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Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Been reading through this thread and having a blast. Been diving for a couple years, currently PADI AOW, probably step up to Rescue in a year or two, DM possibly after.

Here are some photos from my wife and I's last trip to the Bahamas.











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Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


If I dig out my logbook and compare to the photo date I could tell you the name of the dive site, but I'm completely blanking right now. Was there for a week and pretty much every day had a wreck of some sort.

Also, learning a lot from the discussions. It's been mentioned before but the book Diver Down is great at waking you up and keeping you alert, as are some of the horror stories people are sharing here.

Luckily, I've never witnessed anything too stupid, but one thing I haven't really seen mentioned in here is the PADI Resort Course. Don't do it, I've been to a couple Caribbean resorts and I'd estimate the success rate (actually getting through the the first OW dive without freaking out) is around 50% and the amount of people you saw the next day probably dropped to around 25%. Seems a waste a time and money, not to mention those people will probably have a terrible impression of diving afterwards.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


pupdive posted:

You are missing the point of what is happening there. First, it's not a course of any kind. People are just paying money to try diving, including plenty of people who are not actually sure if they really want to try diving. We take them and they figure out if it is for them. There's no license, and no training involved.

There is no 'next day' of diving, nor a second dive, except for people who pay separately for the second dive, pay separately for the second day. So of course most don't make the second dive, and very few go a second day.

I take a thousand people a year on intro dives, and I have about an 75-80% rate. And that is just fine. If it's fun for them, then it is. But plenty of people face the water and burst out in tears, and so of course they should not be, and don't go, diving. Those that go get to see fish straight away, those that don't just gave it a shot and head back t the beach to lay out some more.

It't the opposite of a waste of time since all the time is spent diving. NO classroom, usually no pool work, just show up go diving.

The places I've seen this were Sandals resorts, where diving is free as part of your stay as long as you're certified. So if you do the discover scuba you can dive the whole time you're there, no extra charge. Talking to them on the ride out they always seemed to every intention of diving multiple times during their stay. Right until they take the stride off the boat and come up thrashing. My instructor had always talked about that classic panicked diver response, throwing off the mask, spitting out the regulator, thrashing about. I thought it might been a little hyperbole until you see multiple people do it over a week. I think the idea of low-barrier of entry to try scuba is fantastic under an instructor, but from my limited experience it looks like it would turn people off based on lack of confidence/bad experience.

To contribute another pic, not mine but taken by a professional photographer on the dive with us who was kind enough to share his photos. Taken right before this friendly fellow chomped down on his housing, severing the strobe cable and leaving some impressive bite/scrape marks on the metal camera housing. Witnessed the whole thing from about 10 feet above. Can I count that as seeing a shark attack?



EDIT: lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes.

Cru Jones fucked around with this message at 03:05 on May 23, 2013

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


I have a BCD with alternate air source and a Suunta D4i w/transmitter. So there's really only one hose to worry about and I keep track of that one because the regulator is generally in my mouth.

I'm not familiar with GUE, but are they teaching better techniques or is it just that it actually forces you to PRACTICE buoyancy and trim, therefore improving your technique?

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Bishop posted:

I'm not going to go hunting around for you (I'm not that bored.... yet.), but here's a thread on scubaboard that looks like a good place to start. http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/norcal/87155-san-francisco-dive-doctor-wanted.html

Also Cru Jones: is it OK if I throw one of your pics into the OP?

Absolutely.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Hip Hoptimus Prime posted:

Well, I meant to post this earlier in the week but I forgot. Last weekend I completed my advanced open water with Nitrox, and my husband completed his basic open water. Yay! There are pics from that, but I'll post them later because I'm on a much needed Facebook hiatus right now. But, our deep dive for AOW sucked--we passed through two thermoclines on the way down to 60 feet, and even with layered wetsuits, a hood, and gloves, I was still shivering in the deepest one. I also was getting over a cold, so clearing my ears was a bitch on the way down even though I took Mucinex well beforehand (it took me like 15 minutes to go all the way down the line...one of my friends stayed with me the whole way who is a total saint). I now have all the prereqs for getting dive master--which I'd like to have in the near future, so I'm going to keep working closely with my usual instructor since he goes out like every other day and I'm about to be out of school for summer, so I'll have nothing but time to learn more and play.

I've been looking more into dives to do in Belize in July, and apparently the dive center at the resort we will be staying at is terrible. We are staying here, and if you click the linked text and scroll to the reviews that mention the dive ops, you'll see why. Some people mentioned going through another outfit called Avadon Divers that is nearby that is much better/safer, and when I looked at their prices they are also a little bit cheaper than going through the resort and will send a free taxi to pick you up wherever you're staying. So I think that's what we will do (plus avoid whale shark dives since reviews also say no one ever sees them).

