TYR Tactical

Archive for the ‘Maritime’ Category

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Drinking Saltwater

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

I know most people will never be on a boat that sinks and be in the situation, whereas they would have to try and survive by drinking saltwater. First, don’t drink saltwater it will kill you. But there might come a time that you are on are out in the field for a long time, and you have to find water, and its either get it from the ocean or possible from a river or swap that has brackish water (half salt/ half fresh). The best method is to have a pump with you that can be used for saltwater. It will be a lot of work pumping saltwater and turning it into fresh is a lot of work for a little reward. There is also a way to get clean water out of saltwater that uses a leaching method that you can fill and forget. HTI uses Osmosis is the natural diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane from a solution containing a low concentration of dissolved solids to a solution having a higher level of dissolved solids. When it comes to the best method for you that depends on the situation, I am going to talk about a few different techniques and also suggest a few things you can just buy and keep around.

 

 

Getting salt out of seawater requires the following essential components. It doesn’t matter what you do to accomplish this, but they should be as clean as posable.

1. Method of evaporation

2. Something to catch condensation

3. A way to collect the condensation back into a substantial container.

There are a lot of things you can use to accomplish this, and during a real survival situation, knowing the necessary actions will go a long way. You should always carry the right items, so if you find yourself in this situation, it will make it a lot easier. All of this will go a long way and could save your life. You should always have items to purify water on your boat because you never know what will happen. You can have this in your boat, and if you need it, it is there.

 

Above is a basic Solar still, you can even just put a plastic bag on green vegetation and collect water that way.

This can be accomplished with a poncho also. Beach well. Along the coast, obtain water by digging a beach well. If you are near a beach you can go back on the beach or inland a little bit and dig a beach well, let it fill with water and drain it at least three times before you drink it. It should be boiled or treated.

 

There was an 18year old kid from Indonesia that survived 49 days on a tiny fishing boat, and he used his clothes to filter the water thru to make it (more) drinkable. He used his cotton shirt and drank the water thru it. Some studies have shown that filtering water through a sari, is a garment that is commonly worn by women in the Indian subcontinent, can significantly increase its potability. In 2003, scientists discovered that filtering water from rivers and ponds in Bangladesh through a folded piece of cotton cloth taken from a sari cut the risk of infection with cholera by half. Interestingly, they noted that old fabric makes for a better filter than new material because the pore size of loose threads is smaller.

In a follow-up study in 2015, researchers found that a filter made of four layers of worn cotton material could filter out more than 99 percent of all cholera bacteria.

One of the biggest things to remember in a survival situation is, do not eat if you don’t have water. If you have water available to you, you should try and filter it as much as possible. But if it comes to, I am going to die if I don’t drink the water. Well, most survival experts say to drink it. (that only counts for freshwater not water with salt in it) When you are rescued, a lot of what you can get from drinking bad water can be treated.

 

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Ryan’s Orphans

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

For Frogmen, the battle of Tarawa marks the birth of the UDT and the start of a very long history for Naval Special Warfare. Because the Higgins boats that were taking the Marines to shore got stuck on coral reefs, the Marines would have to jump out in some case far from shore. More Marines drowned or died in the water from enemy fire then killed in the next two days of fighting. So, the Navy came up with the Underwater Demolition Teams to recon landing sights to make sure the Marines could land. 

 But for the Marines, it was another day in an already long history. The Battle of Tarawa was fought on 20–23 November 1943. It took place at the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands, in the Pacific Theater of WW2 and was part of Operation Galvanic, the U.S. invasion of the Gilberts. Nearly 6,400 Japanese, Koreans (forced labor by the japenese), and Americans died in the fighting, mostly on and around the small island of Betio, in the extreme southwest of Tarawa Atoll. The U.S. had similar casualties in previous campaigns, like the six months of the Guadalcanal Campaign, but the losses on Tarawa happened in 76 hours.

