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Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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I dive in board shorts and a short sleeve rash thing as often as possible... maximum exposure! I only really wear a top to stop my harness annoying me too much. Of course when I'm planning a give somewhere cold or sharp or stingy then I wear more stuff, but to me half the fun is being as unencumbered by clothing as possible.

I'm Finch! from Adelaide, Australia. I dive with a local university dive club sometimes, or in South East Asia. Down for non technical local dives (unless you have spare gear, 'cause I am qualified) or you might find me in Thailand, usually in December, January, or February.

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Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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basx posted:

Vomiting into your regulator valve.

Here are some handy puking tips from About.com!

I generally (OK, it's happened twice) switch to my backup reg and puke into that. Leaves the primary pristine if I need to hand it off... or if I'm in a regular recreational set up I puke into the octopus because it's generally of lesser quality.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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I just bought these: http://irikonji.com/

Perfect for when I dive in nothing but shorts, and perfect for wearing over the top of my semi dry suit at home... pockets! For things! Success!

My Tek Shorts have been relegated to the bag of spares.

Also, what are thoughts about Hollis regulators? I'm about to pull the trigger on a recreational long hose setup using Hollis DC1/212 from Dive Gear Express, but I'd love some feedback first...

Finch! fucked around with this message at 00:36 on Mar 3, 2012

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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I've locked in my dive controller (SSI's dive master) course. Three months on Koh Tao from late November. Should be awesome...

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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Azzip posted:

You'll love it, I did my DM internship on Koh Tao last summer. I miss that crazy island...

Who did you do it with? I've spent a lot of time there - probably about six months in total - and I only have one place in mind to do it: Big Blue. I love that place.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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Azzip posted:

Mmmm yeah it's an addictive little island isn't it, I spent almost four months there when I was doing the DM internship, and fully intend to return and spend some more time. Great memories like jumping off the morning boat after a couple of dives, cheesing it to the chicken and rice place opposite the ladyboy club, then via 7-11 for a bottle of sprite then back to the shop in time to snag a couple more dives on the afternoon boat for the days it was running. Or getting noodlesoup to go from the couple that run the stall outside the 7-11 next to BigBlue and taking that on the boat. I was based at Simple Life which is just behind Wind resort, so right next to where you'll be.

drat, even typing this makes me miss that place, need to get my poo poo sorted so I can head back there.

It is addictive. I can't stop going there. I've been there once or twice a year for the past four... every time I go anywhere I try to work in a week or two for Koh Tao. This 18-ish month stretch - from July 2011 to December 2012 - will be the longest I haven't been there since I started going there

Despite being a huge tourist trap it's the kind of place that if I didn't have to work, or if I were "living the dream" and diving for a living, I'd spend six months of every year there. It's a vastly different place to live than it is to visit, and to my mind it's vastly better as a long term proposition.

The chicken rice place is awesome, and the noodle soup guys remember me! Way back in January last year I used to be a regular and tweaked my order - pork soup, yellow noodles, lots of crackling, LOTS of spring onion, and a few other things... I paid a little extra (like 10 baht extra) and it was awesome. Fast forward to July and I rocked up and they did it exactly how I liked it. Those guys are great.

There's also good eats from the 555 duck noodle (or duck soup? I can't remember the name) place, the grumpy lady who hangs out at the first 711 or in the vacant lot next to the pharmacy and grills the BEST chicken ever, late night pancakes from Ali , the new Mexican and pizza place opposite the orange travel agent is pretty good, Nid's, but not Tik (only place on the island to give me the shits). The pub that's in the old screening room does killer roast pork on Sundays and the chicken wings on half priced Thai food Fridays at Choppers are also very awesome... but not as awesome as the fried chicken from the fried chicken dude outside the 711 in Mae Had, though. I don't know how it's done but that is seriously the most awesome fried chicken ever. Better than any other TFC I've had.

I was last there in July but mostly out of the water due to a shoulder injury that I'm having surgery on this year. Hopefully I'll recover in time to head over there by December... I can't wait. It's my second home.


SgtScruffy posted:

As someone who is considering doing a DM internship there, what's the level of "hey intern, clean the toilets in the store and be our bitch" to "live out your dream of just waking up and diving every day in a tropical paradise"?

