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Bangkero
Dec 28, 2005

I baptize thee
not in the name of the father
but in the name of the devil.


GrandMaster posted:

Just booked a trip to the Philippines in December - going to be diving in Coron, followed by a 4 night/5 day boat expedition through the islands to El Nido where i'll do a couple more dives.

Does anyone have any dive shop or site recommendations? I've heard the diving is incredible so I really can't wait. Unfortunately my wife doesn't dive so I'll probably only be able to squeeze in 3 days diving if I'm lucky - 2 days in Coron and 1 in El Nido. Will be doing heaps of snorkeling on the boat tour though.

Sweet, are you going with Tao Expeditions?

I made recos in a previous post for dive shops in Coron. 2 days is good to sample the diving there. One day I recommend you do Barracuda Lake, Siete Pecados, and Cathedral. The other day I recommend you do 3 wrecks. For diving in El Nido, Palawan Divers is my go too - they limit 4 per guide so no cattle boats. To be honest, the diving is nothing to write home about (you'll get the same experience as snorkelling, which is much cheaper), but what El Nido lacks in diving (compared to other Philippine locales) it makes up in everything else you look for in a tropical destination. Nothing beats the scenery and 100+ ft viz.

Bangkero fucked around with this message at 16:20 on Nov 6, 2013

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Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


Crunkjuice posted:

Couldn't this also be because some dive boats don't allow doubles, so tec divers will just rock a big fat HP steel 130 or something for a deco dive to get around it?
Maybe. It's my impression that shops like that do it to ban deco diving so they're probably going to be pretty pissed at you when you surface. I was at a shop in cave country where the owner had a set of steel 130s doubles that they were offering real cheap just because like only one guy ever rented them and I kind of regret not buying them because drat that's a lot of gas. My back is probably pretty glad I did not though.

Prince John
Jun 19, 2006

Oh, poppycock! Female bandits?



Is it possible to scuba dive if you've got bad ears? I perforated both my eardrums when younger and find swimming to the bottom of a pool to be painful but I had heard that it's different with scuba diving because you don't hold your breath. Is there any truth to that or am I forever condemned to snorkelling?

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!


Prince John posted:

Is it possible to scuba dive if you've got bad ears? I perforated both my eardrums when younger and find swimming to the bottom of a pool to be painful but I had heard that it's different with scuba diving because you don't hold your breath. Is there any truth to that or am I forever condemned to snorkelling?

Maybe. Possibly. You never hold your breath while diving, but you still have to equalize pressure and that is an issue for people with your condition. Next time you go to your general doctor, ask him about it. If you are REALLY curious you've got two options. 1) Go to a dive shop and ask for discover scuba class. It should be like 20-30 bucks and it puts you in a pool with a divemaster and you get to play with scuba gear. It should give you an indication if you can clear your ears or not. 2) After the discover class, if it is an issue, go see a dedicated ear nose throat doctor, preferably one who specializes in dive medicine. You can contact DAN (super awesome international scuba medical group) for a list of dive doctors in your area here http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/network/physician. I've seen some people walk out of an ENT with the go ahead to dive, i've seen some get sinus surgery so they can dive.

People with ear issues vary so much there is no concrete answer any one of us can give you except "go to a doctor".

GrandMaster
Aug 15, 2004
laidback

Trivia posted:

Get your lovely lady into a rig and throw 'er in the ocean! She won't drown! (maybe)

Hah, she can't swim either so that doesn't really help! Even with a life jacket on, and me towing her around she's scared shitless but gets pretty excited when surrounded by fish. We actually spent a bit of money on some decent snorkeling kit for her for this trip instead of the foggy, leaky cheap k-mart crap so hopefully that will help her confidence in the water.

Bangkero posted:

Sweet, are you going with Tao Expeditions?

