Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hell...it's not just for children

I'm in Hell. OK, maybe that's a bit melodramatic. For one thing, I'm pretty sure an eternity of weeping & gnashing of teeth is accompanied by an endless loop of Nickelback tunes. Still, things have been extremely unpleasant for the past five months. Well, 2 & 1/2 years, really, but this latest stretch has really sucked.

I'll save the details for a future post & just state that I wouldn't wish what I'm going through on anyone & that includes people I don't particularly like. It sucks to be blindsided by something & come to the realization that you have little control over trying to achieve a positive outcome. Oh, yeah, & the insomnia that's a byproduct of all this is hampering my ability to function, as well.

I'm generally a cheerful person & realize that there are people much worse off than me. In the long run, things will work out one way or the other. But they will probably suck for the next year or two.

In the meantime, after I get through this busy stretch at work, I hope to make better use of my new camera. I'm still such a novice at video & have always favored stills, but when my strobe shit the bed last month, I was forced to play with video. Here's a juvenile damselfish swimming around. No, I don't have Parkinson's. I just need to work on keeping the camera still on drift dives.

video

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Diving the Oriskany...and penisnapkins

Last weekend I had the opportunity to dive what I believe is the world's largest artificial reef. The USS Oriskany was sunk off the coast of Pensacola, FL back in 2006 & the local dive shop we use has made annual trips there. This year was the first year in which the trip fit into my schedule.

I'm not a huge fan of wreck diving & in the past have not had enjoyable experiences diving off the Florida panhandle. However, this trip provided me with the opportunity to dive w/some new people & of course, another opportunity to dive while things aren't too hectic back home.

On our first dive day in Pensacola, we dove a tugboat (the Pete Tide) wreck & a Russian freighter. The visibility was horrible, but still it was nice to get accustomed to the dive operation we were using, as well as diving in less than perfect conditions. Plus, there were toadfish galore on one of the dives.

On the second day, we dove the Oriskany. From the dive briefing, when the aircraft carrier was initially sunk, the flight deck had settled in around 135 feet of water, which would've made it right around the outside of recreational diving limits. Due to hurricane activity last year, the flight deck is now settled in at around 145-150 feet, which, sadly, took the option of reaching it out of the dive plan. Should add that for the first tank we dove Nitrox (25%), which limited our max depth.

The thing I remember most from that first dive was how amazingly huge the Oriskany was. And intact. While there is a great deal of growth over the 3 years since she was sunk, it's still easy to make out the same tower you can find in photographs taken before she was sunk. I've dove a couple of WW II wrecks that would be dwarfed in comparison to this. My buddy & I dove down to 115-120 feet to try to preserve some bottom time. The viz was great, so we could see the flight deck, but what amazed me was the size of the tower. The top was in around 80 feet of water & descended down to the flight deck. There was a pretty decent current taking you away from the ascent line, which made the dive even more of a challenge.

We made it a point of staying a little more shallow on our second tank, diving primarily around the tower. I think we probably explored around 10% of the tower, if that much, because there was so much to see. Personally, I was fascinated with the blennies making their homes in empty barnacles .

(I should take this opportunity to point out that the two comments I usually receive when diving w/anyone other than my wife are, "dude, are those bubbles?" and "enough with the fucking blennies!" I love looking for little shit. Anyone can find something big. I find it difficult to get bored when you spend the dive looking in little crevices for macro life.)

The current was considerably milder which gave us a lot more time & freedom to explore. Any pictures I post of the wreck itself wouldn't do it justice. It was huge and at 80+ feet, it's tough to get enough light with one strobe & a wide angle lens.

That night, with all of our diving done, people seemed a lot more relaxed. At dinner, after most of us had a few post-dive adult beverages, one woman in our group taught the table how to make penis shapes out of our napkins. At one point, we had the entire dining room, including the owner/manager of the restaurant, in stitches. Needless to say, the evening has been preserved with photography, as any of you who follow my updates on twitter are probably aware.

