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Posts posted by reubencahn

  1. FWIW: I've made one trip to PNG in 2004, several to Indo and Malaysia, but I have not been to RE. I was on the GD on a trip from Wewak to Madang. My recollection is that the reefs were more pristine with more impressive hard corals than I've seen in Indonesia. Wrecks were really quite amazing, and I'm no lover of wreck diving. Macro life was very good but nothing like Lembeh--which seems to me unique. The trip also had a different vibe. PNG feels far more remote than the places I've been in Indo. On the other hand, the cost is high. Flights to Australia are bad enough but Air New Guinea really sticks it to you. Once there, I think the cost of boats and resorts is comparable to the more expensive Indo options, but there are no real budget or even moderate options. That said, there's something about PNG that calls to me, and I'm going back this summer, a week in Walindi and 10 days on the Stardancer. Couldn't get things sqared away with GD. If I could travel in my winter, I would jump at a chance to do one of the Eastern Fields trips.


    P.S. I'd also rate the diving superior to the Solomons.

  2. Out of interest, there was a D200 housing up for sale on ebay where the buyer did not have any handles. May be worth a look in case it is your one.







    For a number of reasons, including the other items he's selling, I'm nearly certain that this is my housing. At this point, I don't care much about the housing which I've replaced, but my laptop was in the same bag. I'm wondering if ebay will provide any cooperation on something like this.

  3. Not sure any one is still giving the 2pc/70lb any more.

    If you use international interline transfer, you probably would get by.


    Air Niugini is well known for squeezing the last kina from you for baggage charges.


    What are their excess bag charges? I can't find them anywhere on their website.

  4. We're travelling to PNG this coming summer, Cairns/Port Moresby/Hoskins returning Rabaul/Port Moresby/Cairns. I can book on Air Niugini's website saving about $600 USD for the three of us. Travel agent says webfares aren't changeable whereas tickets booked by agents would be and using the agents would give us the 2pc/70lbs baggage limitation whereas the webfare would be subject to Air Niugini's normal 30 kg limit. (We normally carry with one 30 kg checked bag each, and one carryon plus "personal item" each. Of course, the camera bag "carryon" exceeds any allowed limits. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with Air Niugini's webfares and any recommendations.

  5. Me and the hubby had wanted to go on Chertan june 23 - July 4 but apparently there is noone else signed up and the boat needs 6 pax to go. So looks like we will end up at Tawali instead, which is not an altogether bad option as they apparenlty use Chertan as their "dayboat" when she is not out as a liveaboard. However I really would have liked just going on the Chertan. Anyhow, if I can rustle up 4 wetpixelites for Chertan, that would be awesomeness. Anyone interested? Can contact me at p h o t o ( a t ) m a r j o a h o (d o t ) c o m


    I thought I'd revive this thread rather than start a new one. I'm planning a trip to PNG in July. We're looking for mix of some pelagic action with good reefs, and maybe a bit of muck/critter hunting. Right now, my plan is to do a week at Walindi followed by a trip on the Star Dancer to minimize the time and cost of flying around PNG. But we could substitute Tawali for Walindi (and/or Spirit of Nugini for Star Dancer.) So, I'm wondering, has anyone been to Walindi lately? Also, Arcatus, how was your September trip?

  6. If you follow the argument in the last video it does not argue that Fannie Mae was the only cause of the crisis; only that CRA and equal opportunity lending laws when applied to the private sector and Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac, initiated a subprime lending boom which subsequently resulted in the crisis we see today of which Fanie Mae and Freddie Mac were a part. The point to be made is that this started long before George Bush, and if any blame is to be laid it should be with our Congress(es). It also does not detract from the fact that clearly Democrats in congress and possibly the senate are far more caught up in the Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac component of this than Republicans.

    The reality is they are all scumbags, and the first order of the day should be to throw ALL of them out Democrats and Republicans by adopting one rule when you vote: Vote for the guy who is not an incumbent. This would also put all the new guys on notice that the same thing will happen to them next time if they don't shape up.


    Agreed that there is plenty of blame to go around for Republicans and Democrates alike, but Fannie and Freddie should receive a relatively small part of it and the CRA none at all. Fannie and Freddie's problems, especially now that they've been taken over by the U.S. gov't, did not freeze worldwide credit markets or destroy the banking system's capital. And the CRA became law in 1977. The subprime lending boom began in 2001. Unless, it leapt through some wormhole in time, it's hard to see how the CRA had anything to do with today's mess. Minorities and poor people did not bring down Lehman and Bear, Stearns.

  7. "My beef with W's regime is simple: Complete and utter fiscal irresponsibilty......."


