In Water Equipment

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Halcyon Backplate

A stainless steel Halcyon backplate and harness is the platform for all diving from recreational to technical/cave. It has continuous webbing and a crotch strap to ensure it stays in place. Three D-rings cater for anything that needs to be attached to the diver. Two additional D-rings are featured on the crotch strap with the front one being used as a scooter tow point and the rear one for temporary stowing of items. The left hand side has the 6cuft inflation bottle attachment bands and the titanium knife is fitted to the left hand side belt strap. The Halcyon plate comes with the MC Storage Pack, which is used to stow large SMB's and protect the drysuit from tank bolts. The buckle is located on the right hand side to ensure it is not undone accidentally by the crotch strap. Using a stainless steel plate allows the diver to remove some of the weight they would use if an aluminium plate was selected. Aluminium plates are used primarily for travelling.
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Evolve Wings

Halcyon Evolve wings ensure gas is dumped simply and easily. The 40 pound Evolve is used for twin 12 litre tanks and the 60 pound Evolve is used for twin 15 or 18 litre tanks. The Eclipse wing is used for single tank diving with the Halcyon single tank adaptor.
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Regulators

Regulators are usually either Apeks or Scubapro. Team members usually have a preference for one or the other and generally don't mix brands. Scubapro MK25 first stages have an end port, which makes hose routing particularly simplistic in minimising bends. The S600 is the perfect second stage being both small in size and adjustable. A short piece of 3mm bungy cord is used to secure the backup second stage regulator around the neck. It is important for this to be mounted under the cable tie that holds the mouth piece on, as it should not be able to be pulled away from the bungy necklace. Miflex hoses are used on both high and low pressure ports. The SPG is best to be plain faced for ease of reading, at least 2-inch in diameter, with measurements in bar. A small boltsnap is used to clip the primary second stage to the right hand D-ring whenever it is not in the mouth. If a diver is using an inflation bottle, the inflator is removed from the left hand first stage regulator.
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Primary Lighting

A 21-watt HID cannister light is the standard choice for team members. This allows a bright penetrating light source, which is able to be focussed tightly to resemble a light sabre. This tight beam is required to allow signals to be seen easily by team members and to allow members to see where the others are without needing to constantly turn around. Nickle Metal Hydride batteries are used to provide anything from 4 to 6 hours burn time. Whenever the primary light is clipped onto the right hand harness D-ring, the cord should be stowed under the belt strap to ensure it doesn't become a snag hazard either in or out of the water. This is particularly important when doing a giant stride entry from a dive boat. The primary light should be fitted with a goodman handle and be carried in the left hand, with the cannister on the right hand belt strap. A double ender is used to secure the light from the rear, when in the water for temporary stowing and the small boltsnap is used if the light is broken or turned off.
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Backup Lights

Backup lighting choice is important as you only need them when you have a failure of your primary light. Heser LED backups are ideal and use twin o-ring seals and three C sized battery cells. Battery cells should be checked periodically and replaced if the voltage drops below 1.5-volts. Alkaline batteries are favoured over rechargeables, as they retain voltage longer, whereas rechargeables have a gradual constant discharge. Small bolt snaps are used to secure the backups under the arms on the left and right hand sides of the harness straps.
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Inflation Bottle

Team members use a 6 cuft inflation bottle as a minimum. A simple first stage regulator with an over pressure relief valve (OPV) is fitted along with a Miflex inflation hose. Inflation bottles are used on all dives where Trimix is used in the back gas. The inflation bottle is included on all flow checks.
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Fins

Scubapro Jetfins or Turtle fins are used with spring heels. These fins have a wide side wall to allow efficient back finning to be performed. They are also heavy to keep the feet from floating up on the ascent when air becomes trapped in the drysuit.
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Drysuit

A DUI TLS350 Explorer or Signature series is used by most team members. Halcyon Exploration pockets, cordura butt overlay, tough duck overlay, clover leaf, knee pads and Halcyon discharge valve are some of the ideal inclusions. Some team members prefer turbo soles and others prefer neoprene socks. Some team members also prefer the high old style Apeks dump valve and prefer the old style zip. All suits should be custom made to the measurements of the diver. Gaiters should be avoided as they should not be needed with a correctly fitting drysuit.
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P-Valve

The Halcyon balanced low profile P-valve is an essential inclusion on all drysuits. This can be fitted with a quick release system if preferred. It is widely accepted that decompression illness is attributed to many factors, with one of those major ones being dehydration. It is imperitive that divers are well hydrated at least 24 hours prior to their dive.
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Undergarments

Undergarments are a personal choice, but should not be too high in loft. The Santi BZ200 is ideal for long exposure in temperatures from 12 to 18 degrees and the Santi BZ400 for anything below 12 degrees. Divers should wear a thin undergarment as a first layer and then their main undergarment on top of that. Layering is the best way to remain warm and keep sweat away from your skin.
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Stage and Deco Tanks

Luxfer 207 bar 40 cuft 80 cuft are the preferred stage and deco tanks. The Luxfer cylinders are neutrally balanced from about 140 bar and this allows them to stay in the divers slipstream considerably better. Tanks should have the divers initials and the maximum operating depth (MOD) on them in 75mm high letters as a minimum. Stages should be rigged with two large boltsnaps to allow them to be easily handled in water. Stage rigging should not be used as a handle out of the water, the tank valve is the favoured out of water handling method.
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Stage Regs

