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Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005



ttomkat posted:

So I am heading off to Belize in about 6 weeks and I am still fairly new to diving but I really want to capture what I see underwater.
I have been looking at underwater cameras, but I am still undecided. I don't have a huge budget for a full camera/strobe package. I am not looking to go pro, just to have fun and share my experiences with friends and family.

What should I go for or do you have any other suggestions?
HD Hero 2 with Backscatter UW Housing

Canon S100 w/Ikelite UW Housing

I need a new camera so I am leaning towards the S100, but I am open to suggestions.

Thanks!

I'd go for an S100 with the official Canon Housing, not the Ikelite.

I've been diving with the S90 since it came out and for the size/price, it takes pretty nice shots.

Just make sure (if you're buying it in store) it's not one of the recalled units

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Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005




Absolutely stunning shots, bravo!

What camera are you using?

Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005



Bishop posted:


Here's my dive buddy putting one on:


What kind of post-editing was done on this photo to make her suit look like a leather cat suit? I also like the matching yellow weights and trim on the knife.

Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005



Bangkero posted:

In Coron the non-diving stuff is amazing. Probably my most favourite place to go in the Philippines. As for the wrecks, just keep in mind that the viz isn't as great as other places in the PI. But it's a surreal place to dive and worth a trip. Coron Divers is my go to, but Sea Dive Resortis also very popular. I've heard nothing but good things about Rock Steady, but their shop is not located by the shore.

Both Malapascua and Moalboal are part of Cebu. There are flights to and from Coron <-> Cebu which is better than having to go back through Manila. If you go to Malapascua, hook up with my buddies over at Evolution Diving, especially if you'll be taking Rescue/EFR and AOW. They have the most qualified instructors on the island. Purple Snapper Divers is also a good dive shop, but their accommodations are 2 min walk to the beach front (albeit nice). Both dive shops cost 100-200 pesos more per dive than Thresher Shark Divers and Exotic, but Evo and PSD have given a lot more back to the community than they ever have.

The diving in Malapascua is a lot better than Moalboal, imo. However, Moalboal is a lot easier to get to. Moalboal is a bit too generic for me (like diving Mactan) but they do have the sardine shoal. I'd probably only spend a day diving there then going back to Cebu to fly out the next day.

Best be posting pictures when you get back.

This man knows what he's talking about.

Never been to Coron, but I've done Malapascua and I spent 3 months doing my divemaster/technical diving/loving around in Moalboal.

Moalboal is quiet and small but I had a lot of fun there. The sardines were gone when I was there but they appear to have returned.

Threshers are easy to catch in Malapascua but unless you find a decent shop that will get up rear end early to be first at the site (Purple Snapper does! I've stayed there and they're decent) it's crowded as gently caress.

Don't underestimate how much of a bitch it is to get to/from Malapascua, if I had a very limited time budget I'm not sure I'd do it. You can catch a white taxi at the Cebu airport that'll take you directly to moalboal for 1500-2000 pesos depending on your negotiating skills and their mood (it's a 2-3+ hour journey depending on traffic). The resorts there can arrange a ride back to the airport from there but expect it to be a bit more pricey.

No problem with dynamite fishing in Moalboal, heard it once or twice in Malapascua.

If you go to Moalboal dive with Savedra!

Asymmetric POSTer fucked around with this message at 04:16 on Oct 4, 2013

Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005



Bangkero posted:

I'd forgo visiting Manila unless you want to do some shopping. Even then, I'd only spend one day (fly out the evening). It's not as impressive as Singapore or HK.

Please don't spend any time in Manila, it's a shithole that deserves no tourist dollars.

Bangkero posted:

Holy gently caress that's one thing that pissed the poo poo out of me diving monad shoal - having to deal with the cattle boats and lovely divers. Evo was great - no more than 3,4 of us and we all dove nitrox. All the lovely divers and air hogs will go up after 20 mins so by the 40 min mark it's only us nitrox divers and the DM enjoying the threshers by ourselves:

So yeah, Trivia - definitely dive nitrox with the threshers. We had some awesome fly bys, some as close as 3 meters.

Diving with purple snapper was great when I did monad shoal because we were literally the first boat at the site. As we finished the dive with my small group we saw the hoards of idiots crowding the decent line, I couldn't imagine being part of one of those cattle boats and going down then.

Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005



Bishop posted:

That's actually a good question. There's a "how much deco time do you have left?" signal, which is holding up your pinky finger with the rest of the hand in a closed fist but that's obviously only used in deco time. Crunkjuice covers most of how to deal with your question but I think there is a fair amount of personal responsibility here as well. If you don't know what your no deco time is you have no business approaching it. If you're approaching your limits and can't express that to your buddy and don't have a slate/wetnotes to write on, just thumb it and explain the situation once you surface.

It's always a good idea to go over hand signals if you are with an insta-buddy. Even the basic ones, but a lot of people misinterpret some of the more intermediate ones. Just be on the same page. If your're heading out on a boat you've got some time to kill while schmoozing and such anyways.

Of course there's always variation in usage of hand signals, but from my training pinky up has meant "deco" usually in the context of asking your teammate to verify the dive plan and then begin deco procedures on a technical dive, not so much "how much deco time do you have left?" I've never seen or heard of it being used in a recreational context anywhere, is it common?

Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005



eviljelly posted:

I spoke to a guy who did his DMT in the Philippines (I think Moalboal). The dive sites were much better by far, but there was absolutely no concern for safety or protocol. He said they would dive to 50-60 m and go into deco on a regular basis. He thought feeling a bit narced was just a regular part of diving. He was staying for a few months on Koh Tao and diving every day with us, and we really had to teach him a lot of things that he never learned through his DMT program (he didn't even know how to deploy a surface marker!).

Just to defend the Philippines a little, I did my DMT in Moalboal and had an excellent instructor who would have physically beaten me if he heard of me doing anything like that.

There are a lot of lovely instructors that will hand out DM certifications just to make the money, and there are good ones no matter where you go. Always pick a very experienced instructor who isn't a moron.

Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005



pupdive posted:

But then again, Deep Air classes have largely been taken off the table anyway. This is probably as much as anything, a marketing/liability decision for all the agencies. Since Trimix is seen as the end training goal for so many divers (regardless of how little they may actually use it for fun diving), why not go ahead and offer trimix right there at any dives deeper than 40 anyway? Air/Nitrox for all dives 130ft/40m or less, including deco dives, and Trimix for any dives deeper.

On a personal note trying to herd divers, and be their ironclad backup, at Deep Air depths as deep as 57m/187 feet is kind of a nightmare anyway. I count anything over 130 as a solo dive for just that reason now, whether or not there are other divers with me. Because the task loading of trying to keep track of everyone's everything when truly and fully narc'd is asking for trouble liability wise. I am glad I got to get Deep Air training to 60m/200', but I would not do that training for anyone any more. Train them to do full deco, with 100 o2, at less than 40m/130', and trun them loose to do their dives as their muse guides them. (Air and 100 o2 deco 4 lyfe!)

Has this changed significantly in the past year in the PADI world? I did my tech deep a year ago down to 50 meters on air.

Great write-ups by the way.

Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005



helpy posted:

I find that shaving the top edge of my mustache allows the mask to form a full seal around the base of my nose. edit: alternatively, your mask may not actually fit and you should try another one.

The website for the Try Rebreather in NC finally went live: http://www.tdisdi.com/tdi-dive-tour/

I'm actually seriously considering this just for the fun of trying a rebreather

What kind of thermal protection would I need for this? I read in the summer the surface water temps are warm but it gets cold fast in the deep

I never dive in the US

Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005



pupdive posted:

Here's the thing. We are not required to teach Tech 50 past 130 (well technically we have to 1 foot past 130), and that is only required on the last dive, and the dives can be taught on trimix also.

I am glad you got to go to 50m/165' for training, but thinking about all the factors as an instructor, I would go shallower (longer) rather than deeper (shorter), and leave the extended of the dive time and depth to the diver going forward. Also unlike the Tec50 class, for me, personally unless I am going to trimix, I am doing the dives on air and 100% O2. We have to teach handling two deco gases in Tec50, but frankly, I am not going to use two deco mixes on dives I do.

Part of how I approach teaching in general is the idea that people should learn to dive in class and then go dive in the real world. It's real world fact that taking three tanks on a boat is easier than four, so often tech diving is going to be single deco gas by logistics. Also 100% always has the same MOD, as does air, so the possible testing and labeling mixups are not going to happen with them. Also one mixed up lost tank is not going to mess things up much.

I also use sidemount instead of doubles for the same sort of ease of handling issues.

I know that simplifying logistics is a big part of teaching people to dive on any level. While I know some people get into diving/tech diving because they have fun tweaking out on planning and prep. Part of the problem for tech diving in general is that too many people take a tech class and never do tech dives, (though they post endlessly about it on the internet).

Part of the reason for that, is sometimes that the instructor has geeked out on the planning, instead of teaching divers to go out and dive, because the instructors themselves don;t do enough tech diving to have gotten it down, and they themselves HAVE to spend time planning it out slowly, to do it safely. All of the PADI Course directors here are PADI TedRec instructors who never do tech dives outside of teaching classes. This is in general an instructor disease anyway, making aspects of diving seem arcane and difficult because then being a dive instructor is somehow elevated. Tech diving has higher level of expectation of skill level, but how do you dive well if you do not do it often? It does not matter if you are an instructor, you have to do the kind of diving you are teaching often, or you simply are not doing more than regurgitating from the instructor manual.

You sound just as wise if not wiser than my instructor. Beyond Tec 40 I did all my work in sidemount as well (ease of handling issues aside, I enjoy the configuration a lot). I never really put that much thought into it but I agree with you as well on not wanting mixed deco gases, less complication the better. Of course I guess if you're diving in really cold water, any few minutes you can shave off deco time may be worth it

Fortunately my instructor does tech dive somewhat regularly for fun (PADI CD). I've tried not to build up any sort of ego or complex, I did the course purely out of curiosity and to expand my knowledge rather than for bragging rights or to suddenly feel like I'm equipped to do anything. Pushing beyond recreational limits is no joke and I enjoyed the challenge of going there safely.

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Asymmetric POSTer
Aug 17, 2005



helpy posted:

I am pretty sure they are depth limiting the try-rebreather course to like 40ft/12m so unless you are really sensitive to cold you would probably get by with just a 3/2 maybe a 5/4 if you don't like the cold; and you almost certainly wouldn't need hood or gloves. For reference: when I was there in June the water temps were in the high 70s/mid 20s down to ~25ft/7m. I assume by August the thermocline can only be deeper.

Cool, thanks. I might do the other classes as well since I haven't been diving in a while and my skills were never perfect to begin with, if there's any chance of that work going deeper I'll bring appropriately thicker protection.

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