I made recos in a previous post for dive shops in Coron. 2 days is good to sample the diving there. One day I recommend you do Barracuda Lake, Siete Pecados, and Cathedral. The other day I recommend you do 3 wrecks. For diving in El Nido, Palawan Divers is my go too - they limit 4 per guide so no cattle boats. To be honest, the diving is nothing to write home about (you'll get the same experience as snorkelling, which is much cheaper), but what El Nido lacks in diving (compared to other Philippine locales) it makes up in everything else you look for in a tropical destination. Nothing beats the scenery and 100+ ft viz.

Yep, a friend did a tour with Tao about a month ago and had wonderful things to say about the trip - gonna be sleeping in hammocks, surrounded by palm trees and eating suckling pig and freshly caught fish :)

Thanks for the tips, will definitely check out those spots

xxEightxx
Mar 5, 2010

Oh, it's true. You are Brock Landers!


Salad Prong

Prince John posted:

Is it possible to scuba dive if you've got bad ears? I perforated both my eardrums when younger and find swimming to the bottom of a pool to be painful but I had heard that it's different with scuba diving because you don't hold your breath. Is there any truth to that or am I forever condemned to snorkelling?

I have a tricky right ear, very difficult to deal with in planes and in scuba. I end up taking a little bit longer to descend, and will pressurize the best I can before I get into the water. I am pretty much guaranteed some sort of reverse block when I finish the dive (more pressure in the ear cavity than outside pressure, feels like water in the ear) and have taken some decongestants and anti-inflammatories to help it equalize in the days after the dive. If you are feeling any discomfort you have waited too long, and need to ascend to equalize before its an issue.

Prince John
Jun 19, 2006

Oh, poppycock! Female bandits?



xxEightxx posted:

I have a tricky right ear, very difficult to deal with in planes and in scuba. I end up taking a little bit longer to descend, and will pressurize the best I can before I get into the water. I am pretty much guaranteed some sort of reverse block when I finish the dive (more pressure in the ear cavity than outside pressure, feels like water in the ear) and have taken some decongestants and anti-inflammatories to help it equalize in the days after the dive. If you are feeling any discomfort you have waited too long, and need to ascend to equalize before its an issue.

Thank you both, I will take a trip to the GP in that case.

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Hooray, I completed my online course for Nitrox and just have to do my practical application on Tuesday. Then I plan to get Deep Diver certification next weekend - is that course particularly challenging, or is it mainly "hey, when you're diving deep, be careful, take safety stops, and don't surface too fast"?

Tomberforce
May 30, 2006


Anyone got any tips for dive guiding large groups of inexperienced divers? I had a group of 9 divers today, the only other experienced diver in the group, a BSAC DM, was a bit distracted by virtue of proposing to his girlfriend mid dive :shobon:

I gave a very thorough briefing and plan both on the boat and at the surface before descent. Of course the plan immediately went to pot when half the group plummeted like stones and the other half bobbed helplessly at the surface!

I got them all down in a group of 9 and after a while started actually diving around, at which point I headcounted 8. Turned out one diver had followed the wrong group, which I thought down there was the most likely scenario, I was still stressed about it but chose to keep the group down anyway. After about 25 minutes on a 16 metre max dive, one guy signals to me he has 100 bar remaining, then 2 seconds later frantically gives me an OOA! I check his gauge and see he's just hit 50 bar and freaked out on seeing the red zone so send him up on his own. While I'm sorting this out the rest of the group apparently started feeling confident enough to start going off in all the swim throughs and overhanging caves on the dive site and just wandered off everywhere. I end up ascending with about 3 of the original group. Joy.

DMing is stressful work!

eviljelly
Aug 29, 2004



Tomberforce posted:

Anyone got any tips for dive guiding large groups of inexperienced divers? I had a group of 9 divers today, the only other experienced diver in the group, a BSAC DM, was a bit distracted by virtue of proposing to his girlfriend mid dive :shobon:

I gave a very thorough briefing and plan both on the boat and at the surface before descent. Of course the plan immediately went to pot when half the group plummeted like stones and the other half bobbed helplessly at the surface!

