10/29/2011(Sat) - 1 DiveNo.412 - Paradise Springs[Florida, USA]

Diver : Michael Clay
Dive Master :
Buddy : Joe Tegg
D.Service : Geekdiver
Weather : Rainy
Temp. : 76 Fahrenheit
Ave.w.temp : 74 Fahrenheit
Min.w.temp : 74 Fahrenheit
Diving Suit : Bare Dry Suit
Inner Wear : T100
Weight : 0 Lbs
Tank Material : Steel 85s
Equipment : Camera
S.I.Time :
Time In : 09:54:12
Time Out : 11:23:05
Dive Time : 01:28:55
Ave. Depth : 38 ft
Max. Depth : 90 ft
Safety Stop.Depth : ft
Safety Stop.Time : min
Tank Capacity : 170 Cu/Ft
Pres. In : 3000 PSI
Pres. Out. : 1800 PSI
Air Consum. : 0.75 Cu/Ft/Min
Visibility H. : 40 ft
Visibility V. : 40 ft
Water Cond. : Smooth
Access : Shore
Water Body : Spring
Tank Gas : Air Rating : *****
Dive Number : 412
Total Time : 337:56
Dive Type : Fun Dive

I had to rate this dive at a 5! Not that it was anything special but I got up early (no alarm), I took my time driving to Ocala, relaxed while having breakfast and talking to Joe, then hit the spring and just floated around in the water for an hour and a half. An extremely relaxing day that I really needed!

I was testing my re-rigged sidemount rig, my new dry suit inflator valve and my new Olympus XZ-1 with my old Sea and Sea strobe.

I felt slightly heavier on my left. I may need to adjust my rig a little, but it wasn't too bad. I could also just be how I had everything hung. I'll have to play with this.

My dry suit inflator was leaking and I couldn't push the inflator button. I felt the water seeping in the entire dive, but it wasn't a full on flood. Surprisingly, I wasn't cold at all. The suit was squeezing me big time, since I couldn't inflate, but I had no problem putting up with it. Later, when we surfaced, I told Joe that I couldn't inflate. After pushing the same button that I was pushing the whole dive, Joe started inflating my suit. I asked him what he did and he pointed out a button on the side of the inflator. Apparently the Dive Rite inflator doesn't have the button in the middle of the valve, like my old suit. The button is on the side, opposite the inflator hose. :-/

I set up the camera before we got in the water. When we got in, I started snapping pictures. They all turned out black (under exposed). :-( I played with all the flash settings on the camera (open curtain, close curtain, sync, slow, etc.), nothing seemed to work. I gave Joe the "thumbs down" and we proceeded with our dive. I considered hanging the camera somewhere and coming back to it. A few minutes into the dive, Joe signaled that he wanted to go back up and mess with his rig. We got to the platform, Joe started messing with his rig and I decided to play with my camera settings again. I noticed that the automatic setting was locking my ISO at 100. I moved it to 200. I also bumped the exposure setting to +2. As an additional tweak, I dropped my flash power to 1/64 of full strength as this should help reduce backscatter. WOW!! It worked! I was very impressed and happy with the photos I took the remainder of the dive.

The rest of the dive we just floated around, looking at things and taking pictures. No hurry, just floating around, relaxing. Joe swam back into the crack and checked out that passage. He said that he wants to come back and follow it further but will need stakes to hold the line out of the passage.

Again, this was just the dive I needed!