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Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Goddamn that is so loving cool.

I'd LOVE to see cetaceans while diving.

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Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Better late than never I suppose; here is a report of sorts from my 2012 Malaysia trip to Sipadan Island.

Flew from Tokyo Narita Airport to Singapore, then to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.


From there we flew to Tawau, then took a taxi to Semporna where we stayed with our dive operator Scuba Junkie.



Scuba Junkie has a resort on the nearby island of Mabul. Sipadan is a national marine park that is about 30 minutes away by dive boat, off the continental shelf.

(Not Sipadan actually. This is Sibuan Island)


Sipadan is host to some excellent coral and schools of fish. The nearby Mabul and Kapalai Islands also have some great things to see, such as nudibranchs, cuttlefish, turtles, squid, and sharks.

Jackfish school with shark at Sipidan.


Banded Seasnake. The first seasnake I've ever seen. There was a group of us on this dive, and I was the only one that followed it for a closer look.


Obligatory anemone fish pic. There's a shrimp in there too!


The well-disguised Crocodile Fish. They have some awesome camouflage and finding them becomes something of a game.


As it is with the Scorpion Fish.


Or Frogfish.


The Orangutan Crab. This guy was such a bitch to photo, on account of how small he is.


More nudibranchs.



Shark face.


Bumphead Parrotfish, famous in Sipidan. They're about a meter long and just eat and poo poo (sand).


Photogenic Moray.


Barracuda Point's school of...Barracuda. I took this while snorkeling since I couldn't while diving.


Critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle.


Turtle Rock at Barracuda Point.


And of course, my favorite sleeping turtle pic:


All of these were taken by me using a cheap $200 digicam. I suppose I should get a flash, eh? If anyone wants to see more, I'd be happy to post them.

Trivia fucked around with this message at 03:06 on Feb 16, 2013

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


They weren't shy either. On my second day there I went right into 'em.



Inside looking out.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


I generally don't get worried about barracuda (except for the big 5 foot one at Thailand's Richelieu Rock called Snaggletooth). I'm more apprehensive about triggerfish, or unseen stonefish / scorpionfish.

Trivia fucked around with this message at 03:13 on Feb 16, 2013

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Practice equalizing pressure when you're not diving too. It's gotten to the point where I don't need to use my hands at all, and can equalize just by blowing out. This pretty much leads me to constantly equalize as I descend, as I just breathe out my nose here and there. It also doubles as a mask equalizer too.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Definitely try to do your bookwork before you go on vacation. The last thing you want is homework when you're supposed to be relaxing (not that it isn't hard, just a little time consuming).

I did my advanced in the Philippines and the desire to go out right after skills tests was pretty enormous.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


It was some package deal on Cebu. It was 60,000 yen (~$600) at the time for roundtrip tickets, hotel, and Adv. lessons. The diving itself was so-so, but the deal was so good I couldn't pass it up!

We got lucky on the Sipadan dives mainly because we reserved 3 months in advance. I had heard about just how hard it was to get the permits, so we snatched up what we could as soon as possible. I don't ever recall there being a lottery, the only stipulation is that we had to do 2 days of local diving for every 1 at Sipadan. Considering just how fun the local diving was, I would hardly call it a bad deal.

One a side note, guess where I'm going in a week!

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


It's even better when you can get your face 10 inches from something and stare it down.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Tomorrow I'm going on a dive to see bumphead parrotfish spawning. I'll post some pics, but can't guarantee they'll be pretty (too much cum in the water).

P.S. Palau is as beautiful as ever!

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


I was just there!

I went to Semporna, on the east coast of Borneo. The diving in the area is definitely macro-based; lots of tiny things to see (especially nudibranchs). I did some diving around Semporna, but the real gem was Mabul and particularly Sipadan. Sipadan is a national park with some very beautiful reefs, and a turtle preserve. You can see sharks, bumphead parrotfish, and a huge school of barracuda, among other things. You need a special permit to dive Sipadan, usually with conditions (2 days local diving, 1 day Sipadan). I did 2 days on Sipadan, so I had to buy 4 non-Sipadan days (worth it though).

I went with Scuba Junkie. They have a shop in Semporna and a resort on Mabul Island, which is close to Sipadan. I recommend diving around Mabul and Kapalai Islands over the Semporna area. There's garbage everywhere in the sea, but it's less pronounced near the islands away from the mainland.