I got them all down in a group of 9 and after a while started actually diving around, at which point I headcounted 8. Turned out one diver had followed the wrong group, which I thought down there was the most likely scenario, I was still stressed about it but chose to keep the group down anyway. After about 25 minutes on a 16 metre max dive, one guy signals to me he has 100 bar remaining, then 2 seconds later frantically gives me an OOA! I check his gauge and see he's just hit 50 bar and freaked out on seeing the red zone so send him up on his own. While I'm sorting this out the rest of the group apparently started feeling confident enough to start going off in all the swim throughs and overhanging caves on the dive site and just wandered off everywhere. I end up ascending with about 3 of the original group. Joy.

DMing is stressful work!

One of my worst dives was where we spotted a whale shark... An Advanced Open Water diver was at 100 bar after 22 minutes, right when we spotted the whale shark! By the time we got back near the boat, he was at 60 bar. I put him on the drop tank so that he could at least see the whale shark a bit (I also had like 130 bar left, and I physically held onto him because he was also a wanderer).

It's probably not your call, but I think it's terrible policy to have more than 4 divers per DM/Instructor. You should at least get a DMT to help you shepherd from behind, imo.

With inexperienced divers, I actually try not to be TOO thorough - you'll simply lose their attention. Keep things simple but do emphasize the safety aspects and why we do things the way we do 'em (you really do need to include the explanations of why for better compliance). After the dive, I would calmly explain what went wrong and why it's dangerous, etc.

This will depend on shop policy and only works in places without strong currents, but since all the divers should theoretically be trained to be able to dive by themselves (in buddy teams of course), if I have at least one experienced diver in the group, I would give them a surface marker and ask if they'd be okay with staying down with the people who are better on air. I'd take them close to where they'd need to surface, of course, and tell them not to wander off too far. I've never had anyone who was comfortable with deploying a surface marker who was not able to dink around for an extra 10-15 minutes with a small group.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

Out for a ride, chillin out w/ a couple of friends. Going to be back for dinner


Aaaaaah just started my 2nd star cmas course. The first lesson the instructors told us that we won't use our tanks in a while... And then proceeded to make us swim and do various exercises for more than a hour and a half. Haven't been this tired in a while.

On the plus side, the 3 star cmas students seemed destroyed, so I guess we aren't getting the worst treatment.

Bangkero
Dec 28, 2005

I baptize thee
not in the name of the father
but in the name of the devil.


GrandMaster posted:

Hah, she can't swim either so that doesn't really help! Even with a life jacket on, and me towing her around she's scared shitless but gets pretty excited when surrounded by fish. We actually spent a bit of money on some decent snorkeling kit for her for this trip instead of the foggy, leaky cheap k-mart crap so hopefully that will help her confidence in the water.


Yep, a friend did a tour with Tao about a month ago and had wonderful things to say about the trip - gonna be sleeping in hammocks, surrounded by palm trees and eating suckling pig and freshly caught fish :)

Thanks for the tips, will definitely check out those spots
Heads up - Coron got hit hard by the storm. Tao's boats are running relief supplies right now to the affected areas. Hopefully thing will get sorted by December but the airport runway is destroyed. I'm not sure how El Nido fared, but I'm hoping they were spared. Have you heard from Tao? I've just been following their facebook page. Since they run remote trips it might not be an issue, but they do use native huts so the structures could have been blown away (you might have to sleep underneath the stars on the beach instead).

Trivia - Malapascua got decimated. It's pretty bad there right now. The remaining outriggers are running relief supplies and will be doing so for the next few weeks. I've been following thresher shark divers and evolution divers facebook pages.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


Yeah, right now my friends and I are in high alert. We haven't canceled anything and we're hoping things pick up for people over there. Gotta keep our ear to the ground.

My Coron portion of my trip may be salvagable, but I have a feeling that Malapascua is a lost cause.

