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SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Anyone have any experience diving anywhere in Virginia/DC area? My main options are a local quarry that the shops use for training, driving three hours to Lake Rawlings, a slightly better quarry, or driving five hours to Dutch Springs, PA, which is a slightly better quarry.

I've only dived the local one, and with visibility of about 3-4 feet and no real things to see except the occasional "wheeee sunken car!", it's only good for training and not having fun.

Have you guys been to Dutch Springs or Lake Rawlings?

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SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




SuitcasePimp posted:

Apparently there are some OK dives to be had off the coast of southern VA/northern NC (lots of wrecks, but some are deep). I'm in Virginia Beach and newly certified, we'll be going on some of the weekend day dives out of Lynnhaven Dive Center this summer to gain more experience and see what is out there. We got certified there and everyone we met has been really cool so far. http://www.ldcscuba.com Its a bit of a drive for you but if you're going to be driving for hours to dive anyway you might as well see some dolphins and rays and stuff. Apparently in the summer some tropical fish come in on the gulf stream and hang around until it gets cold.

I'm actually from Virginia Beach, so I've been looking for excuses to go back home to visit the parents. I've just heard that Va Beach dives are either in terrible, awful conditions, or they're like 200+ feet. I actually used to live a two minute drive from LDS, so I should try to look into some of their trips.


Royale with Cheese posted:

Sup DC area goon.

I've been to Lake Rawlings a few times on checkout dives. Visibility is good, they have all sorts of sunken ships, buses, and they added a plane a few years ago. Roughly half of the lake bottoms out at 30 feet, then it drops off sharply to 60 feet. Some friends in an AOW class went night diving as well. I'd be interested in diving this spring or summer, my local shop (MD) dives there almost every month.


Once it gets warmer, I'm going to definitely check that place out. I don't suppose there's enough DC/Virginia diver goons to get a goonmeet going?

SgtScruffy fucked around with this message at 18:40 on Feb 23, 2012

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




IM FROM THE FUTURE posted:

Right, and I just mean with that particular head-strap. It feels secure and hard to not notice coming off your head. But under water it seems to quietly sneak away when people are distracted with important diving stuff. I know like 2-3 people who have lost them that way. Now they just bolt it to the mask. Which is an all around better solution.

I was almost one of these people. As I was descending, I tried to scratch my head because it itched. I noticed that the GoPro wasn't on there. Fortunately, it had JUST fallen off, so I was able to reach out and grab it.


My current problem with my GoPro, though: I tried to change the lens out for a flat lens, and somehow stripped one of the screws in the process. I can get all of them out but one, and I still haven't replaced the lens, so my one experience underwater is just a big blurry mess. I tried the 'put a rubber band on the screw" trick, and all the things I've found on the internet are like "use a power drill!", but I obviously don't want to do that near the lens and such. Does anyone have any tips?

SgtScruffy fucked around with this message at 14:36 on Mar 15, 2012

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




IM FROM THE FUTURE posted:

If one of the screws is damaged I would say there is a high probability that case is hosed. Even just 60 feet down those little seals get the poo poo squeezed out of them, I dont know If I would trust the side without the screw to hold up. But you can always install and do a dive without the camera inside to find out.

If it is hosed you can get a flat lens+housing for eyeofmine for only $80

http://www.eyeofmine.com/gopro/underwater/


Yes and not only that the skirt needs to be attached to the front, not the sides of the frame. But not all masks are like this. Another good options is a small lanyard you can attach to your mask strap.

I'll probably end up just going down that road. I figured that if I could get the screw out somehow, maybe I could just email GoPro and ask them if they have any spares lying around, or if its a standard-size screw at all

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




IM FROM THE FUTURE posted:

well, when you said "stripped" I assumed that the plastic threads were stripped from the housing. Meaning even if you got the screw out, another screw in its place would simply slip in and not have anything to bite.

Not to my awareness - just the head of the screw itself - that is, it went from a Phillips head to something that sorta resembles a hex-circlish blob

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Bishop posted:

Aquaseal is the duct tape of diving. If all else fails that may be worth trying. Try and get it in the threads of the screw. I'd take it down without the camera in it as a test though.

I just got done with a bunch of diving so I'm giving everything a detail cleaning. Tooth brush and dish detergent for my masks an computers, new silicone grease for my twist on backup lights.

One thing I use a lot is corrosion block. Ive been using it on boats forever. It does a great job lubricating and of course preventing corrosion. I use it on things like bolt snaps, my backplate, and other metal pieces. Keep it away from your stages or anything else involving breathing gas though.

