Murner See UW Landscape and Life (Video)

Murner See UW Landscape and Life (watch on YouTube)


Full Face Mask Quick Removal

Source: German SCUBA diving magazine unterwasser 9/11, p. 98, story entitled «Vollgesichtsmasken [sic!] voll normal?» [«full face masks ‒ fully normal?», my translation].

In this blog article, I'm citing a checklist for full face masks from this story («Checkliste Vollgesichtsmaske» [sic!]), page 100, item #5, most important skills («5. Die wichtigsten Fähigkeiten»):
«Ablegen der Vollgesichtsmaske [sic!] im Panikmodus (geht ein einfaches Wegdrücken vom Gesicht oder muss man eine Vorrichtung (Bänder, Griffe etc) benutzen?»
removing the full face mask in panic mode (does a simple push-away from the face works or does one must use an apparatus (straps, handles etc)?», my humble translation, same errors as in German original]
Now, what is a «panic mode» in the context of handling a full face mask? Unfortunately, the magazine story from unterwasser never cares to explain this term. Maybe this «panic mode» is simply an awkward phrase coined by the story writer for an emergency situation under water? A situation which requires quick and straightforward reaction, but also advisedly handling? Where the equipment must not get into your way so you can safely mitigate the problem and situation?

In Good Sight the Mask Sight Is Top

What should I (as a SCUBA diver) think of test reports about full face masks in typical SCUBA diving magazines?

Source: test report «Ocean Reef im »Maskentest«» [«Ocean Reef in mask test»], published in SCUBA diving magazine tauchen 9/11, pp. 102:
«Bei guter Sicht, im klaren Wasser ist die Maske auch von der Sicht her top.»
In good sight, in clear water, the mask is also top when it comes to the sight.», my humble translation.]

No, I'm not making this up. Believe me.

Otherwise, this magazine test report lacks any rating with respect to the (Ocean Reefs) mask's performance under the usual bad sight conditions as found in our inshore cold and filthy lakes. Interestingly, the report really extensively describes the problem of distracting mask reflections under bad sighting conditions. Yet it avoids any performance remark like fleeing the devil. Thus, there is no concrete evaluation of the Ocean Reef full face mask in such bad sight conditions. I really read the test report many, many times; over and over again. But there's not even a single word about the Ocean Reef's mask performance.

To be fair, we should assume that the author of this test never had the chance to actually test this full face mask in real, open water conditions in a typical coldwater lake, such as Happurger Baggersee or Steinberger See. And thus the author simply cannot pen down and publish any real-world results in this respect.

Personally, I would like to vote for this test report to be awarded by tauchen itself this very year! Don't know the category, but I'm sure, tauchen could create a suitable new one, if necessary. After all, they are coming with all trades of award categories, so why not for the most, um, unordinary test report? So, where can I report this brilliant report for the Pulitzer?

Full Face Mask-Integrated Lamp

Am I brilliant?!
Source: supplementary
download to German SCUBA
magazine tauchen 09/11
«Am I looking blindingly brilliant, or what?!»
What might be intented as a joke my turn deadly serious in diving. But first things first...

In its accessory sortiment one manufacturer of full face masks offers a mask-integrated LED lamp. Does this make sense? At first glance, this seems to be an interesting idea: use the head space to built in a lamp.

»Mask Test«

To cite the title of a test report from the German SACUBA diving magazine tauchen 9/11, pp. 102:
«[...] im »Maskentest«»
[«... in »mask test«», my humble translation]

I double checked it: they really put the term «mask test» in quotes. That's really unusual and thus remarkable. Did someone here wanted to distance himself/herself from this «mask test»? Why should someone with tauchen surround the term «mask test» with (french) quotes? This term is fine, no need for quotes ... except if there should be a problem with the test as such, per chance?

