Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Scuba Storage

All righty then. You got the gear? And of course, then you got more gear. Then you bought some goodies that you didn't need but really wanted. Then you bought some duplicates incase something went bad, you wanted to be prepared. And of course, there are TWO divers in the house, not just one.

So then what? Build on an extra room for storage???

In the beginning, storage was a MAJOR problem for us so we had to limit what we bought. Then we got a bigger apartment and had a two car garage, so we felt unlimited.

Despite finally having a place to put everything, we struggled as we would pack to leave for diving. What to do with it all? We didn't need something so fancy as a nice big piece of luggage because we weren't flying and the stuff would sit wet in it.

So we opted for a PERFECT solution. We went and got a rubbermaid tote. The biggest they make. It has wheels on one end. And it holds EVERYTHING but our tanks - for two people! We can even throw our wet suits and wet swimming suits and towels in it and drive home in comfy dry warm clothes.

What's in our tote?

2 bc's

2 weight belts with weights

2 sets of fins (and of course he wears xl so they are super long)

2 regulators with octos

2 3mm wetsuits

2 pair of boots

2 pairs of gloves

2 sets of slates

2 inflatables (orange ones)

1 flashlight (long story - don't ask)

2 knives

1 repair kit (extra straps, flaps, velcro, tools, etc)

bag of ziploc baggies

1 spare air

1 tarp

Yep. It all fits. And while it is heavy when you have to lift it into the truck/car (like I do that, yeah right) I can easily roll it on the ground AND carry a lounge chair :)

It was one of the best things we ever bought for diving. And in the off season, it is sealed and stored in the garage all nice and neat, out of the way. So if you are having problems with storage, check into it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Scuba Diving Clothing

I'm having trouble getting started with this blog. I want it to be about scuba diving and clothing but I don't want it to sound weird, risque, or anything else that might cause PADI to want to revoke my scuba license :)

On vacation in the warm waters, the thought has crossed my mind about scuba diving nude. Not for any sexual reason, just to see what it is like. To be more like the fish and such. To be more natural in the underwater environment.

Then there are times when I just want to wear a swimsuit and look cute, without all the wetsuit bulk. I hate wearing t-shirts while diving - it just kinda ruins the whole look, even though this is very popular resort dive wear.

I once heard it was a custom/tradition to dive naked on your 100th dive. Any one else heard this? I think I am getting close to 100 (or I might be a bit over) but the water around here just wouldn't allow that. I'd get really cold, even in the heat of the summer.

Ahh, warm waters to dive in. You just can't beat it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Washing the Wetsuit; Getting Rid of the Funk

Sometimes just the rinse with the hose isn't enough. Maybe I didn't let it dry completely. Maybe it sat partially damp in the dive trunk. Maybe the water was unusually foul. Maybe they just got really muddy and mucky.

And then there are those stinky boots. WHO KNOWS what might be lingering in those!

But sometimes, these things (all this neoprene stuff) gets to stinkin'. Funky ick.

They make special rinse agents you can buy at the dive shop. But I am not into that kinda specialized stuff - I like things to be all purpose.

Here's what I do: (and of course, it is in the form of a list - would you expect anything else??)

1. Load up ALL the neoprene stuff (wetsuits, boots, gloves, hoods, etc) and fasten every zipper and piece of velcro perfectly secure.

2. Add to that the weekend's swimsuits, towels, etc.

3. Put it all in the washer on gentle with Woolite and lots of the nice smelling fabric softener.

4. When it is done, we hang it outside to dry in the shade.

Hubby is currently planning his thoughts on building a specialized rack for drying our scuba gear. We really could use one. If anyone has plans they could share, that would be great.

Anyway, this REALLY keeps the suits and such nice and sweet smelling and I haven't noticed any terrible wear and tear from the washings. Yes, the process is quite drippy and heavy, but it is so worth it being the one who smells GOOD in my wetsuit.

Friday, March 20, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Hair in the Summer

I just got some interesting news. I don't know why I didn't know this before, and it makes complete sense like I should have figured this out on my own or something, but ahh well.

I have to be so careful with my hair in the summer. I bleach my hair blonde. I've been doing it so long that no one can even remember my real hair color - except hubby from that one time when I tried to dye my hair red and it didn't work but that is a whole other story.

Aside from bleaching/dying it, it goes through the wringer everyday. The wringer being "blow dryer and curling iron." Although, in the summer, these don't get done near as much.

I'll never forget the first summer my hair turned green from the chlorine in the pool. I thought maybe it was just a reflection from the walls in the bathroom when I discovered it. I was wrong. It was BAD. I went into extreme panic mode and yelled for hubby. I spent the next day with it up under a baseball hat frantically scouring Walgreens to find something to help and praying it wasn't going to cost and arm and a leg and half my hair.

