Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Testing the Intova Sport HD

There are a number of small compact sports camera out in the market these days. Contour, Swann Freestyle HD, and the GoPro just to name a few. So far it would appear GoPro has dominated the market for mini sport camera. Every diver appear to own or have a friend that owns one. As good as the GoPro is, it too has drawbacks.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Anacapa Island Aug 18, 2012

It completely slipped my mind that I should really be posting about my dives on this blog. I have been randomly scattering links for my dives all over Facebook, Youtube, and other random social media websites. This simplifies everything posting it here. I can also give my feedback as well. So going forward, I'm going to just list all the relevant links for that dive here on this blog. I will most likely provide some brief information about the dive and destination that was traveled. Less works for me, less links spammed out, more blog entries. A win for everyone.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Diving the Oil Rigs

Eureka Oil Rig
There are currently 27 rigs off the shores of California… After 9/11, majority of the rigs were closed to the public for security reasons. Lucky for me, a quick boat ride from San Pedro marina will get me to three rigs that are still open for divers: Eureka, Elly, and Ellen (Elly and Ellen are twin rigs connected to each other). Oil rig dives are consider advance dives due to deep bottoms up to 1000 feet making it virtually bottomless and all boats servicing these dives are live boats. Being able to maintain neutral buoyancy on these dives is extremely important for these types of dives. The legs of the rig are completely covered with life surrounded by bountiful amounts of fish swirling about. Most rig legs will have to be periodically maintained and cleaned so they are scrapped leaving it barren and over time life will start growing on it again. Before we take a look at the dives, let’s look about the oil rigs themselves.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tips n Tricks: Remember to Look Up

I remember one of things that was repeated constantly throughout the time while I was going through my certification programs abouts staying active and alert while underwater which is a very important defense mechanism. For example… it prevents you from running into fire coral, potentially poisonous fish, harming a reef, or dropping into the great abyss. However, it also prevents you from missing something important things.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Father's Day Gifts

First let me begin by wishing all the fathers out there a Happy Belated Father's Day and kudos to my wife and two boys - they definitely get two thumbs for my great father's day gifts.  To say I was happy with my gifts is an understatement.  They got me gifts for my two passions -- golf (I'm no McIlroy but I sure have fun trying) and diving.  I was so excited to get from them the new GoPro dive housing which is the "fix" that they came up with for us divers.  I currently have for my housing a flat lens which my good friend Wayne gave me but I noticed that when you take pictures it leaves a halo effect but funny enough it doesn't when you are in video mode.

So....since I am going to dive this weekend at the Blue Heron Bridge I will be trying out my new lens and I'll let you be the judge on the "fix".  Stay tuned....

So...Diveonauts Dive!
Written by:  Rick Suarez, June 19, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Catch a shark by its tail...

Whenever I tell people one of my hobbies is diving, I am often asked... are you not afraid of sharks? Honest answer? Yes. I am afraid of sharks... the ones in movies with a vendetta against humans because someone did something to their habitat. But no, I am not exactly afraid of the sharks here in California waters. Respect them and leave them be if you do not want uninvited attention. Most animals are suspicious of you and are probably equally worried that you are going to hurt them as you are afraid they are going to hurt you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dania Beach Pier Cleanup

Dania Beach Pier
Last Sunday a group of us headed over to Dania Beach to help with the pier cleanup that our local dive shop, Divers Cove, sponsored.  We were so fortunate that it was nice sunny day with absolutely no rain...which is saying a lot for a June day in Florida!  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Breakfast Underwater

My favorite meal of the day is BREAKFAST! Why you ask? Why breakfast? Because it's the meal I can have eggs in so many ways. Fried, sunnyside up, over easy, medium, poached, and scrambled. I would go ahead and venture that I make some of the best scrambled eggs. Don't believe me? Challenge me then to a cook off! Dare you. So what does this have to do with scuba? Not much really... except someone at Ocean Safari told me it was cool to crack an egg underwater. So guess what? We did!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Month of May in Review!