The Battle of Tarawa was the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region. It was also the first time in the Pacific War that the United States had faced severe japanese opposition while conducting an amphibious landing. Previous landings met little or no initial resistance. As the Japanese strategy was to let them land and attack after they let their guard down. (but that didn’t work against the USMC). On Tarawa, the 4,500 Japanese defenders were well-supplied and well-prepared, and they fought almost to the last man, exacting a heavy toll. The Japanese said it would take the U.S. “one million men 100 years to take Tarawa.” That is saying a lot for a piece of land that was only 3 miles long and about 800m wide. The Japs had fortified the island with about 500 pillboxes, four eight-inch gun turrets, and numerous artillery and machine-gun emplacements. A coral and log seawall ringed most of the island, and 13mm dual-purpose anti-boat/antiaircraft machine guns protected the beaches.  

On the morning of November 20, following a naval bombardment, the first wave of Marines approached Betio’s northern shore in Higgins boats. The men encountered lower tides than expected and were forced to abandon their Higgins Boats on the reef that surrounded Betio and wade hundreds of yards to shore under intense enemy fire. When the Marines reached the Red beach, they struggled to move past the sea walls and establish a secure beachhead. By the end of the day, the Marines held the extreme western tip of the island, as well as a small beachhead in the center of the northern beach. In total, it amounted to less than a quarter of a mile.

There were immediate issues from the start. The naval gunfire stopped at 0900, while the Marines in their Landing Vehicles, Tracked (LVT), were still 4,000 yards offshore. Because of the lower than expected tide, the Higgins boats carrying later waves would not be able to make it over the reefs in the bay. As the Marines approached the shore, they realized the naval bombardment had been rather ineffective. They started taking heavy fire from the Japanese as they made their way across the lagoon.

The first two assault companies, K and L, suffered over 50 percent casualties in the first two hours of the assault. The following waves were in even more trouble. Embarked in Higgins Boats, they had no choice but to unload at the reef due to the low tide. They had to wade ashore over 500 yards under heavy fire.

This was how the men of L company under Major Mike Ryan made it ashore. Rather than leading his men directly into the carnage of Red Beach 1, Ryan followed a lone Marine he had seen breach the seawall at the edge of Red Beach 1 and Green Beach, the designated landing area that comprised the western end of the island. Ryan’s landing point caught the eye of other Marines coming ashore they headed towards Ryan’s position.

As more Marines from successive waves and other survivors worked their way to the west end of the island, Ryan took command and began to form a composite battalion from the troops he had. These men would come to be known as “Ryan’s Orphans.”

On the beach, the Marines of 3/2 continued to fight for their lives. After managing to wrangle two anti-tank guns onto the beach, they realized they were too short to fire over the seawall. As japanese tanks approached their positions, cries went up to “lift them over!” Men raced to get the guns atop the seawall just in time for the gunners to drive off the Japanese tanks. Maj. Ryan’s Orphans and others had acquired a pair of Sherman tanks. Learning as they went, the Marines coordinated assaults on pillboxes with infantry and tank fire. This gave the Marines on Betio their most significant advance of the day as Ryan’s orphans were able to advance 500 meters inland.

3rd Battalion was severely mauled in the initial assault on Betio. Surrounded by strong Japanese fortifications, the survivors on Red Beach 1 would fight for their lives for the remainder of the battle. Ryan’s orphans made a significant contribution to the battle in opening up Green Beach, so men of the 6th Marine Regiment could come ashore to reinforce the battered survivors. Now reformed, 3/2 would take part in one of the final assaults to secure the island, helping to reduce the dedicated Japanese fortification at the confluence of Red Beaches 1 and 2.

By November 23, 1943, after 76 hours of fighting, the battle for Betio was over. More than 1,000 Marines and sailors had been killed, and nearly 2,300 were wounded. Of the roughly 4,800 Japanese defenders, about 97% were thought to have been killed. Only 146 prisoners were captured — all but 17 of the Korean laborers.