I feel selfish typing all that :(

GrandMaster
Aug 15, 2004
laidback

Yeah, I've been keeping an eye on the news but it's not looking good.
Haven't heard anything from Tao, but from what I've heard the comms infrastructure has been completely destroyed so any news coming out of the region is pretty slow.

We might just put in a travel insurance claim - It doesn't feel right going there immediately after a disaster of this sort of scale.. They are trying to rebuild their lives, bury loved ones, etc. all while having tourists swanning about.

Our flights to/from Philippines were via KL so we might redirect to Thailand or something instead.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


I have a feeling no matter what I do, I'm out the cost of airfare at least.

Provided I try to cancel of course.

Orions Lord
May 21, 2012


Trivia posted:

I have a feeling no matter what I do, I'm out the cost of airfare at least.

Provided I try to cancel of course.

I would stay at home also.

It might be dangerous to go over there now.

Bangkero
Dec 28, 2005

I baptize thee
not in the name of the father
but in the name of the devil.


yeah don't feel selfish, it's a perfectly valid response but don't worry - just because you can't go to Malapascua right now (or within the next month), there are plenty of other destinations that weren't hit by the storm. Bohol, Dumaguete, Apo Island, El Nido, and Puerto Galera are good alternatives.

For Coron this is what Tao had to say on their facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Taophilippines-Expeditions/74026363044?fref=ts

tao expeditions posted:

Although RELIEF AID will help in the short term, what the community NEED is to secure their FUTURE. Local people will despirately need every penny they can get to help rebuild their lives. Local hotels and businesses should be promoting the fact that EL NIDO and many of the islands south of COULION have not suffered any damage as people may think, and that the area is still open for business. [and still as beautiful as ever]

Coron town is unable to accommodate visitors right now, so we are encouraging people to wait until they are back on their feet and then it is important that the visitors return as possible.

Tao are continuing to operate Expeditions. We are strongly encouraging guests to avoid cancelling trips to Palawan as this does not help anyone. The whole region is not devastated, so don't worry about being 'on vacation' whilst devastated villages are getting back on their feet.

Here is a reminder of just how beautiful the landsapes and people are, from happier days….
So they're still running trips, which is awesome.

edit: If you haven't yet, follow TSD and Evolution on facebook since they are the only ones updating on the situation in Malapascua right now:
https://www.facebook.com/malapascua.island?fref=ts
https://www.facebook.com/evolutiondivingmalapascua?fref=ts

Bangkero fucked around with this message at 14:37 on Nov 13, 2013

Blitz of 404 Error
Sep 19, 2007

TYBC



Is anyone experienced in Lionfish spearing? I'm off the coast of NC and I got myself a 6' polespear with a sling. I'd like to become a Crusader against Lionfish. I think I have to make a trip down to the keys/ft lauderdale to see any real action though

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


Poster IM FROM THE FUTURE made a good point a while back that no matter what we do, most of the lionfish either aren't noticed by divers or are too deep to be found. It's still important and fun to murder all lionfish though so go hog wild.
they're actually pretty easy to spear because they just float there right in front of you. In my experience divers don't seem to scare them at all.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


I got some good news from my dive operator in Coron! Evidently things are well on their way to recovery, so that leg of my trip is saved. No word about Malapascua though.

Bangkero
Dec 28, 2005

I baptize thee
not in the name of the father
but in the name of the devil.


Trivia posted:

I got some good news from my dive operator in Coron! Evidently things are well on their way to recovery, so that leg of my trip is saved. No word about Malapascua though.

Awesome news. Malapascua is well underway in recovery efforts also. My buddies on the island say it could take 6-8 weeks. All the dive ops are pulling together to get things going. The road from Cebu to Maya is clear and there are boats running to the island now. They also got cell signal back 2 days ago so let me know what the dive shop you'll be using says. I'll be off to both Coron and Malapascua in Feb.

e: Evo just posted - 70% fixed by Christmas.

