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Ropes4u
May 2, 2009



Bonaire just opened up to Americans. We cancelled our trip for February and booked for October when we expect to have a vaccine. While I was at it I also booked 22, 23, 24.

We happen to like Bonaire because it’s quiet and we don’t have to live by a boats schedule.

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SuitcasePimp
Feb 26, 2005



Ropes4u posted:

Bonaire just opened up to Americans. We cancelled our trip for February and booked for October when we expect to have a vaccine. While I was at it I also booked 22, 23, 24.

We happen to like Bonaire because it’s quiet and we don’t have to live by a boats schedule.

You made the right call... even though officially US flights can come as of now there seems to be a lot of drama going on based on the Dutch/KLM and that may change quickly. No-one really knows what the hell is going on, least of all the airlines.

Bonaire diving is so great and easy, it will all be here for you once things get back to normal :-).

Any Bonaire lovers or just underwater nature lovers, please take the time to read this and sign the petition/email the governments to reconsider building a container port right in the middle of the island: https://www.conservebonaire.org.
For anyone who has even been here this is the dive site The Cliff, one of the best IMO and it will be completely destroyed and probably restricted from diving if this is built.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

SuitcasePimp posted:

You made the right call... even though officially US flights can come as of now there seems to be a lot of drama going on based on the Dutch/KLM and that may change quickly. No-one really knows what the hell is going on, least of all the airlines.

Bonaire diving is so great and easy, it will all be here for you once things get back to normal :-).

Any Bonaire lovers or just underwater nature lovers, please take the time to read this and sign the petition/email the governments to reconsider building a container port right in the middle of the island: https://www.conservebonaire.org.
For anyone who has even been here this is the dive site The Cliff, one of the best IMO and it will be completely destroyed and probably restricted from diving if this is built.

Doing it - the cliff is a great dive site!

Horn of Arby's
May 29, 2004
what? no catfood?


I just moved to California and am looking for a (socially distanced, of course) dive buddy to show me where to go in Monterey-ish area. I'm an instructor with 2000+ dives and cold water experience, having last dove a year ago, so I don't need my hand held. Just need to get back in the water, ASAP. Anyone with advice or a need for a buddy who's good on air?

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Horn of Arby's posted:

I just moved to California and am looking for a (socially distanced, of course) dive buddy to show me where to go in Monterey-ish area. I'm an instructor with 2000+ dives and cold water experience, having last dove a year ago, so I don't need my hand held. Just need to get back in the water, ASAP. Anyone with advice or a need for a buddy who's good on air?

I dive regularly in Monterey, and am happy to answer questions.

Pham Nuwen
Oct 30, 2010




DeadlyMuffin posted:

I dive regularly in Monterey, and am happy to answer questions.

My wife recently mentioned diving in Monterey so I'm thinking of setting something up around her birthday next month, since we live in the SF area and could just drive down. We've only got a few dives under our belts, though: our certification dives were at Blue Hole in NM (chilly) and we've done a few dives in Hawaii. Is Monterey reasonable for relatively inexperienced divers such as ourselves?

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Pham Nuwen posted:

My wife recently mentioned diving in Monterey so I'm thinking of setting something up around her birthday next month, since we live in the SF area and could just drive down. We've only got a few dives under our belts, though: our certification dives were at Blue Hole in NM (chilly) and we've done a few dives in Hawaii. Is Monterey reasonable for relatively inexperienced divers such as ourselves?

Google says that the blue hole is in the low 60s Fahrenheit, Monterey is typically around 50.

I absolutely love it, and highly recommend it, but it is cold.

For new divers definitely go with an experienced group or a guide

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Not sure if it's known or not but I found a dive shop in Florida that had some crazy good deals. Not sure how much is left but I got a new Greenforce torch head for $130 (which is like £410 new in the UK) and they had an Orca umbilical torch for $250 rather than £600. I didn't post it right away in case it was some weird scam but they guy was super helpful on email and posted it to me. It's arrived working perfectly and I didn't even get hit with a customs bill.

https://www.piranhadivemfg.com/category/Hot-Deals-110 Possibly worth keeping an eye on if you're looking to buy gear.

