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Brian Fellows
May 29, 2003
I'm Brian Fellows

IM FROM THE FUTURE posted:

Not just that, its such a waste to go somewhere beautiful and have to focus on learning to dive instead of enjoying it.

That's kind of what I was worried about, but I mean, I want to learn to dive so I can go diving places. Going to a place that I'd want to dive and training at the same time sounds like fun, as long as we're talking two days. So I'll just find somewhere that's got awesome stuff to do (ruins, cool city, hiking or something) and count on diving for a couple of days.

And early year diving around Michigan sounds terrible, but wouldn't wreck diving (in warmer water) be awesome in the Great Lakes? Anyone have experience around there? Because it seems like it would rule.

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Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


I've been around several people who've gotten their certs in the tropics. The biggest advantages I see are: not freezing your rear end off, the atmosphere in general, and of course the WOW factor.

It's hard to explain to someone how cool diving can be when all they can relate to is some muddy, freezing lake with poo poo visibility.

eviljelly
Aug 29, 2004



Brian Fellows posted:

And early year diving around Michigan sounds terrible, but wouldn't wreck diving (in warmer water) be awesome in the Great Lakes? Anyone have experience around there? Because it seems like it would rule.

The water is never warm in the Great Lakes.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Going back to Turks and Caicos in a couple months, anyone have an opinion on either Flamingo or Aqua TCI?

This will be fun, I'm rescue now and my wife's AOW when we were only like 15 dives in last time we went there, but we still found it amazing then. Looking forward to this trip!

E: if I think about it I'll find my pictures from last time and compare them to this time, that'll probably be interesting.

cowofwar
Jul 30, 2002

by Athanatos


jackyl posted:

Going back to Turks and Caicos in a couple months, anyone have an opinion on either Flamingo or Aqua TCI?

This will be fun, I'm rescue now and my wife's AOW when we were only like 15 dives in last time we went there, but we still found it amazing then. Looking forward to this trip!

E: if I think about it I'll find my pictures from last time and compare them to this time, that'll probably be interesting.
I book my dive operators based on traveladvisor ratings and it seems to have worked well for me.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

cowofwar posted:

I book my dive operators based on traveladvisor ratings and it seems to have worked well for me.

Same here, they're both way up there and the reviews say they do small groups, which is perfect.

NyxBiker
Sep 24, 2014


eviljelly posted:

The water is never warm in the Great Lakes.

I quote that so much, personal experience, and yeah the smaller the groups the better it is, especially for learning new things.

Brian Fellows
May 29, 2003
I'm Brian Fellows

eviljelly posted:

The water is never warm in the Great Lakes.

Heh, I know. They do get warm(er) than they are in March or April though. Can't speak for Superior because I will never step foot in that poo poo.

Thanks for the insight everyone. I'm looking into tropical stuff now for my certification and I've got some quote requests out locally for the classroom and pool stuff.

Tree Dude
May 26, 2012

AND MY SONG IS...


I dove a tiny rear end pond in MI in the heart of summer and it was so drat cold at like 20 ft that I thought my face would freeze off. I think that was the last time I dove my home state.

Icon Of Sin
Dec 26, 2008






We have a quarry lake near here that my favorite local shop likes to use, since the winds here tend to flip pretty quick and the shop owner would rather get people certified than have them waiting on a charter to finish it out. Seems like a cool park, I haven't had a chance to explore too terribly much of it though. They've got 2 planes, some old quarry equipment, a few cars, a bus, a fake graveyard, and an underwater basketball court (using bowling balls).

http://www.fantasyscubapark.com/index.htm

Red_Fred
Oct 21, 2010




Fallen Rib

I went for a cavern dive at Chicken Ha near Playa Del Carmen when I was in Mexico the other week. Very cool but I think it was probably well above my experience level (12 dives since getting certified in 2001).

Anyway as always happens I'm hooked on diving again and going to give my local scene more of a go. Any Auckland, NZ goons want a buddy, hit me up.

Also wish me luck getting my 1988 Apollo regs and tank serviced today! Seem to be functioning fine but that doesn't mean anything. They haven't been used since 05.

awesmoe
Nov 30, 2005



Pillbug

Red_Fred posted:

I went for a cavern dive at Chicken Ha near Playa Del Carmen when I was in Mexico the other week. Very cool but I think it was probably well above my experience level (12 dives since getting certified in 2001).

Anyway as always happens I'm hooked on diving again and going to give my local scene more of a go. Any Auckland, NZ goons want a buddy, hit me up.

Also wish me luck getting my 1988 Apollo regs and tank serviced today! Seem to be functioning fine but that doesn't mean anything. They haven't been used since 05.

Have you been to poor knights? Go do poor knights.

Red_Fred
Oct 21, 2010




Fallen Rib

awesmoe posted:

Have you been to poor knights? Go do poor knights.

Shamefully I have not! A friend is going this weekend though but I can't afford it. It's on my list for sure but I think the next big dive will be my AOW which will be done nearby.

