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Member Since 27 May 2009
Offline Last Active Jan 28 2014 11:51 AM

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Utila Trip Report - Photos + HD Video

27 January 2014 - 05:03 PM

My sister, who is currently living in the Honduran capital city of Tegucigalpa, was holding her wedding on the island of Utila the first weekend of 2014. While Jennifer and I were both coming off a nearly year-long break from diving, having gotten more into triathlon the past year (and not yet figuring out how to balance swimming, biking, running, *and* diving…), this seemed like the PERFECT opportunity to get back under the water. We dusted off the scuba gear, sent the regulators and drysuits out for needed maintenance, and started making plans to get in a some diving during our wedding vacation.

We flew out late at night from Los Angeles, and after stops in five airports (LAX -> IAH -> SAP -> LCE -> UII), we were finally in Utila a day later. We were splitting a gorgeous rental house with my mother and two of my sister's friends.

We did all of our diving with Coral View (http://www.coralviewutila.com/). They are located west of the main town center (near the entrance to Oyster Bed Lagoon). It’s a lovely property, sitting right on the water, and appeared to be the only dive shop in / near town with its own house reef. They arranged for us to be picked up each morning and dropped off each afternoon at our place in countryside (free of charge).

The shop splits up groups and boats based on diver interest and ability. We were able to dive with the same DM (Chris) and three other guests each day. Boats were limited to 12 divers (including DMs), but most days it was just our group of six. Usually Coral View does two tanks in the morning and one in the afternoon (with night dives scheduled when interest arises). We missed the morning boat our first full day on the island (having to return to the Utila “airport” to wait for some luggage that had yet to make it over to the island from La Ceiba). Instead, later that morning, we did a shakedown shore dive off the Coral View house reef, which was a great gateway for us back into diving. The site was easy to navigate, offered a great reef wall with plenty to see between 10-80’, all without the pressure of any real schedule. After lunch, we jumped on a boat for an afternoon dive. That night we rang in the new year on Chepes beach watching fireworks across the water above La Ceiba.

Since no one seemed to want to make two early morning dives that next morning, the shop instead decided to do two boat dives that afternoon, which was just fine by us. The third day had us doing three dives total, two in the morning (including a trip to the north side of the island) and hitting the Halliburton wreck in the afternoon. We finished up our fourth and final day of diving with two morning dives, before having to run to make the wedding rehearsal luncheon. With wedding and family obligations, we just were not able to get in more diving. Still, it was a great foray back into the underwater realm. Highlights for us included the lush hard corals, finding a pair of seahorses, swimming with wild dolphins (during one of our surface intervals), and seeing Caribbean reef squid, moray eels, and vast numbers of fish. In all, we dived the following sites:

House Reef, Coral View
Black Coral Wall
Jack Neal Point
Little Little Bight
The Maze
Little Bight
Halliburton Wreck
Black Hills
Radar Reef

Apart from the Halliburton wreck (due to its depth), *every* dive was at least an hour long, with several pushing 70-75 minutes. The reefs all lend themselves to multi-level profiles and we were basically allowed as much time as we wanted to spent exploring the shallows at the end of each dive (usually in 15-25’ of water). Our DM did a wonderful job of searching out interesting critters to share with us, but also being hands-off enough to let us enjoy our own moments. We never felt rushed, which was nice since every team of divers had a photographer. Really happy with our decision to dive with Coral View.

While not diving, we enjoyed hanging out in or by the pool at our rental house, walking the main drag in town and trying the various restaurants and cafes, going for early morning runs, and mostly spending time with friends and family we often otherwise do not get to see.

HD video:


Some photos we shot:











More photos at our website: utila diving « these days

FS: Clamps (2)

10 September 2013 - 04:52 PM

I think this is the last of the photo gear:


Two Ultralight-style Clamps


These are basically the same design as the ULCS clamp (just different turn dial).  They've been on less than a dozen dives.  New, these clamps go for $30 each.  

Would like to sell these two together for $45.  

PM if you're interested.


Attached File  Clamps.jpg   131.68KB   56 downloads

Arm Sections + Clamps + Floats (ULCS + Stix)

05 September 2013 - 10:32 AM

Arm Sections + Clamps + Floats (ULCS + Stix)

Selling off the strobe / video light arms from our underwater DSLR rig.  These are 2x5" + 2x10" arm segments, with three clamps, and 4x jumbo floats each.

