FINS
Im a super-fan of Scubapro Jet Fins. Ive got a pair Ive had since the end of the 1970s, and Ive also got the new ones. People laugh at them, and they are a nuisance if you want to travel light and youve got these big, heavy things in your bag, but I love them.
Ive really only ever used Jet Fins, and when Im in a tight space, like when cave-diving, and just need to make small movements, I know how to use them to best effect.

DRYSUITS
Ive been through quite a lot of drysuits, many from Viking and Poseidon, and now Ive just got a new Scubapro, which I really like.
Its in a very flexible Neoprene with over-boots, which are like Rockboots. I used it while diving up at the Hodge Close inland site just before I went to the Antarctic recently and I found it was really good.
Im only a small bloke, so I use up too much energy if Im using a heavy suit.
For BBC Oceans UK Ive been using an OThree drysuit, which is great, even though its slightly heavier. On the first Oceans we used it in the Southern Ocean, and under the ice in the Arctic.

REBREATHER
I use my APD Evolution as much as possible. Its a bit heavy for me, but I like it a lot.
The trouble is that when were filming the BBC doesnt always like the rebreather to be in shot - they want things to look a bit more accessible.
When Im open-circuit-diving, even if its complicated diving, I dont need refreshers to blow out the cobwebs, but I do like to keep in practice with my rebreather.
I live in the Lake District, so I run up to Hodge Close, which is only 20 minutes away, and jump in there as often as possible. The rebreather is one of those bits of kit I feel I always need to be abreast of.
Years ago, between 1979 and 1988, I used US Navy rebreathers, but things moved on. I got the APD Evolution, the big yellow box, for BBC Oceans.
I linked up with Phill Short in Wales and he was absolutely brilliant and got me sorted out. I now do everything Phill told me - even on the other side of the world I use the same crib notes and the plans he gave me on every rebreather dive, and when Im on my own in Hodge Close.
I love the long, long dives, the lack of bubbles, the sense of hanging in mid-water doing your stops, manually driving it for high O2 and feeling great after every dive. I wish it was a bit lighter, though.

COMPUTER
I have a Suunto Vyper, and of course Ive got the Evolution computer. I like them both. The Vyper
has been a good computer for me, very simple, easy to read and easy to set up when youre rolling around at sea.
Things change fast with diving schedules when were filming, so I have to look out for any of those days where Ive got rebreather and open-circuit dives mixed. Thats why a good computer is essential. And, of course, having diving supervisor Richard Bull looking our for me!
I also love my Uwatec Galileo, which Im using all the time now. Its very intuitive to use, easy to set up, has a great compass and, the best thing, a very big display!

REGULATOR
When I was in the Antarctic during all those ice-diving years, we used Poseidons. Antarctic surveyors always have done, but my own regs have always been Scubapro. Ive used them for years, even
when I was in the USA.
So in fact all my open-circuit stuff is Scubapro, including for cave-diving, and its been great.
With all the marine-science projects I set up through the Royal Geographical Society, we used Scubapro regulators. I was trained up in servicing them, and in turn trained other people to service them in the field, mostly in Mauritius, Rodrigues and the Seychelles.
I was in those three islands last year, and they were still using the same regulators. And theyre bloomin good - they look as if theyve had a lot of time in the field, but theyre bomb-proof.
So I have Scubapro R295, S555 and R395 second stages and various Scubapro first stages.
But Ive got a house full of kit that needs sorting out, half-rotting drysuits that I cant bring myself to throw away because I think I can probably fix them, and half-knackered Poseidon Cyklon 300 regulators.
Ive even got a couple of good twin-hoses - oddball stuff like that.

BC
Guess what - Scubapro! Ive got two. Ive got the trimmed-down one, and a bigger one with all the bells and whistles on, from a couple of years ago.
Ive got a Seatec as well at home, and a couple of really old Scubapros lurking, including one of those models like a waistcoat that Stan Waterman always wore. Its knackered now but I used to love it - it was an incredibly simple bit of kit that Id like to see brought out again.
It was particularly useful when travelling, because you could just you fold it up in your bag.

MASKS
My half-masks are both frameless, one by Scubapro and one from Atomic Aquatics thats great for carrying in my BC pocket as a back-up for my full-face mask.
In fact I only use the full-face mask for the telly. Its a Diveways, made in Japan, a huge blue square thing. Its not the prettiest-looking mask, but its quite a simple piece of kit.
The Diveways is great for television because there is no oral nasal dam, which means you can see all of the face and expressions. The problem is that you have to manually flush to clear the CO2.
On BBC Oceans UK were using the OTS Guardian full-face masks, which are great.
They do have an oral nasal dam, so we have no snags with CO2 build-up, but we do lose that clear view of our faces.

LIGHTS
Ive got loads of them, including a couple of those superbright Optoelectronics LED ones, which are brilliant back-ups.
Ive got a couple of really old Ikelite main lights which I love, with the big white batteries inside.
I also have some old Dacors that I hardly use, but my favourite main lights are by Metalsub.

KNIFE
I have a small Tekna knife on the back of my console, which Ive had for about 25 years!

SCUBA BALLS!
Not exactly favourite kit, but do you remember Normans Scuba Balls, for ascents They were from the States. The theory was that you opened up your BC pocket in the water, took out a yellow ball and let it go. It was supposed to go up at 60 feet a minute.
I used them a couple of times in a quarry - they always felt like they were moving a bit fast to me, and once youve let it go, its gone.
Youve paid for the things, so you want to hang on to them. I dont use them, so I have!