2015 Year In Review

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We find ourselves at the end of another year. Where does the time go?   Since becoming a diver in 2010; this year, above all the previous years has been the craziest.  It’s also a year that we didn’t get to do much fun diving despite having been in the water a lot. The training and gear changes have basically… 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 6- The Third Day of Fundies

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  Much like our dive profile from the previous day; our  third day of Fundamentals was going to have some ups and downs, and some awesome ah ha’s.  Mer met us at the Dive house for video review early in the morning and we definitely had some cringe worthy moments. However Mer did a great job showing us that we… 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 »

Building a Better Diver: Gear Aware

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It is a little embarrassing to admit, but there was a time when I didn’t know very much about my gear. I didn’t know the name of the components, what they did, or why they did what they did, and I didn’t care to know. It was at that same time that diving seemed like more of a chore than a… Read more »

Building a Better Diver: Becoming One with the Water

Until just six months ago if someone would have asked me what was the one thing I was most reluctant to do underwater I would have said without hesitation removing my mask. I have been a certified diver since 2002. I have dived in a variety of environments, including several ocean dives. Why was removing my mask so frightening? The… 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 »

Threatened Sharks On The Menu In Houston

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  I had an opportunity to visit McCormick and Schmick’s sea food restaurant in Town and Country,  (Houston) and discovered that they are serving Mako Shark on the lunch menu.  Don’t eat sharks. First of all, the shark meat often contains high levels of mercury because they are at the top of the food chain.  And it’s just plain bad news… Read more »

Home Made Go-Pro Camera Tray

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I needed a reliable way to film our underwater adventures and I stumbled across the above video that someone made, and it inspired me to make my own home made Go Pro camera tray.  I used 1″ pvc pipe, two elbows and  a junction box along with some plumbers pipe glue and came up with my own version.  I added some… 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- In Search of Santi: High Springs, Florida

  Wanting to eliminate weather as the main determining factor to where and when we could dive, we decided on making the jump from wet to dry. After weighing pros and cons of all available dry suits on the market we chose Santi. Since dry suits are a big financial commitment and involve a bit of a learning curve, we… 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 »