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frogfish

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Posts posted by frogfish


  1. [EDIT:

     

    I've been in touch with DAN-SEAP, and the information I had that they were dropping non-citizen expatriate residents in Asia from coverage is apparently incorrect. So I'm pulling the contents of the [angry] message I had posted here.

     

    Apologies if I got anyone else alarmed or excited by this - I was writing in response to what I believed was a genuine communication from DAN.

     

    Frogfish

     

    [Original message contents deleted....]

     

     

    Frogfish


  2. John: No, all my own fault. (But if you;d like to feel guilty, that's ok too.)

     

    Meanwhile, here' s picture of my dog. Keegan is a 9-month old Weimaraner x Golden Retriever cross (Weimartriever?), and if truth be known, I'm rather smitten.

     

    DiveHw0: I think the duct tape pieces would just go over a couple of cm of the extension ring and a couple cm. on the housing body, to restrict the extension ring from rotating.

     

    Frogfish

    post-1236-1133455047_thumb.jpg


  3. I think it is too easy to rotate the large dome port on a Subal housing especially if you use a spacer. I lost an S2 Pro and 12-24mm lens too. Do not let any other person remove the dome cover when it is out of the water before diving. Take it off yourself only when it is under pressure.

     

    By the way Robert, I was really offended you never mentioned you knew me on the Wet-pixel Members You've Met thread. (Only joking!!!) My brain is so fried I can't remember who I met last week.

    Unless I'm mistaken, John, my only contribution to that thread (in which I mainly complained about Dr. Alex Mustard forgetting to mention in his post that he'd met and dived with me ) was actually made before you jointed wetpixel. There really wouldn't have been much point in bragging I know you to people who hadn't heard of you yet, would there? But if you like, I'm happy to go back and remedy the situation with some scurrilous gossip from the days of that great soap opera, "As Pelagian Turns."

     

    I agree about the problem with the Surbal dome port with extension ring, though it's had only been a problem for me very recently, and I've been shooting with the same extension ring + dome configuration on 70% of my dives for almost three years. I rememered your recent post about your flood, and suspected that I must have mistakenly switched in an old-style thin o-rings. Or that I had ended up using a different extension ring than I usually do. (For some reason, I have two 50 mm rings.) My mistake was to worry about this enough to try to change the o-ring early one morning, staying in a room without very good light. I thought I was being careful, but somehow I misaligned the port when I put it back on, and that was that. If I'd left the port and o-ring as it was - I'd already used the way it was for several dives - and stuck a few strips of duct tape on as dhaas suggests, all would have been well.

     

    R.


  4. The URL for DEPP that Eric Cheng provided at the beginning of this thread..

     

    (http://www.equipmentprotection.com/programs/depp.html)

     

    ..no longer works. Trying just "www.equipmentprotection.com" bounces to another website run by a company called Innovative Programs Group, Inc. There are several pages there devoted to DEPP, but this seems to be limited to an members of an affinity group known as "The Coral Reef".

     

    The enrollment form on this website provides, among other things, that any claims be processed through "The Coral Reef" and that damaged equipment be sent to them for repair or replacement. There is a brochure about the policy on the website which lists the same no-longer working URL. To get a copy of the actual policy, you have to call a telephone number in the US (area code 760).

     

    There are some other forms on the site for supplying personal information, all of which require a (US) state and zip code and apparently do not allow one to fill out the form from outside the US. (There is no country field option, and the state and zip codes fields are obligatory.)

     

    Does anyone know what is happening to or at DEPP? The possibility that the company actually issuing the insurance may have disappeared, or that coverage may now be limited to US citizens or residents (who are also members of "The Coral Reef"?) is making me very nervous.

     

    Frogfish


  5. Check with the rig upside down first thing when you hit the water. If you see drops, keep it upside down (so that the water can accumulate in the port) get it out of the water and maybe the camera and lens will be ok. (Alternatively, if you have reason to believe that the body is already a loss, holding the rig port-side up might save a lens.)

     

    If the camera and/or llens get more than a few drops of salt water on them, they are likely to be unrecoverable.

     

    The housing needs an immediate good soak in clean fresh water, inside and out, to get the salt out, then careful drying. The strobe connection ports and wiring will probably need to be replaced, and a general cleaning and servicing (replacing all o-rings on controls etc.) is probably a good idea as well. That's what I'm doing.

     

    Frogfish


  6. OK, here's a pleasant frogfish nightmare. This is a mating pair, happily posing together like Ma and Pa Antennarius, marine Amish farmers (but Pa needs a little pitchfork, or maybe a trident). A wonderful subject, no? Except that the (large) female is mostly bright white and the smaller male is a very dark purple, almost black. Plus they were keeping house on the Liberty Wreck, against a terribly busy background jam-packed with multi-colored ascidians, hydroids, patches of coralline algae, etc. Even knowing where they were, every time I looked away or gave my attention to the camera for a few seconds, I'd have to spend half a minute just to find them again, though they were always in plain sight.

