Diving facilities at Alba
Alba has a reputation for being a very well-equipped dive centre with good diving facilities. More importantly we have a reputation for running well-maintained compressors and gas blending equipment. We consistently achieve this because safety is our highest priority, and we ensure that our staff are trained to ASSET standards (Association of Scuba Servicing Equipment Technicians). Consequently, our customers breathe clean air and use well looked after equipment when diving with us.
Compressors and gas blending
Our compressor system is comprised of a Bauer Poseidon HE 300 and a Bauer Poseidon PE 200. To ensure good quality clean air we have added a second Bauer filter system. Al filters are changed regularly in accordance with air quality indicator requirements. Connected to the compressors is a continuous flow nitrox blending system. This allows us to supply nitrox up to 40% (we provide nitrox at 32% free to qualified divers; mixes between 32% and 40% are charged based on the required mix and size of cylinder). We are also able to blend trimix through the continuous flow system.
For mixtures greater than 40% oxygen we have five oxygen boosters and one helium booster, allowing oxygen and trimix fills up to 200 bar, and blending of gas mixes such as 50%, 72%, or 80% up to 200 bar.
In addition to our compressor system, we also have a 200 bar air bank from three 50L cylinders.
As a backup we also have a smaller Bauer Junior II compressor that is kept fully serviced and ready for use if required. This can be linked in to the filter system to ensure good, clean air.
We use a range of cylinder sizes and types. 98% our cylinders are less than 2 years old and undergo annual visual inspection by our ASSET qualified technician. Every 5 years, all cylinders are hydrostatically tested. These tests ensure that they meet the required standard in terms of their integrity and internal cleanliness. All of our diving cylinders are oxygen cleaned.
We use the following diving cylinders:
Recreational diving: Aluminium- 11L (S80), 15L (S100), 4.7L (S50).
Open circuit technical diving: Aluminium- 11L twinsets and 11L sidemount cylinders with modular valves. 11L and 5.5L (S40) decompression cylinders.
Closed circuit technical diving: Aluminium 3L, steel 3L and 2L, carbon fibre 3L.
Emergency oxygen and AED
As we are a technical diving and rebreather training facility, we keep a large store of oxygen on site and use it to keep our emergency oxygen kits full at all times. We have a DAN O2 kit in the dive office that allows us to provide emergency oxygen via demand valve and continuous flow. We also have oxygen kits that are kept on our vehicles for use at dive sites.
We keep an Automatic Emergency Defibrillator (AED) in the diving office, which is regularly checked to ensure that the battery is charged and is working correctly.
We use Scubapro and Mares BCs and regulators, and also have Xdeep wings and backplates. All equipment is regularly serviced by our ASSET trained technicians.
In addition, we have long-sleeved, long-legged wet suits of various types, thicknesses and sizes to suit all, along with wetsuit boots, hoods, gloves, open & closed-heel fins, and over 50 dive masks, some of which have a variety of prescription lenses fitted as standard.
We also have dive computers, compasses, and torches for use on courses or for customers to rent, along with numerous underwater cameras. The dive office has a dedicate clean area for setting up camera equipment, which includes plenty of sockets with adaptors for battery charging.
Technical diving equipment
We are able to provide all equipment for technical diving courses, such as wings, backplates, longhoses, shorthoses, and decompression regulators, as well as smaller items such as cutting devices, wetnotes, spools and DSMBs.
Dive propulsion Vehicles
Available for rent, or use on courses, we have five DPVs- two Suex Xjoy 7s, and three DiveXtras Sierra Standards. Probably the best fun you can have underwater, the Suex Xjoys provide up to 70 minutes of battery life and are rated to 80m. The Divextras Sierras are rated to 180m and provide around 65mins of battery life.
Our upstairs workshop is a large, clean space with AC. It is perfectly suited for setting up rebreathers. If you need to do a little maintenance we also have every kind of diving-related tool you would ever need. We even have an electric lift to get your rebreather up and downstairs easily!
Set-up areas and wash tanks
Our outside setting up areas are clean and spacious, and our instructor workshop has AC. All areas have waist-height benches for you to comfortably work on your equipment. There are two separate areas for rinsing equipment, which includes wash tanks, freshwater hosepipes, and freshwater showers. The wash tanks have pulley systems to allow soaking of twinsets or rebreathers, without hurting your back.
If you would like more information, or have any questions about the diving facilities, please get in touch.