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Everything posted by frogfish

  1. I used a pair of MK20s (which were upgraded to MK25 somewhere along the way) with S600 and G550 2nds (and an old G250 2nd as a back-up) for many years. I'm switching to Apeks now, also very nice regulators, not out of dissatisfaction with my old Scubapro regs, but because of problems getting the Scubapros serviced here in Asia. The licensed Scubapro dealer in Jakarta badly screwed up servicing my regs - after they'd finished working on them, it was like sucking air through a 50 meter garden hose. I had to fly to ship one to Hong Kong with a friend to get it reserviced in time for an upcoming liveaboard trip. The regulator guy at Richmond Scuba in Singapore is an excellent technician, but he's very busy. Even after using them for years, they refused to bend their policies to allow me to book in advance time slots to get my regulators serviced. Their policy was "your regulator goes into the queue when it arrives in their shop, full stop, no exceptions, we don't care where you live, how much you've purchased from us or how many times we've serviced your regs." That meant a turn-around time of several weeks, so I'd have to leave one regulator at a time with Richmond and switch them out a subsequent trip, or arrange for a friend (often Drew) to schlep gear to Richmond and/or bring it back to Indonesia. That situation finally devolved to the point where it seemed one of my regulator sets was always in Singapore waiting to be serviced or waiting to be picked up. I felt like my life was hostage to this regulator technician and the shop he worked for. I'd had enough. Now I have two Apeks XTX 200 regs. Nothing wrong with how these regs breathe at all, and the people at Divemaster's Pratama (Apeks agent in Singapore) are very helpful about fitting a comprehensive servicing into my schedule when I visit Singapore. Getting good and timely servicing can be an issue with other regulators as well. This is the reason I won't buy an Atomic regulator while I live in Asia, though I know people whose technical expertise I respect who swear buy them. Frogfish (Robert Delfs)
  2. I'm probably extreme on this - at least that's what everyone says. I carry a toolkit that generally contains: Tools: adj spanner (aka crescent wrench); assorted screwdrivers, allen wrenches (aka allen keys) - metric and imperial sets; tweezers, needlenose pliers; bent needlenose pliers; small files; cutter; shackle wrench; brass regulator tools; dentists' scaler (aka pick); intermediate pressure (IP) gauge; - Where possible, go for SS. (My stainless steel adj. spanner - made in New Zealand, for yachties - has been with me for almost 20 years.) Spares and consumables: O-rings; several kinds of o-ring grease; small tube of Christo-Lube (oxygen-safe grease); extra Nikonos strobe bulkhead port; various UltraLite clamp and fitting bolts and other spare bits; tri-glide fasteners (for harness); plastic ties; various lengths of thin nylon cord, kevlar cord, shock cord, surgical tubing, and bicycle inner tube; Neoprene cement (good for more than wetsuite repair); 2-part epoxy glue; duct tape. Other spares: One extra camera body. Full set of camera housing o-rings. One spare for each regulator hose, one spare 1st stage; one spare 2nd stage; one spare SPG, spare computer, spare mask (prescription). (If I know the boat/operator has good rental/lending gear, I dial back on some of these items. If I'm travelling with a buddy and we using the same gear, the regulator spares are shared. Some of this gets used by someone (often another diver) on every trip. You don't want to know about my meds kit. Frogfish (Robert Delfs)
  3. Scorpionfish: Sorry about what happened with AdvH20. The situation doesn't sound great. Call me when you get in. I might be doing some diving in the north of the island next week. 282-743 or (0)812 386-7270. Frogfish
  4. Here's another product specifically for removing the mold release agents from a new mask. SalClear comes in two different formulations. Salclear NP is just for hydrophobic substances (oils), while SalClear Aquasports is said to work on both hydrophobic and hydrophilic soils. On the website, they seem to be recommending that the two solutions be used together, sequentially, for best results. I haven't used either of these - just passing on the information. Frogfish
