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Old 09-29-2016, 07:48 PM   #11
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Yikes!

Baitball, no way I'd ever swim through one, they're usually being herded by a shark or other predator. We watched a baby frill-head shark herd one. Really cool.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:42 AM   #12
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I took diving classes in the early 1970s "just in case" I ever took a trip to the Bahamas through our company credit union. Never did, but had fun in the classes.

Let me make it clear that I was NOT fat during that time of my life. 5 foot and almost 7 inches, 125 pounds? Oh, how I wish... Enough of that, though. Still, I was pretty buoyant. I could not stay under during my qualifying test to actually be able to take the course. The instructor let it be know that we had to be able to perform certain skills to take class, one being swimming the length of the pool underwater. I'd get almost half-way across and pop up. Paul would send me back to the deep end to try again. When I was headed out with the last group he said "when you start to float, do NOT take your face out of the water. I just want to make sure you can swim the length of the pool without surfacing for a breath." OK. Last time in, no problem. Swam the length, reached the other side, stood up to get out...and saw all the other people who had started with me were out and had walked at least half the distance back to the starting end of the pool! Meanwhile, there's Paul with his booming voice saying "I have never seen someone hold their breath so long!"
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:08 AM   #13
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You guys are going to love this story

DH and I went to an all-inclusive resort in the Maya Riviera in 2004. On Christmas Day, after enjoying a cocktail at the pool, we saw a sign and decided on the spur of the moment to go snorkeling that day. We went over, paid our money, and an hour later, we were practicing in the pool. Then we were taken to a reef where the dive master gave us basic instruction on how to manage the equipment.

We only went down about 30 feet, but the dive master had not set my weight correctly, so I was dragging on the bottom. I tried to adjust it and shot to the surface! The dive master then apparently turned off the mechanism, or so I was told later.

I had a great time. DH had trouble equalizing pressure, so he didn't have as much fun Found out later that what we did was fairly dangerous, but hey! We were on vacation in Mexico!
I assume you took an "Intro to Scuba" or "Discover Diving" class? Learning to control bouyancy is one of the most difficult skills to master, especially on a multi-depth dive. Provided that the "Instructor" was actually a certified Instructor, from a recognized agency and the "Dive Master" was also a certified instructor, this is a common practice at resorts. However not after the student has been drinking.

The biggest mistake when equalizing is not starting at the beginning of descent. The greatest pressure change when diving/snorkeling in seawater occurs during the first 33'. Pressure doubles for the least distance traveled. This also makes bouyancy control more difficult in that depth range.
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:54 AM   #14
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I assume you took an "Intro to Scuba" or "Discover Diving" class? Learning to control bouyancy is one of the most difficult skills to master, especially on a multi-depth dive. Provided that the "Instructor" was actually a certified Instructor, from a recognized agency and the "Dive Master" was also a certified instructor, this is a common practice at resorts. However not after the student has been drinking.
Nope. Twenty minutes in the pool to see if we could breathe with the apparatus was pretty much all we got.
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:26 AM   #15
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My wife is a PADI instructor - certified in 1985 (she has instructor certification - she hasn't been teaching now for 20 years). She lived in Cyprus for 2 years in 1989-90 working full time as a scuba instructor. I'm PADI divemaster certified (1989) and spent 5 years assisting teaching classes with a dive shop in Denver. I worked with students locally for almost 8 months before I made my first dive in the ocean in December of 1989. She and I met working at the shop after her return from Europe in '91.

Some of my best diving experiences:

Little Cayman (Bloody Bay) is my favorite spot in the Caribbean. The wall is spectacular, and the top is only at 45 feet so you can spend a lot of time cruising along the wall before you have to start up. It's the greatest feeling to swim through a tunnel in the reef starting about 40 feet and exit through the wall at 50 feet with the bottom about 2000 feet below. To me it feels like flying along the face of a cliff completely covered with coral and sponges, with fish and other critters everywhere. I've been there 3 times, twice on Aggressor liveaboards and once land based at the Southern Cross Club.

For large marine life my favorite was the Sea of Cortez. I've been on 2 liveaboard trips there out of La Paz. I've dived with schooling hammerheads, whale sharks, mantas. We named one site the eel condos because you could hang in the water and see 6 or 7 morays at one time hanging partway out of their holes. We saw schools of fish so large that they obscured the sun. Saw fin whales, pilot whales, dolphins and whale sharks all on the same day. And we spent more than 2 hours on a shallow dive at Los Islotes playing with juvenile sea lions... just like big puppies.

The Philippines was beautiful for seeing marine life that was so different from the Caribbean.

Some photos:

Scorpion fish at Bloody Bay


Juvenile Spotted Drum at Bloody Bay:


Orangutan Crab with Anemone in the Philippines:
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:39 PM   #16
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Love those little drums! Nice pics, RP!

I've never met an Orangutan crab, looks fascinating. And I can see how it got its name.
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:57 PM   #17
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They have a new full-face mask. You can't dive down with it, but folks who have it rave about it. I'll see if I can find the link for you.

Here it is: https://www.amazon.com/Tribord-EasyB...7WQWXZTW926RM7

Thank you. Have to check it out


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Old 10-02-2016, 07:19 AM   #18
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Thank you. Have to check it out
Aga produces a full face mask, but they aren't cheap.

Back in 1987, before I met Karen, I was involved with open water scuba instructor (OWSI) Training. I was a certified instructor development course (IDC) staff instructor. Two of the students were from Grand Cayman. After they passed the instructor evaluation (IE, which is conducted by PADI headquarters staff), invited me to come to Grand Cayman. All I had to pay was airfare and food. I stayed at one's rental condo complex. He pointed out his private fill station, the better dive areas like the Oro Verde wreck, the better spots on the wall and Governor's Reef, then saying have a good time, handed me the keys to his boat.
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