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let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Try a torx head screwdriver. I've had luck with delicate stripped heads and that before.

Edit: for diving content, my wife and I are basically recreational divers. We got PADI scuba diver certified in the BVI, finished our open water in Curacao, and then did St Lucia last year. We're doing Turks and Caicos Memorial day week, that's gonna be awesome. I think I am going to start a lot more local diving (Louisville, KY) to increase competency and start moving up the cert ranks, too. I wish we had done this a lot earlier.

let it mellow fucked around with this message at 22:28 on Mar 20, 2012

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let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

We're going to be in Turks and Caicos Memorial Day week and have been looking at some of the packages available online. Anyone have any specific site or shop recommendations? We just rented a condo / townhome type of place, so it isn't like we're bound to a specific resort or anything.

I will be sure to post my pathetic attempts at underwater photography to show the contrast between someone with skill like SlicerDicer and a relatively new diver with a point and shoot and waterproof housing...

E: if it matters for recommendations, we are going to do either a 5 or 6 day 2 tank package, so we should be able to hit a lot of sites.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

DeadlyMuffin posted:

I dove with Caicos Adventures and enjoyed it immensely. They were helpful without being pushy and were willing to let us carry sling bottles and wander off on our own.

I know I'm quoting this from way the hell back on the last page, but we're leaving Saturday and are booked with Fifi at Caicos adventures. Thanks for the recommendation and I'll post a trip report and some substandard pictures when I get back or from there if we have wifi and we aren't out somewhere!

E: also met ZoCrowes this week and he owns

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Underwater photography is hard, I believe. I do know for a fact, though, that it is even harder when you are a rank rear end amateur with 12 dives since your open water certification and you are using a point and shoot in a case. But, gently caress that, its still fun!

Sometimes you see a lobster and realize that they have redeye problems like people too, only not red.



Sometimes you see a shark and actually get a good picture. Well, except for the fact that the point and shoot flash does nothing for loss of color at depth and the spots on the inside off the camera housing that I keep meaning to clean off and forgetting to follow up on. Except for those things, you sometimes get one you are happy with.


Sometimes you see something cool, like a barracuda with its mouth open and then you are too much of a slow uncoordinated idiot to capture it in time, so you get an out of focus closed mouth shot.


You may try to make up for it by getting close enough that it opens its mouth again (or just partially close, use zoom, and hope to get stupid lucky).


But, photography challenges notwithstanding, diving the wall off of West Caicos has be awesome. I find it quite inspirational! And my wife's having fun diving too, so there will be at least four more chances for me to take terrible pictures. Also, we're about to go out drinking and eating jerk chicken with a live reggae band. I only have one reaction to that!

TCI is awesome, dive here. And Caicos Adventures has been great so far, except I have a feeling all of our dives will be near West Caicos. That's okay, though, the wall owns.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

IM FROM THE FUTURE posted:

"auto tone" option in photoshop.

Trivia posted:

With some very basic Photoshop skills... the "auto color" option.

I'm detecting a theme here! I am going to play around with the online Express Editor and Gimp to see how that works before shelling out for Photoshop, too. Hopefully those will get me close enough - thanks for the tips!


SlicerDicer posted:

The advices, Turn off your internal flash you are getting mean backscatter ruining perfectly good images... Run camera in full manual mode if possible I am sure its possible on most. Learn how to set your aperture and iso settings. Set the ISO to as low as you can and aperture above 8 if possible to open field of view.

What camera you using and I will gladly explain how to do it. Also remember a slightly underexposed image can always be lit back up but a overexposed image explodes color and is trash. Underwater photography is a art for sure.

Your pictures are awesome, thanks for the advice! I am currently using a Canon Powershot SD 1300. We bought it because it had an underwater mode, had a Canon made underwater housing and was relatively cheap, so we were okay with using it to replace our out of date point and shoot even if it didn't end up great underwater. I've been happy with it as a complete rookie, though, so I'm going to stick with it for a bit.

Your advice is great, though - I was just sticking it in underwater mode and using the diffuser on the housing. I know I can set ISO (won't lower require a steadier hand though?), but need to look into aperture. Disabling flash wasn't something I even considered as an option, seeing as how all the impressive camera setups I saw had massive strobes, etc - I take it poor flash is worse than no flash?

