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Ziggy Piggy
Sep 25, 2006


I have been thinking about doing my dive masters, preferably as a 3 month internship probably in SE Asia or Australia. I have done 30 dives and am padi advanced; I’ve dived in Egypt, Malaysia (not Borneo) and Indonesia (bali/gili t/komodo) and wouldn’t really want to go back to indo.

Do any of you dive pros have any recommendations for places and or shops?

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Clicktrack
Aug 15, 2007
Kawasakis! Maicos! PURSANG!

TLG James posted:

Night Dives rule!

Anyone have a good recommendation for a light?


Took this photo tonight. Saw 3 octopus.



LED torches are great. They tend to be more expensive, but are smaller, chew up less power, need fewer batteries, are less fragile, and are much brighter than filament bulb lights.

eviljelly
Aug 29, 2004



Ziggy Piggy posted:

I have been thinking about doing my dive masters, preferably as a 3 month internship probably in SE Asia or Australia. I have done 30 dives and am padi advanced; I’ve dived in Egypt, Malaysia (not Borneo) and Indonesia (bali/gili t/komodo) and wouldn’t really want to go back to indo.

Do any of you dive pros have any recommendations for places and or shops?

Depends on a lot of factors. Do you want to work afterwards? If so, where? How much do you want to spend? How good do you want your diving, vs. other considerations such as quality of life, etc.?

I trained as a divemaster on Koh Tao, Thailand. Looking back, I think I got very good training and the program was a great experience - I'd definitely do it again.

The diving is not top notch, especially compared to places like Komodo, but there's enough good diving to keep it fun - if you go with a shop that goes to the good dive sites (many dive schools only go to the closest dive sites to keep the diving fast and fuel costs low). Standards are fairly high for SE Asia (I remember diving in the Philippines and in Vietnam as a new-ish diver and in retrospect they took a lot of shortcuts which I would now find unacceptable) and probably a lot higher than in Egypt, but lower than in Australia (although, a few of my worst fun divers - including rescue divers and DMs - had been trained in Australia). The real pluses for Koh Tao are lifestyle (good nightlife, decent food, great weather), low prices (under US$1000 for the DM course which includes all the free diving you want, plus cost of living is fairly low), lots of hands-on experience (high volume means that you get to help out a lot).

I hate over-plugging my own dive school but the more I see of what other dive schools do here, the more I feel fortunate that I went with New Way. We are almost always the first boat at the dive site, as we leave at 6am from the shop every morning. It makes a huge difference having 20 other divers around vs. 100. In fact, these days, we have DMs, DMTs and instructors from other dive schools joining us on fun dives two or three times a week, because they never get to go to the good sites with their own dive schools and/or because by the time their boats get to the dive sites, all the fish have scattered and the place is full of bubbles. Although at times it feels like we're getting too big, we are still a small shop - it's a busy morning for us if we have 30 divers on board. Especially as busy season winds down, this means that you'll get to know all the instructors pretty quickly.

TLG James
Jun 5, 2000

Questing ain't easy


Crunkjuice posted:

what's your budget?

50 bucks? Reasonable? I can bump it up a bit if needed.

Big Taint
Oct 19, 2003



TLG James posted:

50 bucks? Reasonable? I can bump it up a bit if needed.

I just bought this, a Princeton Tec Torrent LED. I haven't gotten it in the water yet, but it's BRIGHT. $40.

TLG James
Jun 5, 2000

Questing ain't easy


Big Taint posted:

I just bought this, a Princeton Tec Torrent LED. I haven't gotten it in the water yet, but it's BRIGHT. $40.

Did you buy it locally? I didn't see a spot to buy it on there.

Big Taint
Oct 19, 2003



TLG James posted:

Did you buy it locally? I didn't see a spot to buy it on there.

I got it from West Marine. REI also carries that brand. Also, Amazon sells them.

rockcity
Jan 16, 2004


TLG James posted:

Did you buy it locally? I didn't see a spot to buy it on there.

Once it's back in stock, I'm planning on buying this and a soft strap as my primary night dive and cavern light with a couple of their smaller ones as backup.

http://www.piranhadivemfg.com/item/Piranha-Black-Star-350-LED-Light--Rechargeable-Battery-System-11632

Crunkjuice
Apr 4, 2007

That could've gotten in my eye!
*launches teargas at unarmed protestors*

I THINK OAKLAND PD'S USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE WAS JUSTIFIED!