There truly is garbage everywhere and it made me sad. I tried to pick some up as I was doing my dive, but after a while I just gave up since there's so much and poverty is so endemic. It's really a bummer. I didn't see any around Sipadan though.

I posted pics a few pages back, so take a gander. If you're not tied to the idea of Malaysia, then I recommend Palau, my most favorite-ist place in the world to dive.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


SlicerDicer posted:

Its so expensive to travel and dive

God, tell me about it.

The diving around Semporna and Sipadan is easy, your friend should have no troubles. I went with my girlfriend and she's a total newbie; she had little trouble. You rarely if ever need to go down to 30 meters, usually 20-25. They don't give out free nitrox like Palau operators do though. Sipadan had some stronger currents, but nothing that can't be dodged or floor-creeped.

Palau's Blue Corner has some strong currents, but that's a good thing. It attracts the sharks, and you can hook in and take some sweet photos.

Going to Palau requires transferring in Japan or Philippines. Going to Sipadan requires going to probably Singapore first, then Kota Kinabalu, then Tawau, then a long rear end taxi ride.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Not being able to dive before your flights out is pretty lovely. There's not a whole lot to do in Semporna; though you may be able to schedule a snorkel trip around the local area like I did in Palau. Palau's snorkel trip was awesome in its own right. Can't speak for Malaysia, but I imagine the garbage would slightly tarnish the experience.

You could also just spend your time on Mabul Island resort beaches all day. Mabul is small though, and unless you're diving, not much to do.

That reminds me, what's everyone's thoughts on doing shallow house reef dives before flights? If you stay within 5 meters would that be feasible, or is it just too risky to attempt? Unlimited house reefs are lots of fun as you can stay down for 2 hours and just piss around doing whatever you want. Also a good opportunity to do some night diving without spending the cash.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


That's an interesting point, I never understood everyone's preference for wall dives. I always thought they were pretty boring myself. I like myself a shallow reef with lots of light and cruising as close to the reef as comfortable.

As for the head down feet up thing, I've rarely ever seen anyone but myself do that.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Do you think poor buoyancy control is because it has something to do with the "never hold your breath" mantra? I hear that thrown at newbies a lot, and I think it could dissuade them from breath holding to trim their buoyancy. The "never hold your breath" thing should add "while ascending" as an addendum.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Finch! posted:

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

I was gonna say, the major disadvantages is that you miss all the other cool poo poo going on around you.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Oakland Martini posted:

Asked the thread about going diving in Malaysia recently. Decided to skip Kuala Lumpur altogether and meet my friend who lives there in Kota Kinabalu, since he's never been there and wants to check it out. This puts us very close to Sipadan, so that's our plan.

To the guy who went there and posted about it upthread: could you tell me where you stayed (I think you said it was in Semporna) and which operation you went with for the diving? Would you recommend your hotel and/or the dive operation, or would you try something else if given another chance? My friend and I are near 30 and are not rich at the moment, but I'll be making a good bit of money starting in the fall.

On a side note, if anyone has done anything interesting in Kota Kinabalu itself I'd be interested to hear it.

That was me! I went with my girlfriend last December to early January. We booked everything through Scuba Junkies, which operates out of Semporna but also owns a resort on the nearby island of Mabul. The dive operation seemed just fine to me. The boats I think were limited to 8 divers, one DM, and one instructor.

Scuba Junkies has a hotel in Semporna, which is about a 1 to 1.5 hour car ride from Tawau airport. It's nothing fancy, but it was clean and fairly cheap. There was a restaurant downstairs for convenience. There are also other venues along that main street, along with a small department store. I believe there were other dive operators in the immediate area as well, but I don't know about their quality. There wasn't much to do in the evening except sit at the bar and have a few beers; that was fine by me as 3 dives in a day wipes me out (no nitrox) and I was snoozing by about 9:00.

We stayed in Semporna for a few nights, then moved to Mabul and stayed in the resort for a couple. The resort was very nice, it was next to the docks and had some good food and facilities. Rooms were more than adequate. There is a small village on Mabul you could walk to as well. There's also a very large "sea gypsy" (as everyone called 'em) community next to the resort. 'Twas a thin line between heaven and hell; I don't think I've ever seen poverty worse, except maybe Cambodia. It made me feel pretty guilty and I had some conflicting emotions over the whole disparity, but I won't bore you with that aspect of it. All that poverty brings a lot of trash with it as well. The sea floor is at times covered in refuse. Usually when I dive I'll pick up the odd can or plastic trash here and there, but in Malaysia I soon gave up entirely.

The dives around Mabul and Semporna were good for the most part. There was a lot of macro level creatures to take in. Visibility wasn't the best I've seen, but it was perfectly acceptable. You'll see a lot of neat nudibranchs if/when you go.

Sipidan was clearer and had stronger currents. The coral was gorgeous and you could seem some larger fish (and tons of turtles). If I were to do it all again, I'd spend more time at Mabul (or Kapalai island, 10 mins away, also with resorts), rather than Semporna.

Or, you can just go to Palau. :P

(I swear I'll post pics. Really really.)

Oh, as for KK things to do - I stayed there as a book end to my Sipidan trip. We went on a river cruise to see Proboscis monkeys. It was...ok.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Oakland Martini posted:

Awesome, thanks. Some pictures would be great, of course. We are thinking of just staying at Mabul/Kapalai the whole time we are in the Sipadan area and avoiding Semporna entirely. Does that sound like a good approach?

The Malaysia pics I already posted, my new Palau pics have not been.

As for staying at the resorts, I think it's a good idea. You'll be diving at least three tanks a day, four for Sipadan. The only problem is you may get bored in the evenings, as entertainment options are limited. There is a length of beach you can use however. There's also the company of other divers too.

If you're like me though you'll probably be wiped from the day, load up on dinner, then pass out in a limp fever of fish and fins.

Btw, there's no house reef and therefore no unlimited house reef diving, which is a bummer. I implore you to do a night dive if you can, I didn't and regret it.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


If you have time, take a flight / ferry to Japan, then another flight / ferry to Okinawa. Diving is an expensive sport, especially if you go overseas. As for close, warm waters with nice wildlife, Okinawa is the place that springs to mind (at least for your situation).

Keep in mind I've never been there, and hope to go some day. A DM in training that I met said she saw some pretty cool things there, and it was definitely her top 5 favorite places to dive.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Well, you always have to do your homework, and anywhere you go to dive will surely have English speaking guides (except maybe Japan, I'm not sure though). I've been diving in Thailand, Maldives, Palau, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and have never once had communications problems.

A lot of the operators there hire lots of foreign guides. You'll meet people from all over Europe, as well as locals. English is pretty much lingua franca for operators, so it won't really be a problem.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


MA-Horus posted:

Jeju has ok diving if you like black volcanic rock and no fish.

Take this from another waygook; get on an air Asia flight to Thailand, Gulf of Andaman owns.

Going to the Surin and Similan Islands is great. You don't have to do liveaboards, but I'd highly recommend it. I think I went with Princess Divers (or something, can't remember). Do a search for Similan liveaboards and you'll be fine.

Four days of diving, 15 total dives was about $600 bucks, but that was a few years ago. If you're lucky you might find a similar deal. You had better like diving and nothing else though, since there's not much else to do except read. You wake up, eat a small breakfast of coffee and toast, then dive. Come up, eat big breakfast, sleep, then dive an hour later. Then come up, eat lunch, dive again. Do your last dive, then eat again. Then you promptly pass out.

Liveaboards are nothing but eating and diving (and it's awesome).

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Oakland Martini posted:

And I'm headed to Sipadan on June 16 for 5 days, so hopefully I should have some more cool stuff then!

You'll have a great time! Bring a book though, not much to do on the island itself other than talk to peeps. Of course, you may be like me and get so worn out from 3-4 dives a day that you just pass out at 8:30.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Chances are you're still sorta holding your breath, or not breathing as normally as otherwise. I have this problem when I'm trying to take close-up photos. I'll find a subject, choose an angle of attack, and try to compensate for current and obstacles, but still find myself floating away at some points. My solution? If I know I'm going to be doing something that takes a lot of concentration, I'll make myself slightly negatively buoyant to offset my propensity to stop/hold my breath while snapping closeups.