Finally, does anyone have this camera? I want it so bad for our trip, and need to order soon because we leave July 3! :dance:

http://www.divers-supply.com/Intova-14MP-Digital-Camera-IC14-P109433.aspx

If you're looking to spend a little more you can get some really good deals on some of the older Olympus PEN camera's that would double nicely as a good camera on land too.

http://www.adorama.com/IOMPTEP01.html Housing for $250, could probably get the camera, E-PL1 for as little as $100 off craigslist or ebay.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


One thing I've been wondering, especially some of you guys into technical diving. How do you store all this stuff. My wife and I both dive and even with normal recreational gear for two people it takes up a ton of space. Any cool DIY storage ideas or setups? Or even rigs for drying/cleaning post dive.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


BlueBayou posted:

yay Im certified.

the two dives today were insane. Saw lots of cool stuff. Didnt get sunburned but thats because there was a crazy-rear end storm rolling in. So much chop on the water. And major current. It is hard to just go with the drift and not fight it.

So many waves on the surface, they took my weight belt clean off (oops).

Saw loggerhead turtles and got stung by coral. Equalized just fine on the way down, but not on the way up (ow)

I am so freaking exhausted. This is an interesting hobby.

Did you find your belt? Had one slip off in the Bahamas and the dive guide spotted it at the end when we were doing our safety stop. He swam down, probably to about 70 feet and grabbed it right in the middle of a bunch of reef sharks, who seem to be pretty chill...but I would have let it slide. On another dive that same trim I had to chew my wife's rear end because she tried to replicate our guide's heroics and pick up a weight belt she found on the way. She dives with maybe 8 pounds in that environment and grabbed like a 15-20 pound belt. I tried to tell her to just drop it but she wouldn't. So I took it from her while holding on so she could vent from her BC and then let her have it at the surface. 6'5" and about 330 pounds, my BC had a bit more lifting power than hers.

What's your guys' take on stuff like that, especially for standard OW divers. My policy is mostly just let anything heavy lie, lighter stuff can be stuffed in a pocket or mesh bag if you happen to have one. We're AOW and we've both got pretty decent buoyancy, but I'd rather not have to deal with extra variables if possible.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


My dive buddy (wife) is pregnant and out of commission. Bummer because I'd just gotten a new strobe and housing. Finally worked up the gumption to do some solo shallow lake diving and mess around.

Missed the focus by a hair, but he was scuttling like mad. Don't usually see them this big up north, stretched tail to tip I'd say he was around 6-7 inches at least.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Olympus E-PL1, if you want the secret to super clear lake pictures?

Shoot in 6 feet of water

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Crunkjuice posted:

The biggest thing to become a better breather is experience and comfort. Size/fitness are factors, but a 90 lb scared woman can suck down a tank faster than a 400 lb tubbo if she's huffing and puffing. Its similar to buoyancy. Just keep diving and you'll pick it up.

Can confirm, I'm 6'5" and about 340 pounds. I've been on dives where little ladies or MUCH smaller and fitter dudes burned through a tank way faster than me.

Also, the deeper you are the faster your air goes, if you're in a group and don't want to be THAT guy everytime you can hang out 5-10 feet above the rest depending on visibility. I've done that time to time on deeper dives and you can actually buy yourself a decent amount of extra time.

Edit: that being said, my wife is about 5'6" and 145, of basically exactly same experience and comfort level and laughs at my consumption rates.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


One other thought, getting buoyancy in checks keeps you from fiddling with your BCD and saves you air.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


BlueBayou posted:

Did my first cold water dive yesterday.

Neoprene gloves suck. Maybe mine were just too small, but my fingers still hurt today. And a hooded vest under the wetsuit puts twice as much pressure on my neck. I felt like I was going to pass out until I got in the water.

I might just stick with warm water diving.... oof

As a Minnesota diver, my AOW cert was done in a quarry and after the 2nd thermocline it was hovering around 42 degrees in late August. Check your fit on your hood and gloves, sounds like they're both too small.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


BotchedLobotomy posted:

I'm doing my first dive post-open water certification on my own (no buddies going with so I'll have to make a friend on the boat) in Catalina on Sunday.

I picked up some DAN insurance because I get paranoid about poo poo like that, I'm getting rental gear from the shop, same place I got certified at.
Got my gloves my boots my mask and snorkel. Got my card (cert and DAN card), my logbook. Anything I'm missing that the instructors usually handled that I'm forgetting? :spergin:

Talk with your buddy beforehand, make sure they know your comfort level and that your plans for the dive align.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Crunkjuice posted:

Why you'd buy an octo first is beyond me. If I had to rank the importance of items to buy, this is how i'd rank them.
1. Mask/Snorkel/Fins
2.Thermal Protection (if you're a tropical vacation diver only, disregard. Some of us dive lovely cold water and being cold loving sucks and is a safety issue, so i rank thermal protection highly)
3. Regulators - Packs well/light for vacations and you are sure it has been maintained properly.
4. BCD- (If you're a vacation diver swap 4-5).
5. Computer- Yes i know computers are becoming standard dive gear, but you can dive tables just fine too so i put this lower priority than other stuff.
6. Tank- Really only own a tank if you are a frequent local diver.

