free flow, you should switch to you back-up regulator, and turn off the valve to the primary regulator to stop the free flow. The dive must be aborted in any case.
Gauges & computers
You must have one tank pressure indicator for each regulator set-up. Some electronic instruments will not function well in sub-freezing temperatures. Liquid crystal displays may be slow to display and batteries will also run low sooner.
Dry Suit Recommendations
The only adequate protection from thermal exposure in the Arctic and Antarctica where the water will be as cold as – 1ºC/30ºF, is a dry suit. The type of dry suit you use is not important so long as it fits you, is waterproof and you are comfortable using it. Neoprene dry suits have the benefit of having good stretch and extra insulation. Shell suits provide no extra insulation but are lighter and dry more quickly. Shell suits serve only to keep the diver dry and require extra layers of garments to be worn under the suit. If appropriate, bring a small dry suit repair kit.