I think that, once I get the screw out of there, it should be fine. The issue is that the top is stripped, so I can't get it out. Most things I've seen regarding how to remove a stripped screw involve power tools and lots of pressure, but when dealing with a waterproof plastic camera housing, specifically the thin part with the lens housing, and screws that are like a millimeter tall, that's probably not an option.

http://www.dansmc.com/stuck_bolt9.jpg

This isn't the screws in question obviously, but that's basically my problem in a nutshell.

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




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.

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?

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Has anyone dived in the Baltimore Aquarium by chance? They have it, and Yelp reviews say it's good stuff, but I'm curious as to if any of you guys have done it.

I tried going to Epcot DiveQuest, and had everything booked, but when I got there, they said that they closed it due to some repairs and that they thought they called me. They didn't

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




rockcity posted:

Can't say I've done that, but I'm signed up for DiveQuest and I'm pretty excited about it. That sucks that your dive was cancelled.

They gave me a phone number of someone in HR that I could talk to to tell them about my experience. I have a feeling that, because it's Disney, I probably could have called and said how disappointed I was and probably have gotten some sort of ridiculous return trip or something, but I lost the phone number

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Does anyone have any diving experience in Puerto Rico or Barbados? My parents are planning an annual family trip, and they're choosing between the two - none of us are divers except for me, so they won't base the entire trip on which has better dives, but will either one have at least halfway decent dives?

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Does anyone know of any good diving in Punta Cana/The Dominican Republic? I'll be going with my girlfriend next month, and was curious if you guys have any "Must dive" sites

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




One slight thing I do is that flooding my mask entirely, to get rid of fog, used to scare the crap out of me. I wouldn't breathe out my nose, but I would get a little panicky. I then realized that you can let in the tinest amount of water you can, and it'll still be enough to defog the lenses. If they're fogging up a whole bunch, don't even clear the mask, just keep a little bit in and swish your head around every so often, if you have to.

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Just signed up to get my Dry Suit certification, and to check out Dutch Springs in Pennsylvania. Now I'll be able to dive in the DC area for longer than the existing window of "Late June to Mid August"!

Also, piggybacking on the "Any good diving in Dominican Republic" question - It sounds like I'll probably have to travel elsewhere from Punta Cana to be able to do any significantly cool diving. Oh well.

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




I'm going to be visiting Miami in late October for a few days - is there any MUST SEE diving while I'm out there? I'm really intruiged by the Atlantis Memorial Park, so I'm going to try to do that - any other advice? I've been eyeing the Spiegel Grove but it seems a bit too deep for my comfort level at the time.

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




helpy posted:

Hello diving thread, I recently moved to the Washington DC / Northern Virginia area and am wondering if you have any local dive shops / locations to recommend. I am transplanting from the Caribbean and recently learned to dive dry in an attempt to expand my opportunities for diving in this area.

for Dive Shops, if you're in Northern Virginia, I'd go with "The" Dive Shop (the quotes are theirs), it's in Fairfax off Nutley. There's a diving shop called Blue Planet in DC, near Adams Morgan, and they all seem nice enough, but I did my Dry Suit certification last weekend at Dutch Springs through them, and the instructor they had was SUPER disorganized - he had two other classes and was way in over his head (no pun intended) and it ended up taking us seven hours from when we first got in the water to when we finished our SECOND dive. And he forgot to get our knowledge reviews, so we had to send them in afterwards.


So, go with The Dive Shop.

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




I.C. posted:

I just wanted to say that I always read this thread's title as "Ask us about dying!". I don't have any questions about diving, though. But seeing this title always makes me think about death and life after death and near-death experiences. Well, I guess one question which may have already been answered is do divers like that Van Halen album/why did they name it that?

I'm only really a fan of the intro to Little Guitars, and their cover of Pretty Woman, and they named it that because there is a "Diver Down" flag which means that there are divers in the water below, but also because it's Van Halen and if there's one thing they love more than eatin' pussy, it's naming albums after eatin' pussy.

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Any of you Miami-ish divers - has anyone dived the Atlantis Memorial Reef? I saw it at the National Geographic museum a few months ago, and I'll be in Miami in a few days and I'm trying to dive it - is it as cool as the Nat Geo museum made it out to be, or is it actually lame in person?

(Edit: This could also answer the guy above me's question!)

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Hooray, I completed my online course for Nitrox and just have to do my practical application on Tuesday. Then I plan to get Deep Diver certification next weekend - is that course particularly challenging, or is it mainly "hey, when you're diving deep, be careful, take safety stops, and don't surface too fast"?

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Durette posted:

Day late and a dollar short, but anyway...

