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Everything posted by caveman

  1. mmmmm .... well agreed on the magic triangle for macro.........
  2. Basically agreed. If you never have seen a manta / whale shark / reef shark or lots of fish ( more or less the same type on every site ), then this is a great place. I am more of the wierder bunch which is more keen on Macro / wierd / non-conventional subjects.
  3. Thanks for your kind comments, guess I am a bit of a stickler. I was grappeling with a 16mm lens which has some focus issues ( going to test the 10.5 and see if the results are better). Like I said, I kinda gave up on out of focus pics, and put my efforts in the lighting which I more or less got contol of towards the middle of the trip. Yes, I saw the Manta's, quite a few in fact ( no real good pics to show for it though ), one whale shark, and some of our team saw hammer heads. In terms of pelagics, there are plenty. But if you compare to a beautiful site such as Sipadan, or the enourmous amount of Macro you get in Lembeh, it cannot compare. I found Maldive dives sites not very "pretty", very little in terms of bommies ( Zero actually ), Staghorn / table corals etc., and most of the fish were the same on evey site. ( large quantities, little diversity )
  4. Just got back from the Maldives. Besides going with some pleasant company, diving in the Maldives was a bit of a let down. Yes, there were Manta's which was the highlight, but in terms of Macro Photography, it cannot compare to some of the diving available in Indonesia. Even the amount of hard and soft coral is in my assessment less than that of Similans Islands ( Thailand ). updated pics on My Website This is my first trip in digital ( previous trips on film ), and as you can see, i still have alot to learn !. Cheers Carl
  5. well...... I normally clip it at the base before ascent....but I thought there would be no current, and with some time, thought I might clip a few more shots......... nothing could have been father from the truth....... Oh well, wiser now.....
  6. Thanks...will add one to my kit ( which is 55kg including camera ). recon will add a quick release clip to it, cause dont like the idea of being held underwater
  7. Great idea with the floating up !........ James:- well, I kinda did not expect it. Viz was not so great so i did not see them when starting up the the line at 20m. I had blissfully settled in at about 6 meters or so when i noticed the "herd of elephants" coming out of the haze. Yes, normal practice would have that one would leap frog over you...but remember, these looked like advanced students. They had no inkeling that there was someone else at 6 meters...... and they all were trying to occupy the same millimeter of space. As the current pushed them, they squeezed me out, and i could not leap frog down ( boy i tried ! ). They kept on slipping backwards slowly due to the current, and with every slip, i got squeezed up the line ( there were so many bubbles i could not even see properly) Well, i thumped the main one who was in my face, which resulted in him spitting out his reg about 10 secs after the thump.......... really an eerie sight ! he was just there, surviving on his gills obviously........ I am really crowd-o-phobic now. Again, "buddy diving" is not all its made out to be
  8. Well, if you saw my last post re- missing a deco stop, you will have noticed that my wide shots were crap (excuse my french) . Many reasons, main one really was for some reason the auto focus did not work under water, i could not press the shutter and get the shot. Had to click it into manual, and manually adjust ( and since i cold not see the focus through that small view finder.....everything was blurry ). Back on land, it worked like a dream again Any idea why? I did not have this issue ona previous trial in Phi Phi. D70, Nexus housing, 16mm fisheye lens, small glass port.
  9. Looks like them bubbles have effected my brain some what ! In that case, maybe time to upgrade to one of them mucho 10" knives
  10. Got one of them - I think....... yes, about a 1 inch long blade, on my BCD, never used and hope never to have to... Dont know, just never could adjust to the feeling of being semi-permanently attached to something under water...... ( I can imagine trying to cut..and then finding out the blade is dull...... Real hoot then !! )...... and then getting out of my BCD in a rush for teh surface, and making sure I dont drop my Camera....... recon drifting would be a better alternative ?
  11. I hear u with leaving cloths behind. My 5 day trips usually pack 3 t-shits, and 3 shorts, and the rest of the 55 KG's is equipment / support equipment. Likewise, have SMB ( yellow useless here, the reply would be "waow, thats a different colour" ). Based on last saturday, I have an appreciation of just how good it is to have the back up (Pony bottle + second reg set).
  12. Ditching my camera with the Nexus housing.... it would have been my last option. I dont like tying my self to the bouy line.......... and I am glad I did not, it could of got even messier as I had this large group of people which could of sqeezed the hell out of me if I was anchored to the line. I should have secured my camera to my hearness before ascent ( which I normally do ) Looking back ( hind vision is 20/20 ), my best option should have been to drift, and for the life of me, I still cannot understand why I did not choose that option. ( it did occur to me, but at 2+ knots (estimate) I was worried about drifitng out to see ). Guess I was also busy with the situation, and thought I could hold on. I was watching for numbness, pins and needles, rashes etc etc etc the whole night. Fortunately nothing developed and 48 hours onwards all is ok. Planning to dive one day in Phuket next week-end, not sure if that is ok ?. Solo might have its risks, but with people learning their Advanced, stay well clear if you have deco limits !!! ( p.s. for those who dive with K. Somyod, he aint got no Oxygen onboard !! )
  13. p.s Maybe should of let go, and drifted........ but the current was very strong, and 10 mins drift witha sausage might have blown me along way off.
