Why does your dive gear smell like rotting fish?

I noticed a faint smell emanating from my rubermaid dive bin on Thursday afternoon that deserves some mention. Actually perhaps the rubbermaid container deserves some explanation first. In New England and I presume lots of other places rubbermaid bins tend to be the ubiquitous dive gear container on most dive boats.  They fit nicely under most dive benches, have plenty of room for storage and all of your gear can easily be rinsed and washed out inside the container.   They also help keep your car dry instead of using a mesh gear bag filled with wet dive gear.    I’ve also seen lots of other people use over-sized milk crates on dive boats in NJ/NY.  Anyway..back to the smell in my dive bin.

While on Sunday afternoon’s scallop dive I accidentally dropped some shucked scallops into my dive bin. Thinking nothing of it I thought I had gotten them all but apparently unbeknownst to me I left 3 nice-sized ones sitting in the bottom of my dive bin under some wet dive gear.  Yes..fantastic…

The cold weather did a great job of keeping the scallops smell at bay while the dive bin was in the trunk of my car for Monday and Tuesday.  It wasn’t until Wednesday that I took the dive bin out of my trunk before work in preparation for diving Friday morning and to pack for Florida this weekend.

When I opened my dive bin on Thursday the rancid smell of rotten scallops hit me like a proverbial ton of bricks.  I literally gagged. I won’t bore you with all the details but I spent the next couple hours thoroughly rinsing and soaking everything in fresh water and simple green.  I only hope that someday the faint smell of rotting fish leaves my dive gear.

Could you imagine if this had been a sunny 90 degree August day with high humidity and the bin sat roasting in my car for 2 days? I think at that point I would completely burn my car and call it a total loss.

Anyway, more diving on Friday so I should have the opportunity for another salt water rinse..


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