TLG James posted:

50 bucks? Reasonable? I can bump it up a bit if needed.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...cCTtuZZIDBnCBAg

A lot of tech divers I know use this as their backup light. Its a good light and would fit your budget perfectly.

I use the older 180 lumen dorcy model as my backup and I love it.

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


The scuba pro nova 230 is an awesome 3 cell LED light with good brightness and a tight beam. I think I paid 130 for it. It can seriously handle being a primary in many overhead situations, it's that good for the money. I use it as one of my backups (the other being a more robust halcyon scout that is not as bright/tight). Now let me explain to you why you need a HID canister light,

Bishop fucked around with this message at 23:56 on Sep 3, 2012

Ziggy Piggy
Sep 25, 2006


eviljelly posted:

Depends on a lot of factors. Do you want to work afterwards? If so, where? How much do you want to spend? How good do you want your diving, vs. other considerations such as quality of life, etc.?

I trained as a divemaster on Koh Tao, Thailand. Looking back, I think I got very good training and the program was a great experience - I'd definitely do it again.

The diving is not top notch, especially compared to places like Komodo, but there's enough good diving to keep it fun - if you go with a shop that goes to the good dive sites (many dive schools only go to the closest dive sites to keep the diving fast and fuel costs low). Standards are fairly high for SE Asia (I remember diving in the Philippines and in Vietnam as a new-ish diver and in retrospect they took a lot of shortcuts which I would now find unacceptable) and probably a lot higher than in Egypt, but lower than in Australia (although, a few of my worst fun divers - including rescue divers and DMs - had been trained in Australia). The real pluses for Koh Tao are lifestyle (good nightlife, decent food, great weather), low prices (under US$1000 for the DM course which includes all the free diving you want, plus cost of living is fairly low), lots of hands-on experience (high volume means that you get to help out a lot).

I hate over-plugging my own dive school but the more I see of what other dive schools do here, the more I feel fortunate that I went with New Way. We are almost always the first boat at the dive site, as we leave at 6am from the shop every morning. It makes a huge difference having 20 other divers around vs. 100. In fact, these days, we have DMs, DMTs and instructors from other dive schools joining us on fun dives two or three times a week, because they never get to go to the good sites with their own dive schools and/or because by the time their boats get to the dive sites, all the fish have scattered and the place is full of bubbles. Although at times it feels like we're getting too big, we are still a small shop - it's a busy morning for us if we have 30 divers on board. Especially as busy season winds down, this means that you'll get to know all the instructors pretty quickly.

I would like to work but more as a plan b/escape from civilisation if I find myself unable to afford traveling without work. This would probably be in south/central America.

While I don't doubt the lifestyle is great and that working in a busy shop will prepare you well for the actual job Koh Tao does seem to have a bad reputation amongst the divers i know, is this just snobbery?

eviljelly
Aug 29, 2004



I honestly have been generally unimpressed with the Aussie DMs and instructors I've seen, although that's a very small sample size. I think Koh Tao's bad reputation in Australia is a combination of 1) Aussie snobbery and jealousy that SE Asia takes so much Aussie diving business away, 2) that dive shops in Ausralia have unnecessary rules and regulations which dive shops in other countries (including Thailand) lack, such as requiring a snorkel or absolutely limiting dives to 50 bar or 50 minutes (PADI standards say 50 bar, and 50 minutes is a rather short dive time for experienced divers on a shallow dive), and 3) the fact that there are many terrible dive shops on Koh Tao. There are plenty of great shops here - DJL, Master Divers, New Way, etc. - but, with over 50 dive schools on the island, there are plenty of bad ones as well. Every once in a while we get customer-defectors from other shops and I gotta shake my head at the kind of stuff that DMs and instructors at some other shops do.

eviljelly fucked around with this message at 10:45 on Sep 2, 2012

Clicktrack
Aug 15, 2007
Kawasakis! Maicos! PURSANG!

Is anyone else here qualified through Scuba Schools International?

Gromit
Aug 15, 2000

I am an oppressed White Male, Asian women wont serve me! Save me Campbell Newman!!!!!!!


I've got 30 dives under SSI, but I'm only up to Advanced Open Water.
It all seems fine, although we did very little on buoyancy and nothing on alternate finning techniques. Mind you, finning stuff might be covered in the specialist wreck penetration training and stuff like that?

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


Unless you plan on doing overhead diving don't worry too much about fining techniques beyond "don't kick the reef". Buoyancy and trim is still pretty important. With buoyancy, you want to be able to maintain your depth so you don't sink into the bottom or bolt towards the surface. It also helps you make a controlled ascent. Having good (close to horizontal) trim reduces your drag and makes moving around far easier, which in turn reduces your gas consumption and increases your dive time!