Maj Ryan was awarded a Navy Cross. Four Marines would be awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the battle — three of them posthumously.

The military learned vital lessons from the invasion of Tarawa. The organization of amphibious landings was changed, and by D-Day, they would be far more effective. The tactics techniques and procedures of using tanks and infantry together to fight a well-intrenched enemy and other lessons learned would be used for the rest of the war. To this day, the lesson learned on Tarawa is used for a base for all amphibious operations.

For more information, visit www.marines.mil.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Kokoda Track Campaign WW2

Sunday, November 3rd, 2019

The 3rd of  November is Kokoda in Australia. The Kokoda campaign began with a full-scale attack on the Australian 39th Militia Battalion on 29 July 1942.  The battle lasted three months as the Australians were pushed back to their last line of defense on Imita Ridge. The Australians rallied at this point and forced the Japanese back across the track.  Kokoda was recaptured on 2nd November 1942, and the Australian flag was raised at a service the following day.

The Kokoda Track/Trail Campaign was fought between the Australians, the Americans, ,and the Japanese. It was primarily fought between the Aussies and the Japanese. The campaign consisted of a series of battles fought between July and November 1942 in what was then the Australian Papua New Guinea    

Kokoda was undoubtedly the most significant battle fought by Australians in the Second World War because it was fought so close to home. The Kokoda campaign saved Australia from possible invasion from the Japanese. Port Moresby held a robust tactical position and preventing the Japanese from reaching it was vital. The battle was fought over five months, and the odds were stacked heavily in favor of the Japanese, they outnumbered the Aussies 5-1, they had much better equipment, and a lot more of it, and at the time were considered the best jungle fighters in the world. The astounding feats performed by the Australian soldiers lead to the growth of Australia as a nation.
The Australian troops had to save Port Moresby from getting invaded from the Japanese because if so, the Japanese could have easily invaded Australia. The Australian forces fought exceptionally well in the harsh and unforgiving jungle of the Kokoda Track/ Trail. There were more than 600 Allies killed, and about 75% of the allied troops got sick, with diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and dysentery, to name a few. 

The Australians fought against all the odds and without the help of Great Britain. It was also fought mainly by Militia (reserve) troops or “chocolate soldiers” as the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) called them because they were poorly trained, and it was said, “they would melt in the heat of battle.” At the start of the war, Australia sent its best troops the AIF to the middle east to help the brits. So, they stood up Militia Battalions to serve in Australia, to protect the homeland. Still, they used the loophole that Papua New Guinea was a territory, so they sent the 39th Militia there to help protect the island. This was one of the hardest fought battles in WW2 by anyone. I have attached a couple of links so you can read about this. As a lot of military units are getting back into the jungle, this is full of useful lessons learned and is an excellent piece of history. So raise a beer to the diggers and all the people that have gone before us.  

 

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kokodacampaignww2.weebly.com

 

 

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Adding Pockets

Sunday, October 27th, 2019

Typically when you are diving, you want to stay as streamlined as possible. It will help keep you on time and help you use less air. But sometimes you have more things to carry so you might need to add more storage. The major problem with pockets on your thighs or hips is the drag it will create. When these pockets are full, they add about two to four inches to your profile. You can wear your BDU’s, and that will add pockets to your legs and arms. If you chose to wear a uniform, I would recommend the Patagonia Jungle uniform. It is super light and dries fast. You can also add pouches onto your gear belt, or you can put one or two onto your rebreather straps. An old school M16 pouch is great for a spare mask or extra fin straps. You can cut the grenade pouches off of the sides to reduce the drag. Here are a few after-market pockets options that can help you streamline your profile without sacrificing your gear needs or altering your existing gear in any way.

