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Posts posted by frogfish

  1. What kind of operators are you folks diving with anyway? Is this what it means to dive in the US - that the crew trash your housing and gear?


    Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture, or has it somehow become silly and unrealistic to expect the crew (who are working on the boat that I'm paying good money to dive on) to exercise reasonable care in handling my equipment?



  2. Interesting how this topic keeps resurfacing. Since I contributed to this thread almost a year ago, I've given up on my Force Fins and gone back to JetFins (with steel spring straps), and I'm glad I did. The bottom line: these are still the fins I want if I have if I have to work up-current, and particularly if there is any kind of trouble and I need to get somewhere fast. But I know these are not for everyone.


    I now think that what makes a fin work depends a lot on individual physiology, including both musculature as well bone structure and angles. I've also noticed that people who have a background in competitive swimming and/or water polo (in their youth) often tend to like very stiff fins, though I haven't got enough samples to make this a rule yet.


    I'm keeping the Force Fins, but only for use as "macro" fins on muck dives. They are sometimes easier to keep high and clear in very silty locations than the Jet Fins.


    I frog kick a lot, which is another reason I'm giving up on the Force Fins, which really don't work well with the scissoring/feathering frog kick I like to use, which might be something like the one fdog uses.


    I have a pair of Master Frogs I still use once in a while. I loved them when they were new, but found that they lost stiffness after a few hundred dives, or maybe it was the travelling. I like stiff fins, and unfortunately my Master Frogs started out nice and stiff, but they aren't now. Not only that, but the lug molded onto the fin for attaching the strap is also breaking off on one side. I know I put a lot of miles on my fins, but still......


    One thing about Jet Fins, you can't do much to them just by using them or packing them in a dive bag. With stainless steel spring heels, these fins are basically indestructable.



  3. Ringo,


    You're braver than I ever was when I lived in HK. The last time I was willing to put my head under in Hong Kong waters was about 1982. I'd think be most worried about infections. I understand it has a lot to do with currents and bodies of water, but I've heard you can run into some pretty nasty stuff even out in Mirs Bay. Nice photos. Good luck.



  4. Good luck. I tried using the Nikkor 24-85 with my old Subal film camera housing (F801s). I was able to get a ring that worked for the zoom, but I found the results terrible. Every roll I shot with that lens u/w sucked bigtime. Someone here once posted a message saying that they had decent results shooting the 24-85 underwater, but I have no idea how they did it.

  5. ...and pace the IANTD "deep air" qualification mentioned in one of the posts above, it might be out of date (current techy fashion being gas switches for all, and normoxic trimix).
    I realize that current DIR orthodoxy is trimix for anything below 30 meters, but helium isn't readily available (or practical) for the live-aboard and local diving that I mostly do. On rare occasions, I sometimes do dives beyond PADI training depths, and also dives that incur mandatory decompression obligations When those situations occur, I'm quite happy to have had some relevant training and supervised experience.


    I've done the Deep Air course - it might be my post you're referring to - and I found it to be valuable. If nothing else, it was useful to go through a rigorous approach to safe procedures for decompression dives on air. PADI simply skirts the subject. I see people on liveaboards all the time doing what in effect are planned decompression dives, but who were never trained in converting SAC to gas consumption at depth, estimating safe gas requirements for decompression diving, the Rule of Thirds, etc.


    The IANTD Deep Air course was the first time I was trained in setting up and using double tanks, stage tanks, and using nitrox blends for decompression. The course also included practice in important basic skills that PADI courses tend to ignore, such as shooting a SMB, and a good review of diving physiology. It isn't the full DIR dive course, perhaps, but I felt it was valuable. And Deep Air is a prerequisite for the IANTD Advanced Nitrox and the Trimix courses. So if one wanted to go "techie" in that system, Deep Air is the standard course following basic nitrox.


    Parisgal - I'm with you. Becoming a divemaster is way too easy.

  6. I'm with JB on this.


    It bothers me that even the Oceanic site doesn't make it clear which decompression model or algorithm these computers rely on. People (including people here) have different views as to whether they prefer Buhlmann-model based computers (most, including Seiko, OEM for the otherwise identifical wrist computers marketed by Apeks, DiveRite, and others) or RGBM (Suunto and I think a few others). But whatever one's preference, one would like to know.


    One review I've seen stated that the Veo 250 and other Oceanic computers use a pre-Bulhmann "Haldanean" algorithm that is "more liberal" than DCIEM, Buhlmann or RGBM. Whether this is true or not, I don't know. But if it is the case, then this would be a negative for me, but not necessarily for you.


    See http://www.scubadiving.com/gear/dive_compu...eek_and_sexy/5/ I couldn't find much in the way of serious reviews of this computer.


    Frogfish (Robert Delfs)

  7. Another factor, I understand, is that in general, morays don't have great eyesight, making it easy for them to interpret a situation as threatening, or to mistake a finger for a tasty fish, etc.


