The dive knife. Esteemed icon of scuba diving lore. Even Jessica Alba knows you don't go Into the Blue without a knife strapped to your hip. Just a side note here ...that really was a good movie. The underwater photography was awesome. I have gone through a lot of dive knives in 20+ years. If any piece of dive equipment has a gazillion styles to choose from, it's the dive knife. Is it important to have? Well ...Jessica certainly thinks so. My first dive shop sold me on the idea of packing a knife. They made a good sales pitch about cutting fishing line, if I ever found myself wound up in a ball of nylon filament. I have to admit though, my first thought of packing a dive knife was to thwart the advances of that rogue shark I just knew would find me. That big lumbering beast that would no doubt cross my path and see an easy meal. Unfortunately I watched the movie "Jaws" as a kid and that image was in the back of my mind. But the guy in the dive shop talked me down from my mild paranoia and directed me towards an 8 inch, blunt tip blade. Yeah ...I know ...a lot of good that will do me when that shark shows up. I had told the courteous sales associate that I wanted to eat fresh scallops. He pulled my soon-to-be knife from the display case and illustrated how great it would work as a pry bar. I whipped out the credit card and bought it on the spot. Naturally...my new scallop knife had a little sharpened cut out for easily slicing through that ball of fishing line that would no doubt snare me...just like a poor hapless fly in a web. I really liked that knife ...after all, it was my first dive knife. I strapped it to the inside of my left leg, and had it with me on every dive. A few times on my dives I would find rock scallops, whip out the sturdy blade and pop them off the rock. Well ...during one those scalloping sessions, I slid the knife back in the sheath and forgot to hook the rubber retention ring over the handle. I finished my dive, came back on shore, looked down to unbuckle the knife from my leg, and my prized scallop knife was gone, my sheath empty. Somewhere during the dive, my blade had slid quietly out, and dropped straight to the ocean bottom, all without my knowledge. Quickly came a deep sigh, a carefully chosen word to express the loss, and a trip back to the dive shop to buy another. A few years later I was diving the crab dock in Newport. I was more comfortable now with my dive gear, and my skills. My blade was another really nice, blunt tip scallop getter. I found various other uses for my knife by that time ...digging up clams, digging up shells, digging up cool looking rocks. Once in awhile I would find myself in some pretty good water current from a tidal exchange, and just wanted to take a break from being pushed around by the water flow. I would pull out my trusted steel, plunge it into the sand, and just hold on for a few minutes. It's actually quite peaceful just to pause on the bottom of a bay and let the tidal water flow around you. Well ...having found more uses for my knife, and pulling it out more frequently, it SEEMED the sheath had a pretty good bite on the blade, the retention ring only a measure of extra security. So ...I got a little cocky ...started diving with my knife just held by the sheath. Worked really well, until that dive on the crab dock. Went into the water with the knife, came out of the water without the knife. Quickly came a deep sigh, a carefully chosen word to express the loss, and a trip back to the dive shop to buy another. That's when I found my Sporasub Snake Knife. Wow...this blade is the coolest dive knife on the planet. A sleek dagger tip embedded in a bright green rubber handle. My perfect dive accessory. I picked up my Sporasub in the early 90's and still have it. I love this knife. On about the time the Snake Knife came into my possession, I began boat diving off the Oregon coast. Gone were the days of using my knife as a scallop tool. I now had the luxury of taking down a crowbar to pop those shellfish off the rocks. Having such great access to the Newport reefs, spearfishing became the passion, and lingcod were the main pursuit. Lingcod are strong, and subduing a big lingcod, while on the end of a spear, is like wrestling a steer ...underwater. Careful insertion of my Snake Knife, in just the right spot, always brought a quick end to the fight. Sad to say that this little green handled version has become vintage ...it is no longer available in this rockin color. You can probably get lucky and track one down through ebay, or another of many sites selling dive gear. The GOOD NEWS is you can pick up the EXACT SAME knife, but with a black handle. I am happy to say the Snake Knife is alive and well, and sold under the Mares name. If I ever lost my little green gem, I would quickly PayPal my way to a Mares Snake Knife ...and hold on tight.




Dive Knife Part 2
The Saga Continues...

 
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