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  1. newmanl

    Cenote Question

    One of the best cenotes for floating (face down with a snorkel, of course!) and an easy cavern dive - with a guide, is Ponderosa, or Eden. It has lots of shallow areas full of fishes (sailfin mollies and cichlids) as well as slightly deeper areas to explore on scuba. It also has good facilities...
  2. newmanl

    Using dive lights for communication during cave diving?

    For cave diving - and pretty much all other kinds of diving I'm involved in, it generally breaks down as follows: - while on the move, light signals. - while stopped for navigation procedures (jumps and the like), hand signals. - while moving or stopped in extremely low vis, touch contact.
  3. newmanl

    WtF: The Decline in Scuba Participation

    Hey John, I haven't traveled as much as you have, but I think I understand your point. I read your PDF and it struck a few chords. When my wife started diving I couldn't wait to show her the amazing diversity of fishes and inverts in the tropics - not knowing at the time of her certification...
  4. newmanl

    Do you drink the spring water while diving?

    Absolutely not. In fact, if I had voluntary control, I'd close all non-necessary (for the dive) orifices! I can't speak to Florida, but in Mexico the cenotes are polluted - evidenced by the often very poor condition of the fishes. Some show it more than others such as Mayan cichlids (Mayaheros...
  5. newmanl

    Fatality Vancouver BC

    In accordance with the family's wishes, I have to withhold the diver's name, but can disclose some details as to the cause of the accident. The accident occurred when the diver's scooter tow-rope accidentally got caught on, and depressed, the trigger causing the scooter to run. As the scooter...
  6. newmanl

    Tell me about the Conshelf 14 regulator

    I had the same thing when pressing my 1978 Conshelf back into service a few years ago. To use in cold water I needed another LP plug for my drysuit. So I got a splitter from the shop and was in business. The routing turned out very clean and the reg is a dream compared to my over-priced, modern...
  7. newmanl

    Bare Custom Size Drysuit

    Yup - a couple of years ago I pulled the trigger on my first made-to-measure drysuit in over 40 years of diving. Now with well over 200 dives on it, not a single regret, other than I should have done it a long time ago. I'm also not an 'off the rack' sized guy. I got a BARE HDC Tech Dry suit - I...
  8. newmanl

    Heated Undergarment Battery Options

    If you don't mind on-line shopping - or at least on-line browsing over the 49th, Northern Light Ca. may be able to help. The owner (Rene) makes very rugged battery packs, lights and in very limited volumes, a heated vest - all crafted with the best materials and workmanship. You can find him on...
  9. newmanl

    Hopping my way to full cave...

    In 2010, when I completed full cave course with Bil Phillips, a minor restriction was defined as one where divers could only pass single file, and a major restriction was where contact with the cave was unavoidable - short of not going. Gear removal was not 'a thing'.
  10. newmanl

    Problem trimming out with two deco tanks

    Boulderjohn's advice (getting used to it) is 100% valid and is an important part of the process, but there are a couple of aspects worth knowing in advance - as your tech instructor will hopefully show you. I'm in the camp of all decos and stages on the left - when they are 'up front'...
  11. newmanl

    Three dead in Poland last week

    All great questions. Fabio nailed it - to me this is the very essence of the human factors aspect in recreational diving. The assessment of risk is up to the individual involved. We don't have a governing body to assess the risks for us and don't have to abide by any formal mitigation measures...
  12. newmanl

    How do you like your Fusion drysuit?

    I dove a Fusion drysuit for 8 years averaging a little over 100 dives a year in it. Aside from a little wear and tear - completely expected, it performed very well. Never had a leak except for some early sock issues that were eventually resolved. However, I never liked the fit. If you happen to...
  13. newmanl

    Big plan, many failure points

    Hi Fabio, First, thanks very much for sharing your story. Brave folks like you, sharing what didn't work as planned, is one of the very few ways we get to learn from experiences in the real world. My first point - I hope you and your buddies had a good debrief after this dive. It sounds like...
  14. newmanl

    Polish diver dies in world record attempt to 333m

    I could maybe understand the depth attempt if he had invented some new type of experimental kit and had proven it in shallower water. A depth record attempt with conventional OC gear seems much less likely to make an important contribution to the diving community.
  15. newmanl

    Fusion socks leaking - multiple reports

    Sorry to hear of all the leaky socks on the Fusion. However, the issue is hardly new. Back in 2009 my wife and I bought Fusions and both leaked in the first few months - and both from the socks. I recall there were two leaking events separated by a few months of dry diving. At that time, the...
  16. newmanl

    Upgrading from Cavern to Basic Cave Diver

    What you see on the training agency website may be one thing, checking the websites of the individual dive ops may be another. NSS-CDS may state that the Intro/Basic course is a minimum of two days, but very often cave instructors add an additional day. The reasons could range from an assessment...
  17. newmanl

    Drysuit hood choice for MX cenotes

    Hi DDKL, I've been going to Mexico for cave diving once or twice a year for 8 years. I'm a fish-nerd and u/w photographer, so, whenever possible, after a cave dive I spend a bunch of time in the cenote photographing the fishes. I used to wear a 3mm drysuit hood (no bib, and with a 5mm wetsuit)...
  18. newmanl

    How to Avoid "Guided" Dives? I don't need/want my hand held.

    Perhaps a bit harsh to start, but I get the sentiment. To date, my wife and I simply look for dive ops that do not require divers to be guided. My creative process struggles much better without the pressure of having to follow a guide and spending our money and time to find out if we can be...
  19. newmanl

    Why ‘everyone is responsible for their own risk-based decisions’ isn’t the right approach to take

    Best line ever. I've been saying that for years - thank you Mr. Lewis! Unfortunately, IMHO, half the industry seems based on 'trust me' dives. Following a guide teaches you far less than planning and doing your own dives. Its like being a passenger in a car, do you learn to drive better, do you...
  20. newmanl

    Choosing equipment, and maintenance

    For making a purchase - it is now. I got convinced that Apex was the way to go for tech and while I don't agree with Aqualung's revenue stream protection policy, I can get service kits. With two exceptions, I don't trust the 'service techs' at dive shops at all. However, having said that I've...
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