Category Archives: Open Water

What’s up with the gloves dude?

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You may have seen some cave divers wearing fingerless gloves and wondered what the purpose of them is.  Do they protect our hands from the sharp rocks or  do we do it just to look cool?   Someone actually asked me why I wear gloves while I was at peacock not too long ago,  and I had to stop and… Read more »

GUE Tech 1-Day 2 at Blue Grotto

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Ahhh Blue Grotto.   By now we are intimately familiar with this place. Virtually all of our GUE classes have started here (except for cave 2).   It’s a great place to train and the facilities are very nice.  Picnic tables, covered pavilions, showers, and nice bathrooms.   The downside is that It’s also fairly crowded on the weekends with… Read more »

GUE-DPV 1 Training

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You can’t go into any of the the local High Springs dive shops and not see a DPV (DIver Propulsion Vehicle or a scooter as they are commonly called), sitting, waiting,  begging to to be fondled inappropriately.  Scooters represent a level of diving that we just didn’t think we would be at a few short years ago.  Not to mention… Read more »

The Day Before GUE Cave 2 Training

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It’s almost bedtime on  Christmas day 2017 and Tina and I are about to start our Cave 2 class in the morning.  We are staying at a house near Fort White, just a stones throw away from High Springs. The class will be roughly 8 hours of field and in water drills for 5 days. This is the pretty standard… Read more »

The Big Doubles

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Shortly after Tina got her tech upgrade,  I scheduled a weekend with Mer and also got mine.  It’s still very much a challenge for me  to have the  type of precision in the water needed for the upgrade,  but we have been practicing a lot and I was ready as ever.  The day I went for mine was following a work/training trip to… Read more »

GUE Tech Upgrade

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  It is hard to believe that it has been a little more than a year since we completed the GUE Fundamentals course. So much has changed in and out of the water. Gear-related, I am now diving doubles. Honestly, I cannot remember what it was like to dive a single tank. Not gear-related, we moved to Florida to be… Read more »

The Annual February Blue Lagoon CHUM Dive

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Wow what a difference a year makes.  This time last year Tina and I did our last wetsuit dive with the CHUM club at the Blue Lagoon Dive Lake in Huntsville TX.  It was memorable because we had already ordered our drysuits but were just waiting for them to arrive.  The water temp last year was 49° F and we… Read more »

Becoming a GUE Diver Ch 8: The Final Day of Fundamentals

The whole week felt like a total blur at this point.  Tina and I had mixed emotions about  starting  the final day of GUE Fundamentals. We learned so much in such a short amount of time,  and we had made many new friends,  it was definitely sad to know we had to leave soon.   None-the-less we still had one more day of diving.  The last… Read more »

Double the Fun-Our First Dive In Doubles

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We’ve wanted to transition to doubles for a while now; partly because we want to start getting used to them for going further with GUE training and partly due to laziness of not wanting to change tanks between our dives  in these shallow Texas lakes.   Because neither Tina or I have any formal instruction on diving doubles, I read the forums and watch you… Read more »

Becoming A GUE Diver: Ch 7- Fundamentals Day 4 At Manatee Springs

Both Tina and I were  feeling pretty confident and I was definitely on a high note from the day before. My body was sore and my brain was reaching capacity but we had done at least a good enough job at Blue Grotto the previous days, to go to Manitee Springs/Catfish Hotel and work on more skills there.   We all… Read more »

Get rid of the post-dive ear funk with “Ear Beer”

  EAR BEER: 1 Part White Vinegar+1 Part Isopropyl Alcohol=Frothy critter killin’ goodness.  I get a sore ear if I’ve been diving a lot.  I was a swimmer as a kid so I’ve had swimmers ear before and normally for swimmers ear I’d go the pharmacy and get some special drops to make the pain go away. Rarely do I actually… Read more »

Becoming A GUE Diver: Ch 5- Fundamentals Day 2

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    We woke up early and got some cereal that Tina was smart enough to bring with us from Texas.   Mer and Stretch were going to meet us at the dive house to go over land drills. She told us to have our BC’s, lights and regs available for drills so that we could do the drills at the dive house to… Read more »

Becoming A GUE Diver: Ch 4- Fundamentals Day 1

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  Finally they day had arrived.  We were about to start our GUE training and we were both beyond excited but also pretty nervous.  Mer had told us that the first day’s schedule would be lecture in the morning then head over to Ginnie Springs for the swim test.  We needed to be at EE at 9am.  The dreaded swim test… Read more »

Becoming A GUE Diver: Ch 3-Heading To Florida

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The week before our trip to Florida was a total blur. I was busy at work with a big project and Tina was making last minute preparations getting the house ready for us to be gone for 7 days. We also were finally able to start doing our homework. The homework is due just a few days before the class and you’re required to… Read more »

Becoming A GUE Diver: Ch 2- Just Keep Swimming

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It was around the beginning of  March before I think Tina actually realized the magnitude of the swim test for GUE.  She had read the requirements way ahead of time but it wasn’t until she attempted to swim laps non stop that it became apparent how difficult it would be for her.  However I started to see big improvements in her technique… Read more »

Becoming a GUE Diver: Ch 1- Getting Ready For GUE Fundamentals

Tina and I had been contemplating doing a GUE Fundamentals or “Fundies” as it’s been known, for quite some time. We actually had contacted Meredith Tanguay  sometime in spring of 2014 and tried to get a Fundies class scheduled for December during Tina’s break from teaching.  Fortunately we decided to hold off for a number of reasons.  A big reason… Read more »

Diving Dry: Chapter 2

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After our last two dives on March 28th 2015 we were able to drop some weight from our rigs.  However it just seemed that we were fighting the weighting issue. Both Tina and I were using about 24 and 26 lbf of ballast respectively.  Our AL80 tanks have  a swing weight of about 6 lbf and end up positive 4lbf…. Read more »

Diving Dry: A New Chapter in Diving

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After almost three long months of waiting, our Santi dry suits arrived! Having recently completed the coldest dive of my life, 49 °F in a 7 mm wetsuit, our oversized parcel from Extreme Exposure was a welcome sight.   As we first considered adding dry diving to our underwater repertoire, more than a few questions crossed our minds. Having heard… Read more »

How We Became Divers

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Tina and I started diving mainly because of a trip to Puerto Rico.   But my passion for diving started long before that.  I have been in love with the underwater world since I was able to walk. My mom had me in swim lessons basically as a baby and as I got older,  I remember watching underwater documentaries and thinking how amazing it… Read more »

Trip Report: Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

In August 2014, we were fortunate enough to dive in a hidden treasure within the Gulf of Mexico. The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is situated ~115 miles directly south of the Texas/Louisiana coast. Encompassing 56 sq. miles (36,000 acres), the sanctuary contains incredible reef systems that are absolutely teaming with life. After an overnight trip in calm seas… Read more »