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Gear Zone

By Jill Heinerth 2nd Cameraman & Photographer2014-2016 Sedna Epic Expedition

September 20, 2014

Suunto ambassador Jill Heinerth has undertaken some extraordinary diving expeditions over the years, but none are quite so unique as the Sedna EPIC Expedition. In her own words below, she describes the team’s bid to snorkel across the Arctic.

I had my eyes trained on my Suunto [...]

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Suunto has provided Team Sedna’s scuba divers with its flagship D4i Novo dive computer. This popular design offers lightweight functionality with optional air integration, all in the size of a wrist watch. At the heart of every Suunto dive computer is a mathematical algorithm that keeps track of the diver’s decompression status. The reduced gradient bubble model (RGBM) algorithm was developed by Suunto, together with Dr. Bruce Wienke, more than a decade ago. This adaptable algorithm provides an accurate picture of what’s happening in the diver’s body throughout a dive. The Suunto D4i Nova Computer’s reliability has been proven by millions of successful dives.

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Finnish-based Suunto has provided Team Sedna with Ambit 2S GPS fitness watches to track its proof-of-concept expedition through the Arctic. These advanced devices are used by athletes around the world to track their fitness, journeys and adventures. Team Sedna is using a version of the Ambit, which is specially designed to fit women’s narrower wrists while providing the full features of the watch.

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Regulator free-flows are one of the greatest hazards when diving under ice or in very cold water (less than 4°C). The condition is caused by the sudden drop in pressure as air passes from the cylinder through the first stage. When high pressure air passes through the first stage, it hyper-cools the metal moving parts. In a piston reg, small ice crystals can block the piston open, causing more air flow and trapping the piston open, creating a vicious feedback loop of more air, more ice and a runaway free flow.

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Reliable drysuits are critical for survival in cold water. Without proper exposure protection, a person immersed in near freezing water would be lucky to last for 45 minutes. That said, unconsciousness would likely occur in less than 15 minutes.

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Erika Bergman is our ROV Pilot (right). Today she tested her Open ROV “Phantom” in the pool to ensure it made it safely through transport. Charlene Barker (left) assisted with an extra set of hands. A small leak was caught and is being dealt with. Luckily Ocean Quest is also a spa and lots of hair dryers were available! Phantom will go for another swim and hopefully come up dry!

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The 2014-2016 Sedna Expedition was mentioned in The Explorers Club (Canadian Chapter) April 2014 Newsletter.

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