What kind of diver do you think you'll be? Frequent local diver or sparse vacation diver? That will also determine what gear and when to get it. If you're only doing a few days diving a few times a year renting is cost effective. If you plan to dive once-twice a month, rental fees will add up QUICK and you'll want your own gear.

Ask your instructor about fixing your kicking technique, don't just throw money at the problem.

The thing about tanks though, an AL80 is like one of the cheapest things on your list. Always nice to have air on hand in case you want to head out and can't get a rental.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Bishop posted:

I just put shark week on and according to Les Stroud my death is imminent but he also wears split fins so I'm not sure if I should believe him.

Shark week this year has been real ugh. Megaladon, voodoo shark, etc?

Edit: though I do have a man crush on Les Stroud

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


jackyl posted:

So..... GoPros are good for video, I get that. However, I want to start taking better still pictures underwater and I don't think a GoPro will do it, based on what I've read. What do I buy? We're diving the Keys next week and I would love to dry run something before the blue hole trip.

Olympus is going through a lot of hardware refreshes and I scored an Olympus E-PL1 and Housing for 399 combined a while back. I saw a similar deal on one of their Pen Minis not too long ago as well.

You can get the housing for 250 and probably the camera for < 200 somewhere.
http://www.adorama.com/IOMPTEP01.html?gclid=CNnJn8eLlLkCFSdk7AodemQALw

Cru Jones fucked around with this message at 17:31 on Aug 23, 2013

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


jackyl posted:

Awesome, thanks. This looks really attractive, but the strobe is.... $600? Is that really what they cost?

Sad face, depends on what you're looking for. You could get some manual strobes that go for way less. But now we're getting out of my depth. Started to get into photography a couple years ago, and just making the transition to the underwater world.

Hey let's combine two of the more expensive hobbies you can have into ONE!

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Gindack posted:

No I did not and in hindsight probably not the smartest thing in the world, since it was a big annual lake wide event I assumed that boaters would be aware of the 40 divers from out boat in the water. Glad this was a lesson I could learn without any pain involved.

Not sure it's the same state to state but not having a dive flag can net you a pretty good fine here if caught.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


I have hours of video as old as a few years back that I'm gonna edit too......someday.

Speaking of, my LDS has been sponsoring monthly photo contests. Which has been pushing me to go back and clean up some photos I have. This month's theme is wrecks.








I think this one is the weakest, but it always makes me chuckle.



Cru Jones fucked around with this message at 17:19 on Dec 18, 2013

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Trivia posted:

For the longest time I would just crop, then adjust levels, then saturation. After some snooping around, I found this link on Youtube that helps a lot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFhrTQJg6MI

My current photos look much, much better thanks to this video.

Thanks, I think most of these were taken in the 60-80 foot range. This is why the 3 photos were in black and white. It lets you push the processing much further, especially when the photos were taken deep. For instance, for the two ships the one in the background is barely visible in the original photo. I use Lightroom, and play with the clarity, contrast, levels, etc.

I mean unless you have some serious light power with you, you're basically shooting monochrome blue instead of black and white anyways.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Here's the original to compare against.



Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Just buy any nice point and shoot you want, or maybe you already have one? And get a universal housing for it on Amazon. That's what I did until I scored a good deal on an Olympus cam/housing

Something like this, but I've seen them for cheaper.
http://www.amazon.com/Bonica-Seashe...erproof+housing

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


What good is a pissing contest underwater anyway? Although with a drysuit flood in 52F it would definitely feel nice. I did my AOW in 5mm wetsuit, with hood and gloves, and it was 42F on the deep dive. I would have appreciated some natural warmth.

And when you're lake diving in lovely visibility, unless you're holding hands, your buddy kicking you in the head is the only way to know they are still around.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


Stopped by the aquarium at the zoo, trying out the new macro lens. Waiting for the ice to thaw and summer to arrive. Probably won't be so easy when I'm in the water with them. Although shooting through glass with their weird neon lighting was challenging too.





This is how they were lit normally.

Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


The Vikings posted:

Any recommendations on mask defog liquid? I apparently have a sweaty face or something cause my mask always fogs up while my buddy who's using the same stuff never gets foggy.

Defoggers are surfactants. They don't really prevent fogging, they just stop the water from gathering into droplets that get in the way of your vision. Soap does the same thing...

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Cru Jones
Mar 28, 2007

Cowering behind a shield of hope and Obamanium


legsarerequired posted:

I know that you are supposed to wait eight hours between flying and scuba diving. However, does that still apply if you are diving in an aquarium instead of a lake at sea level? Or is the pressure issue still going to be the same?

DAN recommends at least 12 hours but the generally guideline I've heard is 24.

That being said, it all depends on how long and how deep. If you're 15 feet in an aquarium for 30 minutes, you're probably pretty safe if you drove straight to the airport. I'd do some double checking if I were you.

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