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caveman

Member Since 20 Mar 2003
Offline Last Active Aug 20 2005 10:50 AM
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Topics I've Started

Maldives Report

09 May 2005 - 05:34 AM

Just got back from the Maldives. Besides going with some pleasant company, diving in the Maldives was a bit of a let down. Yes, there were Manta's which was the highlight, but in terms of Macro Photography, it cannot compare to some of the diving available in Indonesia. Even the amount of hard and soft coral is in my assessment less than that of Similans Islands ( Thailand ).

updated pics on My Website

This is my first trip in digital ( previous trips on film ), and as you can see, i still have alot to learn !.

Cheers




Carl

D70 on Wide

11 April 2005 - 05:01 AM

Well, if you saw my last post re- missing a deco stop, you will have noticed that my wide shots were crap (excuse my french) . Many reasons, main one really was for some reason the auto focus did not work under water, i could not press the shutter and get the shot. Had to click it into manual, and manually adjust ( and since i cold not see the focus through that small view finder.....everything was blurry ). Back on land, it worked like a dream again

Any idea why? I did not have this issue ona previous trial in Phi Phi.

D70, Nexus housing, 16mm fisheye lens, small glass port.

Give me pure Solo Anyday

10 April 2005 - 06:48 PM

Saturday the 10th of April, decided to do one dive on the HardDeep ( Sutatip ), in Samesaen, Thailand. Have been on this wreck probably 50 times or more, know it very well. Have a routine sorted out, go down first, most people who follow run out of air quickly ( 28 meters ), and surface, and I will follow them up and be the last out , typically with a 10 minute deco + safety stop. Had a full tank, and a pony bottle as back up ( fortunately ).

Was down for yonks, really enjoying my self, testing my new D70 Wide angle set up ( pictures turned out crappy by the way ). Well, I had plenty of deco on the clock, caclulated my consumtion, and decided it was time to come up. ( use 1 bar per minute max at 5 - 6 meters).

Well...... I started coming up the rope, and the current was very strong (most people who Dive with Ray Divers never experience this )..... but, that was ok. I usually pick a knot in the thick line, and just "flap" there.

There was one problem though, as I settled on the knot at 6 meters, a whole army of divers ( about 10+ ) came up the line too.... divers from a different boat mostly who was not there when we went in. Heads facing into the current, they did not even see me there on the knot, and basically started squeezing me with their large mass up the line. Obviuosly in-experienced divers. I had my camera in one hand, holding on to the line with the other, and my head was buried in a mass of divers, and there were so many bubbles, I could not even read my dive computer. The current was so strong, it was not possible to swim down and settle on a deeper part of the rope. I was being squeezed more and more up the rope by the mass of divers.

I put my camera between my legs, and gave one guy a whack, he looked back at me, and he was sharing the octopus with some one else ( what a fiasco ! )...... then, he just let the reg out of his mouth, and looked at me with a puzzled look ( I though "Oooohhhhh shit, here we go with a panicked diver or a drowned one." ) . Suprizingly he found the reg. again, and not much changed.

By this time I was huffing and puffing well beyond my 1 bar per minute " max", trying to stay below 4 meters, and my air was expended. I always though my pony and extra reg was a big "over", but I have changed my mind since saturday. It was such a nice feeling to know I had an extra air source ready for use, and did not have to signal to share with others ( how some one could make that signal clear in all that confusion is beyond me ! ).

Well, I was enjoying my ROI with the pony, but, the situation was getting worse............ I was getting squeezed up more and more...... 3 meters with 10 minutes left. When at 2.5, my dive computer said "Er" in big letters. Made one last deperate attempt to swim past people / down, but the current was too strong....... so it was an ascent to the surface.

Happily, no bends or after effects ( Sunnto is very conservative )

Lessons :
1. Dont deco dive when there are alot of people ! Actually, we were the only boat there when I went in, and when I surfaced there were 4 or 5.
2. In the 10 years I have been diving, and probably 3 or 4 which have been mostly Solo, I still maintain the only times when my life has been in peril was when I was around other in-experienced divers. And this time was no different. Why new divers think they must safety stop at 5.00 meters down to an accuracy of 0.01 meters beats me.
3. Murpheys Law again hits in. Yes, I had my plan, told Ray what I was up to, have done the same routine for years...... and then ... Bingo.
4. Having an Alternative air source is very comforting indeed, and worth the trouble of taking it every where you go.

Is Your Home Land Security Money Well Spent ?

18 February 2005 - 06:34 PM

Hi Guys,

( Summary below if u don’t want to read the story )

Was in the US last week for work, which in general was quite promising. On my return, I planned to depart from Austin / Texas Airport, through LAX, and then checked through to Bangkok (I am Australian Living in Bangkok, Thailand, working in a well respected Public Listed Company in a responsible position, never had any dealings with any authorities for the recoord !...and showed up fresh from a meeting still in business artire ).