The month of May was an exciting month for scuba divers! Fun events, new toys, and with improving weather conditions makes for wonderful diving experiences! The beginning of the month kicked off with back to back events from Chamber Day and Eve to the Scuba Show. The month wrapped up with a Memorial Day party including a park BBQ and dives. I should have blogged these events separately but instead I'm doing it as one big update so this may be a long blog with a few videos! This post has a little something for everyone including a quick chat about the new gear out in the market.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tips n Tricks: Comparing ships to ships

There are numerous charters and dive boats out there ranging anywhere from a two tank carry on to multiday live aboard trips. People have asked me before about my criteria for rating a dive trip and honestly there really is no simples or clean cut system because there are numerous things to consider.  The dive destination and sites the trip is headed for, as well as the distance and time need for travel. The various amenities the boat offer and the crew including the captain who is running the ship all play a role in how enjoyable the trip is.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tips n Tricks: Etiquettes of Vomit

Southern California is blessed, most of the time, with sunny warm weather. Lately, I feel like the weather has a vendetta against outdoor loving weekend warriors. Sunny and warm on the weekdays when people are stuck indoor at work, cold and wet on the weekend throwing a wet blanket on plans. I once try to strike a deal with Mother Nature and asked for rainy weekdays and dry sunny weekends. In exchange, I would plant a tree. That deal was not accepted. Since we had many weekends with rough water conditions at sea, seasickness more frequent. I think it is time we talk about something very sensitive, we are going to talk about the etiquettes of vomiting. Not everyone has the ability to hold and release their vomit on demand.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Visiting Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Island

First dive trip for 2012! I almost did not go but Gabe at Ocean Safari convinced me and I am glad he did. Since the Channel Island sits further up north, the water has a tendency to be colder. During this trip the water sat at an average of 51 degrees. Unfortunately the weather was not very cooperative as well. For most of the day it was grey and windy making the surface currents very strong. But when we were on our way home, it suddenly became sunny. This was my second trip on the Peace and it was enjoyable: good sleeping arrangments, good eats, helpful crew, and best of all... a hot tub!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Testing the flat lens at Shaws Cove

This is my first dive with my modded GoPro with the Mako flat lens. The quality was significantly better than before. The images and video quality came out so much better! This was the best $30 some dollars I've spent! So much less editing needed now. It is true that GoPro will release their own version of the flat lens around April and the price will be around $50 for a modified front housing.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Modifying My GoPro, Adding a Flat Lens

Now having own and used the GoPro as my primary dive camera for a month, here are some of the benefits and disadvantages I’ve noticed.

Pros: - It is less bulky compared to other cameras. Great for keeping your dive profile streamline.
- Compact and lightweight makes it easy for travel.
- The fish eye lens creates an incredible field of vision.

- There is always some kind of vignetting. You can reduce it by playing with the resolution (a lot of site recommend 1080 or 720).
- The fish eye lens creates a slight distortion.
- Not as easy to switch between video and picture as a traditional camera.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

California's new 2012 MPA, Simplified

Over the years, our government has recognize the need to protect our natural resources, even the hard to see ones hidden under a blue blanket of water. We, as divers, have the opportunity to see firsthand the treasure that hides from the eyes of most people. We can be right there next to the beauties and wonders that are document in magazines and shows. California’s state government implemented the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) to complement the federal laws to help better serve the idiosyncrasy of the area. Various Marine Protected Areas (MPA) were created with different restrictions were created to help protect the natural heritage of the areas and its ecosystems. Over times, the rules are adjusted to help better serve and protect the target areas. The start of 2012 saw a variety of changes that came about after various public discussions and panels. Some of the changes to protected areas do come into conflict with various non-profit groups whose goals are to restore threaten and damaged areas. One such group that was directly affected was the Bay Keeper organizations.