I actually found a good shampoo. The unfortunate part is that it is a seasonal product and therefore, once it was no longer summer, they didn't carry it. So I had thrown out the bottle without remembering the name. In subsequent years, I have used a kid's shampoo by L'Oreal called Swim and Sport Shampoo - but the orange smell is really not my kind of thing and I don't think it lathers well. And honestly, I am not a 100% sure as to how well it works because after that first year, I avoid getting my hair wet so much in the pool if at all possible.

But I met up with a lady who does hair. She offered two suggestions. Cleansing Cream Shampoo by Redkin. The other was to GET MY HAIR WET WITH TAP WATER BEFORE I GET IN THE POOL. Giant DUH for me. This makes so much sense. She explained that by getting your hair wet first, the hairs have already absorbed water so they don't absorb the chlorine water!

So with all the pool sessions and swimming I do, this is my new plan of attack - so I don't look like a leprechaun or witch in the middle of summer!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Scuba Diving Music

Has anyone seen these? Or used one?

The price does NOT, I repeat DOES NOT include the mp3/ipod. That price is for the housing and the earphones only!!! How crazy is that??

Anyway, it would be nice to listen to peaceful music underwater. It would be funny to loan it to someone and have the "Jaws" soundtrack on it :) You could have a whole playlist of "ocean/diving" music!

Here is a possible song list.

Under the Sea (from the Little Mermaid)

Yellow Submarine by the Beatles

Bent (hehe) by Matchbox 20

and here is a link to a post from Scuba Board about just this subject - they came up with some good ones too :)

But really, it is like music listening to the bubbles and the steady rhythmic breathing. I need THAT on my mp3 player! Does anyone know if that is available anywhere for free?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dive Planning - Did I Miss It?

As usual, I came without a plan to post. I guess I will just write and see what ideas pop up.

Okay. Lets talk about planning! A dive!

Face it. Students are taught about dive planning. "Plan your dive and dive your plan." But in reality, they don't plan ANY dives. It's the instructor who does all the planning.

After your certified, if you go out with a group, someone with more experience or the divemaster of the resort plans your dive.

This leads to a very "fuzzy" understanding of what dive planning really is and why you do it.

Trust me. I've been there. In the beginning I thought Plan Your Dive meant, yes, I plan to go dive in that body of water there.

There's more to it than that.

But I think somewhere along the way we are doing a disservice to dive students. Mostly it's "This is where we are going. This is how long we will be down. This is how deep we will go." But WHY? We have to let them know why we plan the way we do, and they have to see that modeled. So they can do it for themselves in the future. So they can question a dive profile that seems a bit, well, off the chart.

Ahhh. Diving "off" the table. There's another post for me to share another time :)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Forgot One

Oh dear. I forgot a type of diver. This would be me today if I had to go diving cause I am so tired.

The Lazy Girly Diver - has to be a girl. "Honey, can you bring my tank over here?" "Darling, I am getting a lot of good sun right now. Can you set up my gear while I am laying here?" "Oh damn, I just broke a nail. I hate these stupid thick wetsuits. They really aren't very cute are they?" "You're ready to go in? You're hot? Is my gear ready?" "Yes, that's my gear down in the water. Can you bring it up here and take it apart? I have to go to the bathroom." "Oh yummy. Lunch time. What did you pack?" "All that diving wore me out. Can you drive home so I can take a smidge of a nap?"

I'm sure you've all seen this diver too. :) Just couldn't leave us girls out in the bashing hehe!

Friday, March 6, 2009

More Types of Divers

I'm tired tonight. It has been a long week. Parent teacher conferences are long, despite the fact that I enjoy them tremendously.

So tonight, I will post a twist on the last post, also entitled "Types of Divers."

The Cool Macho Guy - you have all met him. And yes, it has to be a guy. He dives because he thinks it is a great way to meet chicks and will impress them. He didn't realize that most people who dive are men. He wears his thick gold chains, takes an extra long time putting on his wetsuit so everyone can see the muscles, and , eh gad, wears those dog gone Speedos.

The Whiz without a Clue - This is the person (male or female) who can pass all the exams without ever opening a book because they know all about physics, half-lifes, and pressure. They could probably build their own gear. But you get ready to take a dive and they are like, "Uh, I gotta get in the water to dive?" Their physical skills are about nill and a newborn is way more coordinated and adept at moving in the water.

The Underwater Geek - This person has every single underwater gadget you have ever heard of and then some. He bumps into you the entire dive as he fiddles with this or that and when you get out, you ask him if he saw the giant shark in the cave that he passed and he asks, "What cave?" cause he was too busy playing with the gianormous arm of the light strobe for his ultra high power camera.

