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Brad Fitzpatrick

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"advanced" scuba classes [Sep. 16th, 2005|03:20 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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So under some crazy logic, if you've taken 4 "advanced" scuba classes and done 25 dives, you're considered an advanced diver.

I guess some ridiculous percentage of people get certified to go on one vacation and never dive again. Silly.

Anyway, daveman692 is our motivated guy, so he created/negiotated a private weekend lesson with four of the advanced classes, so soon we'll be taking:

-- Night/limited visibility diving
-- Boat diving
-- Dry suit
-- Navigation

Then a couple more dives after that to reach 25 and we're "advanced", whatever that means.

But yeah, scuba's still fun. We went around and (partially) into a sunken amphibious personnel carrier last weekend, and I found a golfball (Titleist! anyone here a Marine biologist!?) and a Gilligan hat.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jackbrinks
2005-09-16 10:27 pm (UTC)
Did you go to the Am-Track at Del Monte or another one? There's a sunken sailboat about 50 yards away from the Am-Track at Del Monte, but other than those two things the diving there is boring as hell. No life.

Night diving even at Breakwater is fantastic with a good light.

http://www.halcyon.net/lights/index.shtml

PADI's concept of "advanced" is silly. The Rescue Diver class was helpful though.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-16 10:40 pm (UTC)
Del Monte by Wharf 2, across from the McDonald's.

Breakwater at night is where I think we're going for our class.
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[User Picture]From: scsi
2005-09-16 10:33 pm (UTC)
Satallite imagery showed that chlorophyll count was through the roof that weekend. Hence all the crap floating around.. :(
Hooray for drysuit! Im tired of being cold!
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-16 10:39 pm (UTC)
wtf? satellite imagery?

That floating crap was kinda pretty.
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[User Picture]From: scsi
2005-09-16 10:51 pm (UTC)
My boss' son has access to a (pay only) satellite imagery website used for commercial fisherman. He can pull water temp, chlorophyll counts, surge, etc in almost real-time. Its data from satellites and also from NOAA bouy's around the west coast.
When i came in on monday, he pulled the map of chlorophyll from sunday and it was off the roof around monterey.
Heres a cool night dive trick I learned in mexico:
Turn off your light so its dark, and wave your hand around in front of your face. The motion caused by your hand will cause the plankton to chemically lumense making it looks like your hand is giving off magical glowing sprinkles.
Really really cool when you all swim hard, because your fins churn up the water and make it look like you are rocket-powered. This only works if its really really dark because they dont grow very bright.
I dunno if it'll work in cold water or not, but it was the coolest thing in mexico.. :)
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[User Picture]From: jackbrinks
2005-09-16 11:13 pm (UTC)
It works exactly the same in cold water. The instructor teaching the night diving class will demonstrate I'm sure.

The health department of Monterey County provides bacteria count information for the local waters. It's usually only bad after it rains:

http://www.co.monterey.ca.us/health/beaches/

Other misc interesting links:

Dive conditions predictor based on ocean swells:
http://www.garlic.com/~triblet/swell/wamglance.html

Local Yahoo diving group. (very good links section) frequent posts on current conditions / dive sites, etc...
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ba_diving/


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[User Picture]From: grumpy_sysadmin
2005-09-16 10:58 pm (UTC)
At what point are you qualified for underwater spelunking?

Or, more importantly, really, at what dollar figure?

'cause, you know, oceans are cool and all, but caves...
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[User Picture]From: daveman692
2005-09-16 11:19 pm (UTC)
Spelunking requires another class ($100-$300), plus a reel (not sure how much), and aparently different fins or at least kicking techniques.
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[User Picture]From: grumpy_sysadmin
2005-09-16 11:40 pm (UTC)
I would expect that it also implies learning some severe (and counter-habit) localization skills, which is what I'd actually want to get from it.

But if it's really possible to go learn to do that thing with someone who'll pull my ass out of trouble when I get disoriented, $300 is precious little to spend.
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[User Picture]From: recompiler
2005-09-17 03:35 am (UTC)
I hope you know better then to go into a shipwreck without someone who really really knows what they are doing and correct gear.