Red_Fred
Oct 21, 2010




Fallen Rib

Red_Fred posted:

I went for a cavern dive at Chicken Ha near Playa Del Carmen when I was in Mexico the other week. Very cool but I think it was probably well above my experience level (12 dives since getting certified in 2001).

Anyway as always happens I'm hooked on diving again and going to give my local scene more of a go. Any Auckland, NZ goons want a buddy, hit me up.

Also wish me luck getting my 1988 Apollo regs and tank serviced today! Seem to be functioning fine but that doesn't mean anything. They haven't been used since 05.

Apologies for the double post.

The news on my regs was not good. Both second stage housings were cracked and can't be replaced. Guess it's back to hiring. Anyone got any ideas on was what to do with them? Sell for parts?

Is the Zoop still the recommended entry level computer?

Squirrelo
Mar 3, 2008



Red_Fred posted:

Apologies for the double post.
Is the Zoop still the recommended entry level computer?

I see a lot of people recommending it, but I personally like the Oceanic Geo 2.0 It's got a lot of nice features and has been solid through all my dives.

I've seen a lot of people recommend the HOG D3-Zenith combo for regs. Anyone have any thoughts on them/suggestions for better regs?

Squirrelo fucked around with this message at 01:55 on Feb 3, 2015

Icon Of Sin
Dec 26, 2008






Squirrelo posted:

I see a lot of people recommending it, but I personally like the Oceanic Geo 2.0 It's got a lot of nice features and has been solid through all my dives.

I've seen a lot of people recommend the HOG D3-Zenith combo for regs. Anyone have any thoughts on them/suggestions for better regs?

My buddy that owns his own dive shop swears by his Geo 2, but one of his divemaster candidates who has worked as a tec diver before loves his Zoop. I've got a Zoop myself, but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet.

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


I'm going to lose it before too long. This is the longest diving drought I've had since I was certified 16 years ago. I had a great run of tech dives going but life got in the way and now I'm basically stuck in Louisville, ky. Someone in key largo is going to ship everything but the tanks to me so after I get everything serviced I might just live at the quarry this summer

Bishop fucked around with this message at 06:09 on Feb 3, 2015

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


It's one of those itches that needs periodic servicing. I had to forego a dive trip back in December, but managed to finagle a short trip with my buddy at the end of March.

Had I not I would've been mildly irritable.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Zoop is a great entry level computer and I'd say works fine for everything short of tec diving. I've got an Aladin Prime which I really like but it's got the same functionality and works great. I really need to plan a proper dive trip, I now live in freaking South East Asia and haven't done more than 1 day of diving since June. gently caress rainy season and being lazy about booking holiday. I also miss being able to drive to dive sites with a club over a weekend.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


I have a Leonardo Cressi and it works fine. I still take it in my dives (as a backup) because it's rugged and easy to read and use, no frills, no fancy features. As others said, the Zoop is great, if it still works there's no need to get another one.

Red_Fred
Oct 21, 2010




Fallen Rib

Now that I'm back in this scuba game I want to know what everyone's minimum gear they take on every dive is. Excluding standard gear (regs, BCD etc.) and tech specific stuff.

I still need to buy a new snorkel, a slate and a computer. But surface markers? Tables?

Also what about spare parts kits? Anything non-obvious I might be missing?

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Bishop posted:

I'm going to lose it before too long. This is the longest diving drought I've had since I was certified 16 years ago. I had a great run of tech dives going but life got in the way and now I'm basically stuck in Louisville, ky. Someone in key largo is going to ship everything but the tanks to me so after I get everything serviced I might just live at the quarry this summer

LDC puts together trips fairly regularly and the guys at the shop seem cool. We've never aligned one of our trips with them, but have thought about it. Might be an option.

Icon Of Sin
Dec 26, 2008






Red_Fred posted:

Now that I'm back in this scuba game I want to know what everyone's minimum gear they take on every dive is. Excluding standard gear (regs, BCD etc.) and tech specific stuff.

I still need to buy a new snorkel, a slate and a computer. But surface markers? Tables?

Also what about spare parts kits? Anything non-obvious I might be missing?

My list of goodies:
safety sausage (clipped to a D-ring at my waist)
compass (clipped to pressure gauge)
small LED flashlight (clipped to a D-ring at my chest)
a GoPro (when I can borrow it; clipped to the other D-ring at my chest)

I have a computer (a Suunto Zoop), but haven't had a chance to dive with it yet.

Going diving in Ginnie Springs, Vortex Springs, Blue Grotto, and 1 or 2 others in like a month! I can't wait to get back in the water :getin:

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


jackyl posted:

LDC puts together trips fairly regularly and the guys at the shop seem cool. We've never aligned one of our trips with them, but have thought about it. Might be an option.
once the water in joe's quarry warms up a bit we should go diving

hooray4hawksbills
May 11, 2013


I'd seconding (third? fourth?) the zoop. I actually have the direct predecessor, the Gekko, it's never given me any trouble. If I did more night diving I'd probably prefer one with an actual backlight but the glow in the dark screen works ok and is very readable. I don't have a backup but I do have a dive watch, so if the computer fails I'm planning on going up to the hang bar and doing a longer safety stop than usual.