  5. I may be the only person whose spit actually causes mask fogging. My favorite preparation is Sea Gold gel, which I use before almost every dive. Baby shampoo also works pretty well. It's still necessary to clean masks every few days, and before the first dive of a trip. I used to use tooth paste, but now I prefer dish washing detergent, applied with a tooth brush. A new mask presents special problems. I've been told by people who understand silicon manufacturing better than I do that the problem is the release agents applied to the surface of the mold to make it possible to remove the mask after it has cured. This stuff is what makes new masks fog so badly. Even after you have thoroughly cleaned the glass, the silicone surfaces may still cause new deposits of release agent on the glass, which act as nuclei for condensation. The important thing with a new mask is to get this release agent off the silicone as well as the glass. Aquaseal, the manufacturer of Sea Gold, makes a product called Sea Buff specifically designed for removing the release agents from a new mask, though i have no idea what it is. Personally, I use dish washing detergent, applied with an old (soft) toothbrush, scrubbing all surfaces (silicone and glass), then soaking in diluted detergent over night. Be careful using tooth paste or abrasives. Frogfish
  6. It's rare (and with some trepidation) that I even consider disagreeing with James about anything, but I'm with iggy and jcclink on this one. I do a lot of liveaboard trips in the tropics (and nowhere else), and I see a lot of people having trouble with condensation. Invariably, it seems, this involves housings (usually acrylic, but sometimes aluminum) and other components that have been chilled by being held in an air conditioned cabin. I see people trying to deal with this by sticking bags of silica gel, tampons, and tissues around the housing, muttering imprecations, even prayer. And I tell them, just keep your housing, camera and lenses out of your cabin. At home, my cameras and lenses live in air-conditioned and dehumidified powered dry boxes in a room that is air conditioned most of the time. These are absolutely wonderful if you live in the tropics and don't like fungus growing inside your lenses! On the boat, however, it's a major rule that my cameras, lenses, and housings stay out of heavy cabin air conditioning. (Inside is fine, as long as it isn't an air conditioned space, and I don't leave anything in the sun.) If I need to keep stuff in an a/c cabin, I let it warm to non-a/c room temperature for at least a couple of hours before opening anything up, changing lenses, etc. I've never had trouble with fogging. (I have an aluminum housing by Subal. I don't use silica gel or other dessicants in the housing.) I think I understand the point James is making, but I'm not sure it applies to most liveaboards that I've been on. James seems to be assuming that a/c cabin air is really dry, which simply isn't always the case on a boat. With a damp towel and a couple of wet suits hanging in the room, and water on the floor of an en suite shower/bath, the humidity in an a/c cabin can be at least as high as it outside or in a simply ventilated space, and some times much higher. Frogfish
  7. I just wnated to endorse Paul C's comments on the dangers of a using a SMB. The risks are compounded wen carrying a camera housing with long strobe arms etc. etc. - just more places for the line to catch on and cause nasty consequences. Any SMB worth using will have enough lift to kill you if something goes badly enough under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances. When it's full, my 10 foot tall OMS SMB (BCA 268 - OMS Liftbags and Surface Marker Buoys can generate 40 kgs (90 lbs) of lift - three times as much as my wing. So, yes, carry an SMB (the bigger the better) on every and any dive where it might prove necessary, but be sure you have been trained to use it, or else deploy it on or very near the surface. On the larger question, I question that value of unnecessary complexity in principle, but there are no single answers on this. I don't see any compelling need for twin tanks on non-penetration non-overhead dives to recreational depths. Contrariwise, I would never consider doing any dive in the 50+ meter range (or penetration or overhead) without adequate gas supplies (whatever that requires in terms of twin and side-slung tanks, isolation manifolds of course, dive planning based on rule of thirds, and everyone trained to an appropriate standard. Etc. etc. People carrying a pony filled with 100% (or even 50%)( O2 as a standard back-up gas sounds pretty scary to me. Frogfish
  8. Hmm. I go off and on about this, did a lot of dives last year using filters. I don't like to give up fill-flash on the main subject, so my standard configuration is magic filters for 10.5 mm or 17 mm (or a screw-on 85B for the 77 mm 12-24 or 17-35 zooms, which seems to be to be almost identical in color to the magic filter) with blue gels on the strobes. when it call comes together, it can work wonderfully. Unfortunately, there's generally only one fairly narrow depth range where this combination works, and it depends on conditions (water clarity, weather, time of day and angle of sun, etc.) Which is probably why I still shoot more wide-angle without color filters than with. Is that helpful? Frogfish
  9. Just curious - does anyone know whether Adobe would allow one to double install if the mothership computer were a PC and the laptop an Apple (or vice versa). This sounds too good to be possible, but I'm starting to think about shifting applewards for my next laptop...