    Humm ..... lets see:


    Carter pushes for semi-governmental organizations, Fani & Freddi, to loosen requirementsfor backing up lower income loans


    Clinton continues this strategy


    Chris Dodd and Barney Frank are chairmen of US government financial oversight committees


    Barneu Franks is openly sleeping with director of Fanni Mae


    Dodd is highest recipent of Fanni & Fredi political cash contributions, oBama is second and Franks is third


    Three years ago Franks leads fight to stop more stringent controls on Fanni mae


    So it's all Bush's fault?? Drink some more Kool Aid my friend and quit crying about 2000 & 2004 !


    Oh yea, lets not forget Jamie Gorlick - she was responsible for the DOJ ruling that precluded CIA and FBI from sharing information that resulted in "the dots not being connected relative to 911" and now she is on Fannie Mae staff. This person has done more damage to the USA than Pollard and Rosenbergs combined!



  8. Jeremy,


    I'd note a couple of points. First, my understanding is that CDOs in particular were valued largely on models, and the extremely thin markets were willing to accept the models' valuations while everything was going well. Once things were going badly and default rates began to exceed those predicted for any given tranch, the models fell apart. Now, the market doesn't know how to value these, so there really is no market. This opacity is a big part of the problem. No one can really figure out what this stuff might be worth. Vulture investors will pay 20 cents on the dollar, but banks still think it's worth 60 cents. And the markets have dried up. When there's no market for a security, it's market value is $ 0. And when you're leveraged 13 to 1 or 17 to 1, even a small decline in the value of securities can take you down pretty quickly.


    Second, bankruptcy is a way around the trust problem. An individual can't negotiate with a trust but, with a change in the law, a bankruptcy judge could cram down the debt. This actually happened occasionally before the new bankruptcy act.

  9. I don't know when you're leaving for Wakatobi, but FWIW I moved from an Oly 5050 to a used D200 with Aquatica housing immediately before an August trip to Lembeh and Komodo. I read a guidebook to the camera and Martin Edge's book before leaving and practiced with the camera on land. The first day or so of photos were sketchy but from then on, I got many very good shots, mostly superior to what I could have gotten with my Oly. Especially with macro, it's possible to get up to speed fairly quickly. I found wide angle much more difficult.


    Incidentally, I chose the D200 because there are good deals on them from people upgrading and because the Oly 520 housing wasn't yet available.

  10. Don't you believe it: unless you can engineer a new baseplate and pushbutton contacts. The D300 does not fit easily into a Nexus D200 housing. The D700 is worse (although I was being harrassed by the camera storekeeper when I tried it!). Now, if there was a commercially available conversion kit....





    Thanks for the information. If I stick with the D200, I think my plan will be to take advantage of its declining price and buy an extra body rather than plan on an upgrade. But Nexus is one of the housings I'm considering. Are you happy with yours? Anything you don't like about it?

  11. "Jlyle, After to change to E-330, what kind of pictures were you be able to do that you cannot do before? What I really try to know is if I will expereince a big difference in case to use the 20d."


    There aren't any pictures you can take with a dslr that I couldn't get with the 5050. Some pictures are just easier with the dslr: fast motion where shutter lag on the 5050 means you have to push the shutter before the action; skittish or shy critters where the dslr lenses will allow you to take the image from father away; and sequential shots where you want to take more than one image in a short period of time.


    I don't know that I would agree with this. I just made the switch from a 5050 to a used D200 before a trip to Indonesia. The fast autofocus and lack of shutter lag together with the ability to take multiple shots quickly which results from this allowed me to get any number of shots I couldn't have taken with my 5050. They just weren't possible. That's not to say these shots are all brilliant or that they are better than anything I shot with my 5050, but they are shots I wanted and couldn't have gotten without the DSLR.

  12. The thread title sort of says it all. In July, I made the switch from P&S to DSLR by purchasing a used D200 with Aquatica housing. I used the camera over a several week trip to Lembeh and Komodo only to have the taxi driver take off with my camera bag as I returned home. The D200 was in a separate camera bag, so I've still got the camera w/ 18-200 and 10-17 lenses (my 60mm was taken). Homeowners insurance will cover and pay replacement cost for all items. I think I can get a Sea & Sea housing for the D200. Nexus may still have D200 housings available as well. Alternatively, I could ebay the D200 body and buy a D90 probably spending $300 or $400 and then wait for housings to come out. (I've got a year to purchase replacements.) From what I can see, the main advantage of the D90 would be improved high ISO performance. The main disadvantages would seem to be the loss of some controls and lesser build quality. But I'm sure I'm missing other important issues. Having just switched to DSLR, I just don't know what they are. Other than diving, my main use of the camera, once I buy a longer lense, would be shooting my son's surfing competitions. Would the high ISO performance of the D90 be a big factor there?