Hashtag Banterzone
Dec 8, 2005


Lifetime Winner of the willkill4food Honorary Bad Posting Award in PWM

Wasn't able to dive in Puerto Rico due to the weather. But we were able to do an amazing bioluminescent bay tour in La Parguera with Paradise Scuba which I highly recommend.

Looking at doing Southern Baja in May. Any shallow dives that you guys would recommend? It sounds like Cabo Plumo is probably the best option.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Hashtag Banterzone posted:

Wasn't able to dive in Puerto Rico due to the weather. But we were able to do an amazing bioluminescent bay tour in La Parguera with Paradise Scuba which I highly recommend.

Looking at doing Southern Baja in May. Any shallow dives that you guys would recommend? It sounds like Cabo Plumo is probably the best option.

I've heard dive times at cabo pulmo are limited to 45 minutes. It'd be worth asking

orange sky
May 7, 2007



Hey guys, newcomer here!

I've had my first two pool dives in the open water course, and I'm planning a trip to the Maldives in May with a couple of dives included.

My first question is related to insurance - is DAN worth it if I plan on diving less than 10 times a year? Do normal insurance agencies offer scuba insurance?

My second question is related to the Maldives - have you guys ever dived there? What is the best area to go to?

Really excited about this, it was amazing breathing underwater for the first time

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...



Fallen Rib

DAN is absolutely worth the money.

Are you clear on quarantine and testing requirements for the Maldives? COVID won't be over, and if you book a trip knowing that, you may not be able to get reimbursed.

I'm of the opinion that going someplace exotic for your first trip is actually a bad idea, but I'm sure I'm in the minority. I've seen several newly-certified divers have bad times in exotic locales. They either are so concerned with checking their air and getting used to being in the water that they don't enjoy the dives, or they're blown away by what they see and forget all their training. I hope you have lots of local diving lined up so you don't show in the Maldives with 6 dives and barely any clue what you're doing.

Icon Of Sin
Dec 26, 2008





At least work on your buoyancy, for the corals’ sake. It wouldn’t hurt to have a fish ID slate handy on the trip or beforehand, just so you can put a name to whatever gorgeous animal you were looking at.

DAN is always worth the money, “medevac from a different country” can put a serious dent in your wallet (especially if you’re from ). They may not be the only ones covering dive injuries right now, but they’ve got in-house doctors that are always there to answer the phone when someone shows up to an emergency room with a potential dive injury. They also do dive research for NASA, the US Navy, and their own in-house projects on occasion. They’ve got their own decompression chambers for that (alongside treatment) which are impressive if you ever have the chance to tour them. The building the chambers are in had to be built around the chambers after they’d been built in place, and I think they used to do tours? I was part of a research study there, so got to see the whole setup at one point.

tldr: DAN has been doing dive insurance and research longer and better than anyone else, they’re easily worth the money.

orange sky
May 7, 2007



As for covid, I'm vaccinated and cancelation is possible until the last minute, so I'm good in that aspect.

As for diving, I'll try to have some more dives locally after the certification and before going there, so I can have some practice.

Alright, I'll sign up for DAN and the insurance, sounds like a necessity really, don't want to be hosed with multi thousand dollar expenses if something goes wrong. I'm also checking with my health insurance (it's a global one) what kind of coverage they have, I don't see any scuba exclusions but idk.

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


orange sky posted:

As for covid, I'm vaccinated and cancelation is possible until the last minute, so I'm good in that aspect.

As for diving, I'll try to have some more dives locally after the certification and before going there, so I can have some practice.

Alright, I'll sign up for DAN and the insurance, sounds like a necessity really, don't want to be hosed with multi thousand dollar expenses if something goes wrong. I'm also checking with my health insurance (it's a global one) what kind of coverage they have, I don't see any scuba exclusions but idk.

A medical evacuation from the Maldives isnt multiple thousands of dollars, it would be multiple tens of thousands of dollars. DAN insurance is laughably cheap for what it covers.

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...



Fallen Rib

orange sky posted:

As for covid, I'm vaccinated and cancelation is possible until the last minute, so I'm good in that aspect.

As for diving, I'll try to have some more dives locally after the certification and before going there, so I can have some practice.

Alright, I'll sign up for DAN and the insurance, sounds like a necessity really, don't want to be hosed with multi thousand dollar expenses if something goes wrong. I'm also checking with my health insurance (it's a global one) what kind of coverage they have, I don't see any scuba exclusions but idk.