    I remember seeing video footage years ago of (I think) Valery Taylor cuddling a giant moray at (I think) a site in the Banda Islands. In any case, the events of this week should be a reminder that being close to marine animals carries risks.



  8. Thankfully on the same weekend, 'experience' made some very hairy down currents at 35-40m, and later a hairy ascent in swift surface currents to no boat cover in sight, part of a great weekend with no issues. My paper qualifications were no help at all ....


    How true. Experience too can also be misleading if one just looks at the number of logged dives. There was a recent incident where guests on a Komodo liveaboard boat (which shall remain nameless) in Komodo were seen clambering hand-over-hand over the corals at Crystal Bommie. There was a mild current, but nothing to get excited about. (I know - I was one of the ones who witnessed this, looking down on them as I swam by, upcurrent and with a housing.)


    The operator was later challenged for not having done a better job of vetting and briefing the divers before taking them to this site. His response was that (1) ll the divers had at least 200 logged dives, most even more, and (2) that all the divers had seemed fine to him when he took them on a check-out dive the day before at a protected bay. It turned out that the divers were Europeans whose experience was largely limited to lakes and/or very easy dives in the Red sea. None had ever dived in any currents at all.



  9. Honestly, it doesn't quite cut it for me as an "artistic shot", whatever that means, but would fare great for specific applications where a message or other smaller pictures would be inserted on the left (e.g double-spread in a magazine, postcard, etc.)


    I'm with mattdiver. While I don't think this composition is ideal for use with text either, but this is something people should think about more often. Remember that most magazine covers are generally verticals, and need plenty of negative space for the logo and heads, whatever the house style of the publication.


    There are a few publications that sometimes run wrap around covers (Audobon) or fold-outs (NatGeo). Those can be tricky, as the image has to work both ways, as a cropped vertical (as it would appear on the magazine rack) fitting around the publications logo and also unfolded or extended. (Galen Rowell once managed to get two horizontal wrap-around covers for the same issue of Audobon - one for print subscriber edition and one for the newsstand, both shot on the same assignment.)


    Most posters are also verticals, as are a lot of ad art.


    Professional photojournalists that I knew back when I was a scribbler, when they were shooting for Time or Newsweek, if they knew (or even thought there was a chance) the story they were shooting would make a cover, they would always spend a lot of time and effort shooting verticals composed with negative space in all the right parts of the frame.

  10. A clumsy attempt to revive this thread, as there were some interesting things that had been said in this thread before the hack took everything down, but I can't remember what they were.


    Failing anybody else remembering, does anyone have suggestions for a longer-than-standard (i.e., longer than Halcyon) back plate?



  11. I think there must be a generic problem. I broke mine at the beginning of the year. It fell off in three parts after it received a knock. I am still waiting for the replacement. It is held on by one steel grub screw that through electrolysis cannor be removed from the aluminium mounting. I had to saw it off and hope that the other hole tapped in the mount will work for me. I wonder if I will still own a Subal housing by the time it arrives from Austria!


    Jeez, John, you've been having bad luck with Subal gear. The port flood, and now this. I wonder if the specs on the DP-FE2 might have changed.


    The shade on mine has always seemed rock solid, and i would have sworn that it was made from metal, some kind of anodized aluminum, rather than plastic, but I could be wrong. (I also thought that this piece seemed over-engineered and definitely overweight, until now that is.)



  12. Hi Alex, I am sure this was discussed here while you were in Bali, I remember a topic about it with 15-20 replies (including mine) but I can't find it! I think it was lost during the hack... Anyways, I thought it was a very interesting article and wetpixel is well represented there with many members!


    Yes, this was up for several days before the system went down. Stephen Frink posted a link to the story, and there was a very good discussion going. I guess in the larger scale of things not much was lost, and we're lucky that there was a back-up or mirror as recent as the one the site is now based on.

  13. The species [is] ... Dasyatis brevicaudata (smooth stingray), which is the largest stingray.

    Rays aren't dangerous until provoked. With such a big boy, the barb is longer and strikes are more powerful than a spotted, making it more dangerous. I'm sure you've heard about that Korean diver in Bali.


    That makes sense. Smooth stingrays (D. brevicaudata) can be huge, up to 2 meter wingspan. I've heard about a couple of other fatal incidents with stingrays, but didn't know there had been one here in Bali.


    David Strike, in an email, noted that:


    "When I first arrived in Oz, the Navy had a diving museum - the exhibits from

    which were subsequently lost when it was closed down. One of those exhibits

    was the barb from a stingray - mounted on a board - that had pierced through

    the leather harness of a CDBA rebreather and the suit of a navy diver and

    killed him outright back in the early sixties."

  14. I just got an email from someone close to the crew. It was apparently a bull ray (Myliobatis australis) that killed him. Those guys are big. Much more lethal than a sting ray.


