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Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Sup goons, I managed to get my first certification this week end! Cmas equivalent one star diver, or "primo grado ARA" in FIPSAS equivalent.
Done 5 dives so far. The 2nd one was pretty "funny" albeit a bit shocking for our instructors, story follows.

We were in front of San Fruttuoso Abbey, and it was pouring. Being at our second dive, we were all pretty inexperienced, but to further complicate the things, the boat was overcrowded and we all had problems resisting the urge to puke AND managing all the equipment (we found out that actually diving from a small boat is quite more complicated than those test dives in the swimming pool).
Anyway, not one of the students, but 4 out of 10 had problems with the weights. I emptied my jacket but I was still floating, so an instructor gave me an additional couple of kilos; that was enough to lose height and reach the rest of the group at 12 meters depth.

We went on with the dive for a good 30 minutes and I still had 70 ATAs in my cylinder, at that point we reached the Cristo degli Abissi, a submerged statue of Jesus and a popular attraction for divers in the area. At that point, chaos ensued. Wikipedia says that the statue is lying at 16 meters, but that's the base of it: we sprang upwards to touch the hands and simultaneously the 4 of us who were too light became buoyant: one reached the surface, two others were grabbed at the last second, and I tried to hold on to the hand of Jesus to avoid being pulled. Anyway, that didn't work, and I resurfaced again after a good minute of holding to it. What made matters worse, was that my partner was a huge idiot who never looked after me, so after I lost grasp and resurfaced... no one knew where I was. Needless to say, the instructors had a few words with him because after the chaos they started looking for me, and no one looked up for a few minutes, when the head instructor finally found me (remembering the lessons, once I resurfaced I didn't attempt to dive back in).

Anyway, the other 4 dives went smoothly and I can say that diving pretty much owns. I've already tested that receiving a fin kick in the face and losing mask & mouthpiece in one doesn't make me lose my coolness, which is all I really care about, since all the divers I know told me that the thing to fear the most, when diving, is panic.

edit: spelling

Cippalippus fucked around with this message at 16:58 on Aug 9, 2013

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Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


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.

This is something I wanted to ask: everyone I know uses split fins, but what's so good about the mono fin? It is however quite popular among free water divers, I noticed.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Yeah, I'm afraid I'm already beyond that point.

Isn't it awkward to not be able to move your legs independently? Besides, how do you move on a boat with them?

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Oh. Now I see.
In this case, no, I have never seen anyone using split fins. I have however seen a couple of divers using the monofin (the mermaid fin, as you called it).

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


They are pretty uncommon here (Italy) too, but I saw a couple of scuba divers using them, not free divers. I have just started diving, but I swim at sea a lot and come to think about it, those two divers are the only ones I've ever seen using the mermaid fins; but maybe I'm just starting to notice things that I wouldn't have noticed before.

My instructors planned another couple of dives for wednesday, I'll take a camera and see if they're still around.

Cippalippus fucked around with this message at 11:44 on Aug 10, 2013

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


I've always found the dolphin the least useful swimming style, compounded by the fact that it doesn't offer any real advantage over any other style. I suppose monofins are good for the snowflakes that really, really love dolphin.

Frogmanv2 posted:

Is there somewhere good where I can check out what these different types of kick styles are, because im pretty sure the most instruction I got was "kick with your thighs, not your calves" and thats about it.

Wikipedia or Youtube, but if you want to learn you have to get wet.
Our warm up before the actual diving lesson began consisted of crawl and frog kick, so you might want to learn those first if you want to dive. I'm a decent/good swimmer and I didn't have any problem, but those that couldn't frog well needed a couple of extra sessions to learn. It's not a hard style and it's pretty efficient.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Crunkjuice posted:

There are also some companies that make dive shorts with pockets on them. They look like cargo shorts you wear on top of your wetsuit.