Unless there's a reason for haste, feel free to take your time with skills to make sure you're not forgetting something (or floating away). It's a massive balancing act which adds to the fun in my opinion.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


You guys and your tech diving scare the ever-loving poo poo outta me.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


The general rule about masks while on the surface is twofold: Don't take it off if you can help it or, pull it down around your neck so you don't drop it / a wayward wave doesn't knock it off your head.

Don't put it up on your forehead, that's just asking for it to get knocked off.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Le0 posted:

I need some advice!

Maldives

As someone who's been to the Maldives, I recommend HEAVILY that you either get your license now, or arrange to do so while you're there. There's not much to do other than diving, as the main island is quite small and can be easily exhausted in a day. If you're on a resort then there may be more to do.

I went a couple years ago on a liveaboard diving tour. Now, I don't recommend that for someone who's new to diving, or not sure if they really like it. However, I saw some truly amazing things while I was there and wouldn't trade that for anything.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXG8CFUZPGM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9MC8lnGag8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yodeiI_IFRw

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Le0 posted:

Thanks for the info, We will definitely dive there the GF is also up for it apparently

One question tho, I didn't say but I actually am from Switzerland. Obviously we don't have sea anywhere close but we have plenty of lakes. Is the certification for fresh water the same than for salt water?

I'm going to check for diving clubs in the lake I know there are a few.

We'll be staying at a resort close to Malé and they have a Euro Dive center with PADI courses on the isle with equipment etc...

I was certified in Michigan in a muddy lake, so yes it's the same. The biggest difference of course will be visibility and buoyancy. Usually when you do certification you are instructed to get into the habit of logging all relevant information, including what wet suit you used as well as how many kilos for weight. If you get certified in a lake, your weight settings won't apply to the ocean (and vice versa). Make sure you learn how to do a buoyancy check so you can do one once you get to the Maldives. It's not difficult and will save you effort once you're in the water.

It's still a good idea to write that down though, I typically forget between dives and it's nice to have a reference.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


So, who wants to sit here with me and froth with impotent anger?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPHYheR0pPk

Seriously, poo poo like this pisses me off so loving much. No touchy.

From here: http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/post/shark-riding-a-troubling-trend-at-popular-dive-spot/

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Most of the dives I've been on have required signals at around half, from which we start to slowly ascend. Once you're on top of the reef at no more than 15 feet, they let us go to poke around. Those with SMBs and dive computers are given a lot more freedom.

My experiences are probably out of the ordinary however. Spending several thousands to go to a premier dive destination usually weeds out the cattle boat customers.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Well, listening to a more experienced buddy (and actually heeding it) is a start.

Anecdote time!

Back in March when I went to Palau, a friend here (in Japan) showed interest in going as well. This guy is typically flaky, but means well so it's hard to hate him.

Queue my surprise when he actually bought tickets and went! He was brand-spanking new to diving. He started with OW then went straight to AOW and Nitrox cert. Being a swimmer he was super comfortable in the water and caught on quickly. This was a blessing and a curse, as he was also a bit careless and excited about everything (at one point he went down close to 1.6 PPO2 on nitrox, without realizing it). He was comfortable enough to easily forget about dangers.

Our last dive for the trip was a wreck dive. It was a WWII merchant vessel called the Iro. Our guide said we'd be doing some very light penetration, no more than entering a cargo hold then making our way out through an aisle. He also would take us into the bridge and some other areas. As a note, he made SURE to tell us not to kick when we're in the ship, as there's 60 years of silt and poo poo and causing a brown-out would gently caress everyone behind you. Before jumping in, I made sure to remind my newbie buddy to not use his loving fins.

Well, my buddy and I (and parents) were about done with the dive, and one last point the guide showed us was the bridge. He motioned that it was a simple room which was basically just a U-turn. Go in, turn left, go straight, turn left, exit. I made it a point to go in first 'cause I had a feeling my friend would inevitably use his fins. I went in, going slowly and using my tank-banger to help stay away from floor and ceiling. I proceeded forward and went deeper in the room, planning to do a loop before turning around and going out the exit.

This is where I hosed up. I had assumed (dumb) that he would wait for me to complete my loop and go out. No dice, instead he continued on towards the exit, cutting me off and kicking poo poo up all the way. I was in the corner incredulously watching him brown-out the area. At that point I was doing my best to note the exit because in another 10 seconds I would be virtually blind. And that I was.