  10. Patatero, Thanks for doing me (and this forum) the courtesy responding with serious arguments instead of just empty charges or more allegations that the Myers paper was "pathetic." If you're right that "the guys that did the last rebuttal to this group's work [will] present another" to rebut this one, and if their rebuttal holds water, then that will be fine with me. That's science. Until then, however, the points you've made here still have not persuaded me that the Myers paper is fundamentally unsound. I'll just note again that the Myers paper does not claim anywhere that cownose ray predation has been a major cause of the collapse of populations of oysters and other bivalves except scallops, as you keep implying. The paper simply states that "increased predation by cownose rays also may now inhibit recovery of hard clams, soft-shell clams and oysters, compounding the effects of overexploitation, disease, habitat destruction and pollution which have depressed these species." In any case this, and the possible problem with the range of catsharks that you riase, don't strike me as central enough to refute the Myers article. Your prediction that "This paper will be used to support a fishery for cownose rays, an animal that has the life history characteristics similar to cetaceans" may or may not be true. But I can't help wondering how much your ostensible objections to the science in the Myers paper may really be motivated by your concern that it will be used to support policies you don't like. In any case, the Myers paper nowhere calls for establishing or supporting a commercial cownose ray fishery. The paper does, of course, present some very clear fisheries policy messages, but the idea that that cownose rays should be fished isn't one of them. I think they stated their policy message very clearly in the conclusion to the paper, that "like the classic killer whale - sea otter - urchin - kelp cascade, eliminating great sharks carries risks of broader ecosystem degration." The irconclusion continues: "Prevailing theory suggests that community-level trophic cascades arise only in simple food webs lacking functional redundancy, but we propose that top-down effects must be widely expected wherever entire functional groups of predators are depressed, as can occur with industrial fisheries. Illuminating the operation of indirect species interactions within marine and other environments brightens the future for development of what is now so wildly sought, ecosystem-based management to achieve sustainability of natural living resources." (I live in Indonesia, so phone discussions of this may not be very impractical. And it's not "Bob", please.) Robert Delfs
  11. Paul, We seem to live in different conceptual worlds. You have cited a case in which the 'authorities' allegedly attempted unsuccessfully to use a call for more scientific studies as a way to delay action against scallop dredging. I don't doubt for a minute your claim that this happened - it has certainly happened many times before in many places. But what relevance does this case have in this discussion? How can this effort by the 'authorities' be used to indict legitimate and necessary science work? Are you seriously alleging that the Ransom Myers et al study was actually an attempt to whitewash scallop dredging in the Chesapeake, or that it was intended by anyone (Ransom, his colleagues, the authorities, whoever ) to provide an excuse to postpone actions to save scallops, sharks, or other marine life in the Chesapeake or anywhere else? However absurd, that does seems to be what you're implying. Alternatively, if you're not saying that, then what is it about the Myers et al study that you are trying to say? In this case, incontrovertible evidence that removing apex predators can cause havoc further down the trophic chain on a huge scale actually was made available. Nobody ever has to wait for that evidence again. No 'authorities' can ever again claim that there is no evidence this happens. (And scientists will come up with more evidence that it does, and that evidence will be important and useful as well. Clearly, you don't find that work particularly important, but it has real implications far beyond Chesapeake Bay and its scallops- for people all over the world who are working to save great sharks as apex predators before they are all gone. Robert Delfs
  12. I have no problem with cynicism, Paul. I'm cynical about a lot of things too, but it has never led to me want to excuse blatant distortion (or in the very least, stupendous lack of comprehension) of the content and arguments in a scientific paper. That's what Paterero did. But what I really can't stomach is blaming fisheries scientists for the failures of fisheries or sins of the commercial fishing industry, and of all people Ransom Myers (who only died a week ago, ok?), perhaps the one person who has done more than anyone (certainly anyone here on wetpixel) to build the hard science, facts and arguments needed if we are to save the great fish. Please try to be serious about this. We all know that the idea that removing an apex predators (like great sharks) would have serious cascading affects down the trophic chain (from rays to scallops) is hardly new, and Ransom Myers