These worked for wide angle, macro, and video work.  Used this mostly with a 4" minidome on an Aquatica D7000 housing and left the rig nearly neutral in salt water.

Each arm is made up of the following pieces:

(1) Ultralight (ULCS) 5" Double Ball Arm segment

$48 new

(1) Ultralight-style 10" Double Ball Arm segment

$48 new

(1) Ultralight Clamp for Buoyancy arms

$35 new

(1) Ultralight New Style Clamp (15 degrees side movement)

$30 new

(1) Ultralight-style Clamp

$30 new

(4) StiX Adjustable Buoyancy Jumbo Floats for Ultralight Strobe Arms

$35 new (4 pack)

Each arm: Clamp + 5" segment + Float (1) + Clamp + 10" segment + Float (3) + Clamp

Worked out to about $225 pre-tax for each arm.

I'd like to sell these for $200 / arm or $375 / pair.  

Will consider breaking up the arms further only if there's no interest in the complete arms.


I'm also selling our Nikon D7000 housing (Aquatica AD7000), strobes (dual Inon Z-240s), and video lights (dual Salvo 35W HIDs).  Willing to discount package deals.


Aquatica AD7000 Housing: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=51275


Inon Z-240 Strobes: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=51276


Salvo 35W HIDs: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=51277


Attached File  Arms_SM_1.jpg   274.67KB   69 downloads


Attached File  Arms_SM_2.jpg   262.45KB   83 downloads


Attached File  Arms_SM_3.jpg   270.41KB   87 downloads



FS: Dual 35W HID Video Lights + Canister + Pelican Case

05 September 2013 - 10:26 AM

Dual 35W HID Video Lights + Canister + Pelican Case

Haven't been shooting underwater lately, so selling off the housing, strobes, and these video lights.

Video light set includes:

-Two 35W HID Salvo video lights (3000 lumens each at 6000 kelvin)
-Two Lumedyne video reflectors
-15.6 AH Li-Ion battery (I was getting about 80-85% capacity)
-Battery canister powering both lights via Y-connector and E/O cords
-Ball mounts on video heads
-Pelican 1510 rolling case (http://www.pelican.c...l.php?Case=1510) with foam inserts [Meets airline carry-on size limit.]

I believe the lights are depth rated to 500'/150m.

This is basically the same system as Dive Gear Express is selling (http://www.divegeare...ights/hid.shtml) for $2750 (plus tax and shipping, and without the Pelican case which retails for $175).

Asking $1600 for everything + cost of shipping.


Also selling our Nikon D7000 housing (Aquatica AD7000), strobes (dual Inon Z-240s), and arm segments (ULCS + Stix).  Willing to discount package deals.

Aquatica D7000 Housing: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=51275


Inon Z-240 Strobes: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=51276

ULCS Arm Segments: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=51278



These are great lights and were what I used in the following videos:




Attached File  Video_Lights_SM_1.jpg   226.69KB   50 downloads


Attached File  Video_Lights_SM_2.jpg   253.64KB   55 downloads


Attached File  Video_Lights_SM_3.jpg   138.92KB   44 downloads

FS: Inon Z-240 Strobes

05 September 2013 - 10:20 AM

Inon Z-240 Strobes

Not diving nearly enough to warrant keeping these.

Selling two Inon Z-240 strobes, including various diffusers( 0.5 stop, 1.5 stop), slave strobe bracket, extra o-rings and lubricant.

Both strobes are Type IV (one native, one originally Type III with upgraded/converted electronics).  Less than a year of shooting on each strobe's electronics.

Strobes include ULCS Inon AD-IN ball adapters, and I'll also throw in some Toslink fiber optic sync cables.

Asking $900 for both + shipping (or $475 each + shipping)

Also selling our Nikon D7000 housing (Aquatica AD7000), video lights (dual Salvo 35W HIDs), and arm segments (ULCS + Stix).  Willing to discount package deals.

Aquatica D7000 Housing: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=51275


Salvo 35W HIDs: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=51277


ULCS Arm Segments: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=51278



Attached File  Stobes_SM_1.jpg   257.1KB   51 downloads


Attached File  Stobes_SM_2.jpg   306.96KB   68 downloads


Attached File  Stobes_SM_3.jpg   286.6KB   74 downloads