When I was diving in dominican republic this winter my divemaster found a flash light someone lost on a dive around a wreck a few years ago (he guesstimated by the growth on it).
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-17 03:56 am (UTC)
Oh, trust me, we were freaked to more than just look inside it. Plus we didn't have any lights or anything, so we just peeked.
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[User Picture]From: recompiler
2005-09-17 04:08 am (UTC)
Be honest, you expected some awful undocumented creature to pop out from any crevice and grab you in it's poisonous teeth or a shark to swim out? Maybe I have an over active imagination.

Surprised you guys don't carry chemical lights with you. I admit bringing a flash light on a bright sunny day isn't very obvious but you should always have a few chemical lights that you can tie on to mark something or just drop.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-17 04:13 am (UTC)
Actually once I was snorkeling above a shipwreck and free dove down into and through it, but while I was inside it a freaky looking fish did come at me from the dark.... so that's kinda tainted my idea of dark ships.

Not to mention the jagged metal edges.
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[User Picture]From: recompiler
2005-09-17 04:23 am (UTC)
Wow, I'd never snorkel into any confined space esp a ship, too many stories about things becoming undone and blocking the way out, crushing people etc. It is true about sharks, octopuses and other things you don't want touching you making homes out of ship wrecks sometimes.

Worst things I had happen to me was spotting something weird in a cave that had huge blue eyes, getting my dad and brother to swim over, covering the cave with a net and then poking a the thing so we can get a better look at it or catch it. It started to come up an the fish looked like a shoe box almost, it was weird and almost famialar. Then we started to hear a quacking noise and it started to puff up. we were keeping the net at a distance and surfacing with it. My brother and I relized what we got. We hit surface and swam to shore with it in the net because we were to afraid to touch it and it was still making the quacking noise. Thankfully a local fisherman knew how to untangle and hold it. He kept it (probably to make it into a cheap trinket you can buy in any store).
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2005-09-17 10:01 am (UTC)
All "Advanced Open Water Diver" means is that you're allowed to go out without a supervising diver.

I did Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver in 2 weeks in Cyprus. However, they lapse if you don't use them at least once a year (I think - might be even less than that) - so I wouldn't be trusted to go out by myself any more. Good thing too - damned if I can remember how any of it works.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-17 05:49 pm (UTC)
allowed? There aren't any laws about this, as far as I know.

We were told we could do whatever we wanted once we got the Open Water Diver one, but really "allowed" just meant we could rent the gear we were missing.
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2005-09-17 08:40 pm (UTC)
That was what I meant - I was under the impression (although I'm going back about 8 years now) that if you weren't AOWD certified then a PADI dive centre wouldn't rent you the gear to go diving without a dive leader/instructor.
So obviously, yeah, you can buy your own stuff and do what you like - but they wouldn't help you kill yourself.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2005-09-17 10:50 pm (UTC)
We got our open water cards after 4 logged dives with instructors, and then we're free to rent whatever. Well, we've never tried to rent anything advanced... I'm sure they wouldn't rent us rebreathers and maybe not even drysuits without an advance cert. But we've never needed an instructor with us to rent.
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[User Picture]From: jackbrinks
2005-09-19 09:22 pm (UTC)
The OW card gets you tank fills and basic rentals. If you borrowed gear and full tanks, nothing would stop you from diving. You need a drysuit specialty card to rent a drysuit (but not to buy/borrow one). You need a Nitrox card to get your tank filled with anything more than just air and you'd be lucky to find a shop that would even rent you a death-machine... I mean rebreather, but if you did, you'd need a cert card.

The Drysuit class is a joke. You learn what to do if you have a runaway feet-first ascent, and how to work the drysuit. Most instructors teach you (wrongly IMHO) to use the suit for buoyancy so that you're fighting it for your buoyancy the whole dive instead of staying shrink-wrapped and using your BC like you're used to.

The Nitrox class can teach you quite a bit about gas laws and decompression with a good instructor, or just teach you what mix to dive and the max depths with a marginal instructor. I highly recommend diving nitrox however.
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