Bangkero fucked around with this message at 17:14 on Nov 15, 2013

Durette
Feb 5, 2012



SgtScruffy posted:

Any of you Miami-ish divers - has anyone dived the Atlantis Memorial Reef? I saw it at the National Geographic museum a few months ago, and I'll be in Miami in a few days and I'm trying to dive it - is it as cool as the Nat Geo museum made it out to be, or is it actually lame in person?

(Edit: This could also answer the guy above me's question!)

Day late and a dollar short, but anyway...

This is probably the most calm and predictable dive you can do in Miami off South Beach, so expect multiple boats to be on location at the same time.

The location is very, VERY small. You can circle the whole thing at a drift in about ten minutes. There isn't much around the memorial and calling it a "reef" is pretty generous. There isn't much on the bottom in the area, so you're not going to see the larger fish. There are usually some large schools of small fish hanging out in the center area, but everyone is trying to photograph them.

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Durette posted:

Day late and a dollar short, but anyway...

This is probably the most calm and predictable dive you can do in Miami off South Beach, so expect multiple boats to be on location at the same time.

The location is very, VERY small. You can circle the whole thing at a drift in about ten minutes. There isn't much around the memorial and calling it a "reef" is pretty generous. There isn't much on the bottom in the area, so you're not going to see the larger fish. There are usually some large schools of small fish hanging out in the center area, but everyone is trying to photograph them.

I ended up not being able to do any diving because the wind was too much. I guess good to know that I missed it - if I find myself in Miami again for longer, maybe I'll see if I can visit it, but it sounds like had I made it my single dive for the trip, I would have been disappointed.

Durette
Feb 5, 2012



SgtScruffy posted:

I ended up not being able to do any diving because the wind was too much. I guess good to know that I missed it - if I find myself in Miami again for longer, maybe I'll see if I can visit it, but it sounds like had I made it my single dive for the trip, I would have been disappointed.

Everyone should dive it once just because it's one of "those things". But if it's your only dive, it would probably disappoint. For Miami, there are a lot of small wrecks in about 45 feet that you can go to and don't need technical certification (because there is nothing there to dive into). I'd ask for that since it's one of the few places you can do a wreck without "doing a wreck".

Protip: I always use Tarpoon Dive Center because it is literally ten feet from the shop to the boat. All the other South Beach shops use the same boat, except you have to load up gear and drive to it. And you're on your own to get back. Seriously, I was on the boat with a guy and when he called his shop, they said he had to get a taxi and they would cover it. I had a car so I gave him a ride because gently caress that noise.

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



So I just started diving recently and fell in love with it. I can't seem to make myself leave Koh Tao because I just want to keep doing more dives and courses :v: I'm going to have to leave someday though. Luckily there's some pretty good diving a few hours away from me but the water is cold and rather sharky :ohdear:

Anybody here with any experience diving in the Monterey area that I could ask some stuff? I plan on doing a drysuit course when I'm back home because I get chilled in water easily. Then rescue because if I can do it in Monterey, it should be easy anywhere else I go :v:

I'm not really sure how rentals work and etc because you get all gear rental included when you do dives here and they're at the shop and they take you to the dive site. I'm assuming that you'll need to go to the shop to pick up your gear, then go to where you're planning to dive or do some shops deliver gear to where you're diving? Or just if I book dives/courses through them? That would be better for me as I don't have a car and just getting to Monterey from where I live is already hard enough.

And does anybody have any shop recommendations? There isn't one close to where I am but the other shops in bay area seem like they'd be easy enough to get to via public transport. I'd like to buy some of my equipment too, which bay area dive shops have the best selection? Mainly looking for a BCD and fins now and I don't really like the idea of ordering something online without getting a chance to try stuff on first. My dad is thinking about taking a course locally to do the academics then jetting off to somewhere tropical like Hawaii for the dives so I'd like some recommendations for that too if the shops with lots of gear aren't the best for courses.

I plan on returning to Koh Tao next year for more diving and DM training when I save up enough. I'm nearly broke now and I already have a flight back home booked so I can't just stick around as much I want to.