Also, how cheap is it to live on that island? Is a good dinner like, $2 USD, or is it more resort-prices so it's actually regular cost?

Depends on the shop. Some places are better than others but the most you'll have to do is help move tanks, clean gear, set up boats, help out in the shop, or whatever. No toilet cleaning or room service. In my experience - hanging around with trainees and instructors and dive masters over a long time - they have a ton of free time and really only do fun stuff. They all seem to hate the shop days because they're not in the water, but I can handle that every few weeks...!

It's cheap enough. Rent in an AWESOME house will be $500-ish per month (though maybe 1/5th of that if you're renting a room in a house at Pidangs or something), the noodle soup lady above is 40 baht, the special chicken rice from the chicken rice dude is 60, a beer will be anywhere from 40 baht to 150 baht depending on the beer and happy hour (but usually around 60 baht for a Singha outside happy hour), a pizza anywhere from 100 to 600 baht, an awesome meal at the now defunct Papas Tapas (it got ruined in the flood last May) was around $40 but that included wine, a case of warm Singha from the ice shop was about 500 baht, a pancake from Ali with lemon and sugar about 40, and there's usually free wifi everywhere.

It's more expensive than small town country mainland Thailand and probably more expensive than Bangkok but... it's an island with no resources and everything, even water to flush the shitter with, has to be shipped in.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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Azzip posted:

Ahhh Nids, yeah we would roll up there when a hard day's diving (awww poor us) called for a slap up meal - the Cordon Bleu for I think like 150 baht was just the greatest. Someone else mentioned getting a bad reaction from Tiks once I think, but it was on my regular rotation and I don't remember any problem so just luck of the draw I guess. Oh and the the Massaman curry from the place next to Zanzibar - I'd have to take a milkshake along because it is pretty hot, but holy poo poo it was awesome.

Which pub do you mean for the roast, don't think I ever tried that? I was there from June to Sept last year, so we were there at the same time though I spent as much time as I could out in the water. Arrived with 15 logged dives and left with 170 and there is still sooo much to learn and do.

Next to Zanzibar... the place that's basically a little stall under the eaves of the minimart or the actual restaurant place on the other side? I never ate there... but I'll definitely check it out when I head back. There's so much of Sairee I haven't explored or eaten, let alone the rest of the island.

The pub in the screening room is more or less opposite the intersection near Asia Divers. It was fairly new in late July - I have a feeling I may have been there for the opening party, though I can't remember exactly. It was pretty cool - it's an awesome little bar in a huge garden setting, kinda like MOOV in Mae Haad but more chilled out. And they do Sunday roasts.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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Studebaker Hawk posted:

With all this Koh Tao talk, any shop recommendations for first timer doing open water? I have a couple in mind based on various Internet reviews but am always interested in the goon recs



I gotta sound like a broken record and I promise that aside from being a very happy customer I have absolutely no affiliation with them, though I've spent months diving with them and if they were to offer me a job I wouldn't say no...

... Big Blue, Koh Tao.

Seriously.

They're big but they're not a factory. Awesome gear, awesome boats, awesome instructors and dive masters and dive master trainees, sweet location, fun atmosphere, great staff - Burmese, whitey, Thai, they've been there forever, they're highly involved in the eco stuff, treat their workers well and although I don't have any friends who work there now I know that if I were to rock up tomorrow I'd be welcomed in to the family as though I'd never left, Even though everyone is new and I've only ever been a customer. I could go on but I've seen and experienced numerous things where Big Blue has left a great impression and I won't dive with anyone else on the island. They care - about their students, their staff, and the environment.

That said, there are plenty of great schools on Koh Tao and Big Blue is by no means the only one that you should consider. DJL, Simple Life, and Sairee Hut are the other guys on Sairee that you should look at. I can't think of any others I'd recommend, even though there are dozens more.

** Disclaimer: ~70 dives with Big Blue from open water to tech courses over four years. I'll become a dive master through them. Not, and never, employed by Big Blue but I'm a big fan.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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Gromit posted:

I've got no interest in tech diving, weird gas mixtures, insane depth, caving - any of that beyond amateur-hour scuba at less than 30 metres. But gently caress me if rebreather shots don't always look totally badass.

There's a growing number of recreational rebreathers out there - the Poseidon Discovery VI and Hollis Explorer spring to mind but I know there are more, and apparently they're set to be the "next big thing."