This is probably the most calm and predictable dive you can do in Miami off South Beach, so expect multiple boats to be on location at the same time.

The location is very, VERY small. You can circle the whole thing at a drift in about ten minutes. There isn't much around the memorial and calling it a "reef" is pretty generous. There isn't much on the bottom in the area, so you're not going to see the larger fish. There are usually some large schools of small fish hanging out in the center area, but everyone is trying to photograph them.

I ended up not being able to do any diving because the wind was too much. I guess good to know that I missed it - if I find myself in Miami again for longer, maybe I'll see if I can visit it, but it sounds like had I made it my single dive for the trip, I would have been disappointed.

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




I'm contemplating signing up for a Chilly Willy dive. It'll be in January, in a quarry in Northern Virginia. I just got Dry Suit certified, so it'll be my first experience diving in cold water with a dry suit. The quarry itself is kinda crappy, but the cold-weather dives apparently make it so the visibility is 40 feet as opposed to 3 feet like normal. Yay!

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




helpy posted:

Ho there Northern Virginia goon. I am assuming you are talking about The Dive Shop's Chilly Willy events. The quarry is kinda crappy as you say, but you will enjoy diving it dry moreso if you are a returning diver to the site. If you are looking for a dive buddy for the NoVa area I am always down to go exploring. Other quarry options that are ~2-3 hours from the Washington Metro area: Dutch Springs, PA; Guppy Gulch near Delta, PA; and Lake Rawlings, VA. I have some friends who will likely be putting together a Lake Rawlings trip in either January or February, if you want me to send you details let me know.

Yup, that'd be the one And I've been to the quarry once, to get my AOW, but I was mainly just on the platforms, so I didn't get a chance to see anything fancy (we were going to descend to 90 ft to see the plane, but my dive buddy was wearing a dry suit and it sprung a leak so he got flooded with really cold water so we had to abort). I've also been to Dutch Springs to get my Dry Suit, but that was also just on the platforms to get my certification.

My February is kinda full, but feel free to PM me if you've got it and maybe we can at least dive when the weather gets warmer


In your (and other NoVa divers) opinion, what is the best quarry around here? I've heard that Dutch Springs and Lake Rawlings are the two best, but is one better than the other?

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Howdy posted:

Yeah, the article top-to-bottom is different from when it was first posted, and a lot more pictures now, incidentally. There was plenty originally ("Spivey did not have his cave cert, Sanchez was completely uncertified") to draw the correct conclusions, but it gets exponentially stupider with each additional detail now.

They also seem to add some really unneccessary details about the father's randomly being declared a sex offender for consensual statutory rape. The guy made some dumb mistakes and ended up dying, but that's just kicking him when he's down

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




About to take a trip to Grand Bahama island - it looks like almost unanimously UNEXSO is the best dive shop in the area, but does anyone know of any good sites to try to dive at? It looks like they have dolphin dives and shark dives, both of which seem incredibly awesome - anyone do any of these or have any other suggestions?

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Update from a page or so back - I did a Dolphin dive while in Grand Bahama island. It was pretty gimmicky but still sweet - you get in a big circle with the other divers, and then you get to pet, kiss, and be spun around with, and generally play with, a dolphin. Plus I saw a pretty huge reef shark in the distance. Money well spent, if not just for the ability to say I made out with a dolphin

SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Suave Fedora posted:

I'm late to my own celebratory post, but last Sept I got my SCUBA cert for open-water after completing the checkout dive at Epcot's DiveQuest, where you swim in their aquarium they have inside the Nemo ride (formerly The Living Seas). It was a great experience. You get a backlot tour of their operations (how they feed the animals, how the water is filtered, etc) and do a 45 minute dive in crystal clear water with a few sharks, 2-3 turtles, rays and fish. You do follow-the-leader for 15 minutes then are free to roam pretty much anywhere except near the dolphin pen, which is separated from the main aquarium with long bars. If your family is there, you can swim by their area to wave hello and do silly underwater things.

(not my image)



I'm jealous! I signed up for SeaQuest, and when I got there, they said that the aquarium was closed for repairs and that they notified everyone in advance (they didn't notify me). I was there for a wedding, so it's not like my entire trip was ruined, but I still wish I would have gone. They gave me a phone number to call to talk to someone in customer service, but I never did. Seeing as how it's Disney, I feel like if I did call, they would have given me a million comps, so I wish I did

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SgtScruffy
Dec 27, 2003

Babies.




Any of you guys have any experience diving in Croatia, particularly Dubrovnik? Going for my honeymoon, and didn't know if there were any "Must see" spots, or if it's all just sorta "OK Stuff"

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