SCUBAPRO HYBRID CARGO SHORTS form-fit to your body like you were born wearing a pair. On the underside of the nylon panels, a micro-plush interior makes the shorts warm and cozy. This fleece fabric absorbs less water, which keeps heat against the body, increasing overall warmth. They also dry quickly. They can be worn by themselves, over a wetsuit, or if you need a little more warmth, they are great for over dive skins in warm water. They are also useful for items that need to be at the ready or if you need to tuck something away while diving.

 

The SCUBAPRO Hydro’s Pro Cargo Thigh Pocket (full pocket with clips and straps) can provide the same storage as the Cargo shorts that capacity. Ideal for storing swimmer slates, lights, marker buoys, spare masks, compact cameras. Quick attachment via clips & thigh strap. The pocket has a large flap with a squeeze-style” side-release buckle closure. Bellow pocket design and large flap make access to stowed items easy and secure. The most significant feature is if you don’t need additional storage capacity, you can just remove the pocket for a more streamlined profile.

The SCUBAPRO Hydros Pro BCD Ninja Pocket is ideal for storing swimmer slates, lights, marker buoys, spare masks, compact cameras. Quick deploy when needed, roll-up when not. Pocket has a large flap with squeeze-style” side-release buckle closure. Bellow pocket design and large flap make access to stowed items easy and secure. All of the SCUBAPRO pockets are made from durable nylon fabric for strength and durability.

Another option is to glue pockets onto your wetsuit/ drysuit. This is way more permit, so make sure you get it right. You can do it yourself, but unless you have done things like this before, I would recommend having someone that has done it before showing you how to do it or have them do it. There are a lot of YouTube videos out there and articles about how to do this. There are pockets you can buy just for this purpose.

www.google.com

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Midway

Sunday, October 20th, 2019

The movie Midway is one of my favorite WW2 movies. They used a lot of real footage from the battle that was shot by director John Ford during the actual battle, (He also directed, They were Expendable, and Mister Roberts) you can tell it was old footage, but it does helps tell the story. So far Hollywood has not done a great job “remaking” movie or retelling the same story. They killed Red Dawn. Hopefully they use the same mindset that was used for Saving private Ryan, Band of Brothers and even Fury.

Gentex Awarded Contract for USSOCOM Coxswain Helmet System

Friday, October 11th, 2019

Carbondale, PA, October 11, 2019. Gentex Corporation, a global leader in personal protection and situational awareness solutions for defense forces, emergency responders, and industrial personnel announced today that its new Ops-Core® FAST SF Carbon Composite Helmet System has been chosen by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to fulfill their contract for Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) Family of Tactical Headborne Systems (FTHS) — Coxswain Helmet System. The five-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Firm Fixed Price (FFP) production contract carries a maximum value of $95M.

Gentex Corporation has been supplying products to USSOCOM since its activation in 1987 and is focused on designing and delivering solutions driven by end user input. Just recently, the company was awarded contracts for the USSOCOM SPEAR FTHS Ballistic and Non-Ballistic Helmets, as well as the USSOCOM Communication Accessory Suite Land (CASL) program for it’s Ops-Core Adaptive Mission Platform (AMP™) Communication Headset.

“We’re extremely pleased to have been chosen to provide the Coxswain Helmet System for USSOCOM,” said Tom Short, vice president of Ground Systems, Gentex Corporation. “The FTHS Coxswain contract validates our design process and helmet system innovations while bringing the FTHS Ballistic/Non-Ballistic and FTHS Coxswain Helmets together as one family of headborne systems with interchangeable accessories, common parts and simplified logistics.”

The FTHS Coxswain Helmet System consists of the Ops-Core FAST FTHS Carbon Composite Helmet with modular Ops-Core accessories:  Step-In Visors with clear and tinted lenses, NVG Snap Shields, FAST Ballistic and Carbon Composite Mandibles, and FAST Low Profile Ballistic Appliques. Additionally, the helmets will come with a variety of Ops-Core VAS shroud options, helmet covers, ARCTM rails, pads, exterior Velcro and will be available in four sizes with various color/camouflage options.  The Ops-Core FAST FTHS Carbon Composite Helmet is available today and commercial versions of the Coxswain Helmet System accessories will be available later this year.