The gas is no weirder than recreational nitrox and the units aren't designed to exceed the 40-ish metre recreational limit.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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SlicerDicer posted:

except the thought of everyday people doing rebreathers is somewhat horrifying given they can be a serious box of death. They are not a joke in anyway... I dive at least once a week on my unit if not more and I know that its not a matter of if but when.. It will try to kill me.. and it will do it again...

The reality is will my training, brain, and calmness be able to get me out of the situation or will I end up a number on the rebreather death wall.. I make no mistake about how they can kill you and are devices that require utmost respect and care.. Assembly and repair...

Most definitely. They are pretty serious pieces of gear and should be treated as such.

I'm not familiar with any kind of rebreather training (a discover rebreather course doesn't count!), though with a small amount of open circuit technical training I know what that's like and it's very, very thorough.

I imagine that recreational rebreather training cover the critical components of rebreather use and maintenance just the same as a technical rebreather course. However, since it's not designed to be used outside recreational limits it won't cover anything to do with decompression or anything involving advanced nitrox or whatever. So long as the operator is taught how to use the thing properly, it shouldn't matter that they're not qualified for deco or crazy nitrox because they won't be using it for that type of diving anyway.

Of course, then there's the whole additional prior training that a technical rebreather diver would have, and the (generally) greater competence at dealing with problems, stress management, and the different mindset that comes with tech diving. I'm not sure how much of an issue it would be for a recreational diver without those foundations to deal with catastrophes without freaking out. Depends on the diver, I guess.

Interestingly, all the recreational units I've seen or read about seem to be becoming more and more automated. Electronic, automatic, self-checking, plug-and-play sorb canisters, and a huge amount of electronics to try to ensure the operator won't kill themselves. Most of the technical rebreathers operate on the principle that the operator well trained is is capable of second guessing the electronics, and should. There's nearly always some kind of manual override, unlike the recreational systems.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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SlicerDicer, your photographs are awesome. Keep 'em coming

MA-Horus posted:

Someone was talking about Big Blue diving a few pages back and I'm done in Korea in August, might spend a few weeks in Koh Tao doing some diving before coming home

Especially as they have a deal on Advanced/Nitrox/Wreck diver courses and those are the 3 I want.

That was me! I'll be there in August, too - I'm going to spend three months at Big Blue doing a dive controller course, so I guess I'll see you there. The first beer is on me!

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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Crunkjuice, that's great news about your friend. Glad to hear he's doing well.

My quarter life crisis move to Thailand is coming together nicely. My regs have arrived and will be put together once the correct lube arrives (I just need to attach the SPG and inflator hose), I've ordered a GoPro Hero2 with BackScatter housing and filters, the paperwork for a 12 month multiple entry education visa has been submitted, plane tickets are booked, shoulder surgery is scheduled for this time next week and the surgeon doesn't see a need to change the early August departure date. Great success!

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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MA-Horus posted:

I'm all booked in at Big Blue on Koh Tao, advanced open water with deep water and wreck specialties, plus nitrox. Late August 2012!

I'll see you there - the first beer is on me. I get there in early August and will stay until February or longer.

Finch! fucked around with this message at 02:16 on May 15, 2012

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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stratdax posted:

After you get the advanced, head to Koh Phangan and go to Sail Rock. It's awesome. It's about midway between Koh Tao and Phangan, but I think only dive shops on Phangan go. I jumped in off the boat, looked down... to a whale shark swimming right directly below me. Swam to the rock, saw the biggest friggin Moray Eel in existance, went down a chimney, etc etc... anyway it's an awesome dive and since you'll be in the area, it's worth it.

Plenty of dive shops on Koh Tao head to Sail Rock - Big Blue go once or twice a week

Sail Rock is undoubtedly the best site in the Gulf of Thailand.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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macado posted:

It's been about 2007 since I've been in Thailand but I am heading back to SE Asia for 2 weeks in last August and I am hoping to make it back to Koh Tao to do some more diving. Maybe see if you guys are still there if I make it back to Koh Tao.

Sounds good. There's another guy (eviljelly) in the South East Asia thread who's planning to be there then, too - he's been there for a while already. Koh Tao goonmeet?