The Old Timer - This guy (and once again, it really does need to be a guy because there weren't many woman divers way back when) dives with gear that should be in a museum. Or he has put it together himself. He doesn't care about the safety rules as those are for "sissies." Diving buddy? Who needs that? Regulator? Oh, yeah, those are great but if it doesn't work, I can just do "this" (take off the tank valve) and I got a whole bunch of air.

The Vacationer - "I'm a diver. I just jumped off the boat and headed down and looked around." "Yeah, I didn't realize there was someone I was supposed to follow. Or someone in charge of the dive." "Oh, look, there's my gear all ready to go and set up. It must have been that fairy of scuba divers." "Watch this! Ahhhhhhhh"

The Rest of Us - "Dang that was fun. Let's have a beer now and do it again tomorrow."

I'd be happy if anyone added to this list :) Amuse me!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Types of Divers

photo by gracey on morguefile.com
I go by diver daisy in a lot of circles and places. Everywhere I am diver daisy, people always ask "What kind of diver?"

I have often been put off by this question because I don't always think they are being kind. Then I had someone ask "Are you a sky diver?" and I realized there were a lot of different kinds of divers.

On the way home tonight I thought what I might blog about. That question came back up in my mind. And away I went into a list of "divers." (For those of you who don't read my everything daisy blog, I'll clue you in a bit - I LOVE LISTS)

1. Of course, the scuba diver.

2. Those crazy people, the sky divers. I just really have no idea what would make them want to do that. I make myself go off the high dive, have jumped off a bridge underpinning (hope you don't read this mom) and have done the Dragon's Tail at Six Flags (kinda like a bungee jump but more like a sideways swoosh rather than an up/down rubberband kinda thing). That whole free fall feeling just tingles my nerves for those things, which I don't find a particularly pleasant feeling. Could I jump out of a plane if I had to? No doubt. But I wouldn't find it all that amusing.

3. The people who stand on diving boards, platforms, and cliffs and jump into water are also called divers. They don't seem to have a label in front of the word diver. At least not until they attempt something crazy, like "high platform diver", "cliff diver" or Olympic diver.

4. Then we get into more loose terms of a "diver" with the stage diver. Jumping into a sea of people just wouldn't be my thing. And besides, they would probably all move back and let me hit the floor. That's when you yell, "Diver down!"

5. The last type I was able to come up with is the dumpster diver. I'm not too keen on this either as dumpsters tend to smell terrible and look disgusting on the sides. Being a trash picker would be way better because it implies that the trash is strewn about in the open air and you are just using a stick to look through it.

Maybe in all those circles I should change my name to scuba diver daisy for clarification. I wouldn't want anyone to think I was crazy :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Muddy Waters, no not the singer

What to write about today? The weather has turned cold again and sometimes I just think spring will never come. I'm hanging at the end of my weather rope here.

Rope. Now there is something I can talk about!

Hubby and I are adventurous. Hmm. Maybe that shouldn't have been the first sentence, but really, you will see where this is going in a minute. We are also very competitive. We also like to do different and new things.

So, when we first started diving (and a few in subsequent years) we started going to underwater treasure hunts. No, not like Mel Fisher. Like here in the Midwest where you go to a quarry and find things purposefully placed.

Around here, they are usually sponsored by one of the dive shops and are fundraisers for charities. I've seen them run a couple different ways. Find the numbered item that corresponds to a numbered prize. Find the lowest number to be the one to pick out your prize first.

Needless to say, there are always a TON of people there. They give away great prizes like BCs, regulators, and then smaller prizes like bandanas and key chains. Usually they provide lunch/dinner too.

After our first one, we learned our lesson. It was truly an ordeal. And dangerous. Well, not really, but being new it was scary. With well over 100 people in the quarry, the silt and muck was stirred up in no time. I can't tell you how much time we wasted looking for EACH OTHER! That was the real treasure hunt. See if you can find your buddy!!! We did end up winning a BC at that event, that we have never even used. It was/is brand new. I have tried to sell it on ebay but no luck.

So at the next one, we came up with a plan. We used cotton rope (like for a laundry line) and cut it about 4 foot long. Then we tied a small loop on each end. We were able to use it to stay "connected" to each other by holding on to the loops. We could signal each other by tugging. We couldn't loose each other, even though we could scour our area completely. We got to spend most of our time searching for the really important stuff :) I have to say on that hunt, we won a bandana.

Over the years, we have used the line for various outings. It just lets us see more and we don't worry about loosing each other.

Ahh, the trials of diving in Midwestern muck!