  14. Saturday the 10th of April, decided to do one dive on the HardDeep ( Sutatip ), in Samesaen, Thailand. Have been on this wreck probably 50 times or more, know it very well. Have a routine sorted out, go down first, most people who follow run out of air quickly ( 28 meters ), and surface, and I will follow them up and be the last out , typically with a 10 minute deco + safety stop. Had a full tank, and a pony bottle as back up ( fortunately ). Was down for yonks, really enjoying my self, testing my new D70 Wide angle set up ( pictures turned out crappy by the way ). Well, I had plenty of deco on the clock, caclulated my consumtion, and decided it was time to come up. ( use 1 bar per minute max at 5 - 6 meters). Well...... I started coming up the rope, and the current was very strong (most people who Dive with Ray Divers never experience this )..... but, that was ok. I usually pick a knot in the thick line, and just "flap" there. There was one problem though, as I settled on the knot at 6 meters, a whole army of divers ( about 10+ ) came up the line too.... divers from a different boat mostly who was not there when we went in. Heads facing into the current, they did not even see me there on the knot, and basically started squeezing me with their large mass up the line. Obviuosly in-experienced divers. I had my camera in one hand, holding on to the line with the other, and my head was buried in a mass of divers, and there were so many bubbles, I could not even read my dive computer. The current was so strong, it was not possible to swim down and settle on a deeper part of the rope. I was being squeezed more and more up the rope by the mass of divers. I put my camera between my legs, and gave one guy a whack, he looked back at me, and he was sharing the octopus with some one else ( what a fiasco ! )...... then, he just let the reg out of his mouth, and looked at me with a puzzled look ( I though "Oooohhhhh shit, here we go with a panicked diver or a drowned one." ) . Suprizingly he found the reg. again, and not much changed. By this time I was huffing and puffing well beyond my 1 bar per minute " max", trying to stay below 4 meters, and my air was expended. I always though my pony and extra reg was a big "over", but I have changed my mind since saturday. It was such a nice feeling to know I had an extra air source ready for use, and did not have to signal to share with others ( how some one could make that signal clear in all that confusion is beyond me ! ). Well, I was enjoying my ROI with the pony, but, the situation was getting worse............ I was getting squeezed up more and more...... 3 meters with 10 minutes left. When at 2.5, my dive computer said "Er" in big letters. Made one last deperate attempt to swim past people / down, but the current was too strong....... so it was an ascent to the surface. Happily, no bends or after effects ( Sunnto is very conservative ) Lessons : 1. Dont deco dive when there are alot of people ! Actually, we were the only boat there when I went in, and when I surfaced there were 4 or 5. 2. In the 10 years I have been diving, and probably 3 or 4 which have been mostly Solo, I still maintain the only times when my life has been in peril was when I was around other in-experienced divers. And this time was no different. Why new divers think they must safety stop at 5.00 meters down to an accuracy of 0.01 meters beats me. 3. Murpheys Law again hits in. Yes, I had my plan, told Ray what I was up to, have done the same routine for years...... and then ... Bingo. 4. Having an Alternative air source is very comforting indeed, and worth the trouble of taking it every where you go.
  15. not a fish.... forgot its name....but a eel. Ugly mothers ! Hide in the sand. I swam over a crab hidden under the sand once in PG, ( big one ) .... it ambushed me and clawed my leg
  16. Caveman....... could not find my reg after that shot !
  17. Rubber Glove.....lol....... But the SSSS in big bold letters that even the Blind Cleric who bombed the WTC in '93 could see is ridiculous.
  18. Cheers guys...... its comforting to hear other peoples experiences. Maybe we should set up a "Abused by TSA Support Group" (ATSG for short ) . Humour aside, i have no problem with being searched, and it make me feel better know my A/C is safe. I too have tons of Frequent Flyer miles and visa stamps all over south east asia, but thats not in their computer system. I think their data is quite basic i.e. one way ticket to LAX from Austin, and PAX originated from Bangkok and is returning to bangkok and has a foreign (australian passport). Like I said, i sincerely doubt their screening computers could with reasonable reliability detect a "trouble maker". So all those guys are there for show..........(??). The point is really there are a bunch of monkeys, probably primary school drop outs who probably for the first time in their life can tell people something instead of being told what to do, and it goes to their heads. They should realize they are dealing with people, not cattle, and given the world wide emotions about was it right or wrong to go into Iraq (WMD), you would think they would be looking for alies, instead of alienating "friendly" people. I must give credit to the guy at the Metal Detector Gate, he was the only one who really deserved to have the job, and I hope he gets a promotion once day soon. ( he actually smiled when i told them off for giving conflicting info, and he could see the stupidity of the situation) At times like that, I remember there are nice people I have met there, and I dont want TSA to spoil my perception of the country.
