Sunday, May 04, 2008


Here are another two shots from the Olympus 5050 with the Sea&Sea flash. Unfortunately, I had set the camera to High-Res TIFF, and only got some 30 pictures from the dive.

Kostia, Liza and Damien

I assisted Raymond, teaching three students: Damien from Australia, and Kostia and Liza, my Russian friends. We had started last week, Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and then yesterday (Saturday) morning. Raymond taught theory in his center in Tai O Mun, and the confined and open water lessons took place in Lung Ha Wan. All three student did really well, and soon handled all necessary tasks: mask clearing, regulator recovery, and establishing neutral bouyancy.

The water was superbe. The year has been cool, and algae growth had not set in. Visibility was up to 10 meters. I dont know if the students appreciated this, but the conditions were outstanding for HK waters. To the right of LHW, I found a long ghost net, but did not have time to deal with it. After the Moalboal trip, I have to return, and chop it up, so it does not do anymore damage.

I am always a bit sceptical of PADI, which some consider the Microsoft of scuba diving. For one thing, the organization requires you to buy course material (books), and you cannot just borrow them from the center. On a positive note, the material was quite good. Not as good as the CMAS books used in Germany, but significantly better than the SSI books from 2000, when I first started scuba. The Padi book was detailed enough, and not dumbing students down, as could have been expected. Congrats for that.

At Lung Ha Wan, we wittnessed classes taught by one of the largest scuba schools in HK. In addition to teachign scuba, the school taught their students a lesson in "wearing neoprene in hot and humid environments". In particular, I remember getting dressed (after they did) , diving for 30 minutes, getting undressed, and poking fun at them - for they still had not hit the water and were visibly overheated. Similarly, the school taught lessons in "getting cold from insufficient neoprene". The poor students, had to entertain lengthy briefings, while floating in water for which they were not dressed warm enough. No surprise, the instructor wore a dry suit. It must be the high property prices, that prohibit providing theoretical instructions in warm and dry classrooms...

On the last dive, I tried my Olympus 5050 (thanks Ajay) with thenew (used) Sea&Sea TS-60S flash, using the Heinrichs-Weikamp digital adapter. I soon learned that I have to underexpose the picture by two f-stops. Other than that, the set-up handeled like a dream: easy, no bulk, tops.

On a negative note, I caught a nose and throat infection, and could not attend today's UST underwater photo contest. I guess I could have drugged myself fit, but then I would have risked making it worse, and not being able to go to Moalboal on Thursday.