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Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



So I just started diving recently and fell in love with it. I can't seem to make myself leave Koh Tao because I just want to keep doing more dives and courses :v: I'm going to have to leave someday though. Luckily there's some pretty good diving a few hours away from me but the water is cold and rather sharky :ohdear:

Anybody here with any experience diving in the Monterey area that I could ask some stuff? I plan on doing a drysuit course when I'm back home because I get chilled in water easily. Then rescue because if I can do it in Monterey, it should be easy anywhere else I go :v:

I'm not really sure how rentals work and etc because you get all gear rental included when you do dives here and they're at the shop and they take you to the dive site. I'm assuming that you'll need to go to the shop to pick up your gear, then go to where you're planning to dive or do some shops deliver gear to where you're diving? Or just if I book dives/courses through them? That would be better for me as I don't have a car and just getting to Monterey from where I live is already hard enough.

And does anybody have any shop recommendations? There isn't one close to where I am but the other shops in bay area seem like they'd be easy enough to get to via public transport. I'd like to buy some of my equipment too, which bay area dive shops have the best selection? Mainly looking for a BCD and fins now and I don't really like the idea of ordering something online without getting a chance to try stuff on first. My dad is thinking about taking a course locally to do the academics then jetting off to somewhere tropical like Hawaii for the dives so I'd like some recommendations for that too if the shops with lots of gear aren't the best for courses.

I plan on returning to Koh Tao next year for more diving and DM training when I save up enough. I'm nearly broke now and I already have a flight back home booked so I can't just stick around as much I want to.

Oh god that was a lot of questions and I still have more but I'll ask them in later posts so it's not question overload :shobon:

edit: my dad did a couple of dives for fun in Hawaii back in the 60's when he was stationed there during Vietnam War in the navy and asked me to send him a photo of me in scuba gear. I obligated and he asked why I had two regulators. I just wonder what kind of gear he dove with (or the lack of) :stare:

Tomato Soup fucked around with this message at 05:35 on Nov 17, 2013

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Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



The thing is that I'm deaf and this shop (Big Blue) has been very willing to work with me and provide accommodations that I need like doing courses via writing without charging me extra like one shop that I asked said if I took a course with them. I love the people and atmosphere here too.

Plus I just really like being in Koh Tao :) I've been to other spots in SEA with great diving (but didn't dive there, just snorkeled a couple of times) and they weren't places that I wanted to stay long term.

I'm going to try dive as much I can while I'm back home to get more experience in different conditions though. And my family's been talking about going to Disney World and that means I'll be able to do Divequest at Epcot :neckbeard:

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



Yeah, I looked into what DMTs did in Monterey and it seems like they're mainly boat jockeys which doesn't really appeal to me because I'm more useful underwater than on the surface :v: I don't mind doing boat stuff but I don't want that to be the focus of my training. Also cold and expensive.

And I'd really like to do my training with a bigger shop because I'll probably have a better chance of getting work there after I complete my training as there's more spaces. It's not easy to find work when you're deaf because so many people won't even give them a chance to show what they can do :(

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



I'm potentially interested in becoming an instructor down the road someday but I just want to focus on getting more experience first. Plus spreading the word that there's a deaf DM on Koh Tao to other deaf people so I get a chance to assist with their courses (if not already certified) since I'll prob be in more of an instructor role in those courses due to the linguistic barrier and the ability to talk underwater :v:

Just not sure how much work I'll get as an instructor because I only can instruct in one relatively rare language (for tourists in Thailand) and via written English.

I did find out that there's a Sea Signs thing that's based on ASL and is a PADI speciality which should be easy for me to get certified in. Then I'll most likely be the only one who can teach that in KT if I decide to go down the instructor route.

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



That's how I'm hoping to pick up an Oceanic Geo 2, there's a seller on Amazon who has the old style Geo up for a great deal but sends out Geo 2's instead. It's been that way for a while according to reviews. I just hope it's still going on when I have enough spare cash to pick up a computer (probably in January).

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



So the computer I was eyeing with a great price just went up by $100 so I now have no idea what computer I want now :smith:

I want a watch-sized computer, I've mainly used Zoops and hated how big/bulky they are and I like the idea of always wearing it. I don't want an air integrated computer- out of my budget and I'd feel more comfortable using a SPG than AI to keep track of my air usage anyway.

I'll probably have to budget more- I wanted a Geo 2.0 and one seller had it for $300 but now it's $400. I'm also considering a Suunto D4i without the transmitter. I sort of like the idea that I can just get one later if I change my mind about AI. Nitrox is a must for me.