     

    It's hard enough just to shoot a single dark frogfish against a simple contrasting background that be thrown out of focus. Here, however, every effort to to pick up more detail in the dark male simply blew out the white female, while exposing for detail in the light-colured female turned the dark purple male into a black featureless hole. And a lot of the surround was in the same plane, and so busy that most people have trouble making out either of the two fishes, which was a bit difficult in reality too.

     

    I tried every combination of exposure settings and strobe configurations I could think of, but this - which wasn't very good - was the best I could do.

     

    Frogfish

    post-1236-1133405896_thumb.jpg


  7. Idon't want to talk about it either. Two weeks ago, with the FS2, just days before I was headed to Hong Kong to pick up my new ND2 housing. One S2 Pro body and an 11-24 lens both fried. And a 2 GB card. The FS2 housing had been essentially sold to a friend, but no money had changed hands. Now it's on its way back to Austria for thorough servicing.

     

    It was completely my fault, stupid, but it could have been worse - I could have done the same thing next week on my first dives with the D2x and ND2.

     

    My first (and only other) flood was with on the last day of a liveaboard trip, my first to Komodo, about five or six years ago, with the Miniplex housing for the F-801S. I never figured out what caused that. (Now that I think about it, John Bantin was on that trip. Maybe it was his fault!)

     

    Frogfish


  8. I removed the metal eye from under the mounting shoe on the ND2 (and previous FS2) housings - it's shown in the photo at the top of the thread.

     

    If you leave this on, it's impossible to mount a ULCS adaptor base plate in the right direction (for me) with the ball angled out.

     

    I've been using a tray and handles with the FS2, but want to try using the Subal handles (again) and arms mounted on top with the ND2 housing. I'm hoping that the extended body of this housing and greater weight of the camera might change the axis of rotation and somehow make the wrist torque problem (when using big dome with a 50 mm extension ring) less of a problem than it was with the FS2.

     

    Frogfish


  9. Given how complex their innards must be, I'm impressed at how tough and reliable most dive computers are. But if you use a computer, inevitably one day it will start blinking and and throwing zeros, perhaps at the worst possible time. I've had exactly the same thing happen, at 15 meters my computer thought I was at 30, and after surfacing the computer was still registering 12 meters. It was probably just a piece of crap caught in the orifice for the pressure sensor. And that wasn't the first time I've had a computer fail during a dive.

     

    Like T-Bohn, I dive with two computers, and always on a trip. If the spare computer doesn't do all the dives, I'd have to take 24 hours off diving if my primary computer went on the blink, and who wants to do that?

     

    Both the computers I use now are Dive-Rites, one is a Duo and the other a watch-style Nitek Plus. I used to have an Uwatek Aladin as one of the two computers. It was education to see how much more conservative the Dive-Rite computers are than the Uwatec Aladdin, even though both theoretically rely on the same Buhlman-12 algorithm. When the Duo or the Nitek plus was running out of no-stop time, the Uwatec Aladdin would usually still have at least two or three minutes left.

     

    Frogfish


  10. Cerianthus has it right - the ones I use are identical to the one shown at the top of the illustration showing two clips on the GUE site he listed.

     

    I tried using DIR-legit gate clips for this for awhile, but I kept having trouble clipping off or unclipping the housing to chest d-rings on the surface in waves or chop, esp. in cold water wearing gloves. Sometimes I'd have to redescend a few meters to still water in order to unclip, then re-ascend. Finally I gave up and switched to a couple of big suicide clips, which I've never had any trouble with at all. The suicide clip can be easily attached and detached each clip with one hand. If the clip somehow became fouled on a line (which seems unlikely), I would just cut the 4 mm line, or undo the knot (it's a non-jamming zeppelin bend, for that reason.)

     

    I'm not a DIR diver, though my gear configuration is at least 90% DIR. I don't do wreck or cave penetrations - any overhead environments 0 either, but I'm enough of a believer that I still wouldn't put a suicide clip anywhere on my harness. But this seems an acceptable application to me.

     

    Frogfish


  11. The Nature Conservancy also has a gift membership program.

     

    TNC - Website Home

    TNC - Join and Donate

     

    There's also a "Rescue a Reef" program, with proceeds this year dedicated to helping conserve coral reefs in Indonesia. Gift recipients get a one year subscription to TNC's magazine (which is a good one) and some kind of certificate.

     

    TNC - Rescue the Reef Donation Program

     

    TNC is currently involved in five major coral reef marine protected area (MPA) programs in Indonesia - Komodo National Park, Raja Empat Islands (not yet an MPA), Wakatabi National Park, and Derawan Islands (Kalimantan, also not yet an MPA) plus education and planning programs at Kimbe Bay (New Britain) in Papua New Guinea - and the Solomon Islands.

     

    TNC's Coral Triangle Center (which is located here in Bali)...

     

    TNC Coral Triangle Center

     

    ... The reports section contains some very useful reports and articles on the field projects and related subjects.

     

    Frogfish

     

    P.S. I should also clarify here that I work for TNC as a consultant on the Komodo project - the Komodo Collaborative Management Initiative - a seven-year project supported by a US$5 million Global Environmental Facility grant from the World Bank (and TNC matching funds) to make Komodo National Park financially self-supporting through eco-tourism.