On a sidenote, the proper standardized German term for a full face mask is «Vollmaske» (literally: «full mask») and not «Vollgesichtsmaske», this being a direct translation from the English term «full face mask». So I could immediately understand if tauchen would start to surround the term Vollgesichtsmaske with quotes instead ... but that's a different story.


Please Stop Breathing ... (Almost)

So what is the luxurious design of a full face mask worth? Worth when in case of an emergency situation under water, such as excess air in the legs of a dry suit I need to take care first of my free flowing full face mask instead of the main problem concerning my buoyancy getting out of control?

Ocean Reef Free Flows in Head Down Under Position

Source: Ocean Reef: PADI SPECIALTY COURSE IDM Instructor Guide

In this instructor guide Ocean Reef informs divers using its full face masks that these masks my start to free flow in a head down under position. And that divers need to adjust the exhaust valve, adjust the reg, and finally also adjust their breathing. Quite some things to adjust.

Peak Performance Idleness Specialty

And you thought that you got all the specialties available? Even the specialties specialty? Oh well, but then you still miss this one! At least it's a specialty card that's not so, um, static anymore... ;)


Scubapro Full Face Mask

In Brief

Scubapro full face mask, front view
Faceplate flat, with protective frame
tempered glass
Mask frame/ soft body opaque
Respiration mouth
Head harness/ spider 5 straps
Quick removal
Pressure equalization flexible nose section
Defogging same as half mask
Purging additional purge valve
Surface valve yes
2nd stage screw coupling and adaptor; almost every 2nd stage as long as it mechanically fits
Redundancy additional backup 2nd stage; shutoff?
1st stage suitable for particular 2nd stage
Communication optional

Cressi Full Face Mask

In Brief

Italian Classics: Cressi full face mask & clones
Faceplate/visor flat, with protective frame
tempered glass
Mask frame/soft body opaque
Respiration mouth
Head harness/spider 3 straps
Quick release
Pressure equalization flexible nose section
Defogging same as half mask
Surface valve no
2nd stage fixed or optionally fixed/removable; almost every 2nd stage as long as it mechanically fits
Redundancy when 2nd stage is removable
1st stage suitable for particular 2nd stage
Communication no

Nitrogen Specialty

Everyone's a nitrogen expert!

Imagine this! Each ordinary air tank filling consists of almost 80% pure nitrogen. So, as there is so much of it in each tank ... shouldn't each one of you also be a nitrogen expert for safety reasons?!

Thanks to the absolutely fabulous PAYDI this is no more an issue. Thanks to all those blabla-aware projects, we are now able to train you to become a nitrogen expert.

And after the show, pardon, training, you can easily show off your newly earned ignorance to all your wannabe friends with this card. Acquiring knowledge cards is really so easy in the age of credit cards.

PS: Many thanks to Ludwig Nachtmann for this shot he did near Île d'Or next to Le Dramont (83/F).

Mrs Darth Specialty

Pink Pow(d)er.

Our jungle of PAYDI specialties would be incomplete without this exclusive full face mask specialty for our fashion-concious she-divers. This beautiful card is a definitive must-have accessoire for your diving handbag.

And we would be crazy if we would lose sight of this important and wealthy customer group. As if this would be possible considering the color space usually covered by such customers. Just teasing... We are sure that the color of our new specialty card is so much appealing, your buddy won't resist at all.

Somehow this particular piece of diving outfit reminds me of the sanitary departments of home improvement store chains. Other divers spilled out much more, well, explicit associations. But I can't cite them here as otherwise Google would probably turn this blog into a, well, block...

PS: Big, big kudos to Axel Eisele for this shot and committing it to my blog. This pink Ocean Reef Neptune Space is really, um, remarkable. It reminds me of the old Rover advertising claim: «a class of its own».
PPS: Moan, groan, sigh...

Specialities Specialist Speciality

Specialties Specialist Specialty

Even we have to admit ... that the amount of specialties is exponentially increasing these days.

But fear no more: just ask for a certified PAYDI specialities specialist, who can help you before you loose overview. Or even better: get a specialties specialist today!