I did make it out of course (no real danger, but I can see how someone would panic). As I exited I could see him looking at the mess he made, hands raised in supplication; all the while I wagged my finger with a 'drat-son-don't-ever-disappoint-me-like-that-again' look.

I was pretty pissed, that poo poo was all in my hair.

So, moral of the story is: slow it down, take it easy, watch what you're doing. And listen to your dive guide / buddy.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


So boys and girls, I promised pics and by god you will get them. Sorry for the lateness, I'm extremely lazy you see.


Palau's national flag.



Takes about 5 hours by plane; roughly 800-1000 US.


Into the deep!


Titan Triggerfish. I hate these aggressive fuckers.










Green Turtle and a Batfish I believe.






Safety stop.


Chandelier Cave. Palau's Rock Islands are largely limestone, and thus quite porous. This site is located right next to the dive shop's docks, so people often go here for their third dive of the day (only takes maybe 30-45 minutes, and you're under water for maybe 10 of that.

It's really hard taking pictures in low light, nevermind when you're bobbing around. This was the best one out of the lot. When you go into the caves, guides warn you to always watch above you lest you hurt yourself. Lo and behold, someone didn't and got stabbed with a stalactite. He was bleeding from the top of his head for the rest of the tour. Dumbass.


One the way out of the cave everyone turns off their lights and swims for the exits. Really cool.


After the cave dive a DM approached me and asked if I was interested in doing a special dive. He informed me that is only happened during full moons, and the next day would be just that. It would be an extra $100 dollars, but you get to see a massive school of Bumphead Parrotfish spawn. Hell yeah I said, and signed right up.


Here you see an explosion of ecstacy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DmXtmm4MaQ
There was fish cum everywhere.


Ulong Island, where we often ate lunch.

Going from dive spot to dive spot, you sometimes run into a pod of dolphins. They're not shy of boats, but they are of divers. You could hear them underwater, but they would never in a million years show themselves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adUMlhwPBOU


The Blue Holes, close to the very famous Blue Corner. The Blue Holes are, like the Chandelier Cave, limestone formations. Except these ones are mostly collapsed through, and are also underwater. We can thank the last Ice Age for these.






At the Blue Corner. If the current is strong enough, and there are no other divers, you can hook into the edge of the wall and watch the sharks pass by. Typical varieties include: Whitetip, Gray Reef, Blacktip (rarer). The current here is pretty strong and the sharks come here to sleep.






At the Blue Corner is also the resident Napoleon Wrasse. This is a very friendly fish and often comes to accompany divers. He's not afraid to eyeball back. I think he likes the bubbles.










Our last dive of the vacation, third dive of the day. We wanted to do at least one wreck dive. The WWII Japanese merchant vessel Iro was the best candidate. Visibility was pretty poor because of the full moon causing algal blooms. Didn't stop us from having fun though!












Sam's Tours (and the Malakal Yacht Club) at sunset.


One of the nice things about Sam's Tours is that they offer unlimited free house reef diving. Now, the house reef is right off the docks, and no more than about 4-5 meters deep. Not to mention that it's pretty muddy without much coral. HOWEVER, if you put in the time you can see some really cool things. And it's the PERFECT time to do a night dive. It's shallow, there's a wall (so you can't get lost) and you're right next to the docks so you can end whenever you want.

During the day you can see these guys, Mandarin Fish. They're pretty tiny and move erratically. I was fortunate to find a couple doing this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ggGQDZ75UM


At night you get a whole new world. All the nocturnal species come out to play. Glass shrimp, banded shrimp, crabs of varying sizes. Crocodile fish appear as if out of nowhere. Another diver down there led me to this guy, a Devil Scorpionfish (I think).


As strange as it sounds, THIS little guy might be the highlight of the trip. Not the $100 dollar parrotfish dive, not the sharks at blue corner, and not the other attraction that I'll soon exhibit. Nope, it was this little cuttlefish, off the house reef, at about 7:30 pm. I'm fairly certain it's a juvenile Broadclub Cuttlefish.

This little guy was there hunting. I found him when I noticed a rock 'move.' I started following him with my light, but all he did was turn white and try to scoot away. I followed him like that for about 10 minutes, until it dawned on me. I shut the light off and watched him by moon (and fluorescent) light. That's when I saw him do this towards a small crab:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjloPutUCeo

It was loving awesome. So awesome that I went back and did a couple more night dives on the house reef.

