First Dive: CJ's Dropoff
Went diving Monday morning for the first time in about a year, with my friend Gary and Alton's Dive Center.
We saw Parrotfish, Grunts, Blennies, Fairy Basslets and Red Hinds, a Peacock Flounder and tons of other stuff. The others saw a Hammerhead, one of my all time favorite sharks!
It was a beautiful breezy morning and wavy, but thankfully I didn't get seasick. About a half hour later we arrived at CJ's Dropoff on the northside. Called so because it drops off to infinity, from a recreational diver's point of view.
Some divers went left and saw a Hammerhead! We went reef-on-the-right-shoulder against the mild current so we could lazily meander back with the current.
It started off with Gary diving into the sunlight with his huge honkin' Nikon, swimming into the sunlight.
Since getting my GoPro Hero 3, gifted from my friend Don, I have not been scuba diving. You know the shoemaker with the bad shoes? Well owning a dive center meant that I probably dived once a year. Well, Gary has a red filter for his GoPro, and I wanted to see the difference between video without, and video with. I'll post after Thursday when I have some video with the filter.
We followed Divemaster Beto (King of small things). Beto is a local Honduran who can find the teeniest creatures, like the arrowhead blenny that was the size of a thread and my fingernail.
These photos were taken with the GoPro Hero3. I'm trying to scale down the ton o' stuff you need to take diving. The problem with the Hero3 is that the battery life stinks. It lasts just a little over a one hour dive and that's with me turning it on and off to preserve the battery life.
Gary likes his toys. He has several batteries for his GoPro Hero3 and changes them on the surface interval. I'm always worried about doing that because I think the salt water will touch the o-ring and ruin the seal. He says to blow it out with a scuba tank. Alton's Dive Center has camera buckets on the boat to rinse them in fresh water first before opening them up.
Someone was asking me about purchasing a camera for her and her family (she has a 15 month old baby). She thought about the GoPro. I think the GoPro is best for used for wide angle shots or landscapes, like the shot on the right. I'm sure this photo would be way better with the red filter, but we'll see that next week.
Don't try to use it for macro photography because it stinks. It's forte is video.
I would like to show you a video, but with my new windows 8 computer, I'm having issues with my Adobe Premiere Elements video editing software. So I just downloaded the open source avidemux software a few minutes ago. I could change some filters, etc., but it's not like Premiere, where I can have three videos at the same time with different filters running on them.
The photos above were not taken on the dive, but snorkeling with the kids. See the difference that color correction can make. This was done in Photoshop and I'm expecting that a red filter will help immensely.
Second Dive: Jack Neal Point
We started the second dive hanging out in the sand looking for little things. I saw a shrimp sharing household with a blenny. It cleans out the hole and pushes the sand out of the way. Nice!
On Youtube, I just uploaded unedited footage of a Peacock Flounder. This is not GoPro's ideal environment, as there is hardly any color being a white flounder on white sand. I just wanted to show you video without the filter. The second YouTube video is of a better environment for the GoPro, but you can still see how some dimension is missing.
I hung out with this Peacock Flounder for awhile. Such interesting creatures. They are born with eyes on either side of their body, and as they grow, one eyeball moves over to the top to join the other. Their mouths are sideways too. Perhaps you can see it in the video?
So cheers guys, stay tuned for the next post about what to look for in scuba eqiupment. I'm going diving tomorrow!
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