Peter Herbst, Aka, BigB, PADI CD and Rebreather IT, and a string of other diving credits both at technical and recreational instructor level to his name has just returned to South Africa from Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean after completing his Instructor crossover course on the latest Hollis rebreather – the Explorer Sports. Well done BigB and we looking forward to hearing more of your tales.
I asked him to tell me about his experience:
By Peter Herbst
The Hollis Explorer Sports Rebreather training was offered by Hollis’s Director of Training, Matthew Addison, as part of the prestigious Innerspace event’s 10 year anniversary at DiveTech on I completed the training and the necessary hours on the machine to fulfil the requirements to become a PADI Instructor on the unit – this meant arriving a week early for the event and doing and average of 3-4 hours of diving per day –Luckily the ease of entry and perfect Caribbean conditions allowed for this type of intense diving!
All the divers on the training course were already qualified as technical Closed Circuit Rebreather Divers and the comments and perceptions were quite interesting to say the least! At first they could not believe the small size of the sorb canister, but after that shock the simplicity in setting up the machine, the ease of diving and the VERY advanced electronic checklist blew all away! As a sports rebreather aimed specifically at the recreational market, this is exactly what is needed to bring rebreathers to the general diving community.
The Explorer, being a semi-closed unit, uses Nitrox only – a opposed to CCR’s which use pure Oxygen and a diluent for the oxygen (air normally) – It uses a 6l cylinder and comes complete with its own BCD. Advanced safety features include the fully electronic checklist, idiot proof locking mechanisms for sorb canister and electronics units, a CO2 tracker, sorb tracker, an enforced pre-breathe sequence and even an automatic dump should you get water in the loop!
The obvious advantages of rebreathers are always extended bottom, quiet, bubble free and warm diving – this unit has just added simplicity
PADI members interested in completing the PADI Rebreather and the PADI Advanced Rebreather course on the Hollis Explorer, Poseidon Discovery or the AP diving Evolution – all PADI “type R” registered units – are welcome to contact me Peter Driessel, [email protected] and he will put you in touch with me.
Current Rebreather Instructors and divers can also do additional unit certification courses to be able to either teach or dive the new units.