would have been the last person to say so. But hard evidence that this has actually happened in a major commercial fishery, delineations of the scale, evidence that can't be easily controverted, buried or denied by the government agencies, industry and their lackies - that is very different, not just another persuasive theories about the ecological role of apex predators. That work is what Ransom Myers and his colleagues gave us, just before his untimely death. That work is something that will make much more of a difference in future political battles over fisheries policy than your easy cynicism, or mine. Perhaps you and Paterero feel that because these things are "obvious" that we shouldn't actually need hard science or facts to move forward, that it should be enough that everyone just listen to you and your friends, stop being bad people, stop killing fish, refrain from crossing against the light and everyone give to charity, ok. This is the point where I find myself become cynical, mostly about people who find it fashionable to pose as conservationists and pratt on about wildlife. I've seen your webpage, Paul, and you have some nice images there. But I'm sure that neither you nor I (nor any other adult participating in this site) is deluded enough to believe that selling images of marine wildlife is some kind of sure-fire way to save it. If you are truly serious about marine conservation, why would you want to blow off some of the best science that is has been done, science that might make help stop some of the worst abuses and reverse or slow down the degradation of marine environments and loss of marine biodiversity and environments? Apologies if I've been harsh. Perhaps if Ransom Myers hadn't died last week I'd be less angry about the people who find it so easy to piss all over his life's work.
  13. Actually, Patarero, you haven't refuted anything. All you've done is mouth absurd allegations that the Ransom paper was "full of invalid assumptions and holes" without providing any specifics or relevant argument. Not only have shark numbers declined, the paper notes multiple surveys showing increase in population of cownose rays by an order of magnitude since the mid-1970s, as well as growing numbers of other "mesopredatory elasmobranch prey" of great sharks. The trophic cascade argument developed in this paper attributes depletion of bay scallops in the Chesapeake to increased predation by cownose rays. Whether the "commercial guys" in Chesapeake Bay think rays eat oysters or not isn't relevant to the claims of this paper. The paper states that cownose rays diet "consists largely of bay scallops (Argopecten irradians), soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria), hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria), oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and other noncommercial bivalves, citing an article by Robert Blaylock (at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science of William and Mary College) in Estuaries, "Distribution and Abundance of the Cownose Ray Rhinoptera bonasus in the Lower Chesapeake, and also citing a thesis by Donna Grusha. Even if your opinion (since you cite no evidence) that the cownose ray mouth morphology makes it "virtually impossible" for the ray to eat oysters happened to have any validity, the arguments made in this paper relate to the precipitous decline in bay scallops (A. irradians), not oysters. The Myers paper doesn't just infer a linkage between ballooning cownose ray populations and the collapse of bay scallops. "Analogous recent sampling, confirmed by controlled ray-exclusion experiments using stockades, demonstrates that since 1996 migrating cownose rays have caused almost complete scallop mortality by early fall ... at every site with initial adult scallop densities above a threshold for intensive ray foraging (~2 m-2)." The authors further note that, having essentially depleted the bay scallop population, "increased predation by cownose rays ... may now inhibit recovery of hard clams, soft shell clams, and oysters, compounding the effects of overexploitation, disease, habitat destruction and pollution, which have depressed these species," but at no point in their paper whatsoever do they ever state that cownose ray predation has been a major factor in the decline of oyster and other bivalve populations to date. Your views and opinions are welcome, Patarero, but if you seriously want to challenge some of the best marine fisheries science that has ever been done by anyone anywhere, you'll have to do better than just mouth unsupported, ridiculous attacks. For a start, you might try reading the paper next time before you post your own insightful comments. Robert Delfs
  14. He does have some sunbursts. http://nakamuraikuo.cocolog-nifty.com/blog.../post_492a.html And some other very impressive photos.
  15. The full-text of the 30 March Science article by Ransom Myers et al, although not available on the Science website (at least not to non-subscribers), can be downloaded from the Pew Charitable Trusts - Census of Marine Life pages at.... http://www.globalshark.ca/pressmaterial/ca...b=-1&pmid=7 http://as01.ucis.dal.ca/ramweb/papers-tota...007_Science.pdf It's very sad about Ransom Myers passing away.