Part of Gentex Corporation’s portfolio of helmet systems for defense, emergency response, and security forces, the focus and dedication of the company’s Ops-Core brand remains the same – protecting elite forces.  The modular, scalable, open-architecture design of Ops-Core products allows for the seamless integration and true system level performance.

shop.gentexcorp.com/ops-core-fast-sf-carbon-composite-helmet

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Starting an Outboard Motor

Sunday, October 6th, 2019

Move the shift lever to NEUTRAL.

You MUST supply water to the engine before attempting to start it. Use mouse ears or have the lower unit in the water. Engine damage can occur quickly. Watch for Engine Overheating or No water Flushing.

Be sure the engine is in the normal operating position.

Open the vent screw on the fuel tank cap.

• Turn it clockwise to close.

• Turn it Counterclockwise to open.

Make sure the fuel line arrow is pointing towards the engine.

Squeeze fuel primer bulb, the outlet ends up, until firm.

All Models

If equipped, attach the clip and lanyard assembly to the emergency stop switch / STOP button. Snap the lanyard to secure a place on your clothing or life vest

1. Emergency stop switch / STOP button Move the shift lever to NEUTRAL.

NEUTRAL

Start-up (Cold Engine)

Pull the choke knob fully out. Twist the throttle grip to START position.

Start-up (Warm Engine)

Align the arrow mark on the throttle grip with the START position. Do not use the choke.

1. Choke knob

2. Throttle grip

3. Start position

4. While seated, grasp the starter handle and pull slowly until the starter engages, then pull hard. Allow the starter cord to rewind slowly.

5. If your engine doesn’t start after three pull, push the choke knob in and repeat the starting procedure.

After Engine Starts

1. Gradually, push the choke in after the engine is warm.

2. Check the water pump indicator. A steady stream of water indicates that the water pump is working. If a steady stream of water from the water pump indicator is not visible, stop the engine.

3. Twist the throttle grip to IDLE position or slower. Move the shift lever to NEUTRAL.

Outboard Won’t Start

It doesn’t matter what brand of outboard you are us most of all starting problems are caused by the same group of things and don’t require a mechanic. At most you should only need a screwdriver and a roll of riggers tape. However, if you jumped this motor in or if you just did a lockout and brought it up from a sub. There might be other things that are wrong that you will need tools for. You should always have tools and some spare parts on the boat.

Start by noticing essential clues as to the cause:

• Sometimes the motor will sound like it’s not even really trying to start; other times it’ll sound like it’s almost starting.

• Is there an external tank connected by a fuel hose? If so, is the arrow on the line pointed the right way?

• Do you smell gas?

• Does it start okay, then die when you put it into gear?

WHAT TO CHECK WHEN THE OUTBOARD DOESN’T SOUND LIKE IT WANTS TO START

Three (or four with an electric start) things to check when the motor doesn’t even sound like it wants to start, regardless of whether it has an internal or external tank:

Kill Switch. Make sure that the kill cord (aka “deadman”) is appropriately attached to the motor. Don’t just look at it — generally, if it’s even a tiny bit out of place, it will stop the engine — or prevent it from starting. Always try and have an extra on every boat. You never know when it might get lost.

Out of Gas? Check that there is gas in the tank.

Tank Switch. If your motor has both an in-motor gas tank and an external tank, there will be a switch to choose which tank the motor is using (it’s usually on the front of the motor). Make sure it is set to the correct one! It can easily get bumped to the wrong position when the motor is removed or when the motor is tilted up and down.

WHEN THE OUTBOARD ALMOST STARTS, THEN DOESN’T

Two things to check when the motor sounds like it’s almost starting:

Choke? Try to start it both with and without using the choke, regardless of what the standard starting procedure is.

Throttle? Try varying the throttle position a little. Sometimes giving it a little more or less gas will help.

