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Thread: OMG. I’ve become Leslie……… Days 7 & 8

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default OMG. I’ve become Leslie……… Days 7 & 8

    “That’s the best mask I’ve ever used,” said Kent Mann, owner of Mann Overboard Scuba in Ottawa, IL.

    It was early spring, 1994, and I had gone into the dive shop to sign up for scuba lessons. Kent – or “Mick” as he was commonly known as – was setting me up with the books and gear I needed for the class.

    “You won’t go wrong with that mask,” Mick said.

    He was referring to a Sherwood Genesis. And he was right – it truly was a great mask. I bought one. Then I bought another. I used one strictly for pool sessions and the other for diving. And believe me, I dove it like I stole it.

    It was a terrific piece of equipment. Over the years, I periodically tried other masks, but none measured up to the Genesis. I always came back to it. It never failed me.

    But, alas, after 23 years and 1000+ dives, my Sherwood Genesis has given up the ship. It will dive no more. The lens has fogged beyond repair and the skirt was is flexible as concrete. It leaks severely, and I was spending way too much time just trying to clear it. Like Old Yeller, it was time to put it down.

    I bought a new Tusa. It has a purge valve and a great panoramic view. I like the mask. It seals well and the purge valve is handy when needing to clear. Water just runs out.

    However, it’s not the Geneses.

    Leslie has been suggesting for several years that I should try a full face mask. She has two and has offered to let me use her secondary one. It’s a Divator, which coincidentally, she bought from Mick at Mann overboard.

    Since I’ve been in mask turmoil for most of this week, I figured it was a good time to give it a try. In previous years, I couldn’t contemplate swapping my Geneses for a face mask. It just didn’t seem right….. the Geneses was a part of me.

    But since I had to let go of that old friend, I figured I might as well give it a try.

    I’ve done six dives on the Divator and let me tell you…. Holy cow! Once you get past the initial feeling of some slight claustrophobia, it is a whole new experience. It doesn’t leak – at all – and the view is expansive. And it can’t fog. It has constant air pressure.

    And, since I’m actually able to breathe through my nose, my air consumption has improved. Not sure the “nose” thing has anything to do with it, but I’m now able to maintain pace with Leslie as far as tank pressure is concerned.

    I’ve become a raging fan.

    We had a great encounter with a spotted eagle ray at Aquarius yesterday. It was feeding on the bottom in about 75 feet of water and was oblivious to us. We were able to get pretty close and spend several minutes watching it burrow through the sand for whatever it found to be delectable. Evidently, we overstayed our welcome and he moved on.

    We’ve seen two coronet fish in the last two days – one at Vista Blue and one at Aquarius. Saw a huge hawksbill turtle on Bari along with four crinoids. And a southern stingray at Vista Blue. It’s been a couple of great days.

    Yesterday and the day before, it was a solid overcast –no sunset. Today was much better, but the sunset was rather mediocre. However, we still sat out by the ocean with rum punch, figuring it was still better than no sunset at home……

    Although the face mask is a pretty comfortable way to dive, there are a few things to keep in mind.

    First, in case of some type of emergency, I may have to remove the face mask underwater. If this happens I need to have a regular mask to don. Just like Leslie, I now need to carry an extra mask.

    Also, since the metal fasteners for the straps can get tangled in what little hair I have remaining, I now need to wear a little beanie. Just like Leslie does.

    The mask requires two hands to put on and tighten, using both hands at once. Because of this, I added an extra fastener to my BCD to hang my fins while I’m putting on the mask. Leslie also has fasteners for this exact purpose.

    And since the mask actually belongs to Leslie, and I’m using it only through her generosity and grace, I need to abide my her rules in its care an maintenance. She insists that it be wrapped in a towel between dives for protection. So, I now take a towel to the dive sites. But I make this promise, a promise as solid as my Bright is cold and the Bonaire sunsets are magnificent, that my towel at the dive site will not be used to dry me off. It’ll only be used for wrapping the mask.

    My world has been turned upside down. For years, I was the experienced one with all the answers; the Sensei, the Master Jedi.

    Now, Double L is telling me “to do this if that happens,” and “”don’t do this,” and “be careful with this,” and “this is how this works.”

    Mind boggling, but it just goes to show.

    Regardless of your age, perceived experience level, number of dives, or levels of certification.

    When it comes to scuba, we’re all students.

    All of the time.

    Dive on Friends.

    Dave & Leslie.

  2. #2
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011


    As always, I enjoy your reports very much.
    Never seen a Divator full face mask, so I looked it up.
    Thats quite an investment.
    3 times as much as I paid for my second hand complete diving set in 1978 :-)
    Which was not so complete as it is nowadays)

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