Friday, August 29, 2008

Fish Identification

I am enthralled with fish and the creatures that can be encountered underwater. Many things I've seen while diving are beautiful and mysterious. Yet, I want to know more about them. For instance, the first fish I saw on dive #2 was actually a pair of spotfin butterflyfish (see the video below). And on dive #4 I saw an amazing creature which I later learned is called a jackknife fish (shown in the photo on the top right). However, the jackknife fish I saw was a juvenile and was predominately yellow with a brownish- black stripe. Thanks to my friend and colleague, Brian Bogie of Schwartz Communication, I now own a 500 page Reef Fish Identification book.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"See" for yourself

It struck me that many people may not get what has drawn me to this. So here are a few videos I found of others diving that will show you what I'm talking about.

Wreck Diving (1:25 in length)

Diving in Cancun (3:32 in length)

Bali Diving (2:00 in length)

Key West (:53 in length)

Upcoming Dives

I'm very excited as we will be doing four dives this weekend; two on Barracuda Alley and the other two on the Sherman (for a second time). With a maximum depth of 63 feet, Barracuda Alley is an artificial reef that consists of a 140 foot barge, adorned with concrete piping and steel A-Frames for divers to swim through, and a dive platform for training, all nestled comfortably close to a platoon of armored personnel carriers.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Diving the Sherman

We had two wonderful dives on the S.S. Sherman (formerly known as the Princess Royal) off the coast of North Myrtle Beach. The Sherman is 52 feet to the bottom. The visibility was 40 feet and the water was warm at around 80 degrees.

I dove with Dive Master Cameron Sebastian of Coastal Scuba to complete my O.W. dives 3 and 4. He was an excellent trainer and gave me a tour of the site from bow to stern. During the dive I saw three southern stingrays with massive wingspans. (If you were to raise your arms out from the side of your body, their wings would span from fingertip to fingertip.) I also saw a Queen Angle Fish, a school of fish circling around me like you see in the movies and around 100 barracuda just hanging out like they were waiting for a bus ride. There were other sites like a horseshoe crab, a cucumber looking fish, starfish, hermit crabs. I'm in the process of searching for more information about all the marine life I saw.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dives 3 & 4

Getting ready for a dive is exciting. Today we're traveling to North Myrtle Beach to dive on the S.S. Sherman. We're doing this through Coastal Scuba, an outfit that Lee has used many times over the years. Lee has gone diving on the Sherman before and found some interesting Civil War artifacts.

For me, I'll be completing dives three and four. I have three skills to check-out on: putting my mask on underwater, swimming with my compass, and taking my BCD off and putting it back on at the surface. Once I'm done with those I'll be able to enjoy the dives. At the end I will be official and get my C-card. :-)

Here's some info about the Sherman:

Originally a 200 ft. blockade-runner, this 120 year old post-Civil War wreck lies in 52 feet of water about 6 miles offshore. Always surrounded by multitudes of marine life, the SHERMAN also offers a variety of artifacts for the careful hunter. US belt buckles, buttons, bottles and fossils have been found on this site. Great for new or experienced divers.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Shark Break

Click here to get more mini-SharkBreak widgets -

Learning to dive...

I took the condensed training course for PADI Open Water through Charleston Scuba. (Basically this was comprised of a Thursday night, Friday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday.) The classroom training, while good, was intense after working all day.

The pool sessions were exciting yet I did feel a bit awkward maneuvering with the gear. My first time in the pool with the regulator was interesting as I kept forgetting to breathe. But after a while, I got the hang of it and even learned how to buddy breathe.

Technorati Profile

Fulfilling a dream...

It’s a fact that seventy-one percent of the earth is covered with water. There is an entire universe underwater that many people never see.

For over 25 years I have dreamed of exploring these deep dimensions. The capability to breathe underwater while investigating sea life is alluring. A month ago, I embarked upon the adventure of fulfilling this dream by learning how to become a certified scuba diver. This blog, yet another new adventure for me, will share my thoughts and experiences as I learn about the underwater world few have seen.