    Thanks for this Drew.


    According to Ralf Hennemann's Sharks & Rays, M. australis is an eagle ray (common name: southern eagle ray), grows to width of 120 cm, max length 190 cm (including tail). I found a few other sites giving 'bull ray' as an alternate common name, but nothing suggesting that these rays are particularly dangerous.


    Robert Delfs

  15. Alex,


    If it's any consolation, your tale of woe has made a very serious impact on one person - me. After six years of endless problems with my Ikelite SS200s, I was seriously considering shelling out for subtronics in the hope of finally having that provided serious power and a reasonable expectation that both strobes might actually make it through a year without requiring major repairs. Or even a trip. (Yes, yes, I know, I know, Ikelite has a great record on servicing. Given the mean time-or-number-of-dives between breakdowns that I've experienced, I would suppose that they have to be good at service and repairs. But arranging to ship strobes to Ohio and back every 6-12 months isn't quite as convenient if you happen to live in Indonesia instead of LA.)


    I'm using a pair of Inon 2000s and a pair of Sea & Sea YS90DXs. I miss the power and spread of the SS200s, but then I again I always missed that for at least part of the year every year since I bought them.


    So if Subtronics aren't the answer, what is? I have a Hartzenberger dive light that I love which has worked flawlessly for more than three years. This has started to make me think. Does anybody here use their strobes? Could this finally be the ultimate strobe I've been looking for? (By which I mean, mainly, just that it would work most of the time.)



  16. While I do take Alex's point, and in my heart wish I could agree with him, I'm firmly in the have a back-up school. I've had cameras fail on a trip. I've seen other people have their sole camera fail on the 2ns or 3rd day of diving on a trip. It sure was nice having someone with such good eyes acting as a spotter for the rest of the trip.


    Having a serious body always available for topside shots is important as well. (When a whale suddenly broaches or hoves alongside is not when I want to be scrambling to get my camera out of its housing, switch lens, etc.) So the effective cost of that back-up body, to me, is the difference between the the cost of the 2nd D2X and, say, a D200. Still nothing to sneeze at.


    When I had a film housing, I had two F801s bodies, and I had a second Fuji S2's for my first digital housing as well.


    I also carry two complete sets of strobes. I normally use three strobes for wide-angle, two for macro, so basically I'm carrying one extra strobe for redundancy. At least one spare set of synch cords.


    While on the subject of redundancy, I dive with two computers (Diverite Nitek Duo and a Nitek Pro, which are identical to the Apeks Quantum and Pulse computers). Unless I know the operator has good rental/lend gear on board, I also carry a spare regulator set, or at a minimum, a spare SPG and back-ups for every hose.

  17. Rocha et al.,


    I'd be cautious about using DEET at 100%. DEET may be the best (or only) repellent that really works, but there are indications that high concentrations and/or long-term use can pose health risks, though there is no hard proof. (Living in Bali, this is subject that I'm very concerned about - I have used products containing DEET almost every evening. for the past 3-4 years!)


    A well-known study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 concluded that while alternative formulations can repell mosquitos for a short periods, only products containing DEET offered real protection for significant periods. The highest concentration DEET product tested, OFF Deep Woods, at 23.8%, repelled mosquitos for up to 360 minutes. Lower concentrations of DEET also worked, but for shorter periods of time.


    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/347/1/13 {abstract}

    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/347/1/13.pdf {full article}

    http://content.nejm.org/content/vol347/iss...large/04t1.jpeg {results table}

    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/347/21/1719 {discussion in later nejm issue}


    The West Nile virus crisis has led to some new studies and greater attention to alternatives, but nothing has emerged that is obviously as effective as DEET products. My current take on the status of mosquito repellents is as follows:


    1. DEET containing products work, but one should minimize use (i.e., sleep in a mosquito net) and avoid products with concentrations of DEET greater than 30%. (Some physicians say concentrations higher than 30% may be justifiable for people working in areas with intense black fly or high risk of exposure to ticks carrying lyme disease, etc.)


    2. Avoid applying products containing DEET at the same time or shortly after applying sun-screen. (In dengue-fever areas, including most of Indonesia, people are quite correct to apply repellent in the middle of the day.) Some ingredients in sunblock can hugely increase the amount of DEET absorbed.


    3. Alternatives to DEET that some authorities (CDC) say may have comparable effectiveness include:

    - Picaridin (AKA 3023, Icaridin). One product has been approved in the US, more in Oz and Europe. I've tried one, didn't like it.

    - Oil of lemon eucalyptus (P-methane-3,8-diol, or PMD). I'm interested in trying this, but nobody claims that the effectiveness is better than low-concentration (very low) DEET products.


    Unfortunately, claims for oils of garlic, fennel, etc. don't seem to hold up. Citronella oil compounds apparently reduces the number of bites, but don't prevent them.


    Other sources of information:






    Frogfish (Robert Delfs)

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