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DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

If you need to poop underwater, remember that your feces is positively buoyant. Therefore you need to be able to maintain neutral buoyancy while inverted. For wiping, use your alternate secondary in purge mode - not the reg itself. This is important.

I will be in Seoul South Korea for a year. Any opinions on the Dive Shops in that area? I am particularly interested on Aquatic Frontiers, 45km South of Seoul on the Osan Air Force Base. (They do the IDC). http://aquaticfrontier.com/?page_id=268


Has anyone had a good experience with custom wetsuit manufacturers that they would like to share? When I first started diving, I had a grey RipCurl surfing suit. It was good, but not very visible. I would like to get a new one made - ideally using phosphorescent dyes like they sell at United Nuclear. http://unitednuclear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=28_45&products_id=383

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DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

I have two gear related questions.

First, someone near me is selling a set of HOG regulators for about $250 (local currency). As I do not currently own regs, this might be good. But I've never heard of HOG before this sell ad was posted, so I don't know if they're a shite brand or not.

As far as I can tell, they're primarily for tech diving, but the set in question has a yoke adapter. Assuming I take them to a local shop and they check out ok, how are hog regs? Could I hover inverted without sucking in water? Sometimes I need to be upside down.


Question #2: Some guy recently recommended that the GoPro series of cameras as a potential upgrade from my Canon Powershot D10. Since my current camera is rated for 10m (and has never gone deeper than 15), and the Gopro's are rated for 60, they look to be a good fit on paper. Has anyone experience with these?

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

Finally I got back into the water again after a year-long hiatus. Thailand is beautiful and great for diving, but forget about trying to work there.

I'm in Korea now, and holy poo poo, the 38th parallel is much cooler than the 11th. Who knew? The people I dove with were using some newfangled technology called "Semi-dry" suits. It sounds like witchcraft to me. But they were comfortably tech diving at temperatures of about 6 degrees at 40 meters, while I was shivering above the thermocline at 17 degrees at 15 meters.

What's the deal with these semi-dry suits?


Also, for any DMs out there: If you lived in a country where they don't issue credit cards to foreigners, how would you go about paying your PADI dues this November?

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

Tomberforce posted:

I've got a vague question for the instructors here. I'm currently doing a Divemaster internship. Do any of you guys have any advice for DM's - either what you would be expecting to see in a DM as an instructor, or any tips and tricks you learned going through the system yourself? Particularly interested to hear from guys from other agencies - there's no BSAC club where I live in Australia so I'm with PADI but I get the impression that NAUI and BSAC have higher standards, so I'm keen to learn more.

I am not an instructor but these are things I found to be helpful when I did my DMT.

If you want to be the bestest most awesomest DMT ever, there are lots of little things you can do to help.

(In PADI) there are certain things that the instructor *must* do. Consider everything else something that you could do for him. Example; The instructor has to sign off on skills. But he doesn't have to kit the OW divers. You could do that for him, the instructor doesn't have to. You could set the sandcrew for OW#3 CESAs. You could hang a tank 5m off the back of the boat for the AOW Deep Dive safety stop. Keep an extra weight or two in your BCD for the OW students who can't keep from floating to the surface.

Try to think of all the things that need to happen before, during, and after the dive. Subtract all the things PADI (or NAUI etc.) says the instructor must do. Try to do everything else.

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

How's Australia for dive jobs nowadays?

I've been thinking lately of taking the IDC and teaching diving fulltime. I know I could get by with this on a place like Koh Tao, but I'm banned from Thailand, so that's a no-go.

The dive shop closest to me will run their annual IDC course this July, I'm not sure whether to sign up. I know that I could take the money I'd spend on a full-kit and course and put it towards a TESOL MA, and keep slogging away at ESL for another year, but I'd seriously rather not.

Where in the world is there demand for dive instructors these days? I need a new job.

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

After diving in Korea for a bit I've decided that I don't want to take the IDC here. The instructors are alright but the water is cold and the locals ate all the fish. So I have been shopping around for Cool Places for Attractive people to take the IDC. Specifically, I only want to take the course at a place I'd want to work right after completing the course. Diving in Korea kind of sucks. Aside from no fish, you also can't night dive because people coming out of the ocean at night = North Korean spies and then the police want to talk to you.

