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In anticipation of cold weather dredging I decided to spend some money on new dive gear. I was able to get a great deal on a Bare Pro D6 dry suit off Ebay.

Turned out to be an excellent purchase. The suit was brand new with tags still on it and came with a new set of gloves and hood as well for 499 shipped.

The size was an extra large short witch is perfect in length and the chest is a 44'' also perfect, but a bit large in the mid section at 35'' witch actually turned out to be a blessing as I was able to wear my heavy Filson wool gear under for some extra warmth. The boots are an xxl size there again I was able to wear two pair of wool socks for a perfect fit.

My old suit is a Bare Pro D6 in large regular, bit too long for me but a good fit with out too much under gear on. Had that suit about six years and it is in need of a new neck seal and a good checking over for pinholes. Rite now its more of a  wet suit than dry. LOL.

I was out dredging last Saturday in the new suit. Fist time in a while I was warm and dry. Pretty excited about that considering the temp was 22 F and the water dam cold.

I also purchased a full face mask, instead of going with goggles and a mouth piece. Ended up getting the new OTS Spectrum mask for 399.00 witch is cheap for a full face mask. It comes with out a regulator so you need to supply that, but most any will fit it. I did come to find my cheap Oceanic regulator is not a good cold weather/water dive regulator.

I really like this mask a lot but fair warning, OTS claims one size fits most with the double seal, but if you have  large face best to try it for fit as I have a small face and I cant see it fitting comfortable on a person that needs a large.

As far a my head I wear  a 7mm Bare dry hood and 7mm three finger mitts with Kevlar palms for my hands.

s-l1600.thumb.jpg.bc958a7db2756c81ac913b855ec42a1c.jpgIMG_2384.thumb.JPG.1432366dacafdb51d40e1b0df78aa1d2.JPGBREG7K.jpgBare : Picture 1 regular

Here is a pic from Saturday. Sure wish that sunshine could get down in the canyon a little bit.

IMG_2376.thumb.JPG.3c33b1896b7f78a659abb12749d1348f.JPG

If you look close at the picture you can see steam coming off the river, that water is about 38 Deg. F. I think the air temp was about 18 Deg. F.

Stayed nice and warm in the new gear but as I mentioned my regulator was my problem. Keep freezing up in the cold water and cut my dredge time short. I did manage to clear out a yard or so of pay dirt for a total of 1/8 ounce of gold for the day but I was having to surface about every 5 minutes and put my mask in front of the exhaust on the dredge and that was a bit much for me.

Funny how you plan really carefully but overlook one item and that negates all the planning.

So - I'm in the market for a good cold water regulator any one got suggestion?

Heading back to town coming out of Turnagain Pass I  snapped a picture of the Chugach Mountains over by Girdwood. Enjoy!IMG_2381.thumb.JPG.5a2f3260f83644126e3d17d3cf3b6655.JPG

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I have found incredible deals at garage sales and of all places the SPCA....a bag full of gear for 50 Bucks ! Nice stuff but dang that's some cold dredging.

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If it's freezing up it has to be that the compressor is pulling in moister but you can get a filter for that. I think !

Looks colder than a well diggers butt.

Chuck

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Been ther done that as far as no sun in the canyon. Tough this time of the year when you get out of the cold water and into the colder air. Have you ever tried a dry glove set up, works great, no cold hands.

Something that happened to me late Sept last year on Alfred Creek my foot valve kept freezing up with ice and slush. Temp was in the 20's so not that cold, had to quit, B

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I was normally good down to about 15 degrees. As Bob notes somewhere in that region the creek starts freezing from the bottom up, with slush building up behind rocks and on foot valves. The big surprise is all that suction will not pull the ice crystals through the foot valve. They hit the screen and stick. Suction gets weak and you look and there is a ball of slush over the foot valve. Sluice boxes start freezing up even while running. The exact temp this all happens at is more dependent on water temperature than air temperature but obviously cold air temps are the trigger.

Dry gloves help. Age does not. I think I would probably prefer a hot water setup these days.

This is about SCUBA but is applicable Scuba Regulator Freezing

Great buy on the drysuit - BARE makes good gear.

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I love my ocean reefe full face mask. Sometimes I have trouble getting it to seal just right, but still way better then chewing on a mouth piece  the whole time. I have a smaller head I probally could use a smaller size of they even offer one. Or shave muy beard. Lol

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Steve, that was a good publication! I pulled a section out that is particular to surface supplied umbilical  air diving or Hookah in dredging terms.

12.0 Umbilical Supplied Equipment Freezing: Although surface supplied demand mode umbilical divers use similar

demand regulators used on helmets and full face masks, these demand regulators do not pose a significant threat of

developing ice and /or freezing from the divers exhaled breath because the umbilical in the water operates at low pressures

and the umbilical acts as a thermal heat exchanger and warms the breathing air up to the surrounding water temperature.

