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Posts posted by frogfish

  1. Yes, if they think it is UXO, they'll blow it up. But I understand that they have a new technique, using a special projectile that strikes the object and goes off, which can minimize the damage to surrounding coral and marine life if it turns out that the suspect object wasn't explosive itself, and there are things they can do to limit the damage even if it is.

  2. Whatever it is, it's clearly been down there for awhile. I hope you didn't try to bring this up - unexploded ordnance (UXO) can be chemically unstable and very dangerous. If it's live, the risk factor will depend in part on what kind of fusing device it had. That size, if it were live and it went off, it would make a very big bang - you wouldn't want to be anywhere around.


    If the area was formerly used as for target practice by the military, there are speciallly trained Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel who can identify and dealing with underwater UXO. If it were me, I would contact the Navy, give them coordinates and/or bearings for where you saw this, and let them handle it. Or you could contact


    Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division

    UXO Countermeasures Department

    Code 50B22

    2008 Stump Neck Road

    Indian Head, Maryland 20640-5070



  3. Still, diving in the new millenium with a bloody walking stick sucks a bit, even if it can be useful as a staff to bump off over friendly tiger sharks :)


    Here's an idea, Nick (one codger to an another). With the boomer generation (about the only ones who can afford diving kit or trips these days) moving toward their (ok, our) golden years, what about a folding zimmer frame BC made from marine-grade stainless. Plenty of places to hang or hook bits of kit. I could bolt my camera housing to the crossbar or something. And the tech version, which would cost more of course, could be black.

  4. No, but here are some courses and certifications I'm definitely interested in!

    PADI Fork Foot specialty

    - 5 days intensive training in the special techniques of using split fins.

    PADI Advanced Macho All-Black Gear specialty

    - Looking cool!

    PADI Enriched Nachos Underwater Gas Crisis Emergency Rescue Specialty

    - Stand back everyone! We may have to cut away the wetsuit. Madre de Dios!

    PADI Post-Dive Ethanol + Citrus Blending Specialty

    - Daiquiris? Mojitos?


    - Gee, that hurt. Elite training in enduring extreme pain (repetitive dives while listening to Rap music).


    - Canine diver, limited to max depth of 24 meters or length of the yard. No pit bulls or St. Bernards.


    - That really hurt!


    - New certification level for precocious customers divers aged 3-6 years.

    PADI Recreational Ballistic Hazard Recovery Specialty

    - Qualified to sneak onto gold courses at night with scuba gear and a mesh bag!

    PADI Investigative Diver Specialty

    - Find out who is the father of Ana Nicole Smith's baby!





  5. Robert, how would you feel if this same guy done this on your trip and you had to go back to port missing dives, just because your dive guide was playing with animals. I have seen the footage of Valarie Taylor in the Ring of Fire with big morays. If I remember rightly she was not teasing it like this?




    Please read what I said. I certainly wasn't by any means endorsing what this guy was doing or the way he was doing it, just troubled by the tone in which some condemned what he did. In any case, I think we would both agree he has paid. Some people (though not me, and reading your post I guess not you either) might condemn Valerie for the kind of interactions with animals she has practiced.


    As for your question, please rest assured that if I'm ever on a trip you are guiding, and if a moray or whatever were to chomp off one of your body parts, I'll vote to continue the trip. :)

  6. It looked like it took some very extensive, very expensive (even in Thailand) and probably very painful surgery to graft that toe onto his hand. Was all that really just so that this guy can hold a Tiger Beer in his right hand again without dropping it? It does all seem a bit unnecessary.


    Probably a lot of people here know Valerie Taylor, a wonderful woman who has given a lot to the industry in many ways. As many of you also know, Valerie befriended a giant honeycomb moray a("Honey") at Kerracka (sp?) Island in the Bandas which she regularly interacted with when she was in the Bandas. The moray seemed to recognize her, and there is wonderful footage from the 1980s of Valerie holding and caressing "Honey". (Yes, Feeding was involved.) Des Alwi, who has done so much to keep marine life in the Bandas in wonderful shape, made it clear to all that Valerie's honeycomb was to receive particular protection. When Ron and Valerie went back in the Bandas last October on the Seven Seas (which is run by Valerie's nephew, Mark Heighes), she hoped that Honey might still be around. Unfortunately, that eel was not to be found, though there were several other large honeycombs in the same general area. Sic transit gloria mundi (or, in this case, "Honey".)


    Valerie would have known better than anyone that there was a risk interacting with the moray in this way, (and she has also had the misfortune of being bit badly once by a shark). I don't believe in feeding wild animals, but I also realize that our sensibilities about interactions with animals have changed since the 70s and 80s. I didn't much like what the diver in this video was doing either, but the harsh condemnatory tone in some of the postings (particularly Graham's) bothered me a bit, particularly when I thought of Valerie reading this (though I don't think she's "on" wetpixel).


    Had Honey still been in her hole on Kerraka, and had Valerie been able to feed and play with her old pal one more time, I wouldn't have been in the least scandalized or horrified. Valerie Taylor has undoubtedly forgotten more about fish, shark and other marine life behavior than I will ever know.


    Anyway, I don't feel particularly sorry for the moray in the video, which seemed to be fairly okay with the interactions (and the food) for at least the first part of the video, and it got a decent thumb desert on top of the sausages out of it in the end too.


    Robert Delfs

  7. Thanks for the information.


    I wonder how many people are using dioptres and cut in half ND filters though, especially as the 10.5 lens is a popular choice


    I had not appreciated that it is easier to focus both in air and water together with a larger dome because the virtual image might be further away.