To finish up the trip report, we ended up diving two more two tank dives after my post last week and they were great too. We saw a lot pretty much every day, including more sharks, a large sea turtle and a somewhat confused grouper that would follow dive groups around and want its chin scratched. The only thing was that we ended up diving off West Caicos for all 8 dives since the conditions weren't great at some of the other sites. Not a big deal, there are a lot of dive sites there and diving the wall was awesome, but it would have been cool to see a bit more variance.

We're now up to 17 post OW cert dives and still loving it! Buoyancy control and consumption improved over the week and seem better based on logs, although we went deeper this week than we had prior, so that impacts consumption too. Can't wait to go out again - hopefully we can get some local dives in over the next couple of months. If not, we're going to Key West for a long weekend to celebrate our 10 year anniversary in August and will probably dive one or twice there.

let it mellow fucked around with this message at 21:35 on Jun 5, 2012

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Bishop posted:

Don't most shops rent computers these days?


For what it's worth, we did resort diving in the BVI, Curaçao, St. Lucia and just got back from Turks and Caicos. Of those, only Caicos Adventures had a computer as a part of the default rental gear - and we didn't rent from them, so I have no idea what they had for rentals. Looked like the xp10 my wife was using though. Still, every other place had a computer as an add on.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

rockcity posted:

Does anyone have any dive charter recommendations for Key West? I'm working on planning out my Key Largo/Key West trip in August and wouldn't mind booking my dive to make sure I don't run into any booking issues later. Bishop, are you still planning to be down in Key Largo at the start of August? I'll be in Key Largo from August 1st-3rd. August 2nd would probably be the best day for me to dive if you're available.


I'm interested in Key West recommendations too. We're going to be there for our tenth anniversary in late August for a long weekend and would like to get in some dives while we're there.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Bob Loblaw posted:

bent story

Here's your post from before - also trying the quote link manually..

Bob Loblaw posted:

I also just got back from a week in Key Largo and would recommend Scuba Shack, they limit to six passengers and include a guide on each run.

With that said, on Thursday, I went on my first deep dive ever, the Spiegel Grove. It was my 8th dive of the trip (and my 17th ever dive). Went to 93 feet deep, did a swim through the ship, and after 25 minutes, started a slow ascent up the tow rope that was tied to our boat. I followed the instructor and the computer said we were going at the correct rate. At 15 feet, I stopped, along with everyone else for a 3 minute safety stop. Not long after it started, I found I could not lift my left arm to view the computer, and my right hand was holding on to the rope through some strong current. When I saw the wife got the okay to surface, I did as well, got to the top, pulled myself to a back corner of the boat and then passed out face down, fortunately not taking in any water.

After about 20 minutes unconscious, I woke up with oxygen on me, and was able to walk myself to the ambulance, talking to the wife to let her know I was okay and taking off my boots, the rest of the gear had been stripped off of me.

Once at the hospital, I spent about 5 hours in the decompression chamber, came out feeling fine (I went in with my left hand tingling) and was released.

A couple of hours later, I went out to dinner with my wife, son, mother, and a friend to the Pilot House for dinner. Had water to drink and shared some nachos. Shortly after, I stared at the ceiling, pointing at it, and had a seizure. I guess I was out for about another 20-30 minutes as I came to again as I was being unloaded off of the ambulance.

I spent the night and next day in ICU where they ran a bunch of tests: ECG, MRI, EKG, ultrasound on my heart, chest x-rays, and then two more hours in the chamber. Everything looked fine, they think it was an AGE, arterial gas embolism, although they found no traces of it. They put me on anti-seizure medication (Dilantin) which is wreaking havoc with me at the moment, and I was finally allowed to fly home yesterday afternoon.

I see my regular doctor this afternoon but I need to go in for another MRI and some test with a neurologist where they run a camera or sonograph down my throat to better check my heart. I can't drive, no alcohol or caffeine allowed, this sucks, but all things considered, I realize that had I panicked and skipped my safety stop, or let go of the rope to check my computer and drifted away, I'd have probably died.