It absolutely is worth it! At least for us, the dive tricking organizations.

PS: Many kudos to all the photographers that contributed to this royal league of specialities card. Did I just say «royal league»? Tut! CEO league!

Longhose Expert Specialty

Longhose specialty.

Show all your buddies that your hose is the longest one on the block. At the same time this important card certifies that you can strangle yourself as well as your buddy, of course workmanlike. What could be worse than appearing to be just a bloody beginner?

PS: Many thanks to Ludwig Nachtmann for his shot taken during my pool exercises. To be honest, Ludwig had quite some fun watching and shooting...

Understanding PAYDI Specialty

Understanding PAYDI. While waiting for Godot.

Who really does understand all those dive tricking organizations with all their specialty-driven training programs?

This is now no longer any problem ... thanks to our new excellence specialty «Understanding PAYDI». It will leave no questions unanswered. We have to thank our old foxes from iSS for opening their know-how to all of us in form of this excellent specialty.

PS: Many thanks to Jörg Lucinski for this fine shot from Lake Murner (BY/D). I just waited patiently during the 5m check for what will happen next. And I still don't know what Jörg had put into my tank that day ... but I will be happy to get it again anytime!

Peak Perversion Buoyancy Specialty

Perverse Performance Buoyancy

There are so many reasons why being just able to control your buoyancy is not enough. There is room for improvement. Much room: go for perverse performance buoyancy!

Real mastery shows when you are showing this card!

In case this doesn't work out as there are some minor issues with your abilities, you don't need to despair. To sweeting this bitter pill we still have the sediment whisperer ready for you. And it's really not that expensive. We would not be PAYDI if we couldn't offer you some way out ... for money, that is.

PS: Many thanks to Axel Eisele for the shooting session in Blindsee (T/A). The moment we were doing this, a group of OWD freshmen came along, but (ironically) they were completely distracted by controlling their buoyancy, so they didn't noticed us. These are just situations money can't buy.

...The Diver Needs To Be In an Upright Position

Upright divers are always good. As are: upright democrats (and republicans, of course), upright citizens, upright tax payers. But I digress ... so back to diving and I'm now citing from the (German) SSI training booklet for dry suit diving (German edition, ISBN-13: 978-1-59750-077-7):
«Damit das automatische Auslassventil richtig funktioniert, muss das Ventil richtig eingestellt sein und der Taucher sich in einer aufrechten Position befinden.»
For the automatic exhaust valve to function properly, the valve has to be adjusted correctly and the divers needs to be in an upright position.», my humble translation, my emphasis]

LOOK, I'm Your Father

Sorry, but I simply could not resist this one. Especially as it is twisted in several ways at the same time. Of course, this is the famous meme, but properly adapted to our blog topic: SCUBA diving and full face masks.

Dive Wars in a Nutshell.


True SCUBA diving came upon mankind through the enlightened hands of Sharque-Eek Coustau. Telling people that diving is fun definitely is the plot of the beast. So we need cousteaudians that take care of the one and only true SCUBA diving. So you wanna be a real coustodian? Then enroll your soul right this moment to...


... as there simply is no other dive tricking organization entitled to preserve and teach mankind the true wisdom of SCUBA diving.

Don't get distracted. Diving is religion. And religion is war. We drill you to survive this war. We defend diving skills with all training means. We enlight you.


iSS is for all those real divers that consider other dive tricking organizations to be completely dead easy in the true sense of these words. In contrast, iSS takes drilling seriously and thus really rumbles you lazy piece of neoprene (or trilaminate).

Of course, with our drill concept, cash in advance is just business as usual. We know why, trust us. Because we're no charity organization. At least not for people other than our upper management.