I also had a crazy experience with a student last night i've never seen before. She was already pretty anxious and was needing extra attention on every skill. During the manual inflation for hovering underwater, she had a crisis. During the swap between power inflator and regulator, the zipper pull on her wetsuit managed to get between her regulator and her mouth, so when she inhaled water was pouring in and she started to cough. I was maybe 3 kicks away from her and by the time she got there she was in active panic if i've ever seen it. I got her to the surface and she was bawling and asked to leave. After a good long talk she decided to stick with it and join another class the next week. I've seen some crazy problems happen to students but this was a new one.

Maybe you trained too long ago, but nervous/anxious/uneasy partners are probably the most stressing part of a dive course for a student.
Overachievers and self confident idiots who keep breaking line of sight in their first open sea dive come a close second.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Crunkjuice posted:

I don't think you know my level of dive training well enough to tell me that.

No, but I just got certified so I just had first hand experience of that :v:
I wasn't implying that you don't know it, just reporting my experience. A guy in my course was regarded as the worst because he tended to always look uneasy and on the verge of panic. Always. Water in the mask? Terrified stare. Losing a fin? Terrified stare.
I only had him as a buddy once in the swimming pool and it scared the poo poo out of me, to the point that I asked the instructors to keep him away from me.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


I never intended to dive. I'm 30 already and a decent swimmer, and my trusted snorkel always seemed sufficient.
This winter a friend of mine convinced me to start the one star cmas course, and after much reluctance I followed. What happened is pretty much what Bishop described, as soon as he got in the water and tried to breath he panicked and quit. Another girl quit a few weeks later when we got to emptying the mask, she inflated her bcd in 4 feet of water, got out of the water and was never to be seen again.

On the other hand I'm really excited whenever I know I am going to dive. This winter I'll be doing the 2 star cmas, which will allow me to go down to 30 meters, but my instructors told me that you use the tanks much less than in the first course since it's more about self confidence and control than simply going down.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Met a fellow diver at a socialite dinner and he was so full of poo poo. He claimed that during his first dive 15 years ago he "fell down" to 40 meters, or 120 feet. Yeah, sure! Come the gently caress on.
His qualifications? Padi dive master, of course. He was incredibly confident (to the point of being cocky) and full of himself and quietly decided that I don't want him around when I dive.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


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

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

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


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

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


drat, these are impressive! Makes me remember that this year my swimming and diving club will go back to Giglio Island if they will have finally removed the Costa Concordia wreck.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Regarding that cave story, isn't oxygen toxic at the depths they reached? The article said they were using compressed air. And the air consumption for an inexperienced diver, in a claustrophobic environment with dim light at 80 meters must be crazy. At 500 ml per breath x 9atm pressure x +100% consumption due to stress x 20 breaths per minute...

That was so stupid holy poo poo. Shouldn't a certified diver know these things?

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Well, the housing is waterproof to 90 feet and that is pretty shallow. Isn't that like 27 meters? I've already been deeper than that and I started diving in March.

Sure, it's so cheap that I might buy it for whatever.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Speaking of gopro, went to buy a new pair of fins for the swimming pool and saw that Sony made a gopro imitation camera. The stand, promotional video and technical details screamed of "I'm just as good, I promise!", which added to the awkwardness of it; but what was really surprising was the price, it wasn't cheaper enough to be competing in the price. I suspect Sony is trying to attract customers with their own brand name, but I don't think they have sold many.

That 80€ camera has a few good reviews on the Amazon and it's just about the right entry level price, I will order one but I won't be diving before March since northern Italy is way too cold in this time of the year. Where do you fix a camera when diving? On the head? I'd hate to have to hold it all the time.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Just got my Suunto D4i, with the wireless thingy to attach to the tank! I know it's not a pimp computer but I can't wait to read my air on it!