That sucks, and I'm glad you are trying again. All I could recommend is easing your way back into it. Go 15-20' only for your first drive and get back into it. Then, maybe 30' for a short period and ascend back. Or maybe as soon as you get back in, you'll be fine. I have no idea how I'd react if the same thing happened to me. Good luck!

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

TLG James posted:


So pretty and so invasive.


Yeah, I have a few pictures of lionfish too and keep wondering if I should kill them instead of photographing them. Or maybe both?

Those things are gonna wreck the Caribbean, aren't they?

let it mellow fucked around with this message at 00:31 on Jul 16, 2012

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

ZoCrowes posted:

I'm going to write a blog post about it for my shop's site sooner rather than later. I'll cross post it here.

Like I said earlier it was my 5th time so that should tell you how much I like the trip. For the quality of dives it is probably the best bang for the buck out there. For less than a thousand bucks you get an Exumas liveaboard that averages ~20 dives in six days plus all the food and booze you could possibly want. The only thing to keep in mind is that you are on a fairly small boat (65 feet) with a lot of people and it's pretty much roughing it. I usually call it an adventure not a vacation. I took 22 other people with me and everyone had an amazing time. I even asked my girlfriend to marry me while we where there.


Awesome man, congrats! Looking forward to the blog post and photos. Sorry we couldn't do it this year, but we had all our trips planned out early. We have definitely talked about doing it next year.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

If you check out the "oldest goon" thread in GBS, Tokaii references being a scuba instructor. Anyway, turns out that he is PADI instructor Number 961, which is pretty loving awesome in my book (and even more so if that is interchangeable with his PADI diver number). I asked him to come over to this thread and hope he does!

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

My wife and I are celebrating ten years or marital something in Key West next weekend, and are going diving with Bonsai diving for two days of two tank dives. Looking forward to it! We dove a Kentucky quarry with two tanks a couple weeks ago and.... Ugh. Give me reefs!

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Oh thank god, I have another diving trip coming up. My wife and I will be in Aruba in a few weeks and are just now starting to look around at dive shops. Any recommendations would be appreciated, especially since the T&C one we got earlier this year for Caicos Adventures was great. Our last dive was a two tank quarry dive a couple months ago and it basically told us we needed to get back south, so here we go.

Also I did not do what I was planning on doing and upgrade my camera / lights yet, so I'll post some of my usual poo poo pictures once we're back. Sorry for dragging down the photo quality of this thread, but I am going to take the recommendations posted after my last crap effort and see if they get better.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Only a few weeks til our Aruba dive trip! We've booked 4 two tank dives with JADS and may get in a few shore dives too. This is gonna own.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Loving Africa Chaps posted:

Get a mask and some fins and rent everything else, it'll be fine

Also a wetsuit so you'll know it's pee history.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Not to start a religious war or anything, but why the hate for split fins? We're about to dive splits for our first time starting Monday and I was looking forward it. If they suck, that's fine, we paid very little for them so replacement won't be a big deal, but the reviews were overwhelmingly positive when we did some research.

e: I did read that you need to modify kick style with them, so we'll be working that out on dive 1 monday.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

rockcity posted:

From what I understand, they don't work well for a lot of the tech diving type of kicks that people use when overhead is a concern. They're also not great in current from what I understand so if you do a lot of drift diving they may not be for you. They're very easy on the ankles though. I dove a pair when I did the Epcot dive back in August and for no current and a simple kick, they were really comfortable. I dive way too much in current normally though.

I get the overhead kick issue, since that's basically what the docs advocated and I thought about the fact that it would be bad once we start doing caves and wrecks, but that's a ways out for us now anyway. I don't know if we'll be doing much current diving in Aruba, but there wasn't a lot of current in Curacao when we finished our OW a few years ago, so we'll see.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Well,aruba owns and I managed to dive with my computer locked out because I went deep on the second dive yesterday to break my lionfish death virginity. Pictures and a better write up next week, I have balashi to drink now.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Edit: Sorry for anyone that got smacked with my previous post's idiocy, should be fixed now

Pictures from Aruba! This was one of our best diving experiences yet, if not the best. I can't pin down exactly why, but it was some combination of us getting better at consumption and buoyancy (to the point where we fine with lasting til pretty much everyone else), a fantastic dive operation that we selected based on TripAdvisor rating and would unreservedly recommend (JADS, if anyone wants a recommendation) and just some awesome dive sites / conditions.

