A new Wood Eye scuba periscope takes shape at Bamboo You’s Blacktip Island workshop Thursday afternoon. (photo courtesy of Doc Plank / Bamboo You)
A Blacktip Island entrepreneur has created a new collapsible viewing tube that allows lost scuba divers to locate their dive boat without having to surface, local scuba retailer Bamboo You announced Thursday.
“Divers get lost all the time. They’re embarrassed to surface and find the boat,” inventor and Bamboo You owner Piers ‘Doc’ Plank said. “Everybody sees you, everybody knows you got lost and everybody takes the piss out of you. Our new Wood Eye lets you avoid all that.
“It’s a pocket-sized periscope that zips out to five feet when deployed,” Plank said. “Slip it in your BC pocket and no one knows it’s there. When you get lost, the Wood Eye lets you stay out of sight while you take a look around.”
Scuba guests who tested early models were impressed.
“I get lost a lot, and my wife always makes me prairie-dog up to find the boat,” Blacktip Haven dive guest Buddy Brunnez said. “Man, the grief I get. With the Wood-Eye, though, I can stay underwater, spot the boat and no one’s the wiser. This gizmo’s changed my life.”
Island dive staff liked the device as well.
“It looks like some random piece of bamboo poking up out of the water, if you even notice it,” Eagle Ray Divers divemaster Marina DeLow said. “Our bottom line is if it gets divers back to the boat without us having to search for them or rescue them, we’re all for it.
“And, to be honest, several of our navigationally-challenged dive staff are using Wood Eyes,” DeLow said. “Most guests don’t even notice. Except when Lee Helm’s leading the dive. That idiot’s about as subtle as a punch in the face.”
Island leaders were dubious, but supportive.
“I really don’t see the point, but that describes most scuba gadgets I see,” island mayor Jack Cobia said. “If Doc can get people to give him money for the things, though, good on him.
“Commercially, it’s a win for Blacktip,” Cobia said. “It expands our manufacturing sector, creates jobs and God knows it keeps the beaches clear of bamboo.”
Plank said Wood Eye embraces the company’s all-natural philosophy.
“Along with our bamboo triple-split Diablo fins and our bamboo nitrox snorkels, Wood Eye’s 100 percent green and eco-friendly,” he said. “They come in all kinds of colors so you can coordinate with your scuba gear. They’re available in natural bamboo, as well, for the purists out there.”