Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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.

First thing I did notice was that my free dive suit compared to my normal wetsuit was so much more flexible and soft. I did attempt to do a few pike dive only to learn that I was not properly weighted and had to fight my way down and on top of that, I could not stay down. I floated back up the moment I stopped kicking. Buoyance for both scuba and free diving is very important. In my opinion it is one of the biggest contributing factors to a short or long dive. I did manage to test out the camera. Here’s a sample clip of a garibaldi I found hiding between the rocks.

I couldn't really figure out what to do with the camera since I did not like the wrist strap that GoPro made and I didn't really have anything to mount it to so... I took off all the bolts and screws and threw a lanyard through the hole and just tied it to my wrist and used it as I would any camera on land. Unfortunately, it made the video a bit shaky but it was so streamline and access to the buttons were so easy. I may eventually add a hand mounted light to my other hand to keep it free. Visibility was only about 15 feet but this was because I stayed close to shore since this is my first free dive. The quality of the video came out pretty good. I hear the GoPro video and picture quality can be improved greatly by changing the stock frog eye lens with a flat lens. We will soon blog about our search for a flat lens after we receive our orders and tested it out. You can be sure, we are excited.

In the mean time... I was once told scuba was considered one of the sexiest sport. I find it very hard to believe since most of the time we return back with our hair all matted, mask impritns on our face, snot coming out of our nose... Today, I was proven wrong today. A group of lovely girls asked to have their photo taken with me. As you can see, the quality of the picture on land was amazing for such a small camera.

I love diving!

Written by: Wayne Lu, Jan 28, 2012

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