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Everything posted by bearaway

  1. Thanks for all the info guys. Much appreciated. Stephane
  2. Hi gang, I will need to reroute my flights to the US and may land in Miami to join family and spend xmas and new year on the water. From there I was thinking to go to Bimini and Bahamas. We should be sailing around for 3 weeks. My father has 2 tanks and is currently looking to get a compressor to take on the boat temporarily (fingers crossed). Anyone got tips/advices for the area ?
  3. What a strange name! Were any old Nazis lurking around? As Bob said, the swastiska is a widely represented symbol in hinduism. You will find it engraved in most if not all temples in Bali. It is a sign of good luck and well being. You can find a picture I took recently in Besakih Temple: The swastika was also used by the Navajos in North America as well as the Mayans in Central and South America but roughly it is pretty universal and has been used in all cultures. It was widely used in the western world at the beginning of the century and in the US more than everywhere else. Look carefully at this Detroit Krit car (end of the page). It was also used as a symbol by the Lafayette Squadron made of american volunteers to France in WWI, boy-scouts and such. Coca Cola even made a swastika watch. In 1940, just after the US declared war, the Navajos were somewhat strongly invited to renounce to their symbol. Amazing how 10000 years of history can be rewritten in a short amount of time.
  4. I'm just back from a 3-day, 3-night liveaboard around Lady Musgrave Island. I left from Bundaberg (well known for its rum) which is about 3.5h drive north of Brisbane. Pictures don't do justice to the place as I constantly had something else in mind than taking pictures and bottom time was a dramatic problem to me, usually the first 30 minutes are for warm-up and the fact that I lost my strobe diffuser in the liveaboard in Cairns did not help as well. This Bundaberg liveaboard is the ONLY one going to the south of the great barrier reef. It is very little explored and the potential is absolutely enormous to me. The coral is in amazing conditions, plenty of marine life, nudibranchs, turtles, sharks, manta rays and dolphins. Unfortunately my diving was not so great because of the diving limitations imposed by the dive center: 40min dive max, and you had to use tables to compute your diving time. No computer diving allowed. :angryfire: I feel like the diving in this place can be absolutely awesome but there is all to discover here. I took all information necessary to charter the boat for a 6-day trip, so if anyone feels like exploring this place one day (probably next year), please drop me a note so that I can figure interest. If all divers onboard are experienced we can do our own thing and dive wherever we want.
  5. Ok, this is backpacker speaking here. I'm not sure what you consider 'inexpensive' and what you are really looking for, that would be nice to have an indication. Personally I stayed in Sanur in a 'homestay' for 35000RP which is barely $US4 and breakfast included. That's the common price in Indonesia and the standard is VERY high. I consider it certainly better value than the place I stayed in Manado that charges normally US$60. For this price the margin is probably US$55. This is indonesia for god sake ! An excellent aircon room with swimming pools, breakfast, etc.. should be more in the $20-30 but bargain hard. FYI a good value in Sanur is said to be Swastika Bungalows. For US$4 in Ubud I had a better room (small villa in a beautiful garden) than the last time I stayed in San Francisco for US$100 a night in the Oakland Holiday Inn. If you are after the nightlife, stay in Kuta. But be aware of what this is. Touristy as possible. You'll find plenty of bars here and also plenty of people..alternatively plenty of hassle. Sanur has nothing special and is quiet despite the hassle if you are walking around 'visit my shop ?', 'transport ?',etc.... I don't know about Nusa Dua but that's more on the luxury side. Plenty of hotels in here. If you are here for a few days I would move to Nusa Lembongan asap and do some diving here. Accommodation also ranges from very high $175 to $4 budget. Oh and don't believe a single second the prices that will be shown to you in all websites about Bali that you will find on the net. Contact the hotel directly. For example Coconut Beach Resort in Lembongan should go for a mere $40 if not less. In those 'portals' you will find it for 100 to 150. Hardly a good deal for you.
  6. Carolus Linnaeus gave this name in the 18th century because of the color of the body fat and believe me there was no additive and colorant at this time to make it look like english mint jelly He was a bit biased though as he was botanist. Lots of green here.
  7. I was actually thinking about a dwarf hawkfish aka cirrhitichthys falco The 'pixy hawkfish' aka 'coral hawkfish' is cirrhitichthys oxycephalus. I just found actually that the cirrhitichthys oxycephalus is also called spotted hawkfish (cirrhitichthys aprinus). That is curious because the spotted is supposed to have a distinguishable spot just behind the eye and cannot see any for sure in the pictures. Fact is that normally the distribution of the dwarf does not include the Galapagos but does for the pixy...err..spotted All I can say is that this is definitely a hawkfish More exactly, it's a fish
  8. Looks too yellow for me and the green is just like english jelly.
  9. I cannot remember the details but it was on my way to the Seychelles in March, so either onboard BA flight CAI-LHR or LHR-NBO-SEZ. The article was mentioning land pictures AFAIK, which is even worse.