Bishop fucked around with this message at 00:38 on Sep 4, 2012

MA-Horus
Dec 3, 2006

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.



Sail Rock's reputation is much deserved. First dive, a swarm of big null sharks.

Second dive, we swing around a pinnacle and BAM, WHALE SHARK! TWO OF THEM! 3m and 5m! Then third dive at least 8 bull sharks popping up and down through the thermocline.

Absolutely amazing.

And I did see the New Way boat out there first. My DMs give a lot of kudos to New Way for always being first out, thought I gotta say my experience with Big Blue has been nothing short of fantastic.

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000



=

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Gromit posted:

I've got 30 dives under SSI, but I'm only up to Advanced Open Water.
It all seems fine, although we did very little on buoyancy and nothing on alternate finning techniques. Mind you, finning stuff might be covered in the specialist wreck penetration training and stuff like that?

I think that sort of stuff is very instructor dependant across agencies. When i did my AOW the instructor was a tec instructor and was great at teaching us about buoyancy, the importance of horizontal trim and got us frog kicking about to see how we liked it.

SlicerDicer
Oct 31, 2010

PAILOLO CHANNEL

East gales to 35 kt. Wind waves 17 ft. Scattered showers.

Its time to DIVE



I was worried about being bit on that one, full 10mm wide angle the lens was about 3 inches away from the Eel

Crunkjuice
Apr 4, 2007

That could've gotten in my eye!
*launches teargas at unarmed protestors*

I THINK OAKLAND PD'S USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE WAS JUSTIFIED!


From my experience, it doesn't matter about what agency you get certified in regarding the big three. NAUI/SSI/PADI will all certify you safely to recreationally dive.

The big thing in your certification, in terms of your education of yourself as a diver, is your instructor. There are a few poo poo ones at my shop who i refuse to work with, and there are some fantastic ones. I always recommend going into the shop and asking a whole bunch of questions. As long as its not crazy busy, dive shop employees will talk you to death about gear, training, dive experiences, etc.

Learn about the dive shop, learn about the instructor, and you'll get a handle on the quality of dive education you'll get.

BiggerJ
May 21, 2007

What shall we do with him? A permaban, perhaps? Probate him for a few years? Or...shall we employ a big red custom title? You, the goons of SA, shall decide his fate.

I'm impressed by all the traveling you guys do. Is traveling to third-world/developing countries risky or dangerous at all?

BiggerJ fucked around with this message at 10:53 on Sep 4, 2012

eviljelly
Aug 29, 2004



MA-Horus posted:

Sail Rock's reputation is much deserved. First dive, a swarm of big null sharks.

Second dive, we swing around a pinnacle and BAM, WHALE SHARK! TWO OF THEM! 3m and 5m! Then third dive at least 8 bull sharks popping up and down through the thermocline.

Absolutely amazing.

And I did see the New Way boat out there first. My DMs give a lot of kudos to New Way for always being first out, thought I gotta say my experience with Big Blue has been nothing short of fantastic.

I heard about that poo poo! Super jealous of the whale shark sightings!

Although, I'm not jealous of you guys having to dive with 50-200 other divers every dive

We actually have fun diver DMs and instructors from other shops on a regular basis now on our Sail Rock trips because we get the first dive to ourselves and because at some shops you don't even get to go to fun places (one DMT asked one of our instructors why we call Chumpon Southwest - didn't realize those were two different dive sites).

shrike82
Jun 11, 2005



I just did my open water cert and the dive shop's selling me on the idea of a 10-dive package for $500.

Is it typically a good idea to buy packages like these? They also have 1 year unlimited dives for $1500 but most of the summer is already gone...

Crunkjuice
Apr 4, 2007

That could've gotten in my eye!
*launches teargas at unarmed protestors*

I THINK OAKLAND PD'S USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE WAS JUSTIFIED!


BiggerJ posted:

I'm impressed by all the traveling you guys do. Is traveling to third-world/developing countries risky or dangerous at all?

It can be if you travel stupidly. I don't have a lot of firsthand experience, but i know there are ways to present yourself, and basic travel etiquette to keep you safe. Also, a lot of times in those places tourism is their main industry so they place a pretty heavy police presence around the touristy areas.