OUTBOARD STARTING PROBLEMS WHEN USING AN EXTERNAL GAS TANK

If your outboard has an external gas tank, there can be a number of problems between it and the motor. Do a quick visual inspection from the tank to the motor and then run your hand up the fuel hose. Many times, the problem will be very apparent when you do this.

Tank Vent Open? If you are using an external tank, make sure the vent on it is open. If it is not, air cannot flow into the tank to replace the volume of gas that is being used. Eventually, there will be a vacuum, and the motor won’t be able to suck gas from the tank. If the vent is open, but the tank looks “sucked in,” the vent may be clogged (infrequent, but it can happen). Try cracking the gas cap to let air into the tank — if this works, you can probably get to where you are going with the cap cracked (unless the seas are bad then you will have to watch out to make sure water does not get in the tank. If you have anything waterproof, you can put it over the tank make sure that it can still get air) Try cleaning the vent.

Fuel Line Connected or pinched the fuel line can come just slightly disconnected at either the tank or motor end. Don’t just look at it; remove the fuel line, reconnect it, and then tug gently to make sure it’s fully clipped on at both ends. If you put your fuel at the front of the boat to help even out the weight, then make sure no one is stepping on it or if it is pinched. You might have to Moe the fuel closer to the back. Check that the fuel line isn’t kinked or under something that could partially block the flow.

Squeeze Bulb. Squeeze the bulb in the fuel hose to get fuel up to the motor. Squeeze until the bulb is firm, don’t try to force it as you’ll end up flooding the motor.

If you have just replaced the fuel hose or bulb, double-check that the arrow on the bulb points from the tank to the motor (it has one-way valves in it). If you squeeze and the bulb stays “squeezed” or is slow to regain its shape, check that the tank vent is open; if it is, you probably have a blockage in the hose, or it is kinked.

If you squeeze the bulb and it never gets hard or takes more than 5 or 6 squeezes to get hard, there is likely a crack/cut/nick in the fuel hose between the tank and the bulb which is pulling in air.

If you squeeze the bulb and smell gas, you almost certainly have a cracked, cut or nicked fuel hose between the bulb and the motor, or the fuel line is not securely connected to the motor.

Cracked, Cut Fuel Hose OR Loose Connections. If the leak is on the pressure side (between the bulb and the motor), you’ll usually be able to see where the fuel is leaking. If it’s before the bulb, you simply have to look and feel to find the imperfection. Also, note that it may be a hose clamp that has come loose, or it’s possible for the squeeze bulb to have a crack in it (sunlight rally is the enemy to anything rubber).

If it’s a loose connection and you have a screwdriver, you can tighten it. If it’s a crack or nick, a few wraps of tape will often hold the hose together enough to get back to the big boat.

Blocked Fuel Hose.

Pump the squeeze bulb a few times and see if there is good fuel flow with each squeeze.

If it seems like there is a blockage, the long-term solution is to replace the hose. As a get-home measure, keep your speed low (so as to need less fuel) and keep pumping the bulb to help force fuel through the blockage. This will work for a brief stint, but once the delamination starts, it quickly gets worse. Replace the hose ASAP!

HOW TO TELL IF THE OUTBOARD IS FLOODED

Flooded refers to flooding the motor with fuel, not having dropped it in the water.

If you try starting the motor and smell gas, the motor is likely flooded (yes, as noted above, the gas smell can come from a cracked fuel line, but that is not as likely). Do NOT use the squeeze bulb – it will just flood the motor!

You have two choices for a fix:

• Wait about 10 minutes and try starting again.

• Do not use the choke, open the throttle all the way, and try starting again — it will usually take at least 2 to 3 pulls. If it doesn’t start with a half dozen pulls, wait 10 minutes and try again.

Sometimes, after flooding, it will start and then die. If that happens, mainly if it was a cold start, you can now start it using your typical “cold start” procedure with choking it, etc.