  13. Lost/stolen in San Diego upon return from a trip to Indonesia (taxicab drove off before bag was removed, and, when reached, driver claimed to never have seen bag):


    Suunto Vytec Dive Computer with DSS boot, Serial # 807911


    Sea & Sea TTL Converter III for Nikon, Serial # 065300590


    2 Sea & Sea YS-90DX strobes, Serial # 006003435 &006000122


    Aquatica A200 housing, Serial # 2756 w/ port opening plug $ 60.00


    Fisheye LED48DX Focus Light, Serial # AD0087162


    Nikkor 60mm AF-S Micro Lens, Serial # US224966


    Also in bag were 2 Sea & Sea Nikonos to YS synch cords, dome port, macro port, dome port extensions, zoom gear, etc.--all contained in black ThinkTank Airport Acceleration bag.

  14. 3-4 times in 15 days? The course for cipro is 4-7 days no? Did you take it every day for the entire trip?


    The travel doctors I've seen always recommend taking it twice a day for 3 to 4 days, if and only if Immodium or other measures don't work adequately.


    Incidentally, I've always understood that hep B is primarily a blood borne virus--as opposed to hep A which can be water borne--so vaccination wasn't really a necessity. Here's the CDC page on hep B.



  15. I would recommend the Malarone, though I can't decide for you on the cost. That's what I take when I go to that area. While Bali is fairly clear of malaria, it is not unknown there and you're probably safer than not taking an anti-malarial for Wakatobi and Lembeh just in case. The antibiotic is a also a good idea just in case. Not sure on the typhoid thing. I just went ahead and got vaccinated for that. When I was vaccinated for HepA, I had to get one shot and a booster. They told me that the first did offer some protection but I needed to make sure I came back and got the second. Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor and unable to give a medical opinion -- just relating my personal experience.




    I believe you're thinking of the Hep A with the shot and booster. Typhoid vaccine is a single shot that lasts 2yrs or you can take an oral vaccine that's good for either 3 or 5 years (one week of pills that must be kept refrigerated). I've also always been vaccinated for typhoid whenever traveling to Indo.

  16. My doctor gave me 3 scripts last night: for Malarone, an anti typhoid drug (typhoid vivhot), and a broad spectrum antibiotic Levaquin, (just in case I needed it I really hate taking antibiotics unless I absolutely have to).


    I read the other thread about anti-malarials but it didn't mention Wakatobi, Bali or Lembeh. Did anyone take an antimalarial and/or typhoid before/during/after travel to those places?


    My travel companions are split as to whether or not you need them there. I will get the antibiotic filled because I'll be gone 3 weeks so its a good thing to have, I guess.


    I heard the malarone is pretty expensive. Oh, my doc also gave me an Hep A vaccine last night.


    My understanding is that Bali has no malaria risk. Information available in US is that there is malaria risk in Sulawesi but nothing to really pare it down to specific areas. So maybe there is or there isn't any risk in Lembeh. I did take Malarone for travel to Lembeh. I've taken it for numerous trips to various locations without any side effects.

  17. Hey Wanderlust,



    I start out with the strobes about 15" out and at about 10:00 and 2:00. You have now exhausted my entire knowledge of lighting :D





    I have a related question, hopefully not too off-topic. What arrangement of arms do you use? Is there any reason not to use a single longer arm per side rather than two sections?

  18. If I am correct, you would probably want to switch out both bulkheads to Nikonos TTL for use with a TTL converter: that way you have a back up. Being a former TTL addict for macro/film, I thought it was going to be a huge deal going manual with this setup. Not really a big deal. You will learn what works pretty quickly using manual, remembering that wih an SLR and smaller apertures you will need more light than with your prior system when shooting macro. The converter has had a lot of reliability issues, and is rather pricey, considering it may not work properly all of the time. It is also really bulky.

    While you are getting the folks at Aquatica to switch out your bulkhead(s), have them do a maintenance; you don't know how the system was maintained, and it's probably overdue.

    As for the Heinrichs, someone else will hopefully chime in.


    Good luck, and enjoy your new system,


    Hi Marli,


    Thanks for the reply. Marna forwarded me the link to you Solomons' pictures. Beautiful work. They brought back good memories.


    I was wondering if you could answer a few more questions about manual strobe settings. I'm interested in the possibility but a bit concerned as well. On my 5050, I had a ttl converter. When it worked it was wonderful. When it didn't, it was a tremendous pain. My usual practice was to choose my shutter speed based on how light or dark I wanted the background and whether the subject was moving, then set my aperture so that the camera's meter would show around - 2 and then let the ttl pick the strobe duration. This seemed to work reasonably well as long as I stayed within the limits of my strobe's power. Of course, some things, like shooting a dark subject on white sand, just didn't work without reworking the flash compensation. My problem is that when I was forced to use manual power settings, my choices always seemed like complete guesses. Sometimes I made good choices and got good exposures and sometimes I got really bad exposures. Of course, I could look at the screen and adjust. But is there some systematic way to make choices about strobe settings? Or is my approach in choosing shutter speed and aperture the problem?