That's good. Being vaccinated means nothing, thanks to people making fake vaccine stamps and completely trying to game the system. Being able to cancel is a good idea, you have no control over what the US or any other intermediary country decides to do as far as passenger travel/traffic. I got caught with this at the beginning of the pandemic, I was headed to the UK on March 15th, 2020. It took 3 months of calls/emails/tweets to get refunded for everything, and even then, I could only get my airfare turned into a non-refundable travel credit with Virgin Atlantic. That's $900 that I probably won't be able to use or ever see back.

You may not see any exclusions, but I guarantee you'll have a hell of a time getting medevac/barotrauma/chamber time covered. And yeah, not $1,000s, a full blown major accident would be ~$25k+. A diver I know in Bonaire had her husband get bent on their second dive in Indonesia. He had some sort of undiagnosed heart condition that caused him to get bent on that trip, and then again on the descent during the flight home 2 weeks later after recompressing and thinking he was out of the woods. Total medical bills would have been $20k+, but he had DAN coverage. I've heard of far more expensive problems, too. DAN is VERY cheap insurance, and covers all sorts of additional stuff that's dive-vacation-adjacent.

Please get as much training and time in the water as you can before you go. Buoyancy is seriously important, as is learning how to handle a variety of scenarios. If you're learning to dive in dark/cold water, you may have problems estimating distances/depths in the Maldives. There's no substitute for experience.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


If you're spending thousands of dollars to visit the Maldives, there's no reason not to drop ~$50 or whatever it is for the basic DAN plan.

Also, there's no booze on Male so I hope you like soft drinks! (there's booze at the resorts and on liveaboards)

Kesper North
Nov 3, 2011

EMERGENCY POWER TO PARTY

MrYenko posted:

A medical evacuation from the Maldives isnt multiple thousands of dollars, it would be multiple tens of thousands of dollars. DAN insurance is laughably cheap for what it covers.

There's a chamber in Male now. At worst you'd be medevac'd within the Maldives, but DAN still totally worth it.

Trivia posted:

If you're spending thousands of dollars to visit the Maldives, there's no reason not to drop ~$50 or whatever it is for the basic DAN plan.

Also, there's no booze on Male so I hope you like soft drinks! (there's booze at the resorts and on liveaboards)

They don't let tourists into Male at all anymore. Except presumably to use the decompression chamber.

I spent my honeymoon at Soneva Fushi (one of the resort islands) and the resort experience and diving were all fantastic. My second-favorite reef dive of all time, after Con Dao in Vietnam.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


I was last there nearly 10 years ago, so it's surprising to hear about that change.

Also there was a coup about a week after I left so I kinda get it.

Beet Wagon
Oct 19, 2015







Well after what feels like an eternity without getting in the water (save to cut some line off a prop), I'm finally getting ready to go on my annual springs freediving trip in North Florida now that I'm overweight and can't hold my breath any more. I'll try and bring everyone back some nice pictures.

Ropes4u
May 2, 2009



Kesper North posted:

They don't let tourists into Male at all anymore. Except presumably to use the decompression chamber.

I was in the Maldives in the 80s it was incredible. I can’t imagine tourism has improved it..

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

orange sky posted:

Hey guys, newcomer here!

I've had my first two pool dives in the open water course, and I'm planning a trip to the Maldives in May with a couple of dives included.

My first question is related to insurance - is DAN worth it if I plan on diving less than 10 times a year? Do normal insurance agencies offer scuba insurance?

My second question is related to the Maldives - have you guys ever dived there? What is the best area to go to?

Really excited about this, it was amazing breathing underwater for the first time

Get DAN and never look back. It’s cheap, you get a good magazine and likely never use it. But if you ever have to use it...

orange sky
May 7, 2007



Trip report: everything has been amazing so far, actually have been snorkeling a lot more than diving, 2 dives so far with no problems with buoyancy, equalizing, anything. One big problem though - I breathe like a freaking whale, went through 11l down to 60 bar in like 25 minutes at around 18 meters lol. Anyway, all in all a great experience.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


Your air consumption will get better with practice. I recommend doing yoga-style breathing, where your exhale is long and takes a while, not at all like how you breathe at the surface. For me that can be anywhere between 8 and 12 seconds for a full exhale.