A friend told me there's lots of dive centres in Honduras and quite a few jobs available. There's a place called Utlia that looks especially good. At least one school is busy enough that they can guarantee 2 weeks of whoring you out for free labour if you want before the IDC (good for remembering what you're doing). Not only that, they offer Dive Boat Mate training courses. http://www.utiladivecenter.com/course.php?uuid=74&desp=10

I could get a full set of gear, take the IDC, and learn to become boat crew for less than $10,000. In a few years, with experience, I might go MSDT and take their boat captainship course. It's in the Caribbean, too. So I could probably talk like a pirate and they wouldn't mind. It could be the best thing ever.


Potential downside: Honduras has the highest murder rate on Earth. I don't like that. As a Canadian who's only ever lived in Asia, certain parts of the world are scary. I'm not too concerned with barracuda - they leave me alone. I can handle stonefish: just keep your eyes open. It's the human element that scares me. What's it like living in Honduras? Anyone gone diving there?

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

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.

But I can't ever visit Thailand again for no reason. So I need to work on somewhere else. Is the murder on Utlia bad? It seems like it could be a good place but I like to be drunk in public.

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

I don't want to mention that because I'm trying to be POLITICALLY CORRECT. But they ate all their fish and they'll shoot you for diving past 7pm here. So Honduras sounds good by comparison. Otherwise I'm stuck teaching English to 12-year-olds forever.

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

The guys I was/am thinking of doing the IDC with had a horror story about Korean divers. Apparently Ehwa or Sookmyung or some other Women's University in Seoul has their own dive program. While it would be awesome to maybe postpone the IDC, take a TESOL MA course, then do the IDC and try to get an English teaching/diving gig at a Korean Uni; the idea seems too esoteric and specific to be viable. Anyway, speaking of lovely Korean divers, said University was doing their OW course last August. The instructor was too lazy to swim a significant distance off shore, and had the students do their mask floods in like 8 meters of water under the harbor entrance channel. One girl panicks and bolts to the surface under a boat. Lost both her hands to the prop.

The nice thing about being in Korea is that as of October, they were still sewed back on and she had >80% function and improving.


So, built up could be good. I'm not going to discount having access to 1st world medical care. If that'd happened to a local on Koh Tao, she just wouldn't have hands anymore. Not to mention, after living in Asia for ~5 years, there are days when local authentic food gets old and you just want a cheeseburger. I would love to hear your Rotan/Utlia trip report. Diving conditions, surface life, tap water, strip clubs, Quiznos, everything. What's it like to live there?

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

Oh I know Koh Tao. It's awesome. But I can't go back to Thailand for reasons I don't care to go into. I'm more interested in the Caribbean now.

I agree about Koh Tao teaching efficiency. It was 4 dives, (5 with night) every single day for 2 months doing my DMT. It's a fantastic lifestyle. I'm not normally a morning person, but getting up at 6am to go swimming about in the ocean was the best thing ever.

gently caress Thai immigration policy though.

DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

Heners_UK posted:

Yeah about that... is the trick that was keeping people there still functional (60 day visas getting renewed perpetually, with tour operators setting up tours to take you over the border with visa runs)? If Immigration Officials turn up... turn your dive shop tshirt inside out quick...

Pretty much this. Half the staff where I was would just laze around on the beach like tourists when immigration was on the island. They weren't allowed to go home, but couldn't work in the shop either. It was pretty chill for them, but irritation for the DMTs with a deadline.

Worst part was that you'd find out they were on the island by word of mouth that somebody'd got busted. Sitting in the equipment room with a clipboard counting masks or something, sees a bright flash. Some Thai guy in a suit just took his picture. I heard he tried hiding in toilet for 3 hours while they waited outside. What a lovely day.

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DreadLlama
Jul 15, 2005
Not just for breakfast anymore

Sorry, I tried to answer that question twice. Once six hours ago and again now. I cannot compose a reply that doesn't come off extremely racist-sounding against Thais. I'm sure they are overall good people, but there's enough bad apples in the lot of leave me with an extremely sour taste.

Besides most of my other stories include things like how "marine toilet = tube that goes into the ocean," or "CESA line - boat anchor dropped onto the reef" or, "Fishing trip where you eat the fish other people are paying to look at = brilliant long term business model."

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