  19. Hi Guys, ( Summary below if u don’t want to read the story ) Was in the US last week for work, which in general was quite promising. On my return, I planned to depart from Austin / Texas Airport, through LAX, and then checked through to Bangkok (I am Australian Living in Bangkok, Thailand, working in a well respected Public Listed Company in a responsible position, never had any dealings with any authorities for the recoord !...and showed up fresh from a meeting still in business artire ). When receiving my boarding pass, there was a massive “SSSS” printed on the boarding pass which I thought weird, but paid no attention to it. On entering the security queue, a sweet old dame asked for my ID and Boarding pass……. And promptly said “ oh, you have been identified as a person requiring special screening”, which kind a sounded strange, but in the spirit of world safety, well, so what. I was given this red plastic card with 3 metal washers in it, and told to jump the queue to go to the front. When arriving at the metal detector gate, the security man, who was quite polite and “people orientated” asked me to take all my worldly possessions and put them in the boxes, coins, keys, almost everything except for underwear, pants, and shirt…….. and to take my PC / camera out of my carry on and put it in a box as well. OK, fine….no problem there…….. As I am putting in the things in the box, another guard is rudely barking to me to do things which this other guy did not ask , and then a third one was barking orders to put certain things in certain boxes which contradicted the second guard and the first. I ended up telling them “ I do not have the capacity to listen to 3 contradicting orders and execute them at the same time. Which one of you shall I listen to, and what is the correct procedure ?” They looked confused at each other, and the smarter of the 3 ( the polite one with human skills ) took control, and I happily followed his orders. After my goods passing the X-ray ….. I was ushered to a space by a different and equally rude TSA who should of remained on a cattle ranch in Texas herding cattle, no people skills and rude / rough to say the least. What ever happened to the US ideals of “ you are innocent until proven guilty ”?? Not the case with the TSA. Well, he asked me to sit down on a seat, and asked me to stretch out my leg, and proceeded to scan my stretched out leg with a metal detector……and……..as it got close to the underside of my knee, it started beeping. He got all excited, and started patting with his hand under my knee, could not find anything….scanned again….beep again…..patted…scanned again….beep again…..patted…and was getting quite frantic ( I could not believe my eyes )……until I finally said to him “ Don’t you think it might be the metal leg of the chair I am sitting on which might be the root cause ?”. There was this dumb founded look on his face, about 3 second delay as the thought passed through his head, and a final acknowledgement. I could not believe that he was handling security. Well…..after standing, a full body scan with the detector, and the a full pat down in public view with hands actually hitting private parts ( and not….not a turn on ! ) in full public view. The I was asked to pull the front part of my pants out, and also turn the rim around. I have no problem with all the scanning and checks, and i agree in this day and age its necessary. I do believe though that the hard handed tactics as seen on "COPS" are in-appropriate when dealing with travelers and these guys thing they are in hot persuit of a criminal when screening passengers. The TSA should represent whats the best about the US, not the worst. Summary 1. How adept is this super computer really at identifying real risks. My guess was I was the only foreigner ( Caucasian Australians are all Al-Queda trained obviously ) with a destination of Bangkok, which according to the super computer must be a very suspicious town! 2. Any real terrorist would make a detour to the toilet and then exit the airport upon seeing “SSSS” printed on your boarding pass ( maybe new improved versions will have it in Braille too for the visually impaired clerics ) 3. It is clear that the TSA do not have clearly defined procedures if 3 people can contradict each other what has to be done when going through a special procedure 4. It is clear that you are guilty of a crime as soon as u are asked to go through the process. 5. The TSA does not have screening procedures to validate whether staff should be people facing. The nut who wanded me should have been behind the X-ray screen, not dealing with people. If I knew to other guy’s name, I would commend him for his professionalism and treating people in a polite manner, but still efficient getting the un-pleasant job done. 6. Ceramic diving knives exist. I would be not stupid to carry one, but how good would the system be in finding one ? All in all, I met a lot of good people whilst there, and it was a good trip, but if you think your good tax money can actually have a more than random chance of identifying possible threats, I think there is a false sense of security, and being treated like a criminal by the TSA without due cause would make me defer any pleasure / holiday trips to the US until things settle down ( if ever ). The TSA should represent whats the best about the US, not the worst. So if your planning to dive in the US as an outsider, it may be a big hassle if you travel with a lot of gear( i.e. camera / housings etc )[/u]
  20. is there a PCMICA slot for the SD slot ? I have the back pack for the O2 which has a CF card slot. The PCMICA cards can slot in mini drives right
  21. intersting as i have an O2with CF slot and SD slot. worry is it might be too slow to copy large data files........ any idea ?
  22. p.s. having some music on a trip is a + as well !!!!
  23. I have the O2 XDA. yes u can view pictures, but, definately not RAW, and i have no idea how u would off load pictures from the CF card to the XDA ? Further more, the XDA would need a CF card reader ( which I have ). will look into the Ipod thx.
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