The day we departed, we went to the Naval Aviation Museum. There are tons of pics on my facebook & twitpic pages. It was fascinating, humbling & it would be difficult to see it all in just a few hours, which is all we had. The Vietnam exhibit was very moving & reminded me how much our servicemen have sacrificed for our freedom & how much I detest our current America-hating President (hey, I had to get a jab in at that incompetent, arrogant POS).

Overall, the trip was great. Everyone at the Scuba Shack http://www.scubashackpensacola.com provided excellent safety & service, clear dive briefings & lots of great food during the boat rides and surface intervals. I would definitely dive with them again. & now that I've gotten my bearings around the Oriskany, I would definitely like to dive her again, as well.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Shark videos from May

OK, so neither of these are gonna make the Discovery channel. My timing was off & the current was pretty strong when I shot these. Didn't help that they swam upcurrent, either.

Still, they're less vomit-inducing than watching our President lick the sweat off the balls of Muslim world leaders.

video video

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Irresponsible people annoy me

diving has been fun this week. however, today we had an incident that could've easily been avoided. there were to new divers on the boat today, a mom & her 13 year old daughter. These were the Obama supporters I bitched about on Twitter yesterday.
as they were new to this operation the divemaster gave them a full briefing, whereas the rest of us dive here regularly.
Once in the water, the mom stayed up & close to the divemaster, while the daughter kept hanging back, looking at stuff & going much deeper than both the plan & her experience level. several of us had to hang back & get her to ascend & stay with the group while the divemaster tended to her mom way up ahead.
Later, they had to surface much sooner than the rest of us, w/the divemaster, leaving us to spend the rest of our hour on our own. Not a problem, as we dive here all the time, but it caused another chain of events that put another of us in danger.
Once at the surface, the little brat then proceeded to yell at the divemaster for discussing with her the importance of following the dive plan.
It would have been so easy to let the little brat learn a valuable lesson of what happens when you don't follow the rules, however, that's not how we're wired. sadly if this happens again we'll probably be stuck once again cleaning up this family's mess.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pre-vacation rant

OK, I couldn't come up with an idea for a bra rant. I suppose that means I'm healthy, being a guy who doesn't cross-dress (or at least admit to it).

Anyway, I love weekends before dive trips, because it forces me to start working on our trip list. We usually take out our dive luggage & start packing the gear that we know we'll be taking.

My biggest dilemma this trip is deciding which wet suit to pack. Usually for May, I dive a 3 mil suit, but I've been getting cold recently. Compounding that is that I've lost 8 pounds since January, which was when I took my last trip. Plus, I think the water temps have been running 1-2 degrees colder than this time last year (up your fucking ass, Al Gore!). Problem if I take a 5 mil is that it may be so hot topside that I'll have to gear down during every surface interval so I don't melt. I'll probably go with the 3 mil & freeze my ass off for the last 15 minutes of every dive.

I also need to go through my music library & decide what to load on my phone, which is also my mp3 player. Since the wife is coming with on this trip, it's out with the Soft Cell, Pet Shop Boys, Scissor Sisters & Fall Out Boy (yes, those guys are fucking fags, too) & in with more "beach-type" stuff. As long as you define "beach-type" stuff as metal, and lots of it.

The thing I love about where we stay is that there's no TV, and aside from our phones & netbook, no real communication w/civilization. Besides twitter, I may check sports scores, but I sure as fuck won't be checking for updates on our self-important asshat President. A week without having to listen to that pompous fuck is a vacation in an of itself.

I will probably post any cool underwater pics & videos here, twitpic and/or facebook. If I take any non-embarrassing topside pix, I'll post those as well.

Oh, and I'm not into dudes. I just like making jokes that make it look like I am.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Welcome

Congratulations, you found me! I will be using this site to post commentary and/or media that I can't squeeze into 140 characters.


Those of you that know me know I really enjoy scuba diving. Before our asshat President took charge & began implementing socialism, the wife & I had grand plans to retire early and spend that time diving, especially in Cozumel, where we've combined to log around 200 dives alone.


We still have big plans, but have had to temper them so our tax dollars can be used to subsidize fucking deadbeats who can't make their mortgage payments because they bought more house than they could afford. But that's a rant for another time.


In any event, welcome & enjoy!