I stil have backscatter issues, but I think the pictures are looking better than my last effort.

Anyway, on the first day we did a couple of airplanes on our first dive. The firest one was relatively small.



Let's see... Altitude -60', air speed ~2 knots, air temp ~80F... I think most plane gauges handle that, right?



Hi there, going to join us for the next plane?



The second plane.. Looking at this, I think we talked about it in the predive briefing, right? (I know it has very bad backscatter, but wanted to give an idea of how this one sat for the next couple of images - I was relatively level / plumb when I took this)



Heading aft, I distinctly remember something about this, but can't remember what.



Oh yeah, I remember. We're checking out the cabin for T class tickets.



At least the view's good! Well, it is if you know what to focus on, which I obviously didn't in this picture.



I hadn't see a lot of trumpet fish prior to last week, but they were everywhere on this trip, to the point that a day or two in, I stopped taking pictures of them. I dunno, I thought they were semi-rare before this trip. We're definitely taking some aquatic life courses.




Speaking of learning about aquatic life, I already knew this part. A bit more on it later, though. I will say that out of water, they sure deflate a ton. Most didn't make it out of the water for bounty claiming though - again, more on that later.



Something's in front of Mrs. jackyl (wearing the split fins) here. Maybe it is what was causing that weird humming we had been hearing for the last 15-20 minutes?



Oh, yeah, it is an Atlantis fish. I think they're somewhat rare and can only be found in specific locales at certain times or something.



I'm assuming they were taking pictures of us too, but who knows since it was dark in the sub to let them see out. That was pretty loving cool, although this guy was thoroughly unimpressed.





This picture had the most color saturation of any picture I took all week and I have zero idea why. I don't remember the depth on it, but the one immediately before and after didn't look like this and it isn't even that good of a picture or that interesting of a subject, but what the hell?




This on the other hand shows two things I need to learn to do. One: blow underwater bubble rings. I can do smoke rings, so this is probably doable with little effort. Two: center them in photographs. That may prove harder for me, as I'm sure you can tell already.



Looking at the photo timestamps, this gives some idea as to the depth on that other picture. Also shows my improving consumption. What the hell is going on in that picture????



Probably the best photo I took all week, plus it has broncos colors and is unobstruc..... ffffffffffffff



Mrs. jackyl was a bit slower than me on the descent here, but it led to what I thought was kinda a cool picture.



More proof I need to work on timing and centering. This picture was gonna own, I knew that when I was taking it. Oops.



She really wanted a picture of this guy. I tried like 5 times and this was the best I got.



This wasn't so bad, though! We only saw a few turtles, and none like the massive ones we saw wall diving near West Caicos.



Most of the lionfish ended up as lunch to try to train some natural predators. All but 1 of the 16 or 20 killed (the worst I've seen as far as population goes so far, actually) that I know of were fed to this guy or a relative. That one was surprisingly deflated when tossed on the dock, but I'm dumb and didn't think to get a picture. Also you'd have an open mouth if I had better timing, sorry.



Yours truly going for his first kill. How hard can it be, right? Decent form, good aim, away from the coral.. Well, Mrs jackyl didn't take a whole lot of pictures, but this is better than most of mine, so do you know where this is going?



Well, hitting it isn't hard. Keeping it on to ensure its dead, though? I sucked so there's no proof or certainty about whether I did in fact do my job.

Hopefully this guy avenged my fuckup



Lobster!




And two more shots.



Guess when a bunch of divers are around you taking pictures, you decide your camo might not be working properly.



Well, of the 300+ underwater pictures we took, those are the ones I thought worthy of keeping. Others might be better with some additional tweaking, but this post is too long now anyway. Awesome trip and I cannot wait to get underwater again.

let it mellow fucked around with this message at 21:22 on Dec 19, 2012

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

SlicerDicer posted:



Awesome photos I love the french angel

Thanks, I think we are going to blow it up on one of those stretch photo prints you can get and put it in our water themed guest room. We both love that picture. I may also see if a TFF guy is willing to make it all orange and blue and change my av.

