Sunday, August 05, 2012

Log / Pic 110 Mark V Helmet Dive

After SW and Mexico, we went to the Keys for a week.  the dives got canceled each day due to poor weather, so among other things we went to this incredible museum on the history of diving.
This guy above gave me ideas.
This guy below made them reality.
This man is Richard Ford. He owns a Mark 5 helmet and dry suit and this is him wedging me into it.
This is old school diving and it is when air gets pumped down from the surface to the diver-before SCUBA (self contained underwater breathing apparatus) 
When I dive scuba i wear like 10 pounds of weight. This outfit weighed more than 150 pounds between the shoes, belt, helmet and collar.
Above is me remembering that I am claustrophobic-or as my instructor pointed out, I have confinement anxiety (he said if I was a true claustophobe, I would have been ripping off my drysuit at this point. 
Here is the cool part. Look at this antique-nothin' cooler!
Taking a knee and having a moment of silence before...
I'm trapped with no way out
And then he screws it down and uses a tool to seal the window.
Heading down...
...and under
Once I was off the ladder, the weight turned into like 30 pounds verses 150 and I was relieved.
The loud sound of air getting pumped into my helmet still left me a bit uncomfortable.
But this experience was way to amazing to waste it being nervous. 
I bounced around like I was on the moon-the weight of my shoes and lift form the air in my helmet made it feel just like that.
I saw a few fish and some strange jellies.
Climbing up the ladder was quite the feat.
My dry suit had filled up completely with air after the pressure of the water was gone. 
Now that it was over I was feeling cocky. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Log / Pic 109 Whale Sharks

My next stop this summer was to tackle something that has been on my "Rocking Chair  List" for several years-
snorkeling with Whale Sharks. i flew to Cancun, drove almost three hours north to Chiquila, then took the 9 Hermanos ferry to the island of Holbox (hol-bosh).
Below is the boat I took on my first whale shark excursion. 
On the way out we saw two huge schools of baby manta rays.
On several days we saw dolphins-one day we captured this. 
Below is a huge manta ray. On our last trip out we saw many of them and they stuck around and fed.
So we jumped in the water and were able to snorkel with them.
But this is why we really came-to see the largest shark in the world-coming right towards us!
Below is a manta jumping out of the water-it looked closer than my camera tells.
Here is me in my glory. We saw about 100 whale sharks this first day. They were everywhere! Too excited to be scared. 
In this one me and Lisa had sharks in all four directions. 
They came right up to the boat while feeding.
These open gills were an impressive sight.
Finally I get to swim alongside them.
It takes two pics to see how large
Below is what I saw every time i turned around. 
Good thing no teeth
Beautiful patterns
We saw flamingos at the end of each day on the boat trip home.  I took a golf cart to the end of the island on day and photographed them up close. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Log / Pic 108 Spanish Wells, Bahamas

I started my summer with 3 weeks in Spanish Wells, Bahamas-my 3rd visit.
This is our cottage and transport.
Allen, Meagan, Jake, Lisa, Roy, Me and Cindy ready to tackle the reefs.
And do some pleasure diving as well.
Pleasant Kathy and family has the same idea.
A nice trip to harbor island to get tanks from Valentine's Dive Center
Great trip out there
Chilling in some of the best beaches I have ever been to. And as usual, we were the only ones on the beach.
One of our exit points for snorkeling 
Killing lionfish was one of our goals
My first spear gun
Results of the latest hurricane
Starfish dressed in camouflage
Another snorkel spot. Georgians do it in style!
A kayak trip to Pear (Pierre) Island
A visit to Russell Island to see their new church
An early morning bike ride wins me these foggy views.