Murner See

The Lake Murner See is a former brown coal open pit. Many years ago a renaturation program was started. Part of it was to slowly and carefully flood the pit in a controlled manner. Due to its history, the waters of Murner See are still comparably sour: pH values in the range from 5.1 to 5.4 in the northern region around the entry «Aussichtsturm» (literally: «Look-out Tower»). However, sight is often more than fair; depending on weather and diver strain sight can be even incredibly good ... just these photos demonstrate. We now even see the first fish: perches, pikes, and even a catfish.


Practising What I'm Preaching...

...but luckily I did not end up drinking to much water. Recently, I completed my own drill in open water. I can now certify myself, so to say. I did the training of the final round in 8 to 9m, 10°C water temperature: switching between full face mask and half mask and backup reg, and afterwards back again. Now I remember why I'm recently started diving with a full face mask.

Heros Compared: HD Hero and HD Hero2

When I recently did my full face mask drill in the Sauerkraut I took my two GoPro HD Hero cams with me. One older HD Hero as well as a newer HD Hero 2. For quite some time I wanted to undertake a direct side-by-side comparism of the two models under (somehow typical) under water conditions.

While I mentally had already prepared for a footage desaster ... I was immediately astonished staring at the little LCD screens of the cams during the first dive.


OTS Guardian

In Brief

OTS Guardian, front view
molded, flat visor
Mask frame/
soft body
Respiration nose and mouth
Head harness/
5 straps
Quick removal no
Pressure equalization nose block
Defogging automatic defogging
Purging through 2nd stage
Surface valve yes
2nd stage limited quick release: can only be operated when mask is removed
OTS 2nd stage
Redundancy no
1st stage Aqualung Legend or Apeks XTX100, TX100, XTX50, DS4
Communication optional

Ocean Reef Full Face Mask

In Brief

This is not the sanitary department.
Faceplate/visor molded visor, flat front
completely transparent
Mask frame/
soft body
completely transparent
Respiration nose and mouth
Head harness/
6 straps
Quick removal lower straps only
Pressure equalization nose pads
Defogging automatic defogging
Purging separate exhaust+purge valve
Surface valve optional
2nd stage fixed, Ocean Reef 2nd stage
Redundancy hose quick connector or additional backup 2nd stage (SAV port), shutoff?
1st stage Ocean Reef or suitable for particular 2nd stage
Communication optional


Cool Glasses

Well ... no ... when it comes to really cool underwater glasses, I'm clearly opting for the Dräger ones. But judge for yourselves: Dräger or the run-off-the-mill glass chain ones?

PS: Both Polaroids result from video footage taken during my SCUBA full face mask diving certification. Many thanks to Wolfgang Friebe for filming while examining me for the Dive Vader speciality in Lake Blaustein (NW/D). The script used on the Polaroids is the font vSHandprinted (OFL) by Thomas von Strong.

Kraut Dread

Some safety-aware full face mask drill beyond commercial dive tricking organization certification: switching masks while hovering freely. And as bonus: switching gas supply with the Dräger PND full face mask and some cut scenes. Have fun watching!


Being a Video Hero Made Simple

Using an Action Cam Filming Under Water?!

On my quest for imagery.
(In Lake Murner, BY/D)
I only lately started filming and filming under water. Before that I opted for learning to dive (at least somehow) safely first. But over time I regularily met those raised, questioning eye brows. You know, those kind of «why should a sane person dive in coldwater?» brows and «really something to see here?» brows. So, one day I decided to get myself a cute and tiny underwater cam. And then the drama began...


Diving the Dräger Panorama Nova Dive

No, this isn't from a Dräger product catalog. But it could be.
I have no idea why I'm looking as if I'm from an 007 Thunderball movie.
(In Lake Murner, BY/D)

This is my highly subjective report with first-hand experience gained when starting diving with a Dräger Panorama Nova Dive full face mask. My old blog post still holds true, I even enjoy diving my Dräger more and moire after almost a hundred dives.

Why Diving a Full Face Mask?