There are a few tech shops there if you want to join in their fun - I can give specific recommendations if you're interested. The guys I dive with do cool stuff like this every so often, but I'm not qualified yet...

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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Hey, I have one of those giant XS Scuba surface markers, too. Haven't used it yet, though.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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SlicerDicer posted:

They are AWESOME its like your own personal life raft!

How do you carry it? I'm not entirely sure where it's going to go - the only place I can think of is between two loops of surgical tube at the bottom of my backplate. It's huge even when rolled - too large for any pocket I have.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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SlicerDicer posted:

acehardware they have velcro straps + brass clips.. dont you have spare d rings? Sausage Envy is important find a way I have way more clips still.

btw in my kit I have, sausage + nautilus lifeline, reef hook, john line, slate, knives etc. I got room to carry tons more in my 2nd bag too. If I find a pot of gold I can at least bring some to the surface to anger the leprechauns..

http://www.gosidemount.com/Razor/razor_pouch.asp Designed to be buttmounted but I changed it to front mounted. It never gets in my way either?

I guess I could clip to either the front or back crotch strap D ring, since I'll never use a scooter. It's kinda large and I don't want it dangling about on my chest, and don't want to clip it to my only waist D ring 'cause that's where I clip my SPG.

That pouch looks like the kind of thing I'm after. Unfortunately shipping to Australia is ridiculous - fifty bucks! Must be made from lead or something.

Bishop posted:

At least for me, big rear end SMBs go behind your backplate. I carry 2... a 3 foot surface marker which fits in one of my hip pockets and a 60 pound lift bag which goes behind my back plate. I should carry a taller surface marker and I'll probably break down and buy a 6 foot one soon.

How do you hold it behind the backplate? I've made two loops of surgical tube through holes in the bottom of the backplate and cable tied the ends together, but it's not a very elegant solution and I want the loops gone.

Edit: This is the Internet. I can Google

Finch! fucked around with this message at 01:45 on Jun 18, 2012

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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eviljelly posted:

God drat crazy sons of bitches.

The best one I've seen was a former military diver - British, I think - who had retired and was taking an open water refresher course I was also taking. His method of clearing his mask was to somehow suck all the water out through his nose, then breathe air back in...

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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Buy a cable rather than a card reader. I've had bad experiences with poor quality card readers completely ruining XD cards.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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ehnus posted:

Anyone here try sidemount? The slim profile and ease of schlepping gear to shore dive sites appeals to me over doubles as I'd like to start doing some tech diving.

I got midway through the first dive of TDI Sidemount and busted my shoulder. I've since had surgery and hope to do the course again when I get a chance.

It was pretty cool. Side slung tanks are a lot easier to handle than back mounted manifolded doubles, and I liked the feel in the water, but don't really think that a 50 minute dive is enough to give much useful feedback.

The lack of manifold can be annoying but it's easy to overcome, and UTD even have a thing called a "Z Manifold" as part of their "Z-Side-Mount-System" which seems to introduce all sorts of failure points but resolves the manifold issue.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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MA-Horus posted:



Jesus that's close.

3 weeks until my AOW course, and an additional week of diving afterwards on Koh Tao. Can't wait!

Yeah, woah

The bull sharks are back at Koh Tao! They disappeared a year or so ago, but they're back, apparently. Great success.

I swap Australia for Thailand on Sunday. Yikes. Last I checked it happened in three weeks, not three days.

See you soon.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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SlicerDicer posted:

Galapagos sharks here are related to bulls and they are VERY bold just like the bulls. Hammerheads are calm generally but they are known to attack for whatever reason. Thus guy was about 10-12ft long I would estimate.

People have been diving with bull sharks on Koh Tao for over a decade and although there hasn't been any biting going on, it's not uncommon for them to bump in to divers. Presumably they're wondering WTF that poorly trimmed noisy weird looking fish is.

Here, even in warm water, bull sharks are big trouble. Over there, they're practically docile.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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MA-Horus posted:

Hey eviljelly, I'm on Koh Tao. About to do my night dive for Iain's AOW course. Great so far!

I'm in Bangkok now but I'll be back at Big Blue on Sunday night. Definitely keen for a few beers!

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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A mate of mine is building up to a 200+ metre dive in a cave (Sra Keow) and has asked me if I'm interested in being a support diver. I said no, because I'm not experienced enough. He said that didn't matter, there would be something for me to do even at recreational depths with only a cavern course as extra training I don't have. Unfortunately we haven't had a chance to talk since as he moved across the country to Phuket.