  10. This is still very subjective to me. And there are strictly no indication so far about how the performed the 'objective' timed tests. Kind of disappointing considering the background of the divers who are mostly scientists. But they are not writing the review. IMHO you can hardly give a performance review when you have no idea of the validity of the data. That means that a same reviewer must do the timed-tests several times, then we must compute the mean, the confidence interval, standard deviation and see if it makes sense or not. We may even do a t-test or f-test between measurements. And the timed-test itself is hardly enough, air consumption data must be given as well, this is a key variable for us. Stephane
  11. I should be in Hawaii at the beginning of December for a couple of days. (read less than a week) if I can manage to get out of Australia and survive in New Zealand. If budget allows, I would not mind finding a liveaboard for 2 days or so, or even a good operator for a couple of dives. Any recommendation is welcome. Stephane
  12. I'm just back from an so-so liveaboard from Cairns, I was shocked when I saw the email. Best wishes to Bob. Stephane
  13. From what I have been reading a couple of months ago, the Seychelles tourism agency was caught using pictures from the Maldives and Polynesia to illustrate its official brochures.
  14. Enjoy your trip. I would kill for this one. That said, please post your feedback concerning your fins use compared to the Quattro. Being a Mares Quattro user, I'm absolutely convinced that these fins are absolutely awesome as long as you don't kick :angryfire:. More exactly they probably perform very well when it is a machine that kicks but definitely not a human. I would appreciate a real fins test in magazine to figure out what is best rather than the marketing bull. This is not extremely complicated to do a basic one. I suggest swimming 500m at 15m and note the time and air consumption. Repeat this 5 times for each fins. All this should be preceded by a 1 week basic training to avoid too much fitness influence and tests should be conducted in a mixed order as well. They conduct tests for regulators to figure out the effort of breathing but none for fins...very strange. Is that because no one want to volunteer for such a marathon ? I volunteer anytime. While I find useless to have powerful fins for most of the dives (after all the goal is mostly not to use them...) it can be pretty useful to have a boost for some dives without feeling that you need to move the ocean to go forward...
  15. Download the Sun Java JRE Plugin. For more details look at the chat online help
  16. Let me guess. You bought these fins and threw away your Mares Quattro for your next Galapagos trip in order to follow the whale sharks and avoid sucking air like mad due to complete muscular exhaustion. Correct ? Now, I have a very good answer to your question. Bring back your fins to your dealer and get a pair of Sporasub Variant. You can find then at a US dealer such as Divers Direct or close to you: AquaSafari. A Diver 'test' here
  17. pale one and THE posthumous shot of a brown one.
  18. Ghost pipefish ? a few. I don't have all of them taken and not even online but here is one from my blog: You can look for a few other shots on the other pictures.
  19. Straight from my blog: Front Side And with his friend the leaffish. Notice how relaxed is the frogfish with the fin of the leaffish straight in his face !
  20. Cool, I thought I was the only one to do something like this ! This happened to me on the Malawi wreck, I think Gail wondered what happened to me when I literally collapsed of despair over my housing as I was shooting nudibranchs just to have the batteries die... This was just following a 10-shot-in-a-row frustration where the strobe did not fire !! :angryfire:
  21. Now, that's interesting as I just put it there as a sample and think it does not have anything special. I did not do it to avoid lawsuits as I don't have any permissions and do have mostly compromising pictures. May change my mind later on Stephane
  22. Online ! I've got some pics online, some are still in the uploading process but hey, this is Oz, not Indonesia, so it's much faster. That's very welcome considering that there is about 25MB to upload. You will find it here Retrospectively, I'm a bit disappointed with the results as I failed a lot of pictures with overexposure. I actually figured out in the middle of the liveaboard thanks to David that when the controller was on 'manual' the GN button was simply ineffective and it has to be in TTL... eergh , I rebrowsed quickly the manuals but could not find a reference to that I will have to look better. Anyway, this is the reason for my constant overexposure problem and the fact that I needed to shoot at f8 1/2000 for macro. Once I changed this to TTL there was a much better result for the time that the strobe actually decided to work (it maybe did not like being on TTL ) I also feel like too many pictures suffer from abberation with the macro lens. And finally it also tells me that I need 2 strobes as one is definitely not enough to get good exposure result. (Ok, I'm in no way discovering hot water with that statement) Ok all in all no serious problem as I have been shooting with a strobe, macro and wide angle lens only a dozen of dives previous to the liveaboard, so this is the learning process. Stephane
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