Diving with a full face mask was intrigueing me since my young days. But before I could try to realize this old dream I had to master SCUBA diving at least half-way. Especially diving in cold water. And only after cold water diving and mastering a dry suit was, well, home and dry, I could finally start to realize my old dream.

Full Face Mask Rants

Enjoying the comfort of diving a full face mask.

When you decide to dive with a full face mask ... there is a slightly twisted social aspect you'll will most probably find out about sooner or later.

Keeps your nose dry.
(In Happurger Baggersee, BY/D)
As soon as the subject of SCUBA diving with full face masks comes up, it usually gets, um, interesting. Some would rather say: godawful. You will learn quite a lot about other people, faster than you actually might wanted to: their reactions to your special equipment tell a lot. There are several divers that seem to follow the irrevocable belief that SCUBA divers with a full face mask need professional treatment.

But there's a simple rule: if you don't like diving with a full face mask, don't do it ... no one is compelling you. This topic is no religion and it never should get to this point.

For me, starting to dive with full face masks is worth it ... it is so much fun. I've gained new experience that I won't like to miss. My Dräger Panorama Nova Dive mask exceeded all my expectations ... albeit my expectations probably were never fully realistic as I was a total noob without any real clues about full face masks.

Just entered full face mask nirvana?
(In Murner See, BY/D)
In this respect the photo to the left may concisely illustrate my relaxed attitude when it comes to diving with a full face mask. Or maybe a CO2 problem as master instructors surely will quickly point out?

In any case, when diving with a full face mask you typically won't go completely unnoticed. Most time it is fun to everyone. Sometimes you'll encounter some unpleasant «experts». In my own experience these oddly often seem to be high rank instructors. And these experts very well know why SCUBA diving with a full face mask is so bad. Interestingly, they always seem to neither possess a full face mask nor did they dive with one for some time. Go figure.

But really boring are those divers spilling out their full face mask expertness without having been asked for it: of course, they tell you all those third-hand «true stories» of divers who nearly killed themselves using a full face mask. Okay, here's my cheap advise: read my first-hand information, gained from my own experience. And stop telling unverified myths. And also please recount all those stories about C*M*A*S*H, PAYDI, and iSS divers that killed themselves without any need for a full face mask. Sooo boring, right?
If diving with a full face mask would be so super dangerous then we wouldn't have any professionals left doing it. Not least the supervising bodies would have stopped any special operations, such as rescue, police, et cetera from using full face masks. But it's easier for all these back seat divers to ignore reality in favor of showing their scary myths. How pathetic.
Unfortunately, the current situation seems to be: correct scientific working is largely unknown to the diving community. As a studied mechanical engineer with academic degrees I can only watch dive organization discussions in awe. You can watch myths grow and inflate in real time. It's no shame to not know something. But it is a shame to not regularly check your knowledge and assumptions, and then to correct them or put them to rest.

Of course, this also applies to this blog. I may very well be wrong, so please then dive constructive feedback so that I will be able to correct what is wrong.

In contrast, the Ex cathedra procedure is sad standard when it comes to diving. Long live dogmatism and the one and only absolute dive-church authority! Funnily, all the diving organizations seems to (re)act very similar: may they be technically inclined or those «damned» commercial associations. Welcome to the Divers' Front of Judea as well as the Divers' Judean Front ... no real difference. That's why the representative organizations PAYDI, iSS and C*M*A*S*H get their monuments here, pars pro toto.
Aside from my rants please do never forget when diving with a full face mask: full face masks are complex equipment and not toys, and definitely not lifestyle products. Not only do you need to be competent in their proper handling under water, you also need to know how to take care of your mask and what maintenance is required. Otherwise you may someday get in real distress should your mask fail. Especially due to the many cut and dried opinions we full face mask divers should show an excellent training and professional handling of our special equipment.
Okay, enough ranting for now! Let's go for some much more interesting things, so please head over to...


You will find even more blog posts on this topic following this tag: full face mask. Likewise, I've put some impressions from diving with full face masks online.