  19. After several years using an Oly 5050, I've just purchased a used D200 with an Aquatica housing. The housing has one Ikelite ttl bulkhead and one nikonos non-ttl bulkhead. I'll be using my S&S YS 90DX strobes. I'm trying to figure out my options if I want ttl. I think I can replace the Ikelite bulkhead with a nikonos ttl bulkhead, purchase a Sea & Sea ttl converter and will have working ttl. Is this right? Do I have any other options?


    Assuming I purchase an Ike to S&S synch cord, will the Heinrichs-Weikamp internal ttl converter http://reefphoto.com/index.php?main_page=p...352cd0ff690d6d2 work with the Ikelite bulkhead and the S& S strobes? Are there any other possibilities?

  20. Ok guys


    Man! reading.. reading.. reading..

    Ok so we are now looking at the "Wananavu Beach Resort" back on the main Island, up in the bligh waters.

    Bit of a honeymooners place but they have diving packages with "Kai Viti" divers.

    Ive heard a few good things about Kai Viti, hoping they are correct.

    So once again... Anyone got a word on Kai Viti Divers. Or the resort.

    Staying on the main Island cuts domestic airfares out which is nice.

    The resort also has the same package but with "Ra Divers". But havent heard of them mentioned before. The dive Co. just comes each day to pick you up from the resort and drops you back off (if you make it back to the boat. lol. Seams to be a bit of this going on over the world at the moment)

    Thanks for the info Lionfish. It pointed us in a nice direction. Cheers.




    Wananavu is nice, not as luxurious as say Taveuni Island Resort, but still very nice. Spend the extra for an ocean view bure or one of the beach bures. The food is good if not fantastic.


    Ra divers will not take you to the Bligh Waters. They dive the fringing reefs which are decent but pale in comparison to the sites farther out.


    I haven't dived with Kaiviti but have heard good things. I know that they employ many of the people who made Crystal Divers great. The only problem with the diving is that the norm is two tanks per day. Sometimes you can arrange for three but not always. And no real night diving. Afternoons were mostly for snorkeling or relaxing.

  21. Hey all.


    My girlfriend/dive buddy are planning a holiday for Jan 09 and want to go diving in fiji.

    We had settled on a location to stay which we both were happy with from what we had read on various sites but after a post here about the resort we were looking at, we decided that the place just wasn't what we were after.

    That said it's back to the drawing board. More reading, and the focus has turned to Taveuni Island in the north of fiji.

    They say that the rainbow reef and somosomo strait are great dive locations which is what we are after. Good Diving.

    But back to the accom side of things we also need to stay somewhere.

    We are looking for a resort with hopefully a resturant, bar, pool and a bit of shopping. I can do without the shopping though.. shhh.. :D


    We are hoping that a few people here have been and stayed on the Island before and could give us a bit of feed back as to how they found it. Like where you stayed? what did you like about it or didn't like with it?

    what is there to do there? how was the diving and which areas did you dive?

    it's to hard to gauge from a brochure and all they do is tell you how great it is. they dont tell you the real feel of the place and how other people have really found it.

    We are really getting down to the crunch time where we are going to have to book something somewhere and still have no clue.


    All your posts will be warmly welcomed and appreciated,


    Best wishes


    Peter & Beck


    We were in Taveuni in 2003. We had booked space at Maravu Plantation, a very nice place, but they put us in a bure that seemed about 2 miles from the water and had no others available. We moved across the street to Taveuni Island Resort. This resort is beautiful, sitting on a cliff overlooking the straits. Very romantic. The infinity edge pool also overlooks the straits. Food is excellent. I believe they have a bar as well. No shopping. I don't think anyplace on Taveuni has any. You can always shop in Nadi on your way back home. As far as diving, while the straits are good, we found them disappointing after a week of diving in the Bligh Waters and left to return there. We stayed at Wananavu and dove with Crystal Divers, which no longer exists. However, Kaiviti Divers does the same sites.

  22. You would be very lucky to get it in time. The camera is set to go on sale in June and housings have been a month or two behind in the past.




    An email to Olympus USA received the following response:


    "We appreciate you interest in the PTE-05 Underwater Housing for the E-520 that was announced today. The preliminary word from Tokyo is that Olympus America will having the housings available for sale late July to early August. I will make a note to update you should the delivery time change."


    I guess I'll wait and see how this plays out. Perhaps they'll be available from Japan a bit earlier.

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