By the way, the president of the diving club is about to turn 50 and we want to give him something nice to celebrate. He's pretty fond of his Ipad and I thought of buying him a diving case for it. I saw a few and they are affordable if I split the purchase with a few friends. However... Is it useful at all? While taking your Ipad underwater sounds intriguing, it doesn't seem like you can do much besides taking pictures, and I guess playing angry birds?
Advice and opinions are welcome, both for and against. Other pieces of equipment are out of question, he's been diving for 35 years and he has literally everything.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Just got back from a week end in Portofino. Dived again in front of San Fruttuoso, and had a chance to familiarize with my first air integrated computer (Suunto D4i, I'm not dumping too much money in this yet). Reading your air on your wrist is, well, much more useful than expected.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Cru Jones posted:

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.



They're really beautiful, especially the second.

Crunkjuice posted:

Not really. Like brushing your teeth, the mechanical process of cleaning is more important than the chemical. I use spit and all the divers I know do too. A good option is a spray bottle filled with 50% baby shampoo.

Tips. The mask lens needs to be dry or else it won't work. If you defog on the surface then spend time on the surface it will fog. It needs to be the last thing you do before you descend. Not defog and slap it on your head for 15 seconds. Defog, don the mask, and then signal for descent. A properly cleaned mask (when new) is needed.

Its not the defog liquid, its the procedure in which it's used that affects how well defog works.

Do you burn the mask lenses with a lighter? I've done it with a mask after an expert diver recommended me that, and it worked.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Talked about fogging and received an unusual advice. On top of the lighter trick, the toothbrush and all the other things, the freediver teacher told us that a sliced potato does wonders. The starch in the potato will remove a great deal of oil and fat from the lenses. Coupled with a toothbrush and possibly some dish soap, fogging shouldn't be a problem.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Just got me a Hollis Neotek Semidry suit and a Hollis M-4 mask. Still have to try the mask but the suit feels really good; a friend of mine who already owns it speaks of it with nothing but praise.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


eviljelly posted:

Once you learn it, scuba diving is sooooooooo much easier than snorkeling, I don't know why anyone would want to add all the hassles and limitations of snorkeling to an underwater diving experience.

How is it easier than free diving or snorkeling? I agree that it's not difficult at all, but snorkeling requires exactly 0 training, free diving requires some light training, whereas scuba requires you some knowledge of physics and enough training to operate a BCD and empty a mask underwater, at the very least.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


eviljelly posted:

Once you learn it, I said. I find snorkeling to be cumbersome in that you're always on the verge of running out of air or ingesting water. The latter is what really annoys me most about snorkeling.

I don't have any experience with freediving, though, and I made no claims about it.

Oh, ok; but that doesn't say much, even controlling a nuclear reactor is easy "once you learn it". Your snorkeling problems can be easily fixed with a good snorkel and remembering to spit out your snorkel when you dive under water; in fact, it's a safety measure. Never dive under the water with the snorkel hose in your mouth, for it will make the experience uncomfortable or even dangerous.

jackyl posted:

I suppose you could look into snuba, but otherwise not really.

I checked it out and while the concept looks interesting, the italian page has been translated so badly that even Google Translate would make a better job. That doesn't look professional, and the english pages don't exactly encourage me. Isn't it, like, just a very long snorkel?

Cippalippus fucked around with this message at 17:26 on Apr 28, 2014

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


I'm relatively new to scuba (been diving for a year and half) but I know how a regulator works - we even dismantled one during a training session. Neat little things.

Looking better at this snuba thing, it's a snorkel attached to a raft which holds tanks filled with regular compressed air. I can see its advantages for very young people approaching underwater diving, but I could regularly reach 30 feet underwater without any free diving training when I was twelve, which is still a lot more than what you get with snuba.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Indeed, and when you're free diving you're exposed to a whole different kind of threats. You don't have the same hazards you get when you're scuba diving, and unless you're doing it alone it's much harder to get yourself in a bad accident.

30 feet might seem a lot for a kid, but when you've completed a successful turn underwater you've already reached 12-15 feet doing literally nothing. A couple of kicks will make you reach 30, and the only thing you will need to do is compensating your ears. This last point is the only thing that requires any skill or knowledge, as the Valsalva isn't quite recommended for free diving.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Oakland Martini posted:

Maybe I'm an idiot but I don't understand this at all. I've been snorkeling hundreds of times and I always dive with my snorkel in my mouth. That way I can blow air through it to clear it when I surface and never have to raise my head above water.