Oh god that was a lot of questions and I still have more but I'll ask them in later posts so it's not question overload :shobon:

edit: my dad did a couple of dives for fun in Hawaii back in the 60's when he was stationed there during Vietnam War in the navy and asked me to send him a photo of me in scuba gear. I obligated and he asked why I had two regulators. I just wonder what kind of gear he dove with (or the lack of) :stare:

Tomato Soup fucked around with this message at 05:35 on Nov 17, 2013

Tomberforce
May 30, 2006


Tomato Soup posted:

So I just started diving recently and fell in love with it. I can't seem to make myself leave Koh Tao because I just want to keep doing more dives and courses :v: I'm going to have to leave someday though. Luckily there's some pretty good diving a few hours away from me but the water is cold and rather sharky :ohdear:

Anybody here with any experience diving in the Monterey area that I could ask some stuff? I plan on doing a drysuit course when I'm back home because I get chilled in water easily. Then rescue because if I can do it in Monterey, it should be easy anywhere else I go :v:

I'm not really sure how rentals work and etc because you get all gear rental included when you do dives here and they're at the shop and they take you to the dive site. I'm assuming that you'll need to go to the shop to pick up your gear, then go to where you're planning to dive or do some shops deliver gear to where you're diving? Or just if I book dives/courses through them? That would be better for me as I don't have a car and just getting to Monterey from where I live is already hard enough.

And does anybody have any shop recommendations? There isn't one close to where I am but the other shops in bay area seem like they'd be easy enough to get to via public transport. I'd like to buy some of my equipment too, which bay area dive shops have the best selection? Mainly looking for a BCD and fins now and I don't really like the idea of ordering something online without getting a chance to try stuff on first. My dad is thinking about taking a course locally to do the academics then jetting off to somewhere tropical like Hawaii for the dives so I'd like some recommendations for that too if the shops with lots of gear aren't the best for courses.

I plan on returning to Koh Tao next year for more diving and DM training when I save up enough. I'm nearly broke now and I already have a flight back home booked so I can't just stick around as much I want to.

Oh god that was a lot of questions and I still have more but I'll ask them in later posts so it's not question overload :shobon:

edit: my dad did a couple of dives for fun in Hawaii back in the 60's when he was stationed there during Vietnam War in the navy and asked me to send him a photo of me in scuba gear. I obligated and he asked why I had two regulators. I just wonder what kind of gear he dove with (or the lack of) :stare:

Dude, save up and do your DM training somewhere where the diving's actually good - i.e not Koh Tao ;)

Octo's certainly weren't standard scuba gear in the 60's - divers would typically buddy breathe off one second stage in an OOA situation.

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



The thing is that I'm deaf and this shop (Big Blue) has been very willing to work with me and provide accommodations that I need like doing courses via writing without charging me extra like one shop that I asked said if I took a course with them. I love the people and atmosphere here too.

Plus I just really like being in Koh Tao :) I've been to other spots in SEA with great diving (but didn't dive there, just snorkeled a couple of times) and they weren't places that I wanted to stay long term.

I'm going to try dive as much I can while I'm back home to get more experience in different conditions though. And my family's been talking about going to Disney World and that means I'll be able to do Divequest at Epcot :neckbeard:

eviljelly
Aug 29, 2004



I spoke to a guy who did his DMT in the Philippines (I think Moalboal). The dive sites were much better by far, but there was absolutely no concern for safety or protocol. He said they would dive to 50-60 m and go into deco on a regular basis. He thought feeling a bit narced was just a regular part of diving. He was staying for a few months on Koh Tao and diving every day with us, and we really had to teach him a lot of things that he never learned through his DMT program (he didn't even know how to deploy a surface marker!). I know people talk poo poo about Thai diving but some of the worst divers I've seen were Australian trained DMs - they don't get unlimited diving during the DMT program like on Koh Tao, so they're actually very inexperienced divers, but because they trained in country with lots of regulations they believe that they're better divers.