Also make sure you're properly (and not over) weighted. Trim and body position in the water matter, as does excessive movement. It all adds up.

Also don't swim with your arms. And ask about 15L tanks; who knows maybe they'll have them!

orange sky
May 7, 2007



Yep I do some mindfulness exercises sporadically where the breathing is pretty much what I think I should be doing underwater - I just feel like I'm still too anxious, I feel myself starving for air after breathing out for 4 seconds, but I know it's because I'm still not comfortable. I feel when I'm able to fully relax it'll be much better.

And yep I was over weighted in the first dive, the second one I didn't have to exhert myself so much, but it was also deeper.

But it's a very expensive activity (especially if you have no gear), holy gently caress.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

I have no idea what mindfulness exercises are, but what Trivia said about breathing is right. Breathe in as fast as you want and slowly breathe out.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


orange sky posted:

Yep I do some mindfulness exercises sporadically where the breathing is pretty much what I think I should be doing underwater - I just feel like I'm still too anxious, I feel myself starving for air after breathing out for 4 seconds, but I know it's because I'm still not comfortable. I feel when I'm able to fully relax it'll be much better.

And yep I was over weighted in the first dive, the second one I didn't have to exhert myself so much, but it was also deeper.

But it's a very expensive activity (especially if you have no gear), holy gently caress.

Unfortunately for you practice is the only way to get better lol

I mean, you can read about riding a bike all you want, but you'll never get better until you actually hop on the damned thing.

RIP your money.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Dive local! It's cheaper (but probably still not cheap)

EugeneDebsWasCool
Nov 9, 2017


Buglord

orange sky posted:

Yep I do some mindfulness exercises sporadically where the breathing is pretty much what I think I should be doing underwater - I just feel like I'm still too anxious, I feel myself starving for air after breathing out for 4 seconds, but I know it's because I'm still not comfortable. I feel when I'm able to fully relax it'll be much better.

And yep I was over weighted in the first dive, the second one I didn't have to exhert myself so much, but it was also deeper.

But it's a very expensive activity (especially if you have no gear), holy gently caress.

Get involved with a local dive club. A lot of cases they will sponsor local dives and it's a good way to get to know other divers who may have gear you can borrow for local diving. My club does a monthly tuneup in the pool and local quarry to help keep people in good diving form and I am always lending out gear to people that may not have their own so that they can get in the water. Getting as much time underwater as possible, with time to work on your weighting, buoyancy, and trim will dramatically lower your RMV and SAC Rate.


I feel a little silly getting into doubles in a swimming pool in the off-season but when it's 20F and snowing outside it beats the alternative. It also means that when I go diving tomorrow in Lake Michigan in 48F water I'll be comfortable and my skills will be where they need to be to safely complete the dive.

EugeneDebsWasCool fucked around with this message at 23:57 on May 12, 2021

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



As a BSAC member I have to loudly endorse local diving clubs. Mine is awesome for training and centralising kit ownership. It doesn't help the hire/buy dilemma when traveling but for local diving it's awesome and really, really helpful for keeping skills in practice and making the most of your dives when you do travel.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

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


Yeah if you can get your basic skills down while at home, then that's less time you're fuckin' around and staring at your guide's rear end while you're actually on vacay.

EugeneDebsWasCool
Nov 9, 2017


Buglord

Trivia posted:

Yeah if you can get your basic skills down while at home, then that's less time you're fuckin' around and staring at your guide's rear end while you're actually on vacay.

And hopefully avoid the need to dive with a guide altogether

Red_Fred
Oct 21, 2010



Fallen Rib

MrNemo posted:

As a BSAC member I have to loudly endorse local diving clubs. Mine is awesome for training and centralising kit ownership. It doesn't help the hire/buy dilemma when traveling but for local diving it's awesome and really, really helpful for keeping skills in practice and making the most of your dives when you do travel.

I really need to find a better club around where I live. I’ve been with the uni club and then a ‘club’ run by my favourite shop which isn’t really a club.

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DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




I'm very sad my LGBT dive club doesn't do much locally anymore. It was awesome and my favorite buddies are the ones I met through the club

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