Also, I may be in Hawaii on a work trip sometime in 2013 and will of course stay longer, with my wife joining me, so I might hit you up for site/shop recommendations if you don't mind. I will buy you dinner or drinks or something in exchange, of course!

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

SlicerDicer posted:



12000 combined lumens, Keldan Luna 8

Note: These are my new video lights
Holy poo poo.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

I need to try either the lighter or toothpaste method, since the drops are running about 50/50 for me. It isn't a big deal since I just flood it, butif one of those makes me not have to do that after 3 or 4 dives(and yes I put the drops in every time), I'm in. I think toothpaste comes first, since the lighter has more long term damage potential.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Bishop posted:

This line of discussion makes me wonder... Is fogging masks often just something that happens to some people or is it a problem that could be fixed with training?

I'm at about 30 dives now, all Caribbean except for one Denver aquarium, but it has been random for me. Some dives I have to flood a lot and some it is perfectly fine. Not sure if I bought a cheap mask or not, but it is a Tilos panoramic sg, that cost something like 50 or 60 dollars at the LDS. In retrospect, it probably is cheap. I will try the lighter method before our May trip and report back.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Does anyone have advice on getting into local diving gigs? For example, do I just call the zoo and offer to clean their tanks? Or, once I get a few more certs, call the local police and offer to rescue dive? I mean, I like diving in the Caribbean, but would love to do some local stuff and meet local divers. I don't really care about the added expense of colder water gear, I just want a reason to dive locally that doesn't involve a crap quarry. Also I don't care about pay, but will have to make the diving gigs secondary to my real job. I'm assuming that's a doable thing, but am uncertain, so I haven't made any calls yet. Am I off base or is this something I could do?

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Crunkjuice posted:

Whats your certification level? For any real job type diving you'll need to be a divemaster at minimum. You'll also need a lot of experience, and a fairly big network of divers to put you in touch with these types of jobs. Your best bet is to start with your local dive shop and dive club. Make friends there, increase your dive training and talk to the professionals/employees and see who they know. Stuff like this is very networking based unless its an actual career job.

Yeah, that's what I assumed, but I am going to get DM regardless of jobs. I'm only OW with ~30 dives, most of which are in the Caribbean. So that makes me a joke for the question I asked, which I realize, but I've already decided I'm getting to DM level at least. I was mostly curious about what was required for this kind of thing and you've answered it - thanks! I will not be making any calls now, since that would just require making an rear end of myself.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Jeza posted:


The actual clause of the competition I'm in says that not only must you not know anything about what you are writing about, but you must also get the answers to what you want to know from here in A/T.

That's fantastic. Between this thread, the aviation one, the porn one, jase's hustling thread, and the married to fake anime person one there should be both interesting and hysterical stories coming out of this.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

OK, there's been some conversation about photography here and my point and shoot housing had its zoom lever break in the middle of our December Aruba trip. I am going to see about replacing it, but that got me wondering about getting a real set up. I know this is budget dependent and I have no idea what my budget is, since any camera in this range will be better than anything we've ever owned, so let's say a $2k budget, but I could go higher if the camera was magic or something.

I saw an ad for the Sealife 1400 in this quarter's Alert Diver and it looks good, but I've also read that I can get an EVIL and housing for a similar price, which may be better for regular pictures. I don't know, we've always just had a point and shoot. What should I look for and/or buy?

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

The online course will just get your bookwork and testing out of the way, so you'll still need to do the water work somewhere . Either go locally with your shop (which won't do everything in the gym pool, either) or get the coursework out of the way and then do your cert dives in Playa Del Carmen.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Isn't that basically the equivalent of PADI's Discover course? Although, that one has some confined water work, I think, so maybe not. I did have an idea for Not an Anthem, though, that might be a good compromise. If you do the PADI Scuba Diver course or equivalent, it is less upfront commitment at the expense of more restrictive depth limits and direct DM supervision required for all dives. It also counts toward OW if you want to continue after that.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

We have our first couple of 2013 trips planned! Long weekend in Bimini coming up thanks to a free companion ticket we had to use and an awesome hotel deal, so any ideas there would be appreciated for shops. We're currently looking at Neal Watson's place since we are staying there, but any advice is appreciated. We will only have two days to dive though, since our free ticket was domestic only, so we're going to Miami and taking the ferry over and back. A lot of those sites look shallow and awesome, which could be good for pictures!

