Friday, August 26, 2011

Anacapa Trip August 2011

Another great trip on the Spectre! Here is some video of the diving and wildlife. More later -C

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Diving in the Florida Keys

Spent the weekend diving and hunting in the Florida Keys. This being the opening of lobster season it was quite hectic but still a fun little trip. I went out with Tildens Dive Center on Marathon for a hunting trip and  reef sightseeing trip. This was a pretty nice boat of 30 feet and we had 18 people onboard.
The diving was only average due to poor viz which I'm told can change hourly. We went out to a spot near the lighthouse called lobsters reef which lived up to its name. While I was properly equipped I failed to grab a single lobster. The one I did get my hands on broke free and made for its hide. Sans Souci. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't a dive only trip but my time was limited to the weekend and many of the trips were full.
 On the dive highlights included many lobster, jellies, fans, and assorted reef fish. It was rather shallow (avg was about 12ft, with visibility of about 8-10ft, improving over the course of the dive). Dive times were limited by Tildens to 55min probably because of the snorkelers. At the end of the dive I was typically on the boat with 1000 to 1400 psi which means an unrestricted would have been significantly longer. The max depth We encounters on these dives was 22ft while fighting with an unfriendly crustacean entree.
Other sights i would like to hit in this area would be the wreck of the Thunderbolt and the NOAA research center. The Wiki for the NOAA center has some great pictures and looks like it would be interesting to explore and photograph. Perhaps one day they will accept visitors. :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Diving in Crystal River Florida (Kings Bay)

Spent a couple days diving in Kings bay and boating around the Crystal river area. We left from Plantation dive shop which unfortunately didn't have a DIN adapter for my reg (had to rent a reg and tank). For those who read this blog from Europe remember that American use exclusively yolk connection for the regulators!
We departed mid morning in Jon Boat to have a look around Kings bay and the Three Sister Springs. Its a very nice calm fresh water bay with several large feeder springs. There are some overhead environments and many boats so be aware and use proper technique. It was great to see a large class in progress!!! All ways nice to see new divers!
The dives I undertook were simple exploration, both short and shallow, but fun dives none the less. I was Blue crab and assorted fish, finishing the day with a manatee sighting. I imagine that when its not packed with people the Manatees would not hide as they did on our weekend visit. PADI has a nice intro to Florida diving page which I recommend.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thinking About Travel Again...

Was just thinking about the warm waters off Florida and the wrecks that await. I was wondering how do you get a good picture of a huge wreck? Looking back over my photos the only good pics I have are of small wrecks... Big wrecks tend to look like "a door" or some other small detail that conveys neither the size of the wreck nor the tragedy. Here are some pictures of our trip to the Salem Express ( WIKI ). The ship is over 360ft long and carried carried automobiles in addition to passenger decks. IMHO from these pictures one doesn't really have a feeling for its size or communicate the tragic loss. Its as if there is just too much ship; which I find almost as ridiculous as saying "there's too much story to tell."

One person who seems to be able to do the rather well is Alek Marinicev. He has a ton of gear to get the job done but produces amazing images. Check out this wreck of the Hilma Hooker Bonaire and the scale with the diver. It looks like he lost too much color info so he went BW to perserve the image but still pretty amazing.

Egypt anyone?
-C

A Couple of Pictures from Anacapa

Some incredible marine life photos this past weekend that came out pretty good. Some nice ones of a cavern on the island. Amazing clear water!
 

Anacapa TripJune 2011 (sea lions) Spectre

So its June and the water temperatures are rising in southern California. By mid-September the waters around the Channel islands should be in the mid 70's. I'm looking forward to diving a 3mil and without weight.

For now here is a great video from my trip this weekend out to the Spectre:
 
 You can book a trip on the spectre here.

Always a good time!
-C

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Diving The California Channel Islands on the Spectre

Spent an awesome day Diving on the Spectre. Sea Lions, Garibaldi, and Spotted Bass on the sea floor. Lots of nice kelp and good depths for Rec diving and instruction. I have nothing but great things to say about the boat and crew. Its a long video but have a look.