A stage regulator should ideally be the same as what you are using on your back gas. Divers often spend more time breathing stage or deco tanks than they do on the bottom phase of the dive. Having matched stage regs allows spares to be easily swapped out if there is an issue with one regulator. Small brass SPG's are used as they are lighter than the larger brass SPG's. Plastic SPG's should be avoided as stage and deco tanks can easily suffer damage and this is a potential weak point. Miflex hoses are used to reduce jaw fatigue and allow a tight bend radius on the SPG hose. The SPG hose bent 180 degrees and secured to the first stage regulator using cave line in a figure 8 pattern, which ensures it stays in place.
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Masks

Masks should be low profile to make them easy to clear and have a black silicone skirt for better forward vision. Mask fit is different with every diver, but divers should pay close attention to the construction and avoid models which have easily broken pins or clips. A neoprene mask tamer should be fitted to both primary and backup masks. Backup masks should be periodically cleaned as the silicone can leach back on to the glass when they are always folded in a pocket.
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Primary Timer

The Uwatec Digital 300 bottom timer has depth, time, temperature and average depth. Most team members prefer these over computers as they are thinking divers. These are fitted with a Deep Sea Supply surround and 3mm bungy cord for ease of donning/doffing. The bottom timer is worn on the right arm, which allows the left hand mounted primary torch to easily illuminate the timer for the diver.
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Compass

The Uwatec or Suunto compasses are the team choice, both can be fitted with the Deep Sea Supply surround and 3mm bungy cord for ease of donning/doffing. The compass is worn on the left arm to keep the magnetic field away from the scooter motor and batteries, which can affect a compasses accuracy.
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Reels

Halcyon Pathfinder reels are used due to their simplicity. Other designs cause entanglement and are cumbersome to manage with a light in the left hand. The Pathfinder design works well with a light in the same hand and have no entraptment points built into their design.
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Spools

Only solid delrin/acetal spools are used with #24 braided cave line. Plastic spools break easily when in pockets and are not practical or good value for money when broken. Stainless steel double enders are used to tie the spools off. Team members should carry spare double enders with them at all times. Spools are used for SMB deployment, jumps and lost line searches. No other type of jump device is considered - spools are simple but take a little practice to master.
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Wetnotes

Halcyon wetnotes are used instead of slates. Wetnotes allow the diver to have mulitple pages and can be easily passed to another team member to read a message. Graphite pencils are used and maps are often kept in the wetnotes for ease of cave navigation. Spare pencils and cable ties should also be kept in the pockets of the wetnotes cover. Wetnotes are kept in the right hand pocket.
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Surface Marker Buoy

Halcyon closed SMB's are easy to inflate orally and stand higher than a lift bag. Lift bags are best kept for lifting and SMB's are best for showing the boat the dive team's location on ascent. One SMB per team is normally deployed. The deployment itself can either be done by an individual team member, or it can be a team deployment with one member holding the spool and another inflating the SMB. Team deployment has the benefit of reducing taskloading on a particular team member. SMB deployment is usually done in the 21 to 18 metre range.
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Line Markers - Cookies

GUE Cave divers prefer using cookies over line arrows. Cookies are a non-directional marker are are kept on a small length of bungy cord and secured inside the left hand pocket with a medium sized bolt snap. When they are being used, they are taken out of the pocket and put on the right hand D-ring, used and then put back in the pocket again. Cookies should have the divers initials on both sides of them and are placed on the home side of a line intersection.
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Stage Leash

The leash is used to stow the third stage/deco tank behind the diver. This allows the diver to keep two stage or deco bottles on the left hand side and switch bottles using the leash when the third or subsequent bottle is required. The stage or deco tanks are placed on the leash with the top bolt snap of the stage rigging kit and then the stage leash is secured to the left hand waist D-ring and the stage or deco tanks tucked over the top of the left leg to sit between the divers legs. This keeps them out of the way of the other two stage/deco tanks and in the divers slipstream until they are needed.
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Weighting System - Tailweights

Tailweights are V shaped weights that are placed on the lower bolt of a twinset. These weights help to put the centre of gravity lower on the diver and help the diver to maintain horizontal trim position. If the centre of gravity is too high, then the diver will drop out of horizontal trim to avoid being head heavy. Horizontal trim is essential to allow the five GUE finning techniques to be performed easily and lack of horizontal trim is the single largest factor with divers who have difficulty with these finning techniques. Most tail weights are custom made by the dive team and each diver may have more than one to account for different tanks and salt or fresh water.
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Gavin Scooters

Gavin scooters are used for wreck and cave diving. The Gavin short body is used primarily for wreck diving and Gavin standard and long bodies are used for cave diving. The team has a mixture of PVC and HPDE Gavin scooters, which utilize sealed lead acid batteries for a power source. Scooter practice days are held and scooters are shared with team members to enable those who don't own any to try the experience of scooter diving. Prior to any extensive cave diving, battery packs are burn tested to ensure accurate burn times and battery condition.