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Visit to the Dive Museum in Islamorada

Ever go away for the weekend to your favorite getaway spot and notice one of those funky little places you always say you're going to stop in and see what it's all about?  Well that's the way it was for me and the Florida Keys History of Diving Museuem.  On my last trip down to Marathon I decided to stop in and take a look around this spot and boy was I surprised to see the large collection of diving equipment, diving bells, masks, diving suits, and historical facts throughout the museum explaining the history of diving and the challenges that man has encountered to get to where we are today.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"New" Old Marineland

Marineland of the Pacific once sat majestically on top of Portuguese Bend in Palos Verdes, CA overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Some of the structure and layout was designed by a renowned architect of the era, William Pereira. The oceanarium first opened its doors to the public in August 1954, one year earlier than Disneyland, making it one of California's first theme park. The facility housed two huge sea tanks with water drawn from the ocean directly up 125 feet through 2,500 feet of piping from the beach to the filtration system. It was an amazing feat! The facility was complete with a restaurant and bar, coffee shop, and a hotel for visitors and guests. The oceanarium was not solely for the purpose of recreation, it was one of the frontier researchers in oceanarium techniques.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tips n Tricks: Easing the Cold

Even though Southern California is known for its hot summers and other temperate weather, the diving here is still considered cold water diving. For about half the year the water can easily drop down to the low fifties, especially if you are diving closer to central California towards the northern Channel Islands. Low fifties, even high forties, can still be done in your normal 7mm wetsuit, maybe add a 3mm vest to help. You do not really need a semi-dry wetsuit or a dry suit. They are great, but they are also a lot pricier. Depending on how long you dive, it does get uncomfortable really fast.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Roatán - A Hidden Jewel!

This past summer we took our yearly family vacation to a little known destination, Roatán, Honduras. I had read about Roatán in a few diving magazines and all of them talked about how it is a hidden treasure...an up and coming dive destination...a beach lovers paradise so of course I headed down to my local dive shop, Divers Cove, to get the real scoop from my friends.  Everything I found out about this tiny island just convinced me that we had to go.  Convincing the rest of the gang was another thing.  Everyone in the group kept asking where the heck is Roatán and it was only fitting to find out that that is their island slogan -- "Where the F*@K is Roatán ?"  So here's a little geography lesson I gave my family.  Roatán is part of the bay islands and is located just off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean.  It's sandwiched in between the islands of Útila and Guanaja and is the largest of the Bay Islands -- it's also home to the second largest reef in the world (the Great Barrier Reef of course being the largest) so you know the diving was bound to be incredible -- and it was! The people and the food were also incredible (FOOD TIP:  try the signature dish called Baliada from the lady with the stand in the West End - they are the best on the island and you can't beat the price!)

My First Free Dive

This really is a post about a whole lot of firsts! My first time… free diving in open water, doing underwater photography, and… first time using my free dive gear and GoPro. A whole lot of firsts! It was also a beautiful day for diving despite the wind advisory that was going on. Water was in the 60s, surf was around a feet. I arrived at Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach, CA around 4:30 pm to start my trial run. Don’t get me wrong, I love scuba diving but sometimes, having the convenience of not having all that gear around is liberating! After donning my gear, I start my walk to the beach. I have to admit, this walk was much easier! There were so many families out and about enjoying the great weather of WINTER. People were starting to leave now that the evening was rapidly approaching and the sun was going to set in the next 40 minutes. I better hurry up as well.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Kids on the Blog

Welcome to the wonderful world of diving. Let us begin by stating that we are not professional divers or marine biologists’ just a group of friends and family who fell in love with the sport of diving and are on our way to worldwide dive adventures. We are based out of South Florida and Southern California and we look forward to bringing you our non-professional view of the SCUBA community.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Just getting started!

That's right folks! We are finally getting the show on the road. What's the first thing everyone needs? Facebook and every other social media out there. So... instead of diving, I'm opening accounts.

Facebook page: Diveonauts (come like us!!)
Twitter: @Diveonauts

What else am I missing?

We may eventually start our own website but for now... we hope you will come back to visit our blogs and learn more about diving and our oceans!