OUTBOARD STARTS BUT DIES WHEN YOU PUT IT INTO GEAR

Starting then dying when you put the motor in gear is the classic symptom of having something caught around the propeller — usually, a line or something, if you are off the coast of California, then there is a good chance its kelp. Also, if you have the prop-protectors on then tend to get foaled a lot easier. Leave the motor off and tilt it up to check, remove the kill switch then remove whatever you find. After you are done put the kill switch back on.

CONCLUSION

If the motor won’t start, walk-thru your steps, is the kill switch in? Does it have fuel? Is it getting fuel? Is it getting air? Walk your way from the gas to the motor. Systematically think about what the problem is most likely to be and check those items first. Lastly, remember if you have jumped the motor in, then there are a lot more things to look for then what I have just talked about. I will save that for another Sunday.

 

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Cramps

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

When you are doing a long dive there is a good chance that you are going to get a cramp. Cramping can happen for several reasons. Being dehydrated, diving for a couple of weeks straight or even you haven’t dove in a while. Most of the time you try and straightening out your leg that has the cramp while only kicking with your good leg, you try and grab your fin and stretch it out while keeping up with your swim buddy. Cramping occurs in the calves, hamstring, quadriceps, thighs and the feet—mainly due to the finning action that causes muscle fatigue and triggers muscle spasm. But mostly in diving, you get a cramp in your upper and lower calf from pointing your toes while you are diving.

So, what can you do to stop this from happening?

• Replace old equipment if it doesn’t fit you properly, it can cause feet related cramps. So that favorite pair of fins you stole when you were in training should be retired, hang them on your wall in your garage.

• Check the foot pockets of your fins to make sure your feet are comfortable enough and that there is sufficient room for them to move a bit. So, make sure your fins fit all the boots/footwear you are going to use, you might use a large in the summer but in the winter when you are wearing thicker boots or a dry suit you might need bigger fins. That also goes for shoes, like Vans or LALO’s that you might wear when doing a dive where you will need to have shoes on for climbing or good traction. You might have a size 10 for summer and a 12 for winter, so you can add insulation.

• Make sure you are using the right type of fin for the kick you use. Make sure the stiffness and surface area of your fins’ blades are what you need. Fins are designed for different types of kicks; Jet fins are great for a power kick or a frog kick, Seawing Nova’s are made to be great for propulsions with not as much effort as saying a jet fin. Also, look at the stiffness. There are two types of Seawing Nova. The Seawing Nova and the Seawing Nova Gorillas. The Gorillas are a stiffer fin, and they are great for a working diver or someone in good shape. So, pick the right one for the job you are doing and the environment you will be in.

 

• Your footwear should not be too tight as this will restrict circulation and bone movement in your foot. If you are diving in the winter and you add a dive sock to your booties to keep you warm, what you are doing is restricting your circulation, and that will make you cold and cause cramps. If you want to add layers have different sizes booties.

• The strap should not bite into the back of your heels too tightly, pushing on your Achilles tendon. This can happen if your footwear is too big and you are shoving your foot in and barely getting your strap around you heal or you are afraid you will lose your fin, so you pull the strap really tight. Something that could help with this is a self- adjusting fin, like a bungee strap or a steel spring. This will help keep the right pressure on your heel.  

 

Cramping generally affects people that have taken a long break from finning. I say finning and not diving because you don’t have to dive to fin. So, like all of your other skills, shooting, moving, and communicating. You need to practice finning, so you stay in finning shape. You should try and swim a couple of times a week and do it with fins on. When you are at the gym, don’t just do arms. Do functional workouts that include a lot of exercises for your calves and strengthening the specific muscle groups that cramp when diving. Also try and include foot flexing exercises, as one of the other reasons for cramping is your feet are not used to being pointed for long periods of time, as I mentioned above. I know a lot of groups are getting back into the water but are still living in the desert. So, when you have the chance try and get back into the water or into the gym.