PS: Many thanks to Jörg Lucinski for the photos. Jörg did his nirvana shot in Murner See (BY/D) during an easy-going fun dive with really good sight. The other shots were taken at Happurger Baggersee (BY/D).


Drill in the Sauerkraut. (Diver's Aufkirchen, BY/D)

There are always these things that ‒ for whatever reason? ‒ you will never find in the training or instruction books. Things, that you only get to by asking old hands or finding out for yourself. When it comes to diving with full face masks, hood are such a topic. «Hoods?» you may ask in surprise. Yup, that's correct.

Drill Videos

Live on Video: drill in reality and perfidy. (In Sauerkraut/Aufkirchen, BY/D)

Friends of colored and moving pictures will like this part of my blog: drill videos. In addition, you get an impression how the drill looks like ... and that they typically work differently than expected. Especially when filming.

Diving Full Face Masks

Diving full face masks is really not this serious: «Dive Vader» on his way to Thunderball. (Murner See, BY/D)n any case

Off the Beaten Tracks: Diving Full Face Masks

SCUBA divers with full face masks are a rare sight, even though reliable and proven equipment is available since many, many years. Several myths and exaggerated marketing claims may discurage interested divers. That's unfortunate, as in reality diving with a full face mask is convenient and offers comfort, is fun (think: underwater cycling), and is safe ... when done properly and wisely.

So, you want to know more about diving with full face masks ... where to start? Good news: this blog is made for you. It has some information you typically won't find elsewhere online (despite the Internet offering so much information), right from my own diving experience. However, this blog won't replace proper professional training. You won't learn driving a car from a blog, would you?


PAYDI surely is a new bright star on the dive tricking orgs sky.

With its broad range of specialties covering both the basic dive provisions as well as advanced training vanity PAYDI has to offer something for every bag size. Simply bet your diving career on a single card: your credit card.

Just get in contact with PAYDI today and cross limits. Such as credit card limits, to be precise.


Here, I'm looking at features that allow divers to switch their gas supply without having to remove their full face mask. Reasons may be problems with your primary supply, but also regular switch-over such as when diving in sidemount configuration. But ... is that possible after all with full face masks that got gas supply integrated by design?

Dräger PND Configuration

Enjoying full face mask diving. (In Lake Murner, BY/D)
Diving with the Dräger Panorama Nova Dive (PND) isn't that different from diving with one of the other professional full face masks. Except one thing: the quick release P connectors at the mask and regs are really outstanding. You can switch your gas supply at any time and thus also during your dive with ease and safely (please see also the topic of Redundancy). As far as I know only Dräger (currently) offers this.

As the Dräger is, unfortunately, not that common in use by SCUBA divers, I would like to show my PND configuration for illustration and as one possible example. Especially a dual reg configuration for gas switching is only rarely be seen, so I'm showing it here.

If you want to see switching gas with the Dräger PND in moving pictures: my drill video «Kraut Dread» («Es graut dem Sauerkraut») contains a few scenes about this. The title derives from the fact that the indoor diving pool where the footage was taken formerly had been a Sauerkraut factory. So much for German stereotypes...

PND Configuration Mono 12l Tank, Double Regs

Dräger Panorama Nova Dive
and two sets of Apeks regs.
For reasons of safety I'm diving with two completely independent regulator sets, each consisting of a first and second stage. The second stages each are fitted with the Dräger P connection system (the Dräger quick release connectors) instead of ordinary mouth pieces. As long as there is a problem with one of the stages but not with the mask I can easily switch from the main air supply to my backup air supply without having to take off my full face mask.

For historical reasons I have one TX100 first stage for my main gas supply, as well as and another XTX100 first stage for my backup gas supply.

An ordinary XTX40 backup regulator completes my backup system. Thus, in case of a full face mask problem I can still switch to the half mask and regulator with a normal mouth piece. You don't want to hold tight a P connector directly in your mouth, only in really bad situations. This XTX40 backup regulator is also for buddy help, as usual.