  16. There will be a cremation service for Larry on Sunday at Taman Mumbul in Bali on Sunday March 25 at 1:00 pm. The address is : Vasa Setra Mandala Mumbul Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai, Nusa Dua (near the Chinese graveyard). Friends of Larry will be gathering after the ceremony. Details about that will be forthcoming later, or at the ceremony. It's understood that wetpixell readers in the region are likely to be able to participate in this service, but we wanted to get the word out as widely as possible. Robert Delfs
  17. I've just been told that Dewi and Breezy, Larry's wife and daughter, were contacted in Java, where they were visiting relatives over the Nyepi holiday, and will be returning to Bali tomorrow. I'm pulling together some photographs of Larry. I'm not sure exactly what we will do with them, but if you have one (or more) shots of Larry that you like to have included, please contact me by private wetpixel message or by email. Robert Delfs
  18. Shawnh, pgk: I'm not sure exactly what to say in response to your posts, except to repeat that as far as I can tell, the is about farmed freshwater terrapins, which are not wild, not endangered, and are not marine turtles. Some fresh water terrapins that are endangered - the very distinctive Chesapeake terrapin (US) is one. There are also endangered Asian terrapin species, and some of these have been exported to China. However, there is no evidence on the web site Scuba_SI posted (nor any of the other sites that I could find) that the turtles that are being sold in China by a Shanghai supermarket chain owned by Tesco are anything other than Pelodiscus sinensis, a common turtle that is widely raised in ponds in China, Vietnam and Thailand for food. CITES is involved in monitoring China's production, import and export of turtles (marine), tortoises, and terrapins, and apparently there are signs that China is doing a better job of controlling the trade in endangered chelonians, though that's not necessarily saying much. In any case, I think it's unlikely that you or anyone else could ever confuse a farmed terrapin with an oceanic turtle. There is useful information at: http://www.itmonline.org/arts/turtles.htm and http://www.conservation.org/ImageCache/new...rofiles0503.pdf
  19. I'm sure capabilities similar to what people are imagining will eventually be realized, someday, but it may not be as soon as some think. If you read the C-Net report carefully, they're talking about two tools that are "at a fairly advanced stage of development." One of the tools can detect "missing pixels" - i.e., cropping. Cropping isn't even illegal in most photo contests that I'm aware of, nor (in my view) should it be. The other tool can detect two or more patches of pixels that are "improbably similar" and thus likely to be clones of each other or another part of some image. This could be used to detect use of the clone tool to remove backscatter, for instance (something I've never regarded as a crime) as well as much more serious modifications, for example, the replication of smoke in the famous fraudulent Reuters news photograph from Iraq last year. But the cloning in that image was obvious to the naked eye to anyone who has ever worked with Photoshop. And it sounds like it would be trivial to evade detection by this tool, if one wanted to. For example, it would probably not catch removal of backscatter that had been accomplished with the healing tool instead of the clone tool. The Dartmouth professor cited in the report has apparently made more sophisticated programs than the tools described here available to law enforcement agencies, and it's apparently a trivial matter to determine the type of camera used to generate a image, or whether the image has ever been touched by photoshop at all. (If the photo contests wanted to achieve that, they could just require that all images be submitted as raw image files out of the camera. Of course, some of us wouldn't be too happy having some judge or panel (or their software defaults) else decide what white balance and tone curve should be used when my raw image file is converted for viewing. But anyone who is hung up enough to want to disqualify a photo because a few dots of backscatter were removed probably won't mind. For me, this whole discussion just supplies more reasons not to get involved in photo competitions. It should be about the images, right?
  20. Not to defend Tesco for anything, but reading through the background materials on the anti-Tesco campaign (such as http://www.tortoisetrust.org/activities/tesco2.htm ), makes it clear that: 1. The campaign is really about terrapins (fresh water turtles) farmed for human consumption in China and sold live or fresh-killed in Chinese markets, including Hymall, a chain of supermarkets based in Shanghai that was recently purchased by Tesco. It is not about marine/oceanic turtles, or tortoises. 2. The terrapins (not marine turtles) are farmed, not wild. It's not remotely about the sustainability of capture of wild anythings. 3. Much of the campaign against Tesco is focused on the ethics of how the terrapins are killed. This is really about the ethics of raising and killing animals for food argument, not about survival or treatment of wild animals I mean no disrespect to the position that it is immoral or unethical to raise or kill animals for food, of course, though I do not share that view. But this isn't really an ecological or environmental issue, in my view.
