I would like to say a big thank you to all who have visited and found this blog useful. I'm going to be making a few changes to the blog. I'm finding I'm posting all my new work directly onto facebook. From now on that's where all my new diving related articles and reviews will be posted. I will still be posting dive equipment reviews on here. My reasons are that facebook I find is much more user friendly. Please do friend me on facebook to keep up with all the latest Diving info and you can also like my underwater page at Mike Clark Underwater Photos Cheers Mike
Great day out yesterday with Derek Anderson aboard oceanic out of Eyemouth. Tried a new dive site called Muckle Jock at St. Abbs Head. I spent some time in the water with the Guillemots. Second Dive was on Skelly Hole where I found a nice wolf fish. Gullies were fantastic with vis around 10 metres. Many thanks Derek Anderson
You Know those dive computers, the ones with bright screens
and big digits that you can read on your buddys wrist from 5 metres away. Is
that what I need? No I don’t need new computers as my current Suunto models do
me fine. (What I need is a buddy diver
who can carry my computer at arm’s length so that I can read it!) LOL However,
the screens on my computers are dark and the digits are small and hard to read
at the best of times. Chuck in deep dark water, mixed gas and deteriorating
close up eyesight and they are impossible to read whether I hold them at arm’s
length or right before my eyes. This was something I had to address as it could
lead to a potentially dangerous situation. I could purchase a new generation
dive computer and that would set me back between £500-£700. This was wrong for
me on 2 fronts, once I thought it through. Firstly, the cost was too much
especially when I currently have fully functioning dive computers. Secondly a
new dive computer would not solve the cause of the problem which is my failing
close up vision.
My findings may help all divers in the future as failing
close up eyesight is directly related to age and the vast majority of divers
will find themselves in the same situation as me at some point.
I thought about a few solutions:- Stick on magnifying
lenses designed for dive masks. On researching this and speaking to buddies I
found a familiar storey in that these stick on lenses didn’t take long to
unstick and then you were back to square 1 with no close up vision. Then I
looked at off the shelf masks with separate panels for close up lens elements.
These looked good but your face would have to fit that mask and the model that
I looked only had 1 prescription which, once again may be good if it suits you.
A third option would be to purchase a new mask with new insert lenses. This may
have been an option when only my distance vision was requiring a prescription
to sharpen it up but now that would make my close up vision even worse.
Doing nothing was not an option if I was going to enjoy my
diving safely. I contacted a company called DiveSight who specialise in
producing prescription mask’s to the customers prescription. DiveSight produce
their own lenses and have the ability to offer a vast choice of lenses. I had
recently had my eyes tested and I sent my prescription and some optical
measurements down along with an order for a Cressi Big Eyes Mask. This is the
mask I usually wear and I decided to stick with it as I know it fits me well.
Turnaround time was around 2 weeks in which DiveSight ground the lenses and
bonded them together before inserting them in a brand new mask. Geoff and Peter
are directors of the company and they did contact me a few times relating to my
order. Geoff firstly with news that the model of mask I wanted was no longer
made in the colour I wanted. This was no problem to me. As long as it had a
black silicone skirt, I was happy. I find this type of skirt helps a lot with
photography. Peter who is the company’s sports-qualified optometrist
called me up to discuss my prescription. My prescription for close up work had
been made up for looking at pc screens a metre or so away from me. My arms are
a lot shorter than that. Peter confirmed this and asked me a few other
questions before advising me what he thought should be done to fine tune my
prescription for use when diving. It all made sense to me and I decided to go
with his advice. For me their
communication was brilliant and 2 weeks later I received my new prescription
mask well packaged in the post.
could clearly see the uppermost part of the lens was plain tempered glass for distance
vision and the area below was where the lens for my close up vision was bonded
onto the main lens. I could not wait to get in the water and try it out.
and January were not good months for diving in the UK and I ended up in a
quarry to test it out. Initially it felt really strange. The lower portion of
the mask was not used at all until I looked at my dive computer or the small
controls on my camera. These were all now completely legible and I could read
my computer easily. By the end of my dive I was starting to get used to the
lenses and was moving my head and eyes accordingly. The dive itself was
completely dull apart from 1 swimpast by a large pike. It was at that point I realised how much I had
been missing in my diving and hence my photography. How many octopus and
anglerfish have i missed, never mind the tiny shrimp and nudibranchs. I feel
that once I get used to the mask my diving will be re energised.
As DiveSight , grind and polish the lenses to customer requirements themselves
good thing about the mask is that you don’t have new mask syndrome where the
mask fogs up for the first few dives. I bought a proprietary mask anti fog
liquid to take care of this and this keeps the lenses Chrystal clear in the warm
pool or in the cold sea.
after a few dives under my belt with the new optical mask-I can confirm that I
am getting used to the lenses and enjoying the benefits of being able
to see clearly under the water. I do wish that I could have the whole lens for
perfect distance viewing but I have to be realistic and acknowledge that I need
help with the close up work. I think a mask like mine is the best and
most economical way of going about this.