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    • I was fascinated by this piece in National Georgraphic on new innovations that allow a kind of camping underwater:

      Since the dawn of the modern SCUBA age ushered in by Jacques Cousteau in the early 1940s, ocean explorers have been seeking new ways to stay under the sea for longer stretches. Restricted by tank size and human physiology under pressure, SCUBA divers must periodically come up for air, sometimes within just minutes of hitting bottom.

      Enter the Ocean Space Habitat, conceived of as sort of underwater “basecamp.”

      Designed and recently patented by National Geographic explorer Michael Lombardi and Winslow Burleson, an associate professor at New York University, the inflatable Ocean Space Habitat is a portable life-support system for divers who want to go deeper and stay longer than conventional SCUBA allows...In their inflatable “tent,” several divers at a time can swim up into the dry chamber,
      remove gear, talk, eat, process samples, and even sleep through the decompression process.

      Would you sleep in this kind of an environment? Could you?

    • I don't think it's practical for camping as exciting as that could be, but for extending dives and setting up comms to the surface it seems very useful. I would love it if the dive rental places I use around the world had a modern version of one of these, like this:

    • Fascinating topic!

      I wonder if the “undersea campers” worry about an increased possibility of narcosis? Narcosis can creep up on a diver and mess with the diver’s ability to think clearly, unbeknownst to the diver.

      While I can see it might be nice to have a more comfortable place for a safety stop, the real temptation would be to stay under for *much* longer rather than come to the surface three times in a day to recover just to go down again. I wonder how safe that is...? Maybe this would actually be better? Dunno.

      Imagine, though—a new dive table just for campers. Ha.

    • You will need a lot of weight to offset the air in the tent, or something very strong underwater to secure the tent, you may be able to pack the tent for travel but the weights or anchor systems will be the problem for travel.

      In the past if you needed extra or emergency decompression time it's easy to lower a weighted line into the water from the boat with a loop at the correct depth for the diver to hang onto until the decompression time is achieved. Others can ferry full tanks to the diver if needed.

      With mixed gas diving underwater time has already been extended.

      Underwater photographers who need to wait for a subject to appear currently have a few options that circumvent the problem of limited bottom time, you can cover the waiting time, as a team working in relays or place a remote camera at depth and watch the monitor on the surface until the subject shows.

    • I bet camping in there would be miserable, but it's entirely possible to do this safely. The oil and gas industry has an established track record of keeping divers at deep-sea pressure for multiple nights through a method they call Saturation Diving. Divers stay in a pressurized pod on a ship when they're not diving.

      In the North Sea, divers live in the pod and work at 700' below the surface for a month at a time. It's one of the more interesting documentaries I've seen in a while:

    • Kev comparing the tent to saturation diving does not really work, if the swell picks up and you are tethered to the bottom the pressure changes with each wave.

      Inside a chamber the pressure is stable, until the tech starts the decompression sequence.

    • I didn't even think of that, that the water column in tent diving can raise and lower affecting pressure conditions. So I guess I see tent diving as the poor man's saturation diving. I think in principle, they both are attempting to solve the same problem: keeping divers at deep pressures for longer.