Anyway, I've been thinking it over and I'm kind of interested. Has anyone done any diving in support of others? If so, what sort of jobs are involved and what are some things I should be aware of?

The guy in question is just a kid - he's an extremely competent 19 year old SSI and TDI instructor and is training with/working for a guy in Phuket who has been to 240m in said cave. My friend hit 100m there a few months ago, and is slowly building his skills and experience to go further. His parents think he's an open water instructor, but at the moment he's taking a CCR full cave course

Finch! fucked around with this message at 05:57 on Sep 19, 2012

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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SlicerDicer posted:

Look at what Add Helium did for 200m... They did it recently in a non overhead enviroment.

I had a read on their website but my Internet sucks too hard to watch the video. Interesting that the entire crew were on rebreathers.

From memory, the only reason the dive is being planned for a cave is because it's the only place nearby where such depths can be encountered.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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Crunkjuice posted:

Jesus, you need to get the hell away from this dude liability wise. My most polite way of saying this? gently caress this rear end in a top hat. Do nothing with him training wise. He's an rear end in a top hat and i give no fucks to his level of training. If he's lying about his training level to anyone, he deserves no diving business.

Which guy - my friend, or his mentor/instructor/employer?

My friend has been a tech diver since he was 15, and is training with and working with an extremely competent instructor trainer who has held - or holds - several records and who writes instructor trainer manuals. He wouldn't risk his reputation as one of the best to support or even employ my friend if he did not think he is capable and competent.

Why do you say he's a liability and hint at him being incompetent - or do you mean me, and my lack of training but being asked to help out in some way? If the latter, I agree - hence my reluctance to get involved. Nevertheless I've dived with both guys and I know neither would ask unless they were sure I could be of some use and not a liability.

Finch! fucked around with this message at 09:13 on Sep 19, 2012

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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I saw a whale shark the other day. Finally! I thought they were mythical creatures and it was some joke that the whole world was playing on me. I can now confirm that they actually do exist.

It's 5:37am and I'm going whale shark hunting again in an hour or so. Nom nom nom.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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MA-Horus posted:

Sail rock or Chumpon?

Saw Whale sharks my first dive at Sail Rock

Chumphon, and gently caress you

When are you coming back?

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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Had a bit of fun yesterday... another DMT and I went out to follow a BSAC course who were diving on tables with a 16 minute bottom time. We were to hang out with them until they had to leave, then chill out and look for whale sharks by ourselves. On the first dive I was "leading" the two of us and on the second dive we swapped.

First dive: 29 metres, 50 minutes.
Surface interval: 61 minutes.
Second dive: 26m, 41 minutes.

My buddy went into deco at about the 25 minute mark of the second dive at around 20 metres depth

She learned some valuables lesson: if you're diving with a computer, make sure:

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.

Fortunately she didn't panic and we both followed the deco schedule the computer gave us. She was diving a Suunto Zoop, and when she went into deco my Oceanic Geo 2.0 showed me with something like 20 minutes remaining. I think she realised the seriousness of her gently caress up a few hours after the dive... I doubt she'll do it again. Our dive school gets really pissed when DMT's go into deco. Fortunately we didn't gently caress up too badly and delay a boat or need someone to bring down another tank or whatever. We made the BOB time by 25 minutes.

I also took a few things away from it, too:

a) I have ~100 dives more than her and knew she wasn't used to her (or any) computer. I should have been more attentive to her NDL's, even if I was following her lead.
b) I should have picked up her lack of experience on the first (small girl using more air than me AND occasionally swimming with her arms?) dive and taken that into account on the second dive. Hindsight.
c) When diving in current and poor visibility, make sure to keep the buoy line in sight when performing safety/deco stops (duh);
d) Plan better.

Good experience for us both even if there were no whale sharks

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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DAN are even covering knee surgery for a friend who barely dives (not because of the knee).