Health concerns. I'll explain later. I'm not talking about snorkeling for fun, anyway, I'm talking about serious free diving.

Just got back from Giglio Island. What an awesome weekend!

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Oakland Martini posted:

Maybe I'm an idiot but I don't understand this at all. I've been snorkeling hundreds of times and I always dive with my snorkel in my mouth. That way I can blow air through it to clear it when I surface and never have to raise my head above water.

After holding your breath for a long time, forcing an exhalation may make you faint or induce a black out. On top of this, extreme free dives may lead to a condition called "samba" which is dangerous (potentially deadly); holding your snorkel in your mouth and preparing to expel water may exacerbate the samba.
Anyway, if you snorkel for fun without reaching your limits, there's nothing wrong with holding the snorkel in your mouth; some expert free diving fishers do it, too.

Got my 2nd CMAS star and now I can dive to 30m (I suppose it's 90 feet), or the equivalent of a PADI advanced open water certification. Our dives were in Isola del Giglio and our school doesn't allow underwater cameras (or drysuits) during exams, but we went to check out the rocks where the Costa Concordia ripped the hole in her hull. There's a plaque at about 10 meters, at the impact point; neat dive, too, there were a few lobsters and an octopus started playing with one of our instructors. The Costa Concordia is still there waiting to be moved, so I took a few pictures of it with my phone while on the ferry and in the town.


Port side.


Starboard side, taken from the lighthouse.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Yes in general but the italian branch of Cmas lowers it to 30.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Yeah, it's a mess. As you can see here, it's the equivalent of a 2 star diver CMAS, but it still says that my maximum depth is 30m. That isn't a problem however, since I got to 36 meters during a dive, and a couple of my friends freshly certified went down to 54 meters with a four star instructor the day after we received the certification, since we're all going to do the 3 stars training next year (it was considered just like a training dive, allowing divers to exceed their qualification). I was just busy drinking gin tonics in Giglio Porto while they were at it :v:

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


June to november are comfortable, the best of course are August and September. During the 3 warmest months (July-September) you can dive with a 5mm wetsuit, I don't even wear gloves or hood. During the rest of the year I advise a 7mm semi-dry or a dry suit. My Hollis Neotek was more than enough for the rather cold (14C) waters of April/May.
I prefer the Tyrrenian sea to the Adriatic, though. The italian adriatic coast is sandy as gently caress and there's nothing to see, while the croatian coast is rather awesome but quite far away from where I live.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


QuarkJets posted:

I just got my open water certification, and now I'm looking for a dive computer. A coworker recommended getting something from Cressi, anyone here want to make a suggestion? I'm not really interested in buying an air integrated, since they seem to be significantly more expensive and a normal pressure gauge works just fine for me. Are any brands/models known for being particularly good or bad, good value, etc?

e: This computer is pretty cheap and has good reviews. Is there a good reason to go with something else? This is going to be baby's first dive computer, basically
http://www.amazon.com/Cressi-Leonar...computer+cressi

My dad uses it as backup computer, and he says it's ok. It's good if you have trouble reading watch-sized computers, like the D4i, but don't want to spend a lot of money for a Galileo Sol.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


food-rf posted:

Thanks for this great thread and all these wonderful underwater pictures.

Many years ago I swam a lot and did some SCUBA (under the CMAS system), but that stopped completely and now I haven't been in the water (not even a pool) for nearly a decade. This thread has seriously motivated me to get back into it.

This brings me to a question: I live nowhere near the sea right now. What would be a good way to rediscover and enjoy scubaing in such a situation, if any? I know there are some lakes as well as artificial diving spots (flooded mineshafts etc.) in the region, but I don't know if that's a good way for a beginner to get back into it. Does getting hyped about it again make sense under such circumstances?

