Sunday, July 30, 2006 

I won a Freakin' Scooter!

Holy prop blades batman! I got sucked into sticking around Dive Fair at Underwater Sports annual sale today. Worked our Marker Buoy Dive Club booth and figured I might as well stay for the final drawings. Imagine my surprise as they counted down the ticket numbers..."6...0...5" huh? That's me!!!

I was offered either the new Apollo AV-2 scooter, a brand-new model that lists for $2500, (at the fair for $1600), or a mystery envelope. The crowd said stay with the scooter and I'm glad I did, as in the envelope was only a certificate for a new DUI drysuit. Already got a couple of them... :-)

Anyway, I now have a whole new way to get myself into lots of trouble...100 mins at 230 feet; gee, will I go into deco?

Wow cool toy, can't wait to dive off my boat with it. Think I'll rig it James Bond style with spearguns and torpedoes...Now how do I mount my HID light and camera....hmmm

It comes with a sort of an odd side-saddle, you actually ride it between your legs and even tow buddies. Not quite sure how that's going to work in drysuits, but it'll be fun to see if we can figure it out. I found some video on the Apollo International site: Steering the AV1 (It takes a min or so to load on broadband, probably much longer if you have a modem. Hit the little blue arrow when it becomes lit to view.) This is of the older AV1 unit, the new AV2 has variable speed, longer life and faster speed, amongst a host of improved features.

That's gonna be me, gliding along! Watch out for the rock!!!!

Thanks again to our club sponsor Underwater Sports and to Apollo for their donation!

Sunday, July 16, 2006 

Puget Sound on the Rocks

I was able to get out yesterday and enjoy the great weather on my friend's boat. We did a couple of local sites; China Wall off Blakely Rock and KVI Tower Reef on Vashon Isand. The first was pretty ho-hum, I managed to find it ok, but my friend (who's dove it "dozens" of times), lead his group over the top of it and never went deep enough. Then when they surfaced to figure things out they found that the wind had changed and the boat's rudders were a foot away from the rocks! We did find some nice rockfish, sponge formations and other assorted critters.

The second dive was much better at KVI Reef, a man-made boulder garden off a small harbor on Vashon Island, southwest of Seattle. It's loaded with critters large and small. Viz was pretty good, as it has been cleaning up lately all over the sound. We saw lots of fish, nudibranchs, nice sponge and feather worms. My dive buddy spotted a large octopus, but I was too far away to see her waving her light at me.

These were the first few dives with my new Inon 240z strobe as well as the D2000, and it worked out pretty well. I tried shooting with it close-in in AE mode with the D2000 in manual. I was concentrating on trying to use the left for a key light and the right as fill, so as to not have flat lighting.

I don't know, the more I try the auto modes, the more I just go back to wanting manual mode and knowing where I'm at. I hate when devices think they're smarter than I (of course they usually are...).

View slideshow

Sunday, July 09, 2006 

The Optical Ocean Blog is Now at!

I've re-pointed the url to here as the blog will now be the central point of my focus and link to trip reports, photo galleries, slide shows and the like. It will also help search engines find it and be easier to remember.

I've had that url pointing to my .Mac gallery for many years, picking up over 10,500 hits. Most of what's on there are older galleries and film work. I will probably be reorganizing it, reformