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Kona Black water dive

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#1 diver dave1

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 05:58 PM

Did the Kona black water dive with Jack's Dive Locker 2 weeks ago. As had been stated here before, depth control is a whole different ball game when you have no visual clues. I spent a bit of the early dive holding the rope to force getting the depth where I wanted...and staying there. They drop a weighted 45t ft line and you are tethered to it so you stay with the boat but you can glide up/down on that initial rope as the tether slides. Its a good system and works well. The staff divers do not connect this way and are free to roam but they do it a lot...we do it once. One customer was a regular and he also did not bother with the tether but he was also experienced at it. He also had enough lights that he looked like a freight train passing by as he moved along during the dive.

Various critters arrived and passed through. Most were 1/4 to 1/2 the size of your palm but a few were tiny...and a few were LARGE. The first entry into my area was several feet across, gliding by. The last was a fish that was less than 1 cm.

One downside was my light. The sola 600 started flashing the low power signal after 30-35 min. Quite a bit short of the claimed 80 min on high power. I had to cut the dive short due to that light running low. The supplier has offered to replace it, which I have accepted.

Another downside was the support staff situation. The briefing was excellent. Helping us untangle our tether was excellent. Friendliness on the boat was great. But they were making video's as well. A few times something really interesting came by. The lead diver from the boat started videoing it, following it until out of the range of us tethered ones. I wanted to get a shot of a few large interesting things he found but he was not performing as a spotting guide. He was there to make video's for himself to sell to us later - not to help us find things for us to photo or see. When you spend $175 for a 45-50 min single tank dive, perhaps having a spotting guide would be included.. or least give the customers a shot at the critter too. since they were not tethered, they could spot things before you could reach them, then they stayed with them until they were out of our reach. A bit depressing a few times.

The blackwater pics are just after the manta pics on this web page.
Blackwater pics

For those wanting exposure info, I used the newest Nikon 60 micro, sola 600 on hi, set over the lens and very close to it. I also used the Big Blue 1x5 for spotting. I added the Z-240 spot lights as well. So I had 4 lights going. I used f8 in manual on the strobes and f9 on the camera, ISO 200, 1/200 sec.
I did not adjust any light levels or exposure on any shots shown on the website, just a bit of backscatter removal.
All the pics seemed exposed reasonably well at those settings and I could see the results on the camera at the time well enough to expect some reasonable results.

More light would have allowed more depth of field but I already bought the sola 600 just due to doing this dive and the manta dive. The wife's patience and checkbook do have limits.

Nauticam D7000, Inon Z-240's, 60 micro, 105 micro, Tokina 10-17


#2 Steve Douglas

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 08:53 AM

Some very nice pictures. I was tempted to do that black water dive but an earlier experience with Jack's put me off my feed so I didn't.


Steve Douglas

I have worked as an unpaid reviewer for the editing websites since 2002. Most all hardware and software is sent to me free of charge, however, in no way am I obligated to provide either positive or negative evaluations. Any suggestions I make regarding products are a result of my own, completely, personal opinions and experiences with said products.