I've also heard good things about most other dive insurance companies, but DAN are the best known and probably the largest organisation.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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There isn't much (any?) good diving at Samui. Come to Koh Tao! Recommendations are, in no particular order, Big Blue (if you're a sociable person), New Way (if you're an early morning diver), and Roctopus (they are great people). I like Big Blue, but that's 'cause I am (still) training with them now. Don't dive with Simple Life because their boat captains are wankers and anchor where they know they shouldn't and ruin coral nurseries with anchors

I've been out of the water for over three weeks with ear problems, dengue fever, and laziness... but I picked a good time to get back in the water because I had my second whale shark encounter today, in the afternoon at Chumphon Pinnacle. It announced itself by swimming above us and giving us the heebie jeebies with wake from its tail. We spent about ten minutes with it, total - it was close enough to touch. It was small-ish, only around three metres long, but it was very playful and would eat our bubbles, swim at us and match our ascent/descent trying to avoid contact with it. Visibility wasn't great and at one point I saw it coming right for me so I descended only to see it follow me and get faster - it knew what it was doing, though, and missed. I swear it smiled at me as it passed above. Really, really, really cool.

My ears are hosed once more, so I'm out of the water for another few days at the least. I should get them checked out. Again. Hmph.

Finch! fucked around with this message at 18:31 on Jan 2, 2013

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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Loving Africa Chaps posted:

I just got a Hollis m1 and it owns considerable bones.

Tomberforce posted:

I have one too, it is an absolutely fantastic mask.

I broke one and had to use a Shadow. The Shadow is the only mask I've ever had that wouldn't stop fogging. I hated it and gave it away when another M1 arrived. It's like the previous M1 - after mild cleaning, it hasn't ever fogged and it is completely awesome.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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rockcity posted:

I'm pretty sure you just needed to get the residual film off of the mask. I've used a shadow for two years now and mine never fogs. I know people still think it's crazy, but I swear by the flame method and then follow that with toothpaste and it has never fogged since doing it. I did just toothpaste before my certification course and it would fog about 20 minutes into a dive, then I did the lighter trick and it's never fogged since.

Oh, I had tried all the tricks: I used proper mask scrub, toothpaste, a certain type of shampoo, a lighter... I even combined mask scrub and toothpaste and scrubbed with a toothbrush after doing the lighter trick. No good - it kept fogging, and defogging underwater got to be a complete pain in the arse. Maybe the Shadow and my face combine to form some kind of nasty sweaty fog creating vortex or something. I gave the mask to a friend and it hasn't fogged for him.

On the other hand, the M1 needed one mild application of mask scrub gunk and it's been fog free from day one... which is surprising, because it looks as though the M1 is lower volume than the Shadow. It's a mystery.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

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[ ] Whaleshark

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Orions Lord posted:

Before putting on the mask... make your face wet.

Maybe it helps.

I tried wet face and dry face - no tangible difference. I also cooled my face as much as I can with ~29 degree Celcius water, to no avail. I don't like that mask anyway

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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TLG James posted:

Does anyone have a recommendation or opinion on a dive knife vs just a pair of EMT shears?

Depends hat you're planning to use them for, I guess. I have a couple of these - http://eezycut.com/ - on my harness. I've used them to cut webbing, line, nets, and bungees. They are great. Sharp as hell, easy to use, compact, and cheap.

Otherwise the steak knife option is a good one. I've lost several of them, too.

I have one massive knife that is more trouble to dive with than it's worth. I think I've dived with it once.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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eviljelly posted:

I just had a dive with less than a meter vis, which is very, very unusual here. Everyone else complained that it was a poo poo dive but I really enjoyed it. It was a goddamn adventure! It was awesome seeing cobia and barracuda with such poo poo vis... kinda gets your heart pounding when you're suddenly staring at a cobia less than a meter away from you.

Chumphon? I hear it's been terrible lately... Sail Rock, too.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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The disadvantage of diving head down, feet up is that it's easy to have accidents.



That's me about to get hit by a whaleshark. I had no idea it was there.

Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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DreadLlama posted:

Oh yeah. I did my OW --> DM on Koh Tao. If you ever meet Guy Bannister, tell him he's awesome and have your gf give him a blowjob. I loved it there.

I know Guy but I don't think Petra would approve of the bj bit

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Finch!
Sep 11, 2001

Spatial Awareness?

[ ] Whaleshark

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MA-Horus posted:

My friend I was travelling with didn't like it because there wasn't enough party. I loved it for exactly that reason.



Not enough party? What did they want - multi level indoor clubs or something?

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