I agree that the diving on Koh Tao is middling at best for a tropical country (it's much better than in, say, Germany, which is where I'm living now... I even tried to go snorkeling in a river just for the "feel"), but it's a good blend of social life, cost efficiency and decent diving. The dude I talked about did miss the better diving but he loved being on Koh Tao overall.

It's really cool that Big Blue was so accommodating to your needs. I think they're my favorite big shop on the island for sure.

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



Yeah, I looked into what DMTs did in Monterey and it seems like they're mainly boat jockeys which doesn't really appeal to me because I'm more useful underwater than on the surface :v: I don't mind doing boat stuff but I don't want that to be the focus of my training. Also cold and expensive.

And I'd really like to do my training with a bigger shop because I'll probably have a better chance of getting work there after I complete my training as there's more spaces. It's not easy to find work when you're deaf because so many people won't even give them a chance to show what they can do :(

eviljelly
Aug 29, 2004



There are definite advantages to being at a big shop, and like I said you chose probably the best big shop on Koh Tao. There are shops on the island (that I won't name here) that only go to 5-6 dive sites and load their groups up with 6, 8 or even 10 divers per instructor/DM. I worked at a small shop and I suspect it would not have been able to accommodate your needs - none of the regular instructors at the shop know ASL and I've never seen a freelance instructor CV that listed ASL knowledge (among the 50-100 CVs that I looked through in the office).

If you're really looking to work on the island, you should consider the financial side. IMO being a DM is way more fun than being an instructor - I simply don't have the patience for it - but it's very difficult to make enough money to scrape by on DM work alone. Instructors can also do DM work, obviously, so shops typically prefer to hire instructors. The best way to survive off of being a DM is to be a regular, not a freelance, DM, but even working as my shop's regular DM and doing about a dozen or two dives per week, I made less money than my freelance instructor buddy working about half as much. It's definitely not like this in other places - the Andaman coast for instance has a lot more DM work. Koh Tao is a bit unique in that it's soooooooooo instruction heavy, because, like Tomberforce said, the diving is a lot better in lots of other places - people come to Koh Tao to get certified and then they go elsewhere to actually dive.

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



I'm potentially interested in becoming an instructor down the road someday but I just want to focus on getting more experience first. Plus spreading the word that there's a deaf DM on Koh Tao to other deaf people so I get a chance to assist with their courses (if not already certified) since I'll prob be in more of an instructor role in those courses due to the linguistic barrier and the ability to talk underwater :v:

Just not sure how much work I'll get as an instructor because I only can instruct in one relatively rare language (for tourists in Thailand) and via written English.

I did find out that there's a Sea Signs thing that's based on ASL and is a PADI speciality which should be easy for me to get certified in. Then I'll most likely be the only one who can teach that in KT if I decide to go down the instructor route.

Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005



eviljelly posted:

I spoke to a guy who did his DMT in the Philippines (I think Moalboal). The dive sites were much better by far, but there was absolutely no concern for safety or protocol. He said they would dive to 50-60 m and go into deco on a regular basis. He thought feeling a bit narced was just a regular part of diving. He was staying for a few months on Koh Tao and diving every day with us, and we really had to teach him a lot of things that he never learned through his DMT program (he didn't even know how to deploy a surface marker!).

Just to defend the Philippines a little, I did my DMT in Moalboal and had an excellent instructor who would have physically beaten me if he heard of me doing anything like that.

There are a lot of lovely instructors that will hand out DM certifications just to make the money, and there are good ones no matter where you go. Always pick a very experienced instructor who isn't a moron.

Gom Jabbar
Oct 3, 2005
The high-handed enemy

Bishop posted:



Helpful links


The deco stop is a tech diving forum. It's full of tech divers, who can be a bit smug at times. Still, I know at least a dozen posters there IRL and they do know their poo poo.



