By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Where do you like to camp — in the mountains, the desert, maybe along the ocean shore? Oh, that is so ordinary! How about camping deep down in the ocean? That’s now possible – well, sort of, but only for a certain kind of camper.
We’re talking about “camping” for SCUBA divers – those that like to explore deep down, where a return trip to the surface must be done slowly, allowing the diver’s body to “decompress” – to adjust to the pressure changes. Fail to do your decompression stops, blast up to the surface, you’ll suffer a sometimes fatal case of “the bends,” wherein gas bubbles form in your body, turning you into a rather unhappy human champagne bottle.
Sadly, the farther down you go, the faster your body consumes that precious reserve of air in your SCUBA tank, meaning, deeper dives allow less time “downstairs” but more time decompressing on the trip back up.
What’s to be done? Enter the brainchild of two ocean-explorers, Michael Lombardi and Winslow Burleson: OSH – for Ocean Space Habitat. It’s a tent-camping adventure for your favorite SCUBA diver.
Heading to an exotic dive? Before you jump your flight, make sure you’ve got your dive gear and one of the Lombardi/Burleson Ocean Space Habitats in a bag. The nifty underwater tent is small enough to go into “check on” luggage. On site, inflate the tent, lower it to the appropriate level, and you’ve got a great place to check in, take off your dive tanks and sit (even sleep) while waiting out the decompression clock. Big, hungry-looking fishies interrupt your underwater exploration? Take shelter in your OSH and let the sharks find something else for a snack.
Let’s just hope that the quality control on these new underwater recreation rigs is on a higher plane than that of the RV industry! A leak in an RV is one thing, but in the depths of the ocean … well, you really don’t want that to happen!