Living nowhere near the sea doesn't matter. I live in the Alps between Italy and Switzerland and the landscape out of my window is green pastures with black and white cows, snowy mountains and people with funny costumes and bird feathers on their caps. At the end you need to take a week or two of vacation to go to the best diving locations, anyway, unless you live next to them.

I still very much dislike diving in lakes, but they're good to practice.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


It really depends on where do you plan to dive. In hot waters you barely need a short sleeve wet suit and no neoprene shoes, in cold waters you will need a semi dry suit, hood and gloves, at the very least.
Don't hurry your purchases. You will find out that diving is a black hole of disposable income. And especially at the beginning be essential: less is more. Don't buy, and more importantly don't bring under water a ton of useless junk you don't know how to use.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


That plastic bag trick could be useful, thanks!

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


stratdax posted:

90% of people get their open water, buy all their gear (used or new), go diving 4 or 5 times, and never use it again. Stay in the hobby for a while before dropping the coin. If you're buying any gear (except for a mask) within the first year of getting your open water, you're making a mistake.

Edit: And honestly with most of the people who actually DO stay Scuba diving, they dive so infrequently or only when they're travelling that only renting would still be more economical and practical, especially when you start taking servicing and repairs into account. Or if you're travelling, you really gonna pack another suitcase with all your dive poo poo and lug that around with you so you can go diving one day out of a two week vacation? Just bring your mask.

gently caress the money curve. If you can afford to dive with your own gear, you should do it. I know how I keep my stuff and I know how to use my gear, and I know when I send them to the shop for revision. Rented stuff might not work, or I might not be comfortable using it.

You are right about not buying stuff too soon, though. Very right.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Air and EAN 32 are free where I go diving, EAN 36 is 5 Euros. Usually though it's 5 Euro for air, 10 for EAN 32 and 36. 15 Euro for EAN is rare.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


It depends on what you plan to do with Nitrox, honestly. Nitrox allows a much longer bottom time without deco, but at shallower depths. The deeper you go, the larger is the benefit of Nitrox; ideally, when pO2 reaches 1.4 it's where you're benefitting the most from Nitrox.

Costs aside, diving on Nitrox is really cool because you really won't believe how fresh you'll be after a dive. Nitrogen narcosis is of course less likely, too. Several instructors I know dive on Nitrox during Open Water courses, given that they might be required to catch divers losing control and therefore are more likely to change rapidly depth; with less nitrogen in your body, decompression sickness is less likely.

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


Fantastic write up! At cmas we only consider nitrogen for our END calculations, whereas we use a different table to determine oxygen toxicity.

Care to tell one incident where a diver started inhaling O2 at depth? How does one survive that?

Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


pupdive posted:

(background for those who need it about oxygen toxicity:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_toxicity

I am mostly referring to CNS (central Nervous System) Toxicity
...

Another excellent post. The part about the Byford Dolphin incident made me shiver. Especially this part:

quote:

Subsequent investigation by forensic pathologists determined Hellevik, being exposed to the highest pressure gradient, violently exploded due to the rapid and massive expansion of internal gases. All of his thoracic and abdominal organs, and even his thoracic spine, were ejected, as were all of his limbs. Simultaneously, his remains were expelled through the narrow trunk opening left by the jammed chamber door, less than 60 centimetres (24 in) in diameter. Fragments of his body were found scattered about the rig.
:stonk:

About oxygen toxicity, the divers that sunk two british battleships in Alexandria in 1941 used pure oxygen rebreathers (technically not rebreathers, but an early version of it). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raid_on_Alexandria_(1941)

Cippalippus fucked around with this message at 12:59 on Jul 18, 2014

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Cippalippus
Mar 31, 2007

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


QuarkJets posted:

I've been SCUBA diving for a few months now and would be interested in buying an underwater digital camera. Anyone have recommendations for something affordable that I could take down to at least 60 feet?

Try the SJ 4000. Cheap as gently caress and Gopro compatible (meaning that you can buy gopro accessories for it). Full HD and works really well. The only caveat is that the case is only recommended to 30 meters max, but since you just started it should be enough for you.

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