Last-minute search for new mask pays off big-time
After eight years of trusty service, my old, black-skirted Cressi-sub Sky mask suffered a crushing dive-boat mishap with an aluminum 80 tank (not mine!). I'd searched high and low for a mask that fit my face those eight years previous and was devastated. I stared at my crumpled friend with disbelief. I was due to leave on a trip to Hawaii in less than two weeks and needed a mask fast.
Now, your mask is hands-down the most important piece of equipment you need to dive. Without it, your eyes sting from contact with the saltwater, and everything's pretty blurry, which kinda ruins the whole dive experience. And not just any mask will fit any face. For a mask, fit is of paramount importance. Shape, size, color, single lens, dual lens none of it matters if the mask leaks. No one I know is fond of a leaky mask, especially me.
During the next two weeks, I pressed cheekbone to silicone with about 30 masks, including my favored Sky, but finally settled on another of Cressi-sub's masks, the new Matrix. I guess that means I have an Italian-shaped face, in reference to Cressi's Italian heritage. But, Italian or Rhodesian, I didn't care because I found a replacement for my old mask. The Matrix's wide, soft silicone skirt seemed to fit the crags and crevices of my face even better. It has a great field of view (particularly downward, due to the angle of the lens) and a lower air volume than my previous mask (again, due to the angle of the lens).
So, I toted my new bad boy (as an added bonus, by the way, I finally look cool wearing this dive mask or so I was told by a female diver) to the Sandwich Isles and reveled in the perfect fit and expanded view the wide lenses offered. At first, since I'd been diving with a single-lens mask for so long, I thought the dual lens would have an obstructed view once I battle tested it through a round of dives. But the lenses sit close enough to my eyes that I didn't notice a difference. We dived in strong current, peeked under overhangs and hung upside down to nab photos of reluctant critters, and the Matrix impressed me enough with its fit, function and feel that it now sits in my dive bag as my primary mask. It's off to Roatan with me for Ocean Safari as you read this newsletter.
All of this is a great relief, since I can now put my mask worries to rest for another eight years. And after 25 years of diving, dive chicks finally dig me.