diving (scuba) questions (OT)

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Messages 81 - 100 of total 104 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
mynameismud

climber
backseat
Feb 25, 2013 - 07:42pm PT
I second the back plane and wing. I currently dive with a jacket type bc and it works fine. Had a Zeagle for a while. The scuba pro jacket is cleaner, more simple and more streamlined but does have less lift. I would love to have a back plane / wing setup and when I wear out my current bc that is the way I will go. Way less drag, very configurable and simple which is important in diving. Redundant, failsafe but simple.

I quit recording my dives when I starting showing my log book to folks (only when asked) and half my dives were solo and received tons of crap. Absolutely love solo night dives. Reminds me of being a kid and walking alone in the woods. Have to keep thinking I am not afraid of the dark, dang it I am a grown man no way I am afraid of the dark. I think the incredible amount of pressure about not diving solo is in some ways bad even though I do understand why folks do it. I strongly discourage people not to dive solo. But the result was me diving solo and not telling anyone where I was and what I was doing. It is very similar to free soloing, recognize what you are doing, minimize risk, stay within boundaries. In some ways it has made me a better diver in some ways worse. When I dive I think self-contained, I monitor my stuff and my environment and expect my partner to do the same. To me it seems some divers that are completely entrenched in the dive partner philosophy rely on those partners which I think is a dangerous thing to do in the ocean. It is very good to have a partner there and there are times I will not go in the ocean without one but I think it is good to be self reliant.

I really like my scuba pro computer and reg. I do not like computers that have integrated air. With an actual air gauge if your computer fails you at least you know how much air you have. Also really like the Air 2 and Do not think I would dive without it, simple and bomb proof. One simple aftermarket piece of gear that I got that I highly recommend is the full piece mouth piece. When it gets rough or whatever I can clamp down on it better and I have only lost my reg once and that is when getting picked up by a wave and slammed into some rocks which kinda knocked the wind out of me. My reg shot out of my mount but the Air2 was right there ( I had two partners that day) and thankfully my partner grabbed me while I was getting maytaged and pulled me deeper and handed me my reg. I also recommend getting a bc with at least two dump valves one on the shoulder and one down low at the bottom, I see the third dump valve on the Air2 as being optional even though it is there by default with an Air2 type setup.

Have fun out there but be safe.
mynameismud

climber
backseat
Feb 25, 2013 - 07:49pm PT
Some words that also stuck with me. I remember when I got my advanced card from my instructer. He congratulated me in the group. Then found me when I was off by myself, looked me hard in the eye and said "You know what this means (while pointed at my card then not waiting for an answer), absolutly nothing". He then walked off.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 25, 2013 - 07:51pm PT
The Air2 is a nice feature. One less hose to worry about. The shop I'm training with and will eventually be working at uses ScubaPro's as their "uniforms". Though I guess that means if I go with a ScubaPro BC with Air2 I also need up upgrade my reg to ScubaPro.


kev - what are your thoughts on the Ikelite AF35?
kev

climber
A pile of dirt.
Feb 25, 2013 - 10:20pm PT
Nature,

Here are some strobe/s100 ramblings - please ignore anyhting you already knew - I wasn't sure where you were at with the whole underwater photo thing.

So I had (well still do until I bother to sell it) an Pany LX-5 in an ikelite housing. I was using a ds125 via electrical sync. The damn thing was way to strong and I found the TTL metering was so/so. This caused me to set the strobe manually. It was pretty easy once I got the hang of it. So I'm not sure how important TTL really is for you. Plus the Cannon S100 does NOT support TTL in manual mode which is probably what you'll be shooting in most of the time.

Initially I suggested Ikelite strobe with Ikelite housing because I assumed the housing had an electrical sync cord/TTL circuit which is uber fast (recycle time is < 2 seconds). Well, it's not that the sync is fast but rather with electrical sync you're only dependent on the strobes recycle time which with the DS125/160s is way way fast. Using the camera's flash as your strobe trigger means you're limited by the S100 recycle time. So the big selling point of the ikelite DS125/160 (and maybe 51) is gone.

My current system uses a mirror to allow flash from my d7000 to pass down a fiber optic cable which is connected to my strobe which then interprets the preflash for TTL that way - essentially what ikelite is doing with their autoflash 35. With this camera/strobe combination it seems pretty good. I'd call a few stores and see what they've had that works well with the cannon, I know some of the sea and sea strobes and the Inon strobes will fire via your a mask over your cameras internal flash with a cable running from the mast to the strobe. Here's an example http://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/ys-02-flex-arm-package and here's a S&S camera/strobe compatibility chart link http://www.seaandsea.jp/products/strobe/compatibilitychart/a.html but again I really don't think your going to use much TTL.

A lot of people really like Inon, S&S and Ikelite - I've used 2 of the three myself and they've all got their little pros and cons. But I don't think you need the TTL. Focus on the amount of light not the TTL unless you really think you're NOT going to me shooting in manual. I wouldn't use anything with less power than the DS51.

Hope I haven't muddied the waters too much.

kev

climber
A pile of dirt.
Feb 25, 2013 - 10:22pm PT
Yeah the Air 2 is great until you have a panicked diver. If/when you go the Air2 route get an extra long hose for your primary so you can keep the panicked student/diver a reasonable distance away from you.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 25, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
I'm fairly new to underwater photography and most of my years of experience have been outdoors (little use of strobes).

I don't see the need for TTL - I'll just get use to manual adjustments from the get-go. I'm ok with the recycle time with the s100 - I don't have a choice give the housing I chose.

I'm figuring I'll be shooting in Manual (C) at first. Still trying to learn this camera. It's pretty complex for being so little.

thanks for the link to the YS-02. I'll probably debate on that one vs the AF35.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 1, 2013 - 01:49am PT
bought the YS-02 with flex handle.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Mar 4, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
If you like photography you must go to Indonesia. The sites there are legendary. I just got back from several weeks diving at Bunaken and Lembeh and am already thinking about Raja Ampat next year.
The comparison to other diving I have done is: You can climb a scruffy route on a choss crag. Yes it is climbing and it may be fun. Then compare it to the Nose or Astroman and you know this is a totally different arena.
Lembeh in particular is awesome and probably features the most unusual creatures you will ever see under water.
Check out videos on Youtube and you may want to book at a resort immediately! The dive resorts are great with 1 guide to 1-2 clients. They do everything for you ( twice I had to turn on my air though) and are there to find the wonderful things you want to see. Every dive featured critters I had never seen before and discoveries are still being made so no one knows everything that is down there. Especially exciting when you spot things before the guide does. Just like a giant treasure hunt.
Do it
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Mar 4, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
I'm fairly new to underwater photography and most of my years of experience have been outdoors (little use of strobes).

I don't see the need for TTL - I'll just get use to manual adjustments from the get-go. I'm ok with the recycle time with the s100 - I don't have a choice give the housing I chose.

I'm figuring I'll be shooting in Manual (C) at first. Still trying to learn this camera. It's pretty complex for being so little.

Learning the camera is easy. It's the bouyancy that's problematic. Very much like texting and driving. The camera is devouring your attention. I've dived with some groups where they get hostile towards the idea. I had a 3 dives a day for a week with one of the best in the business. So I'm not bouncing all over the dive site, though I've been known to take off and my partner has to follow me. Here's a shot I took of him.

Dan
Dan
Credit: John Duffield
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 4, 2013 - 07:49pm PT
I'm getting a lot of practice with buoyancy. Part of the DCS requirement is being able to demonstrate all the open water skills while maintaining neutral buoyancy. Some of them are pretty tricky. Switching to a rear inflation BC and getting the integrated weights just right is also really helping.
mynameismud

climber
backseat
Mar 4, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
Nature
...if I go with a ScubaPro BC with Air2 I also need up upgrade my reg to ScubaPro.

Your primary Reg can be whatever you choose.

The hose on my primary is not real long but is a bit longer than normal. I have had to hand off my primary once while I used the Air2. It worked ok. If I was a Dive Master, doing Rescue Diving or Cave diving I would probably change my setup and go with a secondary with a long hose.

Other tips would be to learn to dive inverted (head down). Half the cool stuff out there is underneath something. Dive with as little weight as you can. It definitely eases buoyancy but if you take a beginner out extra weight can be helpful. Simplify/streamline your setup as much as possible while still being safe.

As far as photography goes.. If you dive with a photographer you may as well learn to dive solo :) One of my primary dive partners is a photog and he inevitably floats off by himself. He dives dry, I dive wet and would not only die of boredom but would freeze to death if I stuck by his side at all times. He takes pics and I swim around and find stuff. For the most part we do keep tabs on each other, the arrangement works.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 5, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
I've got all my components now. This will be fun.

canon s100, canon housing, Sea & Sea YS-02, Fantasea BigEye fish eye lens.

Credit: nature


Credit: nature


Credit: nature
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 6, 2013 - 11:24pm PT
it works!
Credit: nature
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Mar 7, 2013 - 12:00am PT
My girlfriend and I just got back from 3 weeks of diving on the Kohala coast of the Big Island, Hawaii. (Also did a bunch of caving.)

We did the night manta ray dive off Kona. It was one of the most spectacular dives that I have ever done (and I have 400+ dives on 5 continents, including some cave diving). The diver's lights attract plankton, and the manta rays swoop in to feed on the plankton. With the lights and bubbles and manta rays, it is an utterly surreal and spectacular experience.

Here is an excellent video from youtube showing a manta dive (not my video)


nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 7, 2013 - 12:03am PT
Sierra... were you in the group where the dolphin came in and one of the camera men removed a hook and some fishing line?

http://earthsky.org/earth/video-of-dolphin-seeking-help-from-divers


also check out:
http://www.bluespheremedia.com/2013/02/mantas-last-dance/

Edit: never mind, i realized the dolphin rescue was before you got there.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Mar 7, 2013 - 12:27am PT
Holy crap - that video of the dolphin encounter brought tears to my eyes.
Anastasia

climber
Home
Mar 7, 2013 - 12:34am PT
The air 2 sucks when you do have a panic diver. I had to hit a guy with my regulator to get him to stop grabbing the air 2 out of my mouth and take the dang regulator. Though I do like it as a third option. I also had a spare air tank.

Remember, I use to dive master classes so it was part of my job to help others. It was a very interesting and intense experience. Probably why I can handle bad situations so calmly while the everyday silly stuff can rattle me.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 7, 2013 - 12:36am PT
Holy crap - that video of the dolphin encounter brought tears to my eyes.

Yeah... same here and I've watched it a few times with the same result.

Their brain functions in ways I don't believe we can even begin to imagine.

Then there was this one:
http://www.globalanimal.org/2010/11/25/happy-thanksgiving-humpback-whale-gives-thanks-to-divers-for-rescuing-her/24717/


While I was playing around in the pool ton with my camera I had a chance to test drive an aqualung bc with their new i3 system. Not so sure about all the moving parts but the control you get on buoyancy is very very impressive.

next month I'll get a chance to test drive the poseidon rebreather.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Mar 7, 2013 - 02:33am PT
Yeah the Air 2 is great until you have a panicked diver. If/when you go the Air2 route get an extra long hose for your primary so you can keep the panicked student/diver a reasonable distance away from you.

That's one of the reasons I went with the Hogarthian philosophy. My primary regulator is on a 7-foot hose. When someone takes the regulator out of my mouth (which is what I plan for) they get plenty of hose with which to work.

(The 7-foot length comes from cave diving, so that you pass single-file through restrictions and still share air.)

My backup is on a short bungee around my neck, where I can always find it. This is the standard setup for all technical divers, and it works perfectly well for recreational diving, too. I like it because I don't have to change my gear or configuration when I move back and forth between rec and tech diving.

A cave diver in Mexico
Primary regulator is on a 7-foot yellow hose. &#40;I use a black hose....
Primary regulator is on a 7-foot yellow hose. (I use a black hose.) The backup regulator is on a bungee around the neck.
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat


couchmaster

climber
pdx
Mar 7, 2013 - 09:32am PT
Thanks for the advice Mr Rat, it's appreciated.

Ledge Rat said:
"Most of my rec/tech dives are solo.

Soloing is not something that you want to get into right away. You've got to have a firm grasp on your solo strategy first. You can have redundant everything except for your brain.

You've also got to be well-versed in managing all of your emergencies solo. Emergency procedures need to be second-nature if you are going below the waves alone.

I have a checklist of emergency drills, and I start every solo dive with a run through my drills. If the drills go poorly, then I just stay at 20 feet and drill. If the drills go well, then I proceed with my dive.

Drills:

1. Flooded mask - remove, replace, clear

2. Lost mask - find and don replacement mask

3. Lost regulator - sweep recovery and neck-touch recovery

4. Valve drills - if I am in doubles then I go through a full valve drill (left/right/isolator). If I am using only a single only my back, then I go through the drill with my stage cylinder, including turning on the valve, deployment of the regulator, then shutting down the stage and stowing the reg. I also make sure that I can reach the valve on my back.

5. Stuck drysuit inflator - quick disconnect of the inflator, and roll recovery (for too much air in the feet)

6. Stuck BC inflator - quick disconnect and dump

If I were to solo in Oregon's cold water, here is what I would do:

-Assume shore diving with a bit of walk to the water, so I would use a single steel cylinder on my back and carry an AL40 stage for back-up, rigged with a redundant 1st and 2nd stage regulator (as opposed to carrying twin steel cylinders on my back)

-Dry suit, which also gives me redundant buoyancy

-Carry a spare mask in my pocket

-Two computer or depth gauges

-Two bottom timers

-Two compasses

-Two cutting devices

-When I am soloing I also use a carbon monoxide meter to check my breathing gas for CO before I go head wet"
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