My Princeton Tec Aqua Strobe

Strobes

Tony and I love doing night dives. It’s wonderful to watch the sunset, and then be underwater as the sky darkens and the nocturnal marine creatures come out to play. Last year, mostly by accident, we gave each other strobes for Christmas.

A strobe is usually a small, battery powered device that emits a very bright, flashing light at regular intervals. The ones we bought for each other (from Andre) are both rated to 50 metres’ depth and visible for several kilometres on the surface, so useful for emergency signalling both above and below the sea. They burn for hours on only one or two small batteries.

Tony's Seemann Sub strobe
Tony's Seemann Sub strobe

Tony’s is from Seemann Sub (rebranding as Subgear at the moment), and has a small ridged wheel at the end opposite the lit portion that you turn to switch it on and off.

Mine is a Princeton Tec Aqua Strobe that runs on a single AA battery and will burn for eight hours. You turn the cover over the lit portion to switch it on and off.

My Princeton Tec Aqua Strobe
My Princeton Tec Aqua Strobe

Both strobes float head up in the water, so when we attached them to our cylinder (just put the lanyard over the pillar valve before connecting the first stage) and submerged ourselves, they floated just behind our heads. You can’t see the light of your own strobe in this position (which is good, because it would get really annoying!) but it’s very visible to your dive buddy. You could also attach it to the shoulder of your BCD – some vests have velcro there for that purpose.

We really enjoyed having these underwater the first time we used them. Lukas was with us on his first night dive, and we had another instructor and his student with us (they also both had strobes), and it was incredibly easy to keep track of where everyone was without having to swim right on top of each other.

These would also be useful on a deep dive, for diver identification, and if you’re diving anywhere that there’s a chance (however slim) that you might get lost on the surface.

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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