  12. pmooney wrote:

     

    It probably would have been a lot easier to sort out if you were dealing with your "LOCAL" underwater camera store.

     

    You can't beat the help that the LOCAL store you support can give in a time like this.

     

    Some of us don't have a local underwater camera store. How many are there, really, in the whole world? If anyone here would like to set one up anywhere here in Indonesia, I promise I'll be your customer! Sometimes there may be no choice but to order long distance from a mail-order dealer or the manufacturer, with all the risks and disadvantages that process can entail.

     

    Frogfish


  13. I meant because this discussion has been about one particular (commercial) operation, rather than a destination, but I take your point.

     

    Deb Fugitt didn't originate this thread, nor has she participated in it (being away), and while some of the posts are clearly endorsements, I guess none could or should be considered as advertising.

     

    Coincidentally, Deb was apparently on the same flight from Bali to Hong Kong that I was on last week, so I'd guess that by now she should be back in the US.

     

    Frogfish


  14. I consider black frogfishes to be essentially unphotographable. The highly textured skin is like black velvet, or maybe worse - it just sucks up light. Plus the ends of small shiny tubercules scattered on the skin are highly reflective and quickly blow out, creating the impression of backscatter/snow.

     

    I once tried every conceivable combination of f-stop, aperture, and strobe power on a black froggie. It was an interesting experiment, but my result was that nothing really worked. That was on using film. I had slightly better luck shooting a very dark purple frogfish using digital a year or so ago, but none of the shots (I shot almost 100 frames on two dives) are even remotely close to being publishable.

     

    My advice? The next time you see a black frogfish, enjoy looking it and then swim on, maybe you'll find a yellow or a red one. (Which is not to say that I won't try again myself.)

     

    Frogfish


  15. Rather than a lanyard, I'm a strong believer in big suicide clips - but only on camera housings!

     

    Mine are lashed with 4 mm braidline to the strobe arms, one on each side, with a couple of inches of slack.

     

    Pluses?

     

    - The big suicide clips go quickly on to the chest d-rings on my harness after I hit the water or the camera is handed down to me. (The extra slack makes them easy to attach and remove.

     

    - One clip is more than enough to hold the housing securely, but with both clips, the housing rides easily on my chest and stomach, and I can hold the housing (arms folded) in close to my body for up-current work. (In strong currents, if there is any danger of hitting or scraping anything, I flip the rig around so that the dome port faces my stomach.

     

    - Using both clips also keeps the housing stable in one place if I need both hands, for example to send up an SMB (I don't have to worry about the line for the SMB getting fouled on the housing) or to assist anothe diver.

     

    Frogfish


  16. Looks like film to me, probably Provia, or maybe Velvia 100. The sunburst. Also, blues like that don't exist in the digital world, or in nature for that matter. Beautiful photos. I like the whale shots and the garden eels best. The blue shark (if that's what it is) is amazing, but I wonder what it would have looked like with rear curtain flash.

     

    Frogfish


  17. This is very good news. Does anyone know how effective an IUCN listing can be (in terms of generating support for CITES listing as an endangered species, for example?

     

    As the report states, it's true that Indonesian fishermen still regularly take mantas. This is a big problem at Lamalera (West Flores), where the artisanal (traditional gear) sea hunters often take mantas when they can't get a small whale or dolphin - it's difficult to say which is worse. There is also an emerging export market to China for the gill rakers, which is a potentially devastating development.

     

    The manta population in Komodo National Park is in pretty good shape, numbering about 100 individuals (though it's unclear if this is a quasi-permanent population or just the usual number). It's not uncommon to see mantas with broken off harpoon heads or other fishing gear. And the small resident group at Nusa Penida (near Bali) is there every day, and very friendly.

     

    Frogfish

     

    Manta under cliffs at Manta Point, Nusa Penida, Bali, taken with Magic Filter, November 2005.

    post-1236-1133056053_thumb.jpg


  18. Agree with Mattdiver, I don't feel the need to be able to view files, just need the storage, and want it to be (1) very reliable, and (2) reasonable price per GB.

     

    I was just in Hong Kong and picked up two LaCie 100 GB USB/fire wire hard drives for

    HK$2300 (US$300) each, less a 15% discount, so about $250, which seemed reasonable. Each is a bit wider and longer than a pack of cigarettes, but not as thick. The 80 GB version (same form factor) was HK$1800 ($230, so $195). The laptop is 80 GB. If I fill all of that up, I still have 40 GB on my fat iPod I can use (after dumping all the music) if I had to.

     

    Frogfish


  19. Is it the center base (with a single threaded female hole on the housing)? I had the same problem with my FS2 - the ULCS base plate rotated uselessly but could not be removed. Ultimately I had to have the piece drilled out the next time the housing was back at Subal Austria for servicing.

     

    After that, I don't even try to use the center mount base, just the ones on the two sides that take two screws. If I'm using strobe arms on the two mounting plates and I need a third mount for an aiming/focusing light or light, I just use a triple clamp on the right side.

     

    Frogfish

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