When I did a cruise we stopped in progresso, mexico for a day. Police escort to and from the boat. All the day tours had police/military escorts. The public beach by the restaruant had police cars every few blocks and had foot patrols. We understood it was a very poor town, and that if we ventured out of the area we could be in trouble. When we got to cozumel, we felt completely safe wandering around on our own and doing our own thing since cozumel is a much popular tourist spot.

It depends where you are going.

SlicerDicer
Oct 31, 2010

PAILOLO CHANNEL

East gales to 35 kt. Wind waves 17 ft. Scattered showers.

Its time to DIVE








RARE RARE RARE RARE RARE RARE!!


The first and second image show the lava finger I dive off of twice a week. I did not today as I am sick but beyond that I will be back next week.

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


I'm moving to Miami in early October. This should benefit my diving significantly.

Ziggy Piggy
Sep 25, 2006


BiggerJ posted:

I'm impressed by all the traveling you guys do. Is traveling to third-world/developing countries risky or dangerous at all?

SE Asia is very safe and full of tourists from all over the world, from 18 year olds just out of school to groups of Chinese grandmothers. You have to work hard to get into any real trouble.

bluey26
Feb 4, 2008


bluey26 posted:

Does anyone know what the situation (i.e. political / safety) is like over in the Red Sea at the moment?

I'm one day planning to go over there for 6-12 months and hopefully work as an instructor. I got my divemaster and assistant instructor in Koh Tao (yeah I know it's not the greatest way to do so and actually be good at what you're doing), so I'm planning to do my IDC somewhere in Dahab and hang around there for a little while hopefully working.

I'm not planning to go until probably the beginning of 2014, because I still need to graduate from uni first (another 1.5 years to go). I'm asking now because I'm in the early stages of planning in terms of working out how much money I'll need to save, what equipment to start obtaining.

I had a great time on Koh Tao doing my DM and Assistant Instructor with Crystal Dive Resort so I'm hoping for a similarly awesome experience. My major question is has the political situation Egypt killed off the dive industry and tourist activity in the red sea? i.e. is it worth looking at other possible destinations such as the Caribbean (perhaps Utila) or the Mediterranean?

Hate to bump my own post, but does anyone hear have any info on this?

rockcity
Jan 16, 2004


Bishop posted:

I'm moving to Miami in early October. This should benefit my diving significantly.

Well now we're definitely going to have to go diving sometime.

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


bluey26 posted:

Hate to bump my own post, but does anyone hear have any info on this?
I'm not sure anybody among our crew dives that area with any frequency...
I'd go look around here http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/red-sea/ and post a thread if you don't find what you need.

rockcity posted:

Well now we're definitely going to have to go diving sometime.
drat straight. I'll let you know once I get settled and we can plan some poo poo.

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



Found a local club where i've moved so about to start diving in england

The club apparently has a drysuit for a 6'3" person that noone else fits i can use once they cert me on it but i guess i'll probably want my own undergarms. Anyone have any recommendations?

Crunkjuice
Apr 4, 2007

That could've gotten in my eye!
*launches teargas at unarmed protestors*

I THINK OAKLAND PD'S USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE WAS JUSTIFIED!


Loving Africa Chaps posted:

Found a local club where i've moved so about to start diving in england

The club apparently has a drysuit for a 6'3" person that noone else fits i can use once they cert me on it but i guess i'll probably want my own undergarms. Anyone have any recommendations?

You don't need scuba specific undergarments. The one piece jumpsuits are nice since they won't bunch up and stuff, but i use surplus military stuff or poo poo i've found at sales. You want material that can keep you warm when wet (AKA NOT COTTON) and wicks moisture away from the body. Polartec fleece is the best material for this. It looks fairly ghetto, but i spent 40 bucks on it and i've dove in 40 degree water whereas if i bought a name branded dry suit undergarment? It would have been 150 bucks easily. Obviously, the colder water requires more thermal protection, so you might need to layer up for cold english water a bit.

Crunkjuice fucked around with this message at 19:03 on Sep 5, 2012

TANZENTURTLE
Oct 15, 2009

Pikachuuuuu


Loving Africa Chaps posted:


...i'll probably want my own undergarms. Anyone have any recommendations?



I been wearing one of these and a matching pair of short pants under the the rental suits over winter in Australia and it's certainly made diving in water 15-17 celsius much more pleasant. Keeps your core basically free of contact with water, but i guess the water temps in England might necessitate a drysuit at all times of year?. Dont know if theyre sold outside AU/NZ under the name Sharkskin, but if your interested in something similar, it's its a lycra nylon blend on the outside with a waterproof layer underneath and fleece thermal layer underneath. Great to use on it's own to snorkel in chilly water too if you take it travelling to more temperate locations, and is light and folds easily. Arm mobility is great, but theyre a bitch to take off.

