This past summer, I was granted the opportunity to try an evolutionary dive system, one that changes the way divers experience the ocean.
Nemo is a compact Surface-Supplied Air (SSA) dive system that supports one diver up to 10 feet. It was created by BLU3, a company that designs and manufactures surface-supplied air (SSA) dive systems.
As a certified scuba diver for nearly 8 years, I was thrilled to try out this new system that didn’t require a tank or a buoyancy control device (BCD). Anxious and excited, I hopped on a plane to Bimini, Bahamas. It was there that I met one of the masterminds behind the product, Blake Carmichael.
Carmichael, who has a degree in Electrical Engineering, is the founder and CEO of BLU3 products. He appeared in the first episode of our “All things Oceans” podcast.
This summer, Carmichael and his crew came down to Bimini to shoot some product video for Nemo. He offered me the opportunity to come down and test it out for myself. So there I was.
A cool breeze blew my hair back just enough for me to slide my mask over my head. Lathered in sunscreen, I placed my weight belt around my waist where my neon rash guard met my aqua swim shorts.
Just as I fasten the belt around my waist, Carmichael picked up a small backpack and rested it on the seat between us. No tank, no BCD, just a backpack. Inside of it was Nemo. A small dive system a little wider than a football.
I was amazed!
The system comes with a regulator, a dive flag, a tow harness, and a battery pack. Carmichael demonstrated how to set it up and then assisted me with gearing up.
The regulator’s hose attached to the tow harness. The tow harness goes around your neck and under your arms and the regulator goes into your mouth.
I took my first breath of air from Nemo aboard the boat. The entire system rattled as I took my first breath. It was different. Strange and short. I looked up at Carmichael and he smiled.
“It’s going to feel a little strange at first but you’ll get used to it,” Carmichael said.
I wasn’t too sure. The more I kept breathing, the stranger it felt.
But I trusted Carmichael. I took the regulator out of my mouth, put my fins on and picked Nemo up by its handle.
At that moment, Robert Carmichael, CEO of Brownies Marine Group and Blake’s dad picked up the GoPro and began filming.
Szilard Janko, an underwater photographer and videographer, captured the underwater experience beautifully.
To this day, I struggle to give words to the feeling I felt. I can’t connect it to a past memory because I hadn’t experienced anything quite like that. It was fascinating.
As I swam away from the boat, I felt weightless. No tank, no BCD. Just me and the open ocean.
I only remembered that straps were around me when I tried to go deeper than 10 ft.
Freeing is a word I’ve tried to used to describe the experience. However, the word discipline comes to mind as well. The hose and straps were a good reminder that it was not safe to go any deeper than the recommended depth (10ft).
There were about 25 ft of blue underneath me and all I could think about was going deeper. I forgot everything around me. All I wanted to do was explore!
Blake, if your reading this, get a move on with Nomad. My mind can’t fathom the feeling of weightless freedom at deeper depths. And I am eager to experience that.
Oh and that strange feeling when breathing, Blake was right, I never felt it again.
Nemo is definitely changing the way humans experience the ocean. The setup process was quick and easy and so is the breakdown process.
There weren’t any heavy pieces of equipment, which makes the entire experience hassle free.
I think Carmichael is going to hold a special place in divers’ hearts, once they have experienced this transformative product.