What's up with these guys, tried to register and haven't received a confirmation email, can't read there forums, and they don't answer there contact info.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

Out for a ride, chillin out w/ a couple of friends. Going to be back for dinner


Did my first night dive this weekend in Portofino, Italy. It was way cooler than expected, and I mean it in every way- the water wasn't exactly warm. Still, when the instructors told us to turn off our lights, we had a few seconds of pure magic!

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


Gom Jabbar posted:

What's up with these guys, tried to register and haven't received a confirmation email, can't read there forums, and they don't answer there contact info.
I know and have dove with the owner and also know and have dove with the possibly new owners. It's in a weird state of flux right not so if you have any tech diving questions post them here and we will do our best... Scubaboard is another option as well as rebreatherworld. Can't say too much beyond that.

Gom Jabbar
Oct 3, 2005
The high-handed enemy

Mainly just looking read up on tech stuff till I get the chance to do some training. Currently stationed on Kauai and rec diving is about all of what you will find here, fun but kind of getting old.

IM FROM THE FUTURE
Dec 4, 2006



Blitz7x posted:

Is anyone experienced in Lionfish spearing? I'm off the coast of NC and I got myself a 6' polespear with a sling. I'd like to become a Crusader against Lionfish. I think I have to make a trip down to the keys/ft lauderdale to see any real action though

When you say "polespear with sling" youre kinda mixing two things. A polespear is a spear you hold in your hand with an attached band. A sling, or hawaiian sling, is a wooden/plastic handle and band with a spear that is separate. Im assuming you mean you have a 6' polespear. That will be perfect for lionfish and a little bit overkill even. Use a 3 prong paralyzer tip. Much easier to handle the fish after spearing to cut fins (it doesnt spin around cause its got 3 prongs in it), and easier to get the fish off the spear.

The thing about lionfish is they have no fear and dont swim around very fast. So you can spear them with the tiniest of spears. Even a small 2-3 foot spear is enough to take down any lionfish you come across. When you miss they dont even run very far. The most important thing is if you plan to eat them (you should they are seriously delicious) carry a pair of shears, learn which bars are poisonous. and cut them off. Dont get stung. Its a trip ender for sure.

The problem you will encounter in Fort Lauderdale and to a lesser extent in the Keys is that even though we have more lionfish. They have already been speared in recreational places at recreational depths so there's really not much left. This is more true the more popular the dive site. Another issue is that many areas dont allow any kind of spearfishing gear although I have heard they are starting to make exceptions. You could still come down here and probably kill a couple over a weekend. Dive charters might know of which wrecks seem to be most populated. Try asking around. I would go for the keys though.


Bishop posted:

Poster IM FROM THE FUTURE made a good point a while back that no matter what we do, most of the lionfish either aren't noticed by divers or are too deep to be found. It's still important and fun to murder all lionfish though so go hog wild.
they're actually pretty easy to spear because they just float there right in front of you. In my experience divers don't seem to scare them at all.

They took submersibles to wrecks in the 300' depth range and found them basically teeming with oversized fat lionfish. Its pretty depressing. Keeping the reefs clean of lionfish does help. But probably not much considering how much ocean structure doesnt get regularly visited by humans.

IM FROM THE FUTURE fucked around with this message at 18:56 on Nov 21, 2013

Tomberforce
May 30, 2006


So I just got my new dive computer in the post!

I wanted the cheapest wireless air integrated computer I could find, so I shipped an old oceanic atom 2 with transmitter in from the US and paid $600. Got it in the post today and they've not shipped the atom 2, but the atom 3 instead which is a fairly hefty upgrade!! Not sure why, but I'm not gonna query it!

Score!! :D

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


Tomberforce posted:

Got it in the post today and they've not shipped the atom 2, but the atom 3 instead which is a fairly hefty upgrade!! Not sure why, but I'm not gonna query it!

Score!! :D

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Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



That's how I'm hoping to pick up an Oceanic Geo 2, there's a seller on Amazon who has the old style Geo up for a great deal but sends out Geo 2's instead. It's been that way for a while according to reviews. I just hope it's still going on when I have enough spare cash to pick up a computer (probably in January).

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