Cuttlefish are my favorite sea animals by far. They're just so loving cool. Here's a sweet Nova special about them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In7n590GjxU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsGqcgjEgPs
On our last day we signed up for the "Rock Islands Tour." Flying out the next day meant = no diving. I wasn't all that excited about the tour, but in retrospect it was pretty great. You can access and see things while snorkeling that are inaccessible diving. The colors are also so much more vibrant.




















This here is one of Palau's most famous attractions. Remember how I told you about the Rock Islands, their limestone construction, and the Ice Age? Well, all of these things together plus a a poo poo ton of time equals marine lakes. Palau has dozens of them, and most are verboten to the public. Except one.






There's no diving in the lake. The decomposing leaves create hydrogen sulfide (or something) which is quite poisonous. The surface is fine as it's often diluted with rainwater.


And my god there are millions of them, all stingless.














The color of the lake is a muddy green, while the jellies are light yellow-orange. In the above photos, I messed around with the levels and color to give them more contrast.

I also took vid!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVITe5d3lCQ

I hope you've enjoyed these pics / vids. It was a pain in the rear end prepping them for the thread.

Also, sorry for being 3 months late.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


drat! Sounds like you had a better time in Sipadan than I did. I saw a lot of turtles, but not so many sharks. The Bumpheads were really cool though. Did you see the barracuda while diving? I wasn't so fortunate, I just managed to see them snorkeling.

Ahhh diving, what a fickle mistress.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Depending on the company, consider bringing a book for your surface intervals.

Most people usually just shoot the poo poo though.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


That is a pretty awesome pic. Too bad about the focus though, I can definitely see a slight bit of fuzziness (though it could be my phone)

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


I've seen nitrox courses go for ~$150 to $200.

You'll probably find a significant decrease in price if you go local instead of tourist shops.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Crunkjuice posted:

Yeah, my dive shop charges 99 for it. As for how much more time you get. At 60 feet with air you have 40 min NDL,32% you have 90 min NDL (.9 ppo2), and with 36% you have 115 min NDL (1.01 ppo2). It makes a big difference. Not only does it increase your bottom time, but if you dive normal timed dives you can drastically decrease your surface interval time and get more diving in.

Haha, I knew I was getting ripped off, but didn't realize it was THAT bad.

I don't regret it though, the extra cost is paying for convenience as I see it. Some of us don't have the luxury of being able to sign up for lessons whenever we want.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Le0 posted:

We'll think about how to proceed next, we are going to the Maldives end of august so we'll at least do a dive with instructor there. Maybe we'll do a cert if we really enjoy it, I'd personally be up for it but I'm not so sure about my other half.

I went to the Maldives a couple years ago. The main island of Male is pretty small, you could seriously see most of it in a day. Even then there's not much to do.

If you're staying on a resort you'll have access to more entertainment (probably), as well as alcohol. No booze on the main island though.

When I went it was part of a liveaboard dive package. I went in December so the currents were a little strong, and as such a few dives had poor vis.

It was however awesome. Swam with manta rays and whale sharks, and even saw my first octopus. I highly recommend you go dive while you're there.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


That's about all you can do really. Make a checklist of things you need to do or remember. Go through the checklist. When I was training it helped to hold the regulator with your hand, as a subtle reminder that it's there and you'll be fine.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Hells yes you should! Bring books though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXG8CFUZPGM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9MC8lnGag8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yodeiI_IFRw

All of these were taken by me when I went some two years ago.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Unless there have been developments on this front, GoPros usually need a separate, special underwater housing because the stock one doesn't handle refraction all too well.

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Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Yeah, it's not like Bonaire where they'll give you a tank and tell you to gently caress off. It'll be mostly boat based dives, and a vast majority will be liveaboards. That's what I did when I went. I used http://www.maldivesdivetravel.com/ to find a suitable liveaboard. I can't remember which boat I took, I think it was the Dreamcatcher II.

Unless you stay at a resort, there's not much to do other than dive. Male is a small island and you'll see most of it in a day or two (less really). Diving is about the only thing.

Also remember that it's a Muslim country so you won't find any alcohol outside of resorts or boats. Make sure your trip doesn't accidentally coincide with Ramadan, otherwise you'll find yourself quite hungry throughout the day (my buddy has done this THREE times, the lunkhead).

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