Hose lengths in this configuration are as follows, for a single 12l tank carried on my back, with two first stage feeders:
  • primary gas supply: 85cm between first and second stages,
  • backup gas supply: 100cm between first stage and XTX40 backup regulator.
From My Experience: Shorter hoses are not that useful in this configuration, because otherwise free head movement is limited when turning the hide sideways to the left. Hey, this is full face mask reality and not almighty DIR-in-exactly-only-my-way theory. Due to the Dräger P quick connector system, the regulators are a little bit more away from your mouth compared to diving with the reg directly in your mouth. Hose lengths have to compensate for this.

PND Configuration Sidemount

In the future, I plan to dive also in sidemount configuration with to completely separated tanks. Both reg sets then will by (almost) identical, both with an additional octopus as well as a trusty «classic» (read: purely mechanical) pressure gauge.


You will find even more blog posts on this topic following this tag: full face mask. Likewise, I've put some impressions from diving with full face masks online.

PS: Many thanks to Jörg Lucinsky for his «scarp slope» shot from Lake Murner (BY/D).

What's Different Diving with a Full Face Mask?

Perfect view in Blindsee («Lake Blind») in the Tirol Alps. (Blindsee, T/A)

So what really is different when SCUBA diving with a full face mask instead of the common half mask? Here is my highly subjective first-hand report.

Dräger Panorama Nova Dive

In Brief

Dräger Panorama Nova Dive
Faceplate/visor molded, flat visor
opaque nose and side sections
Mask frame/soft body opaque
Respiration nose and mouth
Head harness/spider 5 straps
Quick removal big, easy to grab handles
Pressure equalization nose clips, operated from the outside
Defogging same as half mask
Purging separate purge valve
Surface valve replaced by Dräger P quick release connector system
2nd stage quick release can be operated at any time, even under water

Apeks TX100 or Dräger Shark
Redundancy yes, regulator switch possible at any time due to quick release connector system
1st stage Apeks XTX100, TX100, DS4 or Dräger 1st stage
Communication optional

Dive Vader Specialty

I'm your father. And you're my retirement funds.

Specialties for posing in full face masks are now available for some moons from a few dive trailing organizations. But only PAYDI offers you the one and absolutely cool «Dive Vader» card.

This card certifies what really matters: you are looking so uber cool in your full face mask! Even if you gonna look like a burnt christmas tree with all your equipment. And you got the chance for the part of Dark Helmet in «Space Balls Reloaded».

Real men wear full face masks. To hide their acne.

PS: Many thanks to Peter von der Sitt for this shot of me. He shot this photo during a freshwater biology seminar held by Ulrich Erfurth. The seminar took place at Lake Steinberger, BY/D.


What would this blog be without the supplementing help of my friends' diving imagery? In particular, if it comes to full face mask photos I naturally need to rely on my friends to shoot them. You know, there aren't that much full face mask divers around here, so it is difficult for me to shot such imagery myself. So I'm really thankful that my friends are so kind as to allow me to use their imagery for my blog.

Thus, the imagery from this blog (hopefully) always lists the corresponding photographers: credit where credit is due.

My many thanks go to (in alphabetical order):
Of course, the copyright for the imagery in this blog is with the appropriate copyright holders. Imagery from this blog must only be used with obligatory permission of the copyright owners.

The symbols used in the context of information, note, and warning boxes are by Saki (Alexandre More) and are licensed under the GNU General Public License.

PS: This is one of my own imagery, from Blindsee (T/A). The script-like font on the Polaroid-like photos is the vSHandprinted (OFL) by Thomas von Strong.


So much for battery life...

There really isn't much to say about TheDiveO. I'm just a SCUBA diver. At least I try to convince myself telling it to me all the time. I'm a certified AOWD (pronounces as «ouch-whoa-dimwit») according to PAYDI. In addition, I'm a certified full face mask diver and thus are allowed to own the Dive Vader Card.

