This was the third SCUBA dive of a series organised by Sharon Walters. Trying something completely different: a sidemount along the Manchones reef with Camilo of Scorpio Divers. This ended up being an incredible treat: after Camilo familiarised us with the equipment, we dove for 104 minutes!
Side-mounting is what it sounds like: mounting one or more tanks along one's side instead of on one's back. It's used more and more commonly now, as it allows the diver much more freedom of movement. Whereas back-mounted tanks restrict spinal mobility, side-mounts let us move comfortably with the tanks effectively hanging alongside.
We dove with two tanks, one on each side. We learned to draw from one tank until it grew lighter than the other, feel the imbalance, then switch regulators. In the video, you can see Kristaps switching his regulator. Both of us look forward to certifying as sidemount divers to continue taking advantage of the extra bottom time.
The dive site was right next to the MUSA statue site, so we were able to play around some statues.