    The 10.5 has enough depth of field to handle over-unders at almost any aperture setting. You might need to selectively lighten the underwater part of the image, but it's easy to get the above and under both in focus.


    That doesn't work with the 16 mm FE. I used to use a split diopter with 12-24 zoom lens. This worked, but can be hard to line up the diopter line perfectly with the water surface, and you're stuck with 1/2 - 1/2 straight line water surface shots. Personally, I find the 10.5 produces more interesting over-under shots.

  8. NWDiver,


    Given the attention they generally receive on this site (where they are also advertisers), I'm surprised that you aren't considering Inons, and that nobody else has mentioned them. I'm now usinga pair of Z-240s and a single D2000w as my standard w/a configuration, and on the whole I like them a lot. The Z240 runs on 4 AAs, weighs in at 567 g. w/o batteries, lists on Inon America website at $749 ($699 at B&H), less than you have listed for the alternatives.



  9. I'm coming in late to this thread, but wanted to join in endorsing the excellent work of our own John Bantin in Diver magazine (UK) - also available on the magazine's website (www.divernet.com). I can't think of another publication out there that regularly runs negative reviews (when John thinks strong criticism is warranted) of equipment, including gear manufactured by some of the biggest names (and advertisers) in the industry. A read through the past "Dive Tests" and "Group Tests" (comparative evaluation of different manufacturers' gear) on their website some afternoon will be time well spent. For a couple of recent examples, check out the comparative test of 15 different regs at 50 meters (July 2006), John's comparison of different computers' algorithms (March 2006).


    Diver magazine - and John's - reputation and credibility stands out in a publishing sector that has otherwise been all too willing to sell its soul, and not for much of a price. With most dive magazines, what you get is exactly what the advertisers paid for.


    A few smaller magazines which occasionally flirt with objective reporting about dive sites, operators and gear - and should be encouraged. But the rest - and I'm speaking of most dive industry publications in north america and asia, are shameless. One major magazine I could name has a clear policy of running editorial features about a location only when one or more operators agree to stump up sufficient "advertising support". Needless to say, after the operators front up the required fee, there is a clear understanding that the article purchased to accompany the ads will never offend. The situation with dive gear is much the same. Those pages openly identified as "advertising" - in most cases is at least written by professionals - are generally more informative than the "advertorial" matter making up the rest of these mags.



  10. Interesting discussion.


    A good "no hands" wide-angle rig can be arranged by attaching suicide (or similar) clips near the "elbow" joint of the strobe arms. With the arms folded (mine have fastex clips to hold the arms in), it can be clipped off to one or both chest d-rings. Either one is enough to secure the housing safely. With both clips in use, the rig rides is in a balanced and relatively low drag configuration. Around rocks or coral, I usually clip it with the dome facing my stomach. This is also a good configuration when both hands are needed to shoot a SMB or assist another diver, etc.


    Moving up-current against really strong currents, the housing can be flipped forward and held in front to achieve the least drag possible. This works best if the chest d-rings are in standard DIR positions (not too low) and there are a few cm of play in the braidline used to fasten the suicide clips to the arms.


    Frogfish (Robert Delfs)

  11. I use Rain-X on my Subal domeport for over-unders, and I consider it pretty essential. The downside is that it wears off fairly quickly. My best results have been doing the over-under shots immediately after entering the water (after applying Rain-X), as opposed to waiting until the end of the dive.


    But I have no idea what it would do to an optical coating, and I would hesitate to urge you to experiment. (Nor do I fully understand why there would be an optical coating on the outside (water side) of a dome port in the first place, but there you go. I'm sure there must be some very good reasons....)

  12. The 12-24 DX is probably the best w/a lens for your needs, covering the focal length range of all the alternative lenses I can think of (since you've excluded the 10.5 fe.) The biggest limitation of the 12-24, above and below water, is probably its slow speed - f/4. This may be less of a problem with digital and instantly adjustable ISO settings than it was with film, but there will be times when you will wish you had faster glass. For me, images taken with the 12-24 don't seem to have quite the punch that once can get with other Nikon lenses (such as the 16 mm FE or the 17-35 f/2.8 IF-ED zoom), but that's just my subjective impression.


    It's possible (but not easy) to make fish-eye images rectilinear (i.e, 'get rid of the fish-eye look') in Photoshop itself, but if you're to do a lot of this, you'd want to get a plug-in. Another program is that does this is DxO, which is not cheap but very powerful. It will take 10.5 images and render them absolutely rectilinear, plus fix the chromatic aberration, lighting, and anything else that is wrong with the image. It doesn't deal with underwater images very well, but topside it's the bees' knees.



  13. CDascher, others..


    Thanks for the offer of help. I've just found Thomas via google. First thing to find out is whether they will honor my credit cards. They're both perfectly good gold Master and gold Amex cards, but it's amazing how many on-line businesses blackball any card with a billing address in a country like Indonesia. I've had a lot of problems buying stuff made in Asia and getting it sent to me.



  14. I'm no doctor, but I think a blood test is standard operating procedure in this situation. One reason might be to check for (or rule out) infection and/or other problems that could be cause symptoms presumed to be DCS, and/or which might complicate or compromise hyperbaric treatment. They also could be looking for fibrin-fibrinogen degradation products (FDP). This test can help distinguish between type 1 (neurological damage) and type 2 (musculo-skeletal) DCS, helps in evaluating seroius type 1 DCS, and could be useful in determining the correct course of hyperbaric treatment.

  15. Very sad news indeed. I didn't know Alessandro Dodi, but I greatly admired his work. To be known and remembered for having created beautiful images is no small thing - I hope someone will collect these comments and on-pass to someone among his family or close friends.


    Robert Delfs

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