When receiving my boarding pass, there was a massive “SSSS” printed on the boarding pass which I thought weird, but paid no attention to it. On entering the security queue, a sweet old dame asked for my ID and Boarding pass……. And promptly said “ oh, you have been identified as a person requiring special screening”, which kind a sounded strange, but in the spirit of world safety, well, so what. I was given this red plastic card with 3 metal washers in it, and told to jump the queue to go to the front.

When arriving at the metal detector gate, the security man, who was quite polite and “people orientated” asked me to take all my worldly possessions and put them in the boxes, coins, keys, almost everything except for underwear, pants, and shirt…….. and to take my PC / camera out of my carry on and put it in a box as well. OK, fine….no problem there……..

As I am putting in the things in the box, another guard is rudely barking to me to do things which this other guy did not ask , and then a third one was barking orders to put certain things in certain boxes which contradicted the second guard and the first.

I ended up telling them “ I do not have the capacity to listen to 3 contradicting orders and execute them at the same time. Which one of you shall I listen to, and what is the correct procedure ?” They looked confused at each other, and the smarter of the 3 ( the polite one with human skills ) took control, and I happily followed his orders.

After my goods passing the X-ray ….. I was ushered to a space by a different and equally rude TSA who should of remained on a cattle ranch in Texas herding cattle, no people skills and rude / rough to say the least. What ever happened to the US ideals of “ you are innocent until proven guilty ”?? Not the case with the TSA.

Well, he asked me to sit down on a seat, and asked me to stretch out my leg, and proceeded to scan my stretched out leg with a metal detector……and……..as it got close to the underside of my knee, it started beeping. He got all excited, and started patting with his hand under my knee, could not find anything….scanned again….beep again…..patted…scanned again….beep again…..patted…and was getting quite frantic ( I could not believe my eyes )……until I finally said to him “ Don’t you think it might be the metal leg of the chair I am sitting on which might be the root cause ?”. There was this dumb founded look on his face, about 3 second delay as the thought passed through his head, and a final acknowledgement. I could not believe that he was handling security.


Well…..after standing, a full body scan with the detector, and the a full pat down in public view with hands actually hitting private parts ( and not….not a turn on ! ) in full public view. The I was asked to pull the front part of my pants out, and also turn the rim around.

I have no problem with all the scanning and checks, and i agree in this day and age its necessary. I do believe though that the hard handed tactics as seen on "COPS" are in-appropriate when dealing with travelers and these guys thing they are in hot persuit of a criminal when screening passengers.

The TSA should represent whats the best about the US, not the worst.



Summary


1. How adept is this super computer really at identifying real risks. My guess was I was the only foreigner ( Caucasian Australians are all Al-Queda trained obviously ) with a destination of Bangkok, which according to the super computer must be a very suspicious town!
2. Any real terrorist would make a detour to the toilet and then exit the airport upon seeing “SSSS” printed on your boarding pass ( maybe new improved versions will have it in Braille too for the visually impaired clerics )
3. It is clear that the TSA do not have clearly defined procedures if 3 people can contradict each other what has to be done when going through a special procedure
4. It is clear that you are guilty of a crime as soon as u are asked to go through the process.
5. The TSA does not have screening procedures to validate whether staff should be people facing. The nut who wanded me should have been behind the X-ray screen, not dealing with people. If I knew to other guy’s name, I would commend him for his professionalism and treating people in a polite manner, but still efficient getting the un-pleasant job done.
6. Ceramic diving knives exist. I would be not stupid to carry one, but how good would the system be in finding one ?

All in all, I met a lot of good people whilst there, and it was a good trip, but if you think your good tax money can actually have a more than random chance of identifying possible threats, I think there is a false sense of security, and being treated like a criminal by the TSA without due cause would make me defer any pleasure / holiday trips to the US until things settle down ( if ever ).


The TSA should represent whats the best about the US, not the worst.

So if your planning to dive in the US as an outsider, it may be a big hassle if you travel with a lot of gear( i.e. camera / housings etc )[/u]

2 year old Sea & Sea NX-80 Housing + Ports

20 December 2004 - 05:59 AM

thinking about moving from Nikon F80 (to S2 or a D70 ) housed in a 2 year old Sea & Sea NX-80 Housing + Ports ( possibly strobes as well. ). If you are interested, IM me. Perferably SE Asia only as I live in Bangkok.

Kit is superbly looked after, and I have used it for about 90 rolls of film.

F80 body ( no lenses - reusing them )
NX-80
Ports for lenses = 105mm, 105+2x TC, 60mm, Wide Angle

Optional
Strobe Arms
2x YS-90 Strobes from Sea And Sea.

Never flooded. make me an offer or we can discuss.

Caveman