As for spare parts I say have an O-ring kit as a minimum, a backup mask and fin straps never hurt anyone either. If you do get a backup mask make sure you do the toothpaste thing or it's not going to do you any good. Tables are good... I think you should spend an afternoon making sure you actually remember the no decompression limits though.

My other $0.02 - get a flag and start doing shore diving if you haven't already!

Mano
Jul 11, 2012


Red_Fred posted:

Now that I'm back in this scuba game I want to know what everyone's minimum gear they take on every dive is. Excluding standard gear (regs, BCD etc.) and tech specific stuff.

- buoy
- compass
- small "daylight" lamp if your normal lamp is big
- knife if permitted
What I really missed the last diving trip, since we were doing a lot of drift dives with sometimes really strong currents:
- reef hook (would have made the whale shark watching easier)
- thin gloves (if permitted), to protect finger tips since we sometimes had to hang on to the reef andor pull us along it

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


Mano posted:

- thin gloves (if permitted), to protect finger tips since we sometimes had to hang on to the reef andor pull us along it

Tank bangers also help with stability and bottom crawl.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


The knife isn't only permitted in some places, it's mandatory. Here it is. I carry a couple, a shorter one attached to the BCD and one strapped to my leg.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Bishop posted:

once the water in joe's quarry warms up a bit we should go diving

I'm in for that sometime this summer.

raffie
Feb 28, 2004
hopeless incompetent

On the dive comp thing, the Zoops seem to be tanks. Most operators here have Zoops for rental and they just keep going. I can't trust Oceanic comps anymore after i've had two OCSes fail on me within their warranty periods.

Mandibular Fiasco
Oct 14, 2012


Red_Fred posted:

Now that I'm back in this scuba game I want to know what everyone's minimum gear they take on every dive is. Excluding standard gear (regs, BCD etc.) and tech specific stuff.

Left Chest D-Ring - Scout Backup Light
Right Chest D-Ring - Scout Backup Light
Left Pocket - 1.5m Primary SMB and Spool
Right Pocket - Wetnotes, Backup Mask. On boat dives, especially in more remote areas, I keep some mixture of the following...a Nautilus Radio, a DiveAlert noisemaker, and a 3m SMB. Makes for a very full pocket, but still streamlined.

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Update from a page or so back - I did a Dolphin dive while in Grand Bahama island. It was pretty gimmicky but still sweet - you get in a big circle with the other divers, and then you get to pet, kiss, and be spun around with, and generally play with, a dolphin. Plus I saw a pretty huge reef shark in the distance. Money well spent, if not just for the ability to say I made out with a dolphin :3:

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Cippalippus posted:

The knife isn't only permitted in some places, it's mandatory. Here it is. I carry a couple, a shorter one attached to the BCD and one strapped to my leg.

If knives aren't allowed (or even if they are) a line cutter and pair of shears is a really good alternative. The line cutter (obviously) deals with getting tangled in line, the shears will deal with any kit or belts, etc. that you might need to ditch quickly or get rid of in an emergency and the quick release isn't working (or you are DIR and there isn't an easy release method for an incapacitated diver). For normal warm water diving I think just a line cutter would be enough, thouh admittedly it doesn't look as a cool as a massive dive knife.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Cippalippus posted:

The knife isn't only permitted in some places, it's mandatory. Here it is. I carry a couple, a shorter one attached to the BCD and one strapped to my leg.

Where is a knife mandatory? I've always found shears much more useful, but it's personal preference.

legsarerequired
Dec 31, 2007


College Slice

I know that divers will carry a dive-capable light for photography, but does anyone ever just carry a light just to better admire colorful reefs?

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




legsarerequired posted:

I know that divers will carry a dive-capable light for photography, but does anyone ever just carry a light just to better admire colorful reefs?

Absolutely. Also for looking into cracks and underneath ledges, where the interesting stuff hides!

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Also because I've paid good money for a waterproof torch and God drat it I'm going to use it!

Icon Of Sin
Dec 26, 2008






legsarerequired posted:

I know that divers will carry a dive-capable light for photography, but does anyone ever just carry a light just to better admire colorful reefs?

Oh god yes. There's a few wrecks that are common dive sites just offshore here, and having a light to look into the portholes and under the crevices and such is nice. That's why I keep my little LED light. It isn't worth much as a primary light on a night dive, but it's good enough to see if there are any critters under the rocks/coral you're swimming over.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


I bought a tiny LED light powered by 4 AA batteries. That sucker throws an insane amount of light for its size, and I use it as my primary no problem.

Best memory of my last dive trip was a night dive in a harbor. Muck dive, ~3 meters. Tiny octopus in a glass bottle. The light attracted these weird red worm-things. The octopus gorged itself on them so we sat and watched for what seemed like 30 minutes. Awesome.

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Tomberforce
May 30, 2006


Yeah I take a torch with me on basically every dive. Makes looking into nooks much more fun and if the vis is crap and I've got students it makes me much more visible to them.


I finished off my NAUI intro to tech course today - pretty intense but alot of fun!

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