SCUBA

updated 12/26/2012

        

You can often find me on ScubaBoard using the name 'Night Vision'

Back in the 1981, at the ripe age of 19, a friend, Mike, and I decided to get our Open Water SCUBA certification.  We stopped in at the local dive shop, Tackle Shack, and learned what the class would be like, how long it would take and how much it would cost.  After agreeing on a start date, I signed up.  Mike needed to go home and get his check book and he would sign up the next day.  That was the last that Tackle Shack saw of Mike.  I finished the class have had a on-again, off-again relationship with SCUBA ever since.

I spent years spearfishing with my Sea Hornet 48, chasing down Spiny Lobster and later using a Nikonos-V camera.  My biggest issue with the camera was that only 36 exposures fit on a roll of film.  It appears that the digital era has solved this problem.

It looks like I'm entering another on-again period.  I just finished my Enriched Air certification, more commonly known as NITROX.  This will allow me to use air with a elevated Oxygen (O2) level. Normal air has a 20.9% O2 level where NITROX, at my certification level, may be up to 40% O2.  This allows for safer or longer dives compared to normal air, as long as you don't go too deep.  Oxygen becomes toxic at certain depths, depending on how much Oxygen is in the gas that you are breathing.  Going into convulsions at 100+ feet down would not be a good thing, but that is why you need to be certified and they don't let just any Mike do it.  I took this class at Tackle Shack as well as a skills update course in July 2012.

Recently I had the pleasure of six dives in Hudson Grotto.  Tracee was finishing up her OW1 class and I tagged along as a refresher class.  It's a good place for training and checking out new gear but wouldn't be on my top ten vacation dives.  The vis was about 8' and it was warm enough, at least above 40', that a wetsuit wasn't needed.  I dove this using a pair of  vintage 1980s Orca Skinny Dipper dive computers with new o-rings and batteries.   They both worked perfectly although the algorithms are a bit out of date.

My dive C-Cards from 1981 through 2008.

Green Moray on Lost and Found Reef off of Duck Key.

After Hudson Grotto we visited South Brohard beach in Venice, FL.  The intent was to look for shark's teeth.  This was about a month after tropical storm Debby came through and the water was still really silty with the vis only about 2'.  It was a good opportunity to check out our recently overhauled gear and a new pair of Oceanic Veo 2.0 dive computers.  These download into Dive Log 5.0 and sync up with the Dive Log iPhone app.

Tracee and I later decided to head to the Keys for some clear water diving.  The first day was with Ocean Divers for two dives on Molasses Reed (Aquarium and Eagle Ray Alley, also called the Winch Hole).  Many dive shops rename locations to make it sound like they have an exclusive spot.  The Winch Hole dive was excellent  One of the questions that Ocean Divers asked was if and when I dove with them before.  I answered yes and a little more than 20 years ago, which got a strange look from the 22 year old asking the questions. After the dive I asked them if they can fill high pressure tanks.  I was told yes.  I later found that they can fill them, but only to 3000psi.  That was still plenty for the next day.  I brought my tanks because neither shop that I was diving with rented DIN valve tanks and since I was driving it wasn't much additional effort.

The second day was with Dive Duck Key (just East of Marathon) where we dove Porkfish Reef and Lost and Found Reef.  This was from my first attempt to use a digital camera while diving.  I used the same G11 camera and Canon housing that I take kayaking and added a Ikelite AF35 flash, which was originally for night kayaking photos.  All of the Keys dives this weekend were in the 40' depth range.  I'm reconsidering both the underwater housing and flash for deeper dives.

 

A grouper in Looe key shot with a Canon S100.

 

 

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