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calbeardiver last won the day on September 2

calbeardiver had the most liked content!

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About calbeardiver

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  1. I'm considering a dive charter that runs from the top of the Gulf down to La Paz, as it will let me get one tour of the area I've not been, without having to meet the gauntlet.
  2. Ken - yes, it it were contained to less than $100, it would be easy to write off as a 3rd world nuisance fee. But someone with 10k in gear (say a Nauticam housing for an R5 or worse that costs over 5k now) - the tax on that is 7 or 800 bucks! Lots of people have reported paying in the hundreds. Though having to pay $50 on a "professional" gopro rig seems equally offensive. If it were a legal, defined fee, people could make the assessment, just as they do with the various tourist taxes (Cocos is not cheap here). Or if divers actually represented a real chunk of business in Cabo, the diving businesses could stop the shake down. But neither is true. I scratched my Socorro itch once and if I want to do the Baja gulf, I'll do one of those trips where you drive from Phoenix and then fly home from Cabo. But otherwise, there are many options out there that actually respect our business. Jason
  3. Fiji Airways is an example where the 9" depth is shrunk to 7.8, and they do inspect (or did on my last pass) very carefully. But like many, they do not apply the weight restriction against camera gear. I picked the smaller Airport Advantage to meet these tighter restrictions, and it can take a good amount, though only ports for M43 or smaller.
  4. looks like you found a way that works well enough. But the alt I can suggest is to get the nauticam bag for the housing and treat it as your personal item. One came with the R5 housing, but is available separately (Camera Housing Padded Travel Bag - 87-113 depending on size). It lets you avoid dealing with the handles, and leaves space on top for wallet/passport/phone or your o-ring/lube collection and the vacuum pump. I have the slightly smaller thinktank roller (7.8" instead of 9" for the more restrictive airlines) and can get the R5, 3 lenses, 3 strobes, 4 Solas, 3 dive computers, and the misc stuff for these. Conceptually one could stick the camera in the housing, but I'd rather it be in the padding.
  5. no, they are not upfront, and are flat out violating their own rules. You're permitted two cameras and their accessories. A housing is an accessory. The Nautilus Fleet gives you a playbook for responding to the shakedown. Unfortunately, it doesn't work and the boat operators are a pretty tiny part of the tourism industry in Cabo. I would like to go to Cabo Pulmo and a cruise up or down the Sea of Cortez, but not while this continues. I've scratched my Socorro and Guadalupe itches.
  6. Burned might not be quite the right word. In July 2020 was to go there for the grouper spawning at Fakarava as part of 10 day cruise to Rangiroa. Add to the boat the interisland flights and 2 nights hotel at the end points, and 3 nights at Fakarava and (terrible move by my bookers), 10 dives paid for Prodive). Of course it didn't happen. One night hotel was not refundable, the rest is a mix of refunds and mostly credits. Air Tahiti gave me until the end of Sept to rebook the interisland flights, so I figured things would be in good shape by February this year. Book another international flight, more hotels (made sure all cancelable), new flight for a few bucks more, and upgraded the Fakarava hotel. Come January, this was a 'should we do it or not decision' which we were leaning against when the country closed it borders again. This time Chase got the interisland flight refunded, but I still have 3 nights and 10 dives there, and a dive boat credit that will probably be pretty good, but makes me a bit nervous until I do as it's ~13k USD. United was (eventually) pretty good about refunds/credits in a way I was ok with, but on the first try, I had made the daring move to use French Bee for the return flight, because the days of the week United does didn't mesh well. Here I got the ticket class that did allow for refunds, but FB decided it would not honor that, despite the contract and US law prohibiting such for cancelled flights. They continued to sell such 'non refundable' tickets even while deny my request and the case I opened with the DOT. Happily Chase would do a reversal even though it was ~9 months after the time of booking. To date I've only lost a little bit of money and so long as I can use the boat credits, I'll be at least even. It's more the loss of the trips that hurt (like for all of us), and for now, I'd rather avoid any more and pick the spots with the most potential to succeed, or the ones that can be arranged on fairly short notice. Someday I'll make it to Fakarava and Rangiroa, but maybe I'll take baby steps and try to get to Moreea for whale season. When pandemic considerations no longer apply, it's a very accessible location from California.
  7. Florida has passed its peak and is now below US average for new case rate and may be tenable in early November, before the Thanksgiving holiday travel has the potential to start another winter surge season. Unfortunately, it's difficult to plan with any accuracy beyond a few weeks. I think the strategy of picking from destinations with the most simple flight path is the sound way to go. That's why I'm not ready to even think about 2022 destinations like Indonesia or the Philippines until they officially reopen I already got burned twice by French Polynesia, even though that is a fairly simple direct flight from SFO or LAX.
  8. I did an Exumas charter out of Nassau in late July where I was testing out my new R5 rig. I primarily shot 8-15, but I did take the 100mm in on 3 dives to get some experience. I wouldn't describe the Bahamas as a macro destination, but there were a number of the flamingo tongues and a variety of shrimp and small crabs, and a few lettuce nudis. My main discovery is that while I didn't need a manual focus on my prior 4/3rds setup, I very likely do on the FF. Depth of field is an issue with the banded shrimp.
  9. Time for some overdue thanks to: @mdo905 purchased the CMC-1 my wife will never use. @PsychoSgt is putting to use 2 YS-110s from my original 20D rig @gdiver25 took one of my YS-D2s. @shjeong8 took the other YS-D2 and my older YS-D1. It was great working with all of you, thanks for helping me fund a bit of the bonfire my R5 is causing.
  10. All strobes for sale have been taken - new homes for 2 YS110s, 1 D1, 1 D2 and 1 D2J! Thanks all, and happy shooting.
  11. all of the used strobes are now spoken for. So it's back to the original bit - 2 never used D2Js. I head for the Bahamas in a week, at which point at least one of these becomes used. Will now take 530 for one, shipping included.
  12. I've never flown domestically within Mexico, but I would imagine that like most nations, there would be no customs component. This problem has been most prevalent to Cabo, don't think I've heard any reports of it happened at the Cancun/Cozumel airports. I think the odds are good for you. (oh, I see from comments in 2020 that this is not a certainty) May you have good shark odds at Guadalupe!
  13. I wonder if that's more closed up than what Nautilus had already done, or other operators. The entry to their's was pretty restrictive even 4 years go and the side gaps seems sufficient. It would be bad, photographically, to lose much more. As it stands, the bait fish make a real challenge at times.
  14. Update - the YS-110s are sold, and one of the YS-D2s. still available: the 2 new YS-D2Js (1000 for 2, 550 for one, US shipping included) 1 used YS-D2 (275 + 15 US shipping) - all parts in it - YS mount, ball mount, manual, diffusers, red filter 1 used YS-D1 (175 + 15 US shipping)
  15. Found one more related item: #AQ - 49001 - Zoom Gear for EF 8-15mm - new in bag, never in water. $100, shipped to US addresses. $80 if purchased with either the dome or the extension port.
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