The Sherwood Oasis, workhorse of the Captain's dive gear. And...just to clarify the "Captain" in the ongoing saga of Scuba NorthWest...well, that's me. I now own the boat, manage the boat, pay to maintain the boat, spend 2 hours prepping the boat, worry about every little detail of the boat when diving, spend 2 hours cleaning the boat, and keep most of my garage filled with the boat and boat support equipment. Yeah...the boat OWNER. Dive buddy Gary used to have the boat, and I was just his loyal sidekick. One day, after many years of running us around the Big Blue, he mentions he "just wants to kill fish" and figuratively passed along the boat keys to me. Now, Gary has always been the guru of seafood acquisition, so I'm still not sure why he said that, but I accepted the transfer as a great honor. Anyway, back to the gear. Yes, the Sherwood Oasis, my long and trusted friend. Now, mind you, my Oasis is an old one, purchased way back in 1991, yep currently 24 years and still rockin. I had to use the above image of the current model, just because I could not find a good picture of my wonderfully vintage hardware. I have the second stage serviced every 2, maybe 3 years, and never had a problem. My reg has been dropped against rocks, knocked against boats, wedged against tanks, swept with sand, stepped on, and kicked. Never a crack, never a failure...pure awesomeness. I have thought about upgrading over the years, just because new equipment is so darn shiny, but my trusted Sherwood Oasis Regulator always ends up in my hand. Well...I promised you the story of my first stage, so let's jump into it. I picked up my Oasis shortly after becoming certified in Laguna Beach, California back in 1991. I was the typical uncoordinated new diver, thinking about how to handle all that equipment every time I jumped in the water, it was not second nature to me during that first year. I liked being underwater though, and finally got tired of renting gear after about the fourth dive, so I decided to buy. My instructor said a regulator is one of the first things a diver should acquire. After all who wants to stick their mouth around something that someone else has been chewing on. Yeah, makes sense. The local dive shop had a weekend sale and I stopped in to see what I could get. I don't remember all the manufacturers, I think ScubaPro was there, and U.S. Divers, and of course there was Sherwood. I recall reading all the marketing literature and becoming stuck on "moisture retention vanes which keep your mouth cool and comfortable during the entire dive". Ooh..that sounds nice. Yeah, some clever ad writer sitting in a cubicle had me hooked. The sales pitch obsviously works really well, because I pulled the above quote from Sherwood's current literature...the same sales pitch apparently has been in use for 24 years. Yeah, that guy, or girl, responsible for drafting those fine words has probably received great glory in the annals of Sherwood history. So, yep, I liked the idea. And, I bought the Oasis. I also liked the idea of a sealed first stage. I dove as much as I could to get experience. Dove through surf, dove deep, dove at night, dove from a boat...just wanted to rack up those hours. The Oasis was PERFECT in performance, never a problem. About 2 years later, in 1993, I moved to Oregon and continued to learn more about equipment. I soon ended up working in a dive shop, learned how to repair gear, check tanks, I was really into it...OK...I still am, but on the really fun end of it now. So, during those early years, the dive shop decided to start dealing Poseidon. Now, Poseidon's claim to fame is that funky side exhaust. I don't like it. I tried to like it, dove the equipment, it is just not my personal preference. However...that first stage is stunning. The first time I picked up the Poseidon first stage I was captivated. It weighed probably 3 times as much as my Oasis first stage. It is a massive piece of brass, and I dare say bulletproof, in terms of functionality. Well, actually, it also probably bulletproof in the literal sense too. It's such a cool piece of equipment. Well, I had the bright idea of buying a Poseidon first stage and mounting my Oasis, and hoses, on that first stage beast. I checked specs on delivery pressure of the Poseidon and interstage rating of the Oasis...close enough. So I built a's the most awesome reg ever assembled. I packed it on hundreds of dives over the next 12 years...flawless. I picked up a different career path along the way and faded away from servicing equipment. Eventually the day came, I think sometime in 2007, when I had to bring the gear in for service. You should have seen the local dive shop guys the first time it was revealed. They looked at it...paused...then slowly came the observation " second stage doesn't really go with this first stage". My reply was easy "Yeah...ain't it cool". Been diving it since 1994, it works really, really well. Now...I DON'T ADVISE BUILDING A FRANKEN-REG. I love mine, but I'm somewhat of a diving anomaly. Get a matched set, dive it, love it. Take care of it, and the gear will go along time.
Remember...The Only Adventure is a Scuba NorthWest Adventure!

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