It has been a while, but now the season starts again. I’ve survived the long wait. Last month I found a colleague of mine used to be a Tech diver, he stopped a few years back, but has all kinds of gear still lying around. Now I am helping him selling it. Good thing is that I had first pick of the left-overs… so I now have a new collection of rarities ;-] The rest is online for sale.
By checking out his gear, I found a dry suit, which got me interested in buying one… unfortunately the version from my colleague is a bit to small for me but I already found me another one. I think I will buy it this week.
I need that stuff, and some training, to start diving this spring. Calamari is now planning a dive weekend in Zeeland for the 20th of April! yeah!
I can hardly wait.
OK, as I blogged earlier on my dutch blog, the dive season was at it’s end somewhere in September… or so I thought. Weather was getting worse and diving in rainy weather makes all but the underwater-part of diving a bit less appetizing so I ended my diveseason.
What actually happened is that I ended up joining the Calamari diveteam for their autumn dive weekend in Zeeland at the 21st.
Although the weather was “not good” for wetsuit divers, there was no rain but much sunshine. The temperature was a bit low, though, being only 8-13 Celcius in the late afternoon, with some mild frost at night. I’ve only managed to make 4 dives as on sunday I was having a bit of a cold myself and opted for doing the dishes etc. instead.
The dives I did were very nice since the light from the sun managed to get thru to at least 5 meter without losing too much intensity. This meant light was good… but visibility was good too. on the four dives I have had moments where sight would be close to 8 meters.
Dive photo’s can be found here.
… and it is back. After months my Dive lamp returned to me.
Read the other posts to gather the whole story but I bought a dive lamp, the cheap MJ850, to finally have some more light during my dives. I used to carry a small backup light and I had a true antique 3W Halogen lamp, but I thought I needed to upgrade now everyone has these fancy HIDs and LEDs. As promised, the story aftermath:
The lamps seem to have wrong LEDs and drivers installed, there are two kinds available… the “working version” and the “working for max 10 minutes version” I should now have a working version. 😉
After the lamps arrived in China they were fixed and not replaced by new ones. This took all of 2 days… compared to the time it took to send to China… this was GOOD. The return path to my desk was not using TNT but using DHL. Which was also very good. It took about a week to arrive.
Then the not so nice surprise. The Proforma Invoice read “SAMPLE of DIVELIGHTS” which prompted the Customs office to guess what pricetag on these things were. They estimated that the used, empty lamps, without batteries, and charger, in old box, would cost us about 50 USD to re-import.
THESE WERE REPAIRS! I PAID MY TAX ALREADY!
I declined the package and requested to get a new invoice attached .. which I got .. one day after I took my loss and received the package.
Now I guess I will have that battle with our Customs Office… Oh Great..
Found in the rainforrests of Borneo, a mushroom.. looking like a sponge… sing along:
What lives in the rainforest, under a tree? Spongiforma squarepantsii, a new species of mushroom almost as strange as its cartoon namesake.
Advantage of doing a Biology training is that you tend to look a bit better and closer. Just to show off some first results of the effect of training during my last 2 dives see the following.
– smoke in the water
Seen many times in different locations. This time in Tynaarlo. I can still do with some explanation on what I see here .. but seeing this invited me to check and analyse a bit better as the following pics might show.
– baby crayfish
Nothing special… finding a crayfish in some hole along the north-bank of the Veenmeer pond. It get’s interesting when you discover the crayfish has something moving under the belly… and what do you know… it is swarming with small white babycrayfish, in this photo a bit hard to see as they still are a bit camera-shy.
I noticed these Mosdiertjes (bryozoan?) for a couple of years. Usually nothing more than a line of these, on some branch, rock or other stuff. This time they formed a nice donut shape.
Someone painted this dragonfly silver? Great to see, great to find underwater. Too bad I do not have more than 2 pictures, as it showed some grace when moving away from the camera when I got real close.
So I finally took some time to upload some photos again in Flickr.
I created a new Egypt Set, containing Dahab photos and next month I will add more about the 2008 trip.
The International Set contains the best shots of the Oman, Turkey and other locations…
Also I am about to setup a folder containing Zeeland Photo’s (Most interesting Dutch location) and the best shots from other locations in Holland.
Check the updates on:
The International Set
The Older Egypt photo’s
or The Diving Holland set
Edited for extra remark… I have crossed the 200 photo limit at Flickr… so only the last bunch remain visible.
Starting with an early flight at 5 AM is not ideal… it meant I needed to travel the evening before, so I left home at around 10PM to take the last possible connection to Schiphol that day.
Arriving just after midnight I noticed how most shops and bars were closed with the exception of the standard hamburger “restaurant”. Check-in was not open yet… I had to wait at least 2 hours until I could drop off my bags. I just found a quiet place at the airport and dozed for a bit.
Then finally I could check in… having a bit of bureaucratic nonsense with the Martinair Overweight/Divegear policy meant that I needed to check in my overweight bag at a different counter… that should open at 02:30… but did not open until 3. I figured I needed to wait anyway so I was not really worried, only a little frustrated as I had not really had any sleep. Then finally all was settled, emptied my waterbottle went thru the final check before boarding, refilled my bottle and got on the plane.
On the Martinair flight I could not really sleep either, a baby in the row before me and some noisy guys behind me (I got to know them quite well, later on) meant I remained awake for the first hour or so. After that I managed to doze a bit again.
We arrived during day time, which was new to me. I got to see desert, Nile and Luxor from the air. Great. We landed 10 minutes ahead of schedule or so, also good.
OK! I am back… I had a great time in Egypt, with lots of great dives, much relaxation and a very good trip.
I started with the 4 days on Marsa Shagra village and dove with a group of six others from Holland. After that I moved to the MY Rosetta for a full week of diving enroute to St Johns.
A first short video of it all can be found below.
My 2011 Dive holiday to Egypt in 2 minutes. from Maurice on Vimeo.
Stories and details will follow later, as soon as I have some time to blog again.
The current plan is to:
fly from Schiphol (AMS) on Sunday and travel to Marsa Alam with Transavia.
From there move to Ecolodge Marsa Shagra for 3 days of diving from shore. I will probably visit Eplhinstone and Dolfin Reef from here.
Then, when I have had some practice and some initial experience on diving in warm water again, I move on to the MY Rosetta on Thursday and start a journey for 6 days of diving…
More details to follow.
OK .. there is one problem when using a cheap LED lamp for lighting on photo and video shots. The lamp is using a frequency to switch on and off in modulation to establish de different brightness levels. This rapid on and off interferes with the focus and light measurements my camera is taking, resulting in not being able to finish the apperture cycle.
Everything is working brilliantly as long as shuttertimes remain below 1/100th.
So I started a small personal project to see if I can also create a diffusor for the MJ-850. Currently I settled for a lid of a plastic container and some rubber bands, but I cannot take that into the deep. The setup actually works, though.
Resulting in some good macro shots of a nice little Hairpin Nudibranch, found in the swimmingpool:
So the start is done, at least. I will be posting progress on the blog as well.
The diffusor worked .. the lamp quit on me. After “developing” the first “prototype” I took it with me to Egypt to be used on the night dives. Results are very good! I got a nice and even distribution of light, even the simple rubberband solution functioned, and I was able to switch between having the diffusor on or off. Publishing photos of the results:
Nice and evenly distributed, suited for close-up with nothing more than medium setting of the lamp. In both cases no camera flash was used.
Showing the effect of the lamp from a different angle (to far down) so you are able to see lighting effect.