Interested to here what the diving in England is like, know anything about the places your likely to be going?

SlicerDicer
Oct 31, 2010

PAILOLO CHANNEL

East gales to 35 kt. Wind waves 17 ft. Scattered showers.

Its time to DIVE


I made a little video of the past 7 months underwater, let me know what you think

http://stealthwater.smugmug.com/Underwater/Underwater-Photos/24949056_CTqbFk#!i=2069701283&k=vj7QQkM&lb=1&s=A

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


BiggerJ posted:

I'm impressed by all the traveling you guys do. Is traveling to third-world/developing countries risky or dangerous at all?

I've gone to Thailand, Palau, Philippines, and the Maldives (to dive). I've never felt to be in danger and always have had a wonderful time. In Thailand and Maldives I was on a liveaboard, so there's little to worry about there. In Palau people are really friendly and nice. I should have been more outgoing because it was only the last day that I found out everyone had pot on them and weren't hesitant about selling / giving to the tourists.

In short, people in general are pretty nice the world over, don't let your fear of the unknown prevent you from doing something amazing!



That's not me in the pic, I was actually behind it taking video.

TANZENTURTLE
Oct 15, 2009

Pikachuuuuu



Those hammerheads move so gracefully. Definitely going to have to see them one day.
Im a big fan of the rotating 360° shots when something swims around you. No way in hell i can turn myself that quickly when im diving without a generous amount of flailing.
Good stuff

SlicerDicer
Oct 31, 2010

PAILOLO CHANNEL

East gales to 35 kt. Wind waves 17 ft. Scattered showers.

Its time to DIVE


TANZENTURTLE posted:

Those hammerheads move so gracefully. Definitely going to have to see them one day.
Im a big fan of the rotating 360° shots when something swims around you. No way in hell i can turn myself that quickly when im diving without a generous amount of flailing.
Good stuff

They are graceful some of the HUGE ones look like they are in slow motion as the amplitude is so slow.

As for the 360 I use jetfins and can propel myself in a spin really fast, they make it easier than most fins. And glad you liked it

Loving Africa Chaps
Dec 3, 2007


We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.



TANZENTURTLE posted:



I been wearing one of these and a matching pair of short pants under the the rental suits over winter in Australia and it's certainly made diving in water 15-17 celsius much more pleasant. Keeps your core basically free of contact with water, but i guess the water temps in England might necessitate a drysuit at all times of year?. Dont know if theyre sold outside AU/NZ under the name Sharkskin, but if your interested in something similar, it's its a lycra nylon blend on the outside with a waterproof layer underneath and fleece thermal layer underneath. Great to use on it's own to snorkel in chilly water too if you take it travelling to more temperate locations, and is light and folds easily. Arm mobility is great, but theyre a bitch to take off.

Interested to here what the diving in England is like, know anything about the places your likely to be going?

Lots and lots of wrecks and i'll be diving in the north sea which is the opposite side of where the gulf stream hits so it's very cold, rough and often lovely vis. From the sounds of it a lot of diving is done in the local quarry. I did my open water in February a few years ago and the water was 8 celcius.

MA-Horus
Dec 3, 2006

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.



What is it with Japanese tourists and ruining things? Was back out at Sail Rock again with the bull sharks, but the seas were so rough the Japanese couldn't get back into the boat. So we left after one dive.

Fuckers.

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macado
Jun 3, 2003

How to keep an idiot busy, Click here.

I just got back from a week of diving in Koh Tao. Sorry I didn't get a chance to meet up with anyone else diving there.

I dove with Master Divers and did 12 dives with my girlfriend. Master Divers was great, very professional run dive op. I found the diving in Koh Tao to be very lacking though. Maybe I'm just spoiled by Caribbean diving, when I dove Koh Tao in 2006 I had similar thoughts about the diving. One of these days I'll do some diving in the Similians so I can compare.

Highlight of the week were definitely Chumphon Pinnacle, much much better visibility and massive schools of chevron barracuda. I also did a penetration dive on the HTMS Sattakut that I found to be nice. Very new wreck but still a good amount of life on it.

I was a little disappointed I didnt have a chance to do any tech dives, Chumphon Pinnacles would have been very nice to do a long deco dive on.

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