Then we're in St. Lucia over Memorial Day, which we dove a while back with terrible viz due to storms, but we're giving it another shot since the deal was in way able to be passed up. Haven't done a ton of research on shops or sites there yet, so everything is TBD. Still, I am excited about getting back in the Caribbean, it has been like three months.

Also, anyone have input on this?

jackyl posted:

OK, there's been some conversation about photography here and my point and shoot housing had its zoom lever break in the middle of our December Aruba trip. I am going to see about replacing it, but that got me wondering about getting a real set up. I know this is budget dependent and I have no idea what my budget is, since any camera in this range will be better than anything we've ever owned, so let's say a $2k budget, but I could go higher if the camera was magic or something.

I saw an ad for the Sealife 1400 in this quarter's Alert Diver and it looks good, but I've also read that I can get an EVIL and housing for a similar price, which may be better for regular pictures. I don't know, we've always just had a point and shoot. What should I look for and/or buy?

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Bishop posted:

One thing everyone in this thread agrees on is that the quality of your instructor is the most important consideration. Now if it's equal, I'd do my class work and skills dives over a couple of weekends while at home. You'll have more time to study and digest the material, more access to to your instructor/DM, and you won't feel as pressed for time.

I agree with most of this, but with one exception. The only legit dive spot near me is a quarry, which Bishop knows (joes quarry in Oldham county), and if we had done our checkout dives there, I think we would have missed out on a lot. I also think my wife wouldnt have beenas interested in continuing as me, since i was always the water lover of our relationship fromswim team and all that poo poo. We did our OW in two Carribean trips, one in the BVI for our Scuba Diver cert and one to finish our OW in Curaçao. Now, we got spoiled by it, but the flip side is that as soon as the two of us finished our skills, we went off diving the closest reef and that showed us what we could look forward to. It also helped that we lucked out and were the only two students for a good instructor both times.

So, we spent more than we needed to and wasted days in paradise reading the book, taking the test, doing confined dives, etc, but I do not regret doing our skills tests there. I vote you do book work and confined dives locally, the do your open water skills dives somewhere with a reef.

Just my opinion, and my wife and I are nowhere near the skill level of the average poster in this thread let alone Bishop or most of the others that have replied to you, so take it with a grain of salt.

E: iPad typos

let it mellow fucked around with this message at 01:54 on Mar 26, 2013

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Bishop posted:

Meh I'm just an average level tech diver that has also been a goon since before he saw goatse. I come across divers with resumes that would bury me on a regular basis.

Haha, I was introduced to the goat by the LLJK forum here too. Come to Bimini Derby weekend and let's go diving!


E:

Jeddite posted:

let it mellow fucked around with this message at 02:53 on Mar 28, 2013

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Hey y'all, we have a question that I could use some help on. Most of our dives have been deep south Caribbean (Curacao, Aruba, Turks and Caicos, etc etc), but we are going to be in Bimini in a week and a half, since it is cheap as all gently caress to fly out of Louisville just before Derby and back to Louisville just after.

But I just realized that water temps are going to be in the 70s and our 2.5MM shorties aren't really gonna do it. So, advice on new wetsuit thickness would appreciated... Is there any reason not to say gently caress it all and buy 5MM full suits and just start using those everywhere? Or should we just take one step up over our current suits and but 3MM fulls? I'm of the opinion that we may as well buy the 5MM fulls and just take them off out of water, but my wife thinks we should just get 3MM fulls since we pretty much only dive the tropics.