  21. There's something off about this story. It' hard for me to imagine these divers blowing off basic safety procedure and equipment requirements and doing that penetration if they really were, as reported, trained, qualified and experienced cold water low-viz wreck divers. robert delfs
  22. Dan, I've never looked through your Nexus housing, but inability to see the whole frame probably has to do with the optics of your housing, or the lack thereof. Some (but not all) housings have optional optics packages that reduce the size of the viewfinder image to make it easier to see all of it. Try looking through the viewfinder of the camera and housing topside without a mask. It might be that a lower volume mask would allow you to move your eye closer and improve the view. Otherwise, check and see if it's possible to retrofit new viewfinder optics to your housing. I warn you, however that the cost may be steep. The other downside is that the viewfinder optics will make it more difficult to see and confirm focus. Frogfish
  23. I'm with Giles, Andy and other posters re: ce4jesus' original post. If this had been a pinhole or tear, I might go along with putting a patch on it. But it's a seam, and you don't mention any local damage or stress that could have caused that specific failure. So even if your repair works, I think you have to consider the risk that the weld/glue may soon fail at other places. This is life support equipment. (Edit: Since I started this msg, Nemo has just posted making much the same post, but I'll leave this in.) I also prefer wings that have a bladders inside a zipped on cover, but as I recently found out, they are not foolproof if the quality of construction is poor. Last October, the cover seams on my Halcyon Eclipse wing just started falling apart. Like your bc, only two years old. These are sewn seams, and the material past the seam had not been properly taped or heat treated, so it had just frayed. The cover also started to fall apart near the base of the inflator house. This wing has done a lot of dives, but it's still only two years, and has been well taken care of. Unfortunately, I was on a live-aboard in the middle of the Banda Sea at the start of 30 days back to back trips. It was emergency repair time. I used wet suit glue, duct tape (on the inside), covering all of both seams and strips from a camera cloth (on the outside, just where seams were actually falling apart ) to hold everything together until the end of the trips. The inner bladder was not directly affected by the cover falling apart, but the wing would have been unusable and unsafe if I had not been able to hold the cover together. I sent the wing back to Halycon in the US via my dive shop in Hong Kong last November, but I still haven't heard anything back about a replacement wing. That's four months now. That has been surprising to me, as was the early failure of this piece of equipment. Two years ago, when I had a pin hole leak in a Halycon Pioneer wing, they flew a new wing out to me from Florida to Indonesia within a week or so. I used to be a big Halcyon fan, and I have recommended their gear to a lot of people over the years. But I'm afraid this wing was really a piece of junk. And getting no word from anybody about whether and when they will replace the wing for four months basically sucks. I've purchased a new wing, from OMS, that seems to be verywell constructed. The bladder is very heavy, solid looking material, and the inner seams of the cover are taped and separately sewn to prevent unravelling. I'm not 100% sure about the color (bright red), but I'm learning to live with it. I also still have another Halycon wing, a pioneer (welded, no inner bladder) for my other BP rig that is two years older than the Eclipse which failed, and still is fine. But I'm keeping an eye on it. Robert Delfs
  24. Bad luck, John - You should have kept that portrait of Dorian Gray.
  25. Village People took me a minute, and I'm from San Francisco too. But I'm sure you were the cutest in your whole class! OK, OK, here's mine CMAS "Bahasa" 1-Star '93 (w/ Markus Tolang at Maumere) PADI AOW '98 (w/ Larry Smith, at Kungkungan Bay) PADI Rescue Diver '00 (w/ Dave Collett, at Puerto Galera) PADI EAD/Nitrox '01 (w/ Dave Collett, at Puerto Galera) IANTD Deep Air '05 (w/ Avandy Djunaidi, in Bali) NickJ: I'm told that Mares has pre-empted us on marketing the underwater Zimmerframe-built-into-a-BC. But they don't call it that, they call it the "HUB". Robert Delfs
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