TheDiveO makes The videO.
(In Lake Sundhäuser, TH/D)
Some time after I started diving I finally got a sweet small GoPro HD Hero cam. And then desaster started.

Unfortunately, this figure of speech turned out to creep into reality: after having lost my video footage three times, each time in another of my three GoPro HD Hero 3's and with another memory card, I finally took GoPro serious. I turned to camera equipment that works reliably and which does not destroy my file systems. In the end, I just followed this advice: Go Pro ... at least ProSumer.

I've now switched over to Canon VIXIA/LEGRIA HF G30. It comes with a real lens system and also stores its high bitrate H.264 video without any file loss on memory cards. On the very same SanDisk microSD cards that I used before and which GoPro declared either fake goods, unreliable, or worn out after twenty shots. Suuuure, GoPro, suuure. Oh, while we're at comparing apples to oranges: the Canon HF G30 runs on its battery for four GoPros.

Some marketing droids should carefully
consider their brand message...
Whenever I end up with somehow useable raw underwater footage I run this through the video editor Kdenlive (Open Source) on my Linux editing machine to produce terrifying video reports of contemporary history.

In consequence, my nickname TheDiveO is an anagram of The Video: it combines my pet hobbies diving and filming. And no, contrary to rumor, cutting and post-processing video footage is just a pet hobby where I basically have no clue what I'm doing.

In order to not attract attention I'm now diving a full face mask. Hey, no one is going to recognize me any longer! What do I like best when it comes to diving with my Dräger full face mask? It's not pink!

And since I'm no expert in diving, I like to take on the fool's role and amuse my readers with illustrations and satire about specialities and dive tricking organizations. The tools I use are the vector illustration tool Inkscape and the image editor The Gimp.

Take on new perspectives.
Lately, I started to not only shoot footage below the water surface, but also from above the air. A cute DJI Phantom quadcopter carries on of my GoPro HD Hero 3 Blackies and allows me to film from places and angles that were previously out of my reach. This little propeller thingie has so far survived several modifications I tried on it. First, it got a new and much better receiver than the original one. Next, it got two motors with left-handed threads for increased safety. And lately, I added a camera gimbal and replaced its main board. Luckily, my Phantom still is not pink.

Enjoy reading and browsing my blog,

PS: Many thanks to «die Ratz» as well as Martin Stern for the shot for this blog article. They did the shooting in Lake Sundhäuser (TH/D) during one of my first open water dives with my brand-new Dräger Panorama Nova Dive mask. Looks like I was really excited about the panorama.


And now for my highly subjective and very limited small link list. This list covers more specialized topics when it comes to SCUBA diving. In addition, it is not intended to be comprehensive in any way. The links given here do not in any way endorse any services or products. They serve simply as possible starting points for getting more (specific) information about particular topics.

Instructors for Diving Full Face Masks

Retailers for Full Face Masks, Accessories, Service Parts

  • Wolfgang Friebe, profrie-dive.de (Aachen, Germany).
  • Martin Tolksdorf, tecme.de (Gladbeck, Germany). Focuses on rebreather parts, but also has many Dräger service parts, for rebreathers and Panorama Nova Dive full face mask.
  • W+S Water Safety Europe GmbH, www.watersafetyshop.com (Berlin, Germany). Sells many service parts, for instance, for the Dräger Panorama Nova Dive full face mask.

Makers of Full Face Masks


GoPro Hero und Zubehör


Dive Authority Warning:

Okay, this should have warned you enough, my dear readers, of the inherent dangers involved with this blog. See also the sidebar. You have been warned. Really.

Maybe there is need for something along the lines of Full Face Masker Anonymous? Wearing your mask at the meeting would surely keep you anonymous, but I somehow doubt that would be helpful to the overall group goal...?

PS: This is not about making fun of mutual aid group's work as such.