Anyway, we need to get more suits before next Thursday, so any advice will be appreciated! Also, with any luck, the water is cool enough that it is still hammerhead season in a week and a half and I can give you some lovely jackyl photos of hammerheads.

e: I'm looking at this.

let it mellow fucked around with this message at 02:49 on Apr 25, 2013

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Crunkjuice posted:

Wetsuits are super dependant on how you personally take the cold, but yes, a 5mm is the minimum you should be wearing at that temp. A really good piece of gear to invest in is a hooded vest. They help to bridge the gap between wetsuits, as you can wear one under a suit and increase its thermal protection. Also, you can get 1mm neoprene shirts that help out, which layer well and act as rash guards in tropical temp water. Also, if this is just a temp thing, will renting not work? I know renting wetsuits is gross as poo poo, but some mirazyme can take care of that and save you some money.

I gotta say, please don't buy from leisurepro. They buy from defunct dive shops, sell gear at a super low rate and aren't authorized manufacturer dealers . They are a lovely business, and take money away from the people who make this hobby worthwhile, dive shops. Dive shops make this hobby go, and its important to support them. Hell, i live in Dallas, and ScubaToys is a local competitor and i'd still rather you bought from them then loving leisurepro.

We bought all our gear, excepting masks and fins that we bought from a local PADI affiliate when we visited them, from ZoCrowes' (a local goon) shop, so I'm on board with LDS buying. I will internet buy, though, if I'm under time pressure (we are) and we can't find what we need locally (I'm going to ZoCrowes' tomorrow and she's going to the PADI LDS to see what both have in stock).

Now that I've said that, thanks for the advice! Yeah, renting is an option, but it is loving gross and we might as well buy something warmer, since we got chilly at sub 100' in Turks and Caicos wall dives and we already have Belize booked for December, this Bimini trip and St. Lucia for 10 days over Memorial Day week. Also we may end up doing a few LDS long weekends to Florida. So, by the time we rent, we might as well buy something, especially since my wife finds the rental gear generally too large for her - the junior sizes fit best.

Your idea about a hooded vest is interesting, but will that make a difference with full leg exposure?

e: we could buy in Miami too, I suppose, since we're flying there and taking the ferry. But that's a whole shitload of moving parts, especially since the ferry runs on island time.

let it mellow fucked around with this message at 03:44 on Apr 25, 2013

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Fantastic, thanks! I'm still hoping we can pick up a couple before we leave, but if not, we'll go with one of those cleaners.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

I'm a week away from Bimini, please still be hammerhead season when we get there!

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

SlicerDicer posted:

Greaty Hammerheads in Bimini

Are they baiting them for you?

We didn't sign up for one of the hammerhead specific safaris, we're just going to take our chances. We're taking the Miami ferry on Friday, diving that afternoon, doing 3 dives Saturday, 2 on Sunday, taking the ferry back to Miami that evening and then flying back Monday.

Living in Louisville means you either go to Derby for free or say gently caress it and fly out and back in on empty planes with reverse Derby traffic flow. You can see which one we chose this year.

e: ^^ just did our DAN renewal, actually. Hopefully we never use it, but I am happy to pay for it.

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Crunkjuice posted:


gently caress I am cold gently caress.
I am dumb as all hell gently caress
gently caress this. gently caress gently caress gently caress.


Do you mind if I steal this?

E: I am doing AOW sometime soon, up to 35 dives now and we went to ~140 a few days ago, although the DM and a couple others went to 170 (!)

e2: my wife and I had 7 minute decos, first time that's happened to us.

let it mellow fucked around with this message at 01:25 on May 8, 2013

let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

Mr.AARP posted:

Something about this just doesn't sit right with me. Be sure to dive within your limits.

Yeah, that's why we stayed up higher on the wall. We weren't exactly enamored with going that deep, especially after we saw that we were getting in deco land.

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let it mellow
Jun 1, 2000



Dinosaur Gum

We're going to be in St. Lucia in a few weeks and are planning on doing our AOW there. Anyone have recommendations on St. Lucia dive shops or AOW elective courses to take? Some of the adventure courses seem crappy, like boat diver - we've done back rolls, dealt with choppy seas, all that crap so why do it? Underwater naturalist seems similar, but maybe it owns? We were thinking definitely wreck diver, probably enriched air, maybe wreck, maybe cave, maybe underwater photography - any opinions on good courses would be appreciated! And I'd do rebreather, but not sure my wife would, sorry SlicerDicer.

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