Even in salt water at 28°F (-2°C) the air is not cold enough to support ice formation in the second stage components even

at work rates as high as 62.5 - 75 rmv. However, this does not necessarily mean surface supplied divers don’t have worry

about cold water. In generally, surface supplied divers stay in the water a lot longer than SCUBA divers, and in most cases

have to breathe at much higher breathing rates because they are conducting working dives. Overall most surface supplied

divers are supplied with air derived from low pressure compressors. Low pressure compressors can put a lot of moisture in

the volume tank in a very short time depending on the atmospheric humidity. It is imperative for diving operations in cold

areas to insure they have a good moisture separator / filtration system. The most significant cold problem for most umbilical

supplied divers is just trying to stay warm. The next significant problem is not so much the water temperature, but rather

the topside air temperature. In most cases helmet and full face masks supplied air from umbilicals do not get cold enough to

develop ice because the umbilical works as a radiator (heat exchanger) and warms the incoming air up to that of the water

temperature. Unlike SCUBA where if your diving is 32 - 50°F (7 - 10°C) the demand regulator incoming air arriving from

the first stage can easily be in the -5 - 15°F range, where the umbilical supplied air will always be at the same temperature as

the water, which in the worst case would be just below freezing but warm enough to allow the divers exhaled breath keep ice

from forming.

12.1 Topside Cold: If the topside surface air temperatures are well below freezing, (around 25°F or less) excessive moisture

from the volume tank in the form of water droplets can travel into the umbilical that is in the extreme cold topside environment

and freeze into small “ice balls” that can then travel down the umbilical and end up in the side block and bent tube, blocking

off air to the demand regulator. The blockage is not from actual formation of ice within the helmet components but rather the

collection of ice from the surface supply system. The ice that was generated topside blocks passages to the regulator and side

block. The ice can cause a reduction of flow, as well as a complete blockage, stopping all air flow because the down-stream

flow compacts the ice.

The best way to prevent ice from developing in the surface supply system is to insure your volume tank has a good moisture

separator system and the volume tank and moisture separator condensate is drained regularly to avoid moisture buildup.

Air dryers in the form of electric moisture separators are available as well as desiccant type filters. Surface supplied diving

using HP air will not have enough moisture to cause freezing problems with the man worn helmets or masks because most

all modern HP compressors use driers that remove moisture down to a dew point of at least -40°F.

Keeping the umbilical in a heated shack and minimizing how much is exposed to the cold ambient air prevents moisture in

the umbilical from turning into ice. The portion of the umbilical in use in the water is at the same temperature of the water

and will not normally be cold enough to allow any water in the umbilical to freeze as long as the water you are diving in is

not below 32°F (0°C). As long as the portion of umbilical topside in the air is kept above 32°F (0°C), there will be little risk

of generating ice from a wet supply system. The safest bet is drain the volume tank and filters on a regular interval and run

good dryers, which could be refrigerant or desiccant type .

Stay Warm.

 

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On ‎10‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 10:32 AM, Ridge Runner said:

If it's freezing up it has to be that the compressor is pulling in moister but you can get a filter for that. I think !

Looks colder than a well diggers butt.

Chuck

Ridgerunner, looks like you hit the nail on the head. Good call.

I'll try to add a desiccant dryer to the system. There are many disposable units used for automotive painting that are inexpensive and would probably work well.

These small Motor Guard brand are an example at 19.00 for two shipped, should do the trick.

61S%2BUbG50eL._SL1200_.jpg

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On ‎10‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 8:08 PM, Bob(AK) said:

Been ther done that as far as no sun in the canyon. Tough this time of the year when you get out of the cold water and into the colder air. Have you ever tried a dry glove set up, works great, no cold hands.

Something that happened to me late Sept last year on Alfred Creek my foot valve kept freezing up with ice and slush. Temp was in the 20's so not that cold, had to quit, B

Bob, I did try the Si Tech dock system. I had Neoprene wrist seals and I think the system I used was designed for Latex. The set up came apart repeatedly and I gave up and went back to the 7mm mitts.

What set up did you find that worked?

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15 hours ago, Steve Herschbach said:

I was normally good down to about 15 degrees. As Bob notes somewhere in that region the creek starts freezing from the bottom up, with slush building up behind rocks and on foot valves. The big surprise is all that suction will not pull the ice crystals through the foot valve. They hit the screen and stick. Suction gets weak and you look and there is a ball of slush over the foot valve. Sluice boxes start freezing up even while running. The exact temp this all happens at is more dependent on water temperature than air temperature but obviously cold air temps are the trigger.

Dry gloves help. Age does not. I think I would probably prefer a hot water setup these days.

This is about SCUBA but is applicable Scuba Regulator Freezing

Great buy on the drysuit - BARE makes good gear.

I have thought about the hot water systems but ultimately I decided that if I have to go to that its time to stop prospecting for the season and start enjoying the Holidays.

Late 2015 I stood on the bridge  and watched the confluence of Mills and Canyon Creeks freeze. Not sure how cold the water was but the air temp was -15 Deg. F. Took about 45 min. Really interesting to see the slush form on the bottom and the water freeze over in cascading layers. Thought I had a pic but couldn't find it.

Cant remember dealing with slush build up on the foot valves but the fall leaves seem to stick quit well.

 

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