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Shearwater Dive Computers

Text and photos by Nicolene Olckers
SHEARWATER DIVE COMPUTERS RULE THE SCUBA DIVER ROOST | Three factors determine any diver's stay underwater. One is the amount of air the diver has, the second is the amount of time, and the third is to which depth the diver will be going underwater. Traditionally these are monitored by a timepiece/watch, a depth gauge and an air pressure gauge. The latter provides information on the available air in the diver's cylinder. Having a dive computer to integrate all these is obviously ideal.

I was fortunate to lay my hands on the latest dive computers available from Shearwater Research. Based in Canada, Shearwater produces high-quality and accurate dive computers suitable for all kinds of diving. These dive computers have become the instruments of established choice for technical divers (and now increasingly recreational divers). I was provided three models to try out.

THE PERDIX | This dive computer combines a clean design and innovative technology. It provides reliable information. Some might say its old style, square design and size make it too bulky for recreational diving. Valid criticism, maybe, but it is eventually a personal choice. The Perdix is a dive computer that will stay with you through your dive experiences and continued diving education. It is powered by a user-replaceable AA-size battery and will accept the rechargeable version too. The standard AA battery should last around 40 hours of use. If you are a lazy dive log keeper, the Perdix will record 1000 hrs of diving, allowing you to keep your dive records until you can download them. The ultra, legible, full-colour screen layout can be customised to your preferences. At the same time, important information is highlighted in different colours to make them stand out.
THE PEREGRINE | One of the new devices in the Shearwater repertoire is the Peregrine. It was clearly produced with the recreational diver in mind. Advancing recreational divers will find it versatile and functional. Unlike the Perdix, this dive computer does have a more modern 'look' with a blue bezel around the screen. The rounded edges and more compact design will appeal to more fashion-conscious sports divers. It packs many powerful, accurate modes and features you would expect from a Shearwater dive computer. It also sports a rugged, sturdy rubber wrist strap that is long enough to fit comfortably over a 7mm neoprene-wrapped wrist. Another great feature is that the computer uses a wireless charging dock. The latter comes with a standard, handy storage/carry case and minimises carrying around cables and adapters. Shearwater has also reduced the amount of plastic used in the packaging – a sign of environmental consciousness. As with the Perdix, dive log storage is generous, and the Peregrine will record up to 200 hours of your underwater adventures. The full-colour screen with essential information highlighted is again a valued feature. The vibration alerts could be felt while wearing the computer over a 5mm thick neoprene-clad wrist. It is customisable with a blue or white strap that will make you stand out from those with typical black attire.
THE TERIC | Almost all manufacturers have developed a watch-style dive computer, which the Teric also offers the world of dive computers. The Teric is trendy with a smooth matt-black finish. It is stylish enough to keep on your wrist, even when you change into your favourite little black cocktail dress. The standard black strap is also available in five fashionable colours, which will suit the colour-coded clan. It is a powerful dive computer in a wristwatch size. It has a full-colour AMOLED screen and is air-integration enabled. It can accommodate up to 4 AI transmitters. This little black machine features five dive modes, including one for Freediving. The user can also select from 5 open circuit and closed-circuit gas modes. The customisable conservatism offers flexibility to those who wish to customise their exposures for safety. Yes, and for the tardy dive log keepers, it will also record approximately 500 hours of underwater exploration time.
BLUETOOTH LE & SHEARWATER CLOUD | Much like the Application icon, this Bluetooth device is a proper lightning bolt for those who want to keep their Cloud-based dive log up to date. You have probably guessed by now that logging my dives has not been my priority. In fact, I abandoned keeping a record of my dives years ago – in 2008, while training an open-water diver in Mozambique.  

[Editor's note: Having an electronic dive log is an invaluable safety feature in the case of decompression illness. It allows diving physicians to evaluate the last dives you did, even if you did not log them consciously, and you do not have to remember everything. So having this facility is invaluable].  

The application's different functions are very user-friendly. They offer you space to add personal experiences and details to your record. The program and various screens are easily navigable and readable. Keeping your dive information handy and organised is easy once you have downloaded the dives from your wrist. As for me, once I had downloaded the Cloud from Appstore – it is also available on Google Play - I paired it with the various models and downloaded my dive log in seconds. It actually made logging my dives fun again: engaging with statistics, filtering them by Dive mode, location, site, environment, buddy, year/month or by year added to this. Once again, Shearwater utilises colour to its best advantage.

When reviewing my basic dive statistics between 9 October 2022 and 24 November 2022, on Open Circuit, in Recreational dive mode, I counted 28 dives with a total underwater time of 22h11min.
My deepest dive was 32 m, and the longest was 1hr 10minutes. That was quite cool to know! I guess I will have to rethink my logging habits. In closing: My personal conclusion is that Shearwater Research is a leader in the dive computer field.

Thank you to Dive Action in Cape Town for providing me with the various models for the duration of the DAN Road Trip. They are the importers of SHEARWATER computers and NAUTICAM in South Africa.

DIVE ACTION
Cape Town
Tel: +27 82 881 1660 or +27 21 511 0800
Web: www.diveaction.co.za
Email: info@diveaction.co.za
Instagram: @diveactionct
Facebook: @diveactionct

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