Any other suggestions for a watch sized computer with nitrox around $300-500? May be able to go over budget a little but not too much. Might as well try find one that's perfect for me instead of going with budget (within reason).

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



I'll definitely go price match at my LDS or maybe I should just ask them for computer recommendations :v: There's no LDS that close to me but I might make a trip out in Jan or so since I'm planning on buying some boots and Hollis F1s. Might as well pick up a computer on the same trip. :)

Bulk is a really big issue for me, the most bulk I'd put up with is a slightly bulky watch but nothing like a Zoop. I'd like to be able to put my wetsuit on without removing it first.

Also I'm deaf so having bulky crap on my wrists is not helpful for other people when I'm signing :v:

I'm looking at some Tusa computers too since they have vibrating alarms (I can't hear the audible alarms) but I've barely heard anything about Tusa computers. This is the one I'm looking at now, anybody have an IQ-900 or another Tusa computer?

And I'm pushing my budget up to $600 since I had D4is as an option and they're around $550 so eh, why not expand the budget for other possible nice computers too.

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



Yeah, I think I'm just going to get the Geo 2.0 or a Suunto D4i instead. Most likely Geo 2.0 since I really don't want to order without seeing it in person first because size is a concern for me and I can't find a nearby LDS that carries Tusa computers. One did say they'd order them for me if that was what I really wanted but that's too much commitment for something I'm unsure about :ohdear:

And I've got a mask already! Tusa Serene, great for my small face :) M1 does look really nice and I'll have to try it on when I head out to a LDS to see if it fits. I prefer a clear skirt though, I'm used to having great peripheral vision on surface and it feels wrong to lose that underwater. Even if my mask doesn't have the little windows on the sides, I still can see some blurs through the skirt so my vision isn't completely boxed in. The glare can be annoying sometimes but it's worth the tradeoff for a clear skirt to me.

I'm seriously considering diving here in winter too, the shop I contacted for a cold water orientation says the water is the same temperature year-round, it's just the air outside that gets colder so it's not that crazy :v:

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



Yeah, I did run into that once when I had to borrow a computer from someone for my Deep/Nitrox/Wreck course because they ran out of computers and it might been be a Geo 2.0 actually. I don't remember what brand it was and I was doing my wreck spec while on Nitrox. I wasn't too worried because I had at least 15 minutes time left but then my instructor suddenly started rushing through everything and saying that we had to go up asap. Once on surface, she told me that she had like 4 minutes left when she started rushing. We just barely made it.

I know Big Blue mainly uses Suunto and that's why I'm seriously considering the D4i too even if it's $150 more than the Geo 2.0. I just wish that they had a non-AI watch-sized computer that's in the range between Zoops and D4i.

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



When I started doing deep dives, the shop I went with (Big Blue) would have a drop tank hanging off the boat at around 5m. It's a tank with two second stages and a SPG attached to it, the air is turned off but there's at least enough for 2 breaths left in the reg hose so you can get some air before turning it on. It's there in case you run into problems and get low on air or accidentally go into deco (hence why it's at safety stop height).

I recall reading something about bringing down extra tanks and leaving them in a spot that's easy to find when going really deep in Shadow Divers.

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



I had someone at the shop where I bought my mask at go over it with a lighter. Worked pretty well but I have to spit and rinse the mask right before I descend otherwise it fogs up. Probably should do it again since it seems to work better if you do it multiple times.

In other news, I'm going to Seattle in May and I booked two dives for when I'm there. Just picked up a pair of F1s too that I'll get a chance to use while there :neckbeard:

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



I wish I could take this course but I'm not going to even be in the states in October :(

Rescue is the next class on my to-do list and I'm looking forward to it because it's always good to know what to do in case things go wrong because yeah, might not be diving with a DM or instructor or they might be the ones in need of rescuing :ohdear:

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



DeadlyMuffin posted:

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

I'd be up for a dive too, I'm in east bay and I was just looking at local dive clubs today to try find some upcoming trips to Monterey. I want to go diving but cold water and non-guided dives scare me :ohdear: I just have no idea how it's done here.

But I'm going to be doing some dives when I'm up in Seattle soon so I'll get some cold water experience there. After that, I'll be taking a GUE Primer class sometime in May (still waiting for the instructor to sort out dates) :neckbeard: Looking forward to trying out a BP/W rig and improving skills!

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Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



And if you're serious about snorkeling, I would suggest buying the mask in person so you can find one that fits your face well.

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