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You are here: /main/research/NOWRAMP 2002/journals/pre-trip 1/


Ship Logs

Preparing For Unknown Waters, Gear Notes
by Mark Heckman

I looked at my dive computer today. We have spent many wonderful hours underwater together, but it is time for us to part. In preparation for the expedition, I have been informed that it is too old and that I should trust my life to the more modern generation of dive computers. I'm a bit sad and nostalgic about this. It is only a computer, but diving is a strange sport. It is all relaxation and euphoria until things go wrong. Then it is suddenly fast and terrifying. You can see the surface. You really, really want to be at the surface; but you can't just go blasting up there without getting hurt. Slow and calm is the rule. Currents could be whipping at you, your regulator leaking water with the air, sharks could be acting a bit too interested; but you stop, think and decide what to do. Merely reacting is a bad idea.

How many times have I looked at the face of the computer, checking the comforting figures - plenty of time left, it's not that deep here, up I go slow and easy, watching the numbers roll up. An ascent alarm will tell me if I go too fast. On the surface, the indicator will tell me when I can dive again, to what depth and for how long. Dive computers have become trusted allies of all of us in the water. So I will miss my vintage computer. The lady at the shop asked me if I wanted to trade it in. I would get almost $100 dollars off, sort of like trading in the old family car. But I think I will keep it. Now I understand why grandpa never traded in his old junker cars. He always left them back by the barn to rust. There are memories there. In this case, memories I can visit simply by looking in a drawer at an old out of date computer. Maybe I should have named it HAL, or perhaps not, but I will miss it.

For information on dive computers and the obscure reference to HAL, check the following links. Please note that many such resources exist and listing of the links below is not an endorsement of the products mentioned or sites listed: (an article on dive equipment with links to reviews from Rondale's Scuba Diving Magazine). (an interactive display of the new computer I will be using). (about the vision of the future in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey © 1968 Turner Entertainment Co., a Time Warner Company").

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