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DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Just wanted to toss my name in for the goon divers list!


DeadlyMuffin (San Jose, CA): I've been diving in Monterey/Carmel for a couple years now, I love the area. I own all my own gear so I'm flexible.

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DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Oxford Comma posted:

I'm told that the Monterey area of California has some pretty decent diving in the kelp forests. Can anyone confirm/deny this?

Confirm. There are good days and bad days, but the good days can be glorious. Why get recertified though? Do you feel like you've forgotten everything?

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Oxford Comma posted:

Yeah, I do, actually. I only went diving a couple of times before the kid(s) were born. That was three years ago and my memory of some things is pretty fuzzy.

If you want, once you're recertified shoot me a PM. I dive in Monterey pretty regularly and I know a couple of shore dives that work well for new divers.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Erwin posted:

Clearly you have an issue with PADI and it would be useful to the thread if you would elaborate, I think. I'd like to get certified soon, and the local shop offers both PADI and NAUI. They're both the same price, so why does it matter that one is for-profit?


There is a feeling among some divers that diving shouldn't be accessible. I think it usually boils down to wanting to feel badass for being a SCUBA diver. If some fat lady at a resort can do it, they feel it makes their diving less impressive. I think the macho attitude is a big reason why the dive community (at least in my area) skews so heavily male.

PADI gets a lot of flak because they're the biggest player and because they cater to new/casual divers. I'm sure there are many other, legitimate, reasons to dislike PADI, but in my experience that's what most of it has boiled down to.

In my experience the instructor matters 100 times more than the certifying agency. If one shop offers both agencies it's probably the same instructor anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




IM FROM THE FUTURE posted:

If it comes down to individual instructors providing better instruction over and above the curriculum to keep people safe there is in my opinion room for improvement in the curriculum. And as far as ive seen, NAUI does a bit better job of testing that divers are prepared.

My point is that the difference in the curricula are minor when certifying new divers and matter far less than the difference between a good and bad instructor.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




I'm curious why computers bother to lock you out. I've watched people (idiots) on dive boats pop out the batteries on their dive computers between dives in order to clear them and bypass a lockout. There's something about warm water that brings out reckless divers.

I get that the people shouldn't be diving after doing something so reckless, but since sometimes they do, isn't it safer to have a computer with their dive history that will accurately reflect their exposure?

Maybe it's a liability thing?

DeadlyMuffin fucked around with this message at 07:12 on Mar 8, 2012

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




SlicerDicer posted:

I will note that this rebreather is very popular and useable I just question the thought of labeling recreational and treating it as a toy.

I was with you up to this point. No underwater breathing equipment is made up of toys, open circuit or closed circuit. Rebreathers obviously require more training and attention, but it's quite possible to kill or injure yourself with open circuit gear. Many people have.

As much as people like to break things up into "recreational" and "technical" diving, most technical divers do it for recreation. It's a hobby, even if it is a hobby where inattention or neglect can kill you (which is hardly unique to tech diving). If recreational scuba equipment falls under your definition of toys, then so do things like sport motorcycles or hang gliders, right? In that case, the rebreather is absolutely a toy.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




jackyl posted:

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 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.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




jackyl posted:

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

Fifi is a character, I liked him. I hope you see tons of spotted eagle rays, that was one of my favorite parts of that trip!

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Hyper-Urho-Kekkonen posted:

Scuba diving's always been something I've wanted to try. I live in the bay area, and I get the impression from doing some googling that most people around here who want to dive drive over the mountains to Monterrey bay and do it there. I guess that makes sense, being a marine sanctuary and all, more stuff to see, but I'd be interested in diving in the SF bay itself, if there's anything cool to see underwater there.

There isn't. Or at least, nothing like what you'll find in Monterey.

Hop on Google Maps and take a look at the underwater features. You'll see that there's a large trench that comes right up to the shore in Monterey and Carmel. That trench means that cold, nutrient rich water from the deep comes up right there, and it causes a pretty spectacular abundance of underwater life.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monterey_Canyon

That being said, I've heard the Farallones are nice to dive, but I've never been.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




rockcity posted:

Nitrox won't really make your dives any longer until you get to deeper depths I'd say in the 70+ foot range. Anything shallower and you're going to run out of gas before you hit your nitrogen limits.

Maybe for the first dive. But if you're doing multiple dives in a day, especially on a liveaboard or something where you're doing 4 or 5 dives/day, you can definitely start running out of bottom time before you run out of gas even if you're staying well above 70 feet.

I think in general if you're shallow enough to avoid PP O2 issues with nitrox and you find yourself running out of bottom time then switching to a richer mix might be a good idea.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




SlicerDicer posted:

Thats my beef with Liveaboards, they wont let me go dive for 3+ hours.

