Meu kit favorito – Pete Atkinson

Pete Atkinson
Pete Atkinson

Pete Atkinson, 52, é fotógrafo subaquático profissional. Durante 20 anos navegou e mergulhou por toda a Polinésia – depois, há cinco anos, vendeu o seu iate, comprou uma casa na Austrália e casou com outro fotógrafo, Darin Limsuansub.

Ele afirma não ser um velho mal-humorado, mas sua atitude em relação à moda atual de mergulho sugere que sim.

I don’t feel that equipamento de mergulho manufacturers serve us well. I live in Cairns, Queensland, a small town with a dozen dive shops, none of which sell fins, a wetsuit or a snorkel I’d want to buy.

Mergulho há 34 anos, muitas vezes sozinho, muitas vezes alimentando tubarões, muitas vezes longe de qualquer câmara hiperbárica.

I have done drift dives alone in the passes of the Tuamotus from a 2.5m home-made plywood rowing dinghy. If I hadn’t been careful, I doubt I’d be writing this.

Isenção de responsabilidade: seguir estas práticas de mergulho pode ser perigoso para a sua saúde…

REGULADORES

eu nunca tive um regulador professionally serviced. I regard servicing as parasitism on diving. Liability paranoia forces many service centres to replace everything made of rubber, whether it’s needed or not, at huge cost.

Meu primeiro regulador was a US Divers Conshelf. Apart from high-pressure seat longevity, this was great.
Comprei outro, desta vez de plástico, o que não foi uma melhoria.

Now I have the US Divers Titan which, like all good regs, just does the job without having attention paid to it.

With a gauge for setting the intermediate pressure, most people could service their own regulador.

embora eu tenha um polvo to keep trip directors happy, I think they’re a waste of money and baggage allowance.

My pony has an Oceanic Swivel regulator. This keeps some dive operators happy enough for me to dive alone, but it’s there for show; it doesn’t get much use.

Outro dia apertei o botão de purga e ele se desintegrou com a consistência de queijo Cheddar duro.

Se os fabricantes insistirem em usar plástico, talvez possam usar um grau superior.

The pony reg has a tiny Apeks hp gauge screwed into the first stage. I would have bought a pony band had I been able to find one locally.

Em vez disso, comprei uma espátula de aço inoxidável para fritar por 50 centavos e dobrei-a no formato desejado (esquerda).

a espátula
A Espátula

BC

For years in the tropics I did most of my dives without a BC, just a plastic mochila and a small tank. With a thin suit, any buoyancy adjustment could be done with my lungs.

Once I started diving with dive operators, I used cast-off BCs from [wildlife photographer] Tobi Bernhard.

More recently, I bought a Seaquest Passport for its light weight, but I prefer my wife’s Scubapro Ladyhawk, though it’s too small for me to use with a suit.

WETSUITS

Although I learned to dive in the UK, most of my diving is in the 24-30°C range. For years I had custom wetsuits made in Fiji, 3 or 5mm, front zip, one-piece.

Por que devemos tolerar trajes de surf idiotas com zíperes nas costas? Como diabos você vai fazer xixi, regular a temperatura ou guardar o saco de sardinhas com zíper nas costas?

Aqui em Cairns, nenhuma loja tem uma peça única com zíper frontal de 3 mm.

Talking of surf fashions, it’s trendy to wear board shorts. How comfortable are these when stuffed into a wetsuit? Os contrabandistas de periquitos (como as sungas são conhecidas aqui) são muito melhores.

It’s not that young people are modest – look at their hair!

COMPUTADORES

eu vim para computadores de mergulho fairly late, with an Aladin Pro. I like this, because I don’t need to know how it works – it just gives me the information I need, when I need it, at a size I can see.

Não há botões complicados para quebrar.

A primeira vez que ele teve uma bateria nova (não pode ser reparada pelo usuário), eu poderia arcar com o custo, mas da última vez achei que £ 75 por uma bateria de £ 6 era ultrajante, então eu mesmo substituí a bateria e ela funciona bem.

You can find instructions (in French) online.

MASK

I use a black Oceanic mask with corrective lenses. For years I told myself: “I don’t shoot macro now because it doesn’t sell”, whereas the truth was, I simply couldn’t see small stuff any more.

One thing I hate: you find a piece of gear (or clothing) you love, but when you go to replace it later, the design has gone the way of the dodo and been “improved” out of existence.

FINO

I currently use the best fins I have ever used, but no dive store in Cairns will stock them, as they aren’t profitable enough.

They are orange and blue, Malaysian rubber fins by Eyeline, available from a local sports shop for £20.

De novo, eu poderia mergulhe com snorkel por algumas horas sem qualquer indício de bolhas. Eles são rígidos o suficiente para que eu possa empurrar uma caixa Seacam o dia todo.

For the diving I do, such full-foot fins are by far the best. Manufacturers continue to dream up fancy expensive gimmicks to extract more money from us. I’ll concede that a few of these might actually be useful but, offhand, I can’t think of any.

SNORKELING

When my wife learned to dive, she was sold a £60 snorkel. Instructors make commissions; everyone else makes grotesque profits exploiting vulnerable new divers: “Without this, you’ll die!” Just finding a simple J-snorkel for an adult is impossible in Cairns.

EQUIPAMENTO DE SEGURANÇA

With idle factories in China, how hard would it be to make a 100m-depth-rated, small, submersible, single-channel VHF radio, charged through external contacts like a Kowalski torch?

In almost every instance in which divers are lost and are alive, they can see the boat. If they can then direct the search vessel, they don’t need to spend hours bobbing around in “shark-infested” waters.

Uma pipa inflável de polipropileno metalizado se dobraria até o tamanho de uma salsicha de segurança, poderia ser lançada do mar e refletiria o radar.

How hard is this? And having made something useful, dive-equipment manufacturers could then make the radios in different colours to match your fins, replacement coloured strings for the kite…

VAMOS MANTER CONTATO!

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