This week in Lembongan… Our divers have been flying with the eagles. Eagle rays that is. While diving at PMG today, our divers were greeted by a young eagle ray cruising by.
We had a few quiet days which we used to service all our equipment. So our staff was busy opening up all our cylinders, checking the inside for damage and washing them thoroughly to remove salts and other residues. After all of this the valves, all with brand new o-rings, are put back on the cylinders so that they can be filled again.
Do you actually know what all the markings on the neck of your cylinder tell you? Decoding the message is quite simple once you understand the basic format and symbols. The first grouping of letters and numbers identifies the governing agency (DOT for U.S.-manufactured cylinders, and Transport Canada or “TC” for those made in Canada) followed by a material designation. Steel cylinders generally carry the 3AA designation. Most aluminum cylinders carry a 3AL designation. Next comes the service pressure, followed by the cylinder volume. For U.S.-made cylinders, the pressure is given in psi. Canadian-manufactured cylinders have service p
ressures stated in bar. The first grouping of numbers on the next line is the serial number for the cylinder. The serial number is typically a combination of six to eight letters and numbers. Following the serial number on some cylinders is the manufacturer. Each time a cylinder is hydrostatically tested, a new month and year is added to the markings, separated by a unique symbol designating the independent inspection agency performing the test. Thus, it’s easy to tell whether a cylinder has a valid hydrostatic test. So check if you can find all of these markings on your cylinder the next time you are diving. It needs to be said, that not all manufacturers follow the exact same format for cylinder markings, but this gives you a bit of an overview.
We did do some diving as well. Mervi and Jari from Finland, who had been diving with us already last year, came back to spend two more weeks on our little island. As mentioned in an earlier post, our two young Open Water students Xochi and Lila also found their way back to us to finish up the course. After finishing all the theory already at home they were ready to jump in the pool and then do the rest of the open water dives. We had a lot of fun with them on the boat, there was a lot of laughing and jumping into the water.
During our dives we saw a lot of lionfish lately, mantis shrimp, banded sea snakes, a juvenile clown triggerfish, turtles, a big barracuda and schooling barracuda.