We get it, you're very excited about your rebreather. I know there are liveaboards that cater to rebreather divers though, although I'm sure not many.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Snowdens Secret posted:

I've heard it this way, and I've heard to keep the bare minimum of gas in the suit to counter squeeze / keep your insulating layer from getting squashed, specifically so you don't have to worry about a bubble moving around / getting in the legs or whatever, and to use the buoyancy control device to control buoyancy. Is that the tech way or do you think it's just the wrong way? Is it really that much more of a hassle that way?

If you're properly weighted and not carrying extra tanks then (in my opinion) you should be able to manage buoyancy just fine with the drysuit alone without an unwieldy bubble. If that's the case, why manage two air volumes when you can just manage one?

I'm not a tech diver, but what I have heard is that tech divers don't take the weight of sling/stage/travel gas bottles into account in their weighting since these are things that can and will be handed off. This means that they could easily be overweighted to the point where buoyancy control with the drysuit isn't practical.

SlicerDicer posted:

Yeah I do not use my Drysuit for bouyancy anymore. I use the wing its far easier to trim and you can run with less volume.. less volume = less to keep warm, meaning warmer.. everytime you manipulate that gas you actually add in cold air and make yourself cold again.

Just remember that.

My objection to a lot of the DIR type stuff is the idea that there is one correct way to dive. There isn't. Try both and see what works for you.

DeadlyMuffin fucked around with this message at 05:25 on Oct 17, 2012

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Finch! posted:

a) That you check it regularly and keep an eye on the NDL's;
b) That you know how to use it and what the screen display means;
c) Don't assume that all computers use the same algorithms or conservative factors.


It's probably worth adding that you should be aware of what the display looks like and what the various numbers mean when you go into deco. Many computers completely change their display. Underwater isn't place to learn a new display scheme.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




jackyl posted:



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.

I had one of these come up to a dive site I was on off of Guam. If you wave you can see the movement of everyone inside waving back!

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




A friend is trying to sell me his camera, so I took it for a test drive last week. I'm pretty new to this, but I took a couple of shots I like, and I figured you folks might be interested.

These are from Monterey, California.


Reef shot that turned out nice. I really like strawberry anemones. You can see a few goose barnacles too!


The bottom of this image is a bit too hot, but I love how the shadows make the crab's leg pop out of the image.


Lingcod

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




mikeycp posted:

e: While I'm at it, is there any good diving around the Sacramento area? Or is something like Monterey the best/closest place?

Monterey is definitely the best diving nearby.

I dive in Monterey and Carmel semi-regularly. If anyone in the area is looking for sometime to dive with, shoot me a PM.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




pupdive posted:

Using a standard length hose and an inflator reg will bite you hard in the rear end some day.

You would certainly not be getting in the water as a DM with me with that rig. There is a reason why octo regs have long hoses.

My understanding is that one of the original reasons for a long hose was to allow people to share air while swimming single file, like in a cave. Personally I've found them nice for casually sharing air between divers who are mismatched on consumption during recreational dives. However, in an emergency in open water I fail to see how the long hose provides much of an advantage. You're still vulnerable if a panicked diver has you by the long hose.

And really, since most recreational rigs I've seen have short hoses doesn't it make sense for the DM to match your students if they're going to be demoing?

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




I saw this crab on a night dive off of Santa Cruz Island in Southern California, and I was wondering if someone who dives regularly in the area could identify it:



You should be able to click the image to get a larger version.

I've done a lot of California diving but most of it has been much further north, and I've never seen anything like this guy before. The image isn't color corrected, but I did use a flash. It's legs really are that blue/purple color.

It really looks like a Dungeness, but I've never seen one with purple legs.

edit: cropped the picture

DeadlyMuffin fucked around with this message at 03:03 on Aug 2, 2013

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




TLG James posted:

How do you guys hold crap with bp/wings? Like a waterproof wallet or something.

Drysuit/Wetsuit pockets.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Can anybody identify this thing? It was off of Shaw's Cove in Laguna Beach.



Also, there are millions of juvenile fish around at the moment, including juvinile garibaldi, which are one of my favorites:

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




lemonsaresour posted:

I'm going to bring it to my dive shop as soon as I'm back in town, but does anyone know what this could be?

Not precisely, but if it's on the inhale then it's some part of the valve vibrating. If the reg has any sort of external adjustment that allows you to play with the amount of suction necessary to open the valve, try fiddling with it. It likely won't take much movement in either direction to get to a region where the valve doesn't vibrate at the same frequency. Think of it like any other system that has a vibration mode in a location that's inconvenient/annoying: a little bit of adjustment to the spring constant can move the frequency around. If there's no external adjustment then you'll need to have someone knowledgeable take a look.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




SlicerDicer posted:

Figure I should post, I no longer live in Hawaii I am living in California.

I will be diving soon enough hopefully again. Currently battling some debilitating breathing issues will see how all that goes. Moved to just outside Sacramento huzzah for land locked.

I dive in Monterey pretty regularly, shoot me a PM if you're looking for a local dive buddy.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Cippalippus posted:

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

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

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




legsarerequired posted:

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

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

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




I saw a monster Mola yesterday, it was amazing. It's only the second really big one I've seen, and it scared the bejesus out of the newbie diver I was with. Tip-to-tip was bigger than me (so 6' plus) and the size of the body was incredible. I knew I kept the wet wide angle lens around for something :-)

Monterey, California, on the way back from the metridium field.


DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




MA-Horus posted:

Any of you guys have recommendations for live-aboards or dive resorts in the Caribbean or Central America? I'm in desperate need of a dive vacation but I'll be going solo. Quality of diving is much more important than amenities for me.

I dove Saba last June and it was the best Caribbean diving I've done, compared to Cozumel a couple times and Turks and Caicos.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Red_Fred posted:

Is it normal for a BCD to have quite a bit and of water in it after a dive? We did two long and shallow dives (max depth 7m for around 40-50 mins) yesterday with a lot of ascending and descending if that factors. I left it inflated overnight and it was still inflated this morning.

Yep. I think Icon of Sin is right about it being due to letting out air when you're underwater. I end up with a lot more water in my wing when I'm diving somewhere tropical and controlling buoyancy with the wing alone than when I'm diving in cold water and buoyancy is mostly controlled by the drysuit.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Red_Fred posted:

Just signed up to do my Advanced Open Water (yay) and I'm reading the drysuit section of the book because I'm going to do the course in one. It says not to use your BCD for buoyancy except on the surface. This seems to contradict everything I've heard about drysuit diving. What's the deal?

I've done it both ways. The issue is if you need a lot of buoyancy (if you're overweighted, or if you're carrying around a lot of tanks) then using just your drysuit gets difficult to impossible. A drysuit with a ton of air in it is also a real pain: the bubble will move around, especially towards your feet, and if you're new to drysit diving you can find yourself getting pulled up by your feet.

If you're properly weighted and diving a single tank then using your drysuit alone is totally workable. If you aren't, or if you're planning on doing more tech-type stuff in the future, then just put in enough air to keep the squeeze off and use your BCD for bouyancy.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Since I seemed to have killed the thread, here are some pictures! I went diving in Canada and it was amazing.

Saw some Stellar sea lions (I think they noticed us):


Saw some mating Puget Sound king crabs:


Saw an ancient looking yellow eye rockfish:


Plus crinoids (never seen them in cold water before!), octopus, warbonnets, rock fish I'd never seen before, and absolutely huge lingcod.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Icon Of Sin posted:

Fair enough. One of my bio professors says she wouldn't go near one on land or in water, that's why it's weird to me to see a pic that close up.

Your professor would probably think we're idiots for getting as close as we did. One of the other divers had worked with them before and she stayed well back for a very long time.

I kind of wondered a bit about the safety of it, but the dive outfit seems reputable and the sea lions were not at all aggressive. Also, we didn't approach them at all. We stayed quite a ways off from their rock and the curious ones came to us. The boat captain made a big deal out of having us stay away from their rock so they didn't get defensive, and to not push back or really react to them, or it would encourage rougher play.

Still, getting felt up by something this big is a bit scary. It's interesting, I've been buzzed by California sea lions a million times, but never had one actually make contact. The Stellars didn't have that problem.

I've spent a lot of time around California sea lions underwater, but I wouldn't approach one on land. Doubly so for the Stellars.



cowofwar posted:

Animals like sea lions or reptiles like crocodiles and alligators are actually quite docile underwater.

I'd take this advice with a gigantic grain of salt regarding the reptiles. I wouldn't get in the water with a croc or alligator. Sea lions and harbor seals seem to be ok if you let them approach you on their own terms. I've never approached one.

DeadlyMuffin fucked around with this message at 02:01 on Apr 1, 2015

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




fletcher posted:

Is that sort of thing common? I thought sea lions mostly left humans alone, I had never heard of anybody being bitten by one before.

Very uncommon. I heard a story out of San Diego recently about a spear fisherman getting bit by a sea lion going after his fish, but that was the first I'd heard of a diver getting a sea lion bite. You're the second...

Were you carrying a fish at the time? A lot of the sea lions around here are starving, so maybe they're desperate.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




sofullofhate posted:

Um. Considering that any nitrox mixture greater than 30% has a PPO2 of > 1.4 at 110 fsw - it might not have been the nitrogen. Ed: n.b. also nitrox has by its nature less nitrogen in it than air, so nitrogen narcosis would tend to present at a greater depth than oxygen toxicity on most mixtures. YMMV of course.

I concur about being careful with decongestants, of course. FWIW I have also been diving on them with no ill effects aside from feeling a little speedy after a three-tank day.

If I remember right oxygen may actually be slightly more narcotic than air. I remember seeing some gas permeability numbers that showed N2 and O2 being close, but with O2 being slightly worse.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




pupdive posted:

The idea that Oxygen is narcotic was a misreading of a cutting edge research paper by PADI/DSAT when it was putting together its TecRec course. No one who has done inside tender multi-place chamber work in would ever agree with that interpretation (I am one of those sorts of people), and no other agencies have ever held that called oxygen narcotic AFAIK

I was told that in a GUE Fundamentals class. Do you have a reference I can point them to?

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




I believe you, but "a dude on a forum said so" isn't really what I was looking to pass on. I was hoping to find some sort of clear cut paper or scientific reference, but I'm not seeing one.

Wikipedia has a mention of oxygen narcosis with a couple of references (a paper from 1978 and the NOAA diving manual from 2002). There are a bunch of anecdotes to the contrary though, which makes me think that if it has a narcotic effect due to solubility it's counteracted somehow, or at the very least its narcotic effect is significantly less than N2. Not my field, so I can't really comment knowledgeably on mechanisms.

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Hey, the thread is back!

Pics from Monterey and Carmel this past Saturday:

Cabezon look like angry muppets






This sunflower star was maybe 60mm across, it's by far the biggest I've seen since the big sea star die off.

Cold water is the best water

DeadlyMuffin fucked around with this message at 07:15 on Sep 10, 2015

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Since pictures don't seem to be enough to keep the thread going, I do have a question:

I've been thinking about trying to become an instructor. I'm friends with a few former instructors but nobody active, and I'm not sure where the best place to start is. Just walk into a shop and ask cold?

I'm certified PADI through rescue and passed GUE fundamentals (but I'm loathe to go any further down the GUE track due to my distaste for kool-aid).

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




jackyl posted:

also nobody cares about a flying gunard picture? what the hell

I've always wanted to see a flying gurnard in person and never have. Very cool.

Since we're posting pictures... Bonaire is beautiful! The profile is the same on just about every dive so it can be a bit repetitive, but it's still an absolutely gorgeous place underwater and there's lots to see. We did a couple of boat dives out to Klein Bonaire as well, but I thought the shore diving off of Bonaire itself was just as good, if not better.

You should be able to click on the images to see the full size ones.


Spotted Scorpionfish

Fairy Bassalet

Graysby getting cleaned by a Paderson shrimp

Creolefish with a parasitic isopod on its face

Longsnout seahorse

DeadlyMuffin fucked around with this message at 06:35 on Oct 29, 2015

DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




Ropes4u posted:

We are going to Bonaire for two weeks in January. We planned on a week of boat dives and a week of shore diving. In your opinion is there anything we should do or avoid?

It's common sense, but use the boat dives to do places that are more difficult or impossible to do by shore. The means Klein Bonaire, the east side of the island (if possible, I don't think many outfits go there and I wasn't able to) or the more inaccessible sites on the west side of Bonaire. The Hima Hooker, Bloodlet, and La Dania's leap are both a bit obnoxious to get to from shore, and I'm sure there are others; ask your boat crew.

The shore diving is very easy, and if I go back that's probably all I'll do. Karpata is one of the best sites in terms of large healthy reef, and the Salt Pier has enough structure that it is very different and I'd highly recommend going there (that's also the only place we saw a seahorse, for whatever that's worth). I'm disappointed I didn't do the Salt Pier at night while I had the chance.

When shore diving be sure to take everything with you, and leave your vehicle unlocked with the windows down. They do get broken into, it's not just something people say.

Also, the road by Kirpata becomes one way, so to get back South you need to either loop up through Rincon where the road is nicer, or take a super bumpy and occasionally steep dirt/gravel road that's a bit shorter as the crow flies, but sporty. Worth keeping that in mind when you're picking what order to do dive sites.

If you haven't picked a spot yet, I'd recommend looking for a location a bit north of the capital. We stayed about 5 minutes north and our drive times to both the northern and southern dive sites weren't bad at all. If you stay very far south, where I saw a fair number of houses, that would not be the case.

I've got to run to work but if you have any more questions (logistics, supermarkets, whatever) I can go a bit more in depth later.

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DeadlyMuffin
Jul 3, 2007




SuitcasePimp posted:

What are you shooting with? I just got a housing for my Olympus mirrorless and I can't wait to dive with it, although I imagine the first attempts won't include many keepers. That scorpionfish was awesome!

The scorpionfish was one of mine

Canon S95 with a sea and sea ys-01 strobe and an Inon wet wide angle, which is usually off.

I've been looking at the Olympus mirrorless cameras but I can't bring myself to spend the money. I'm too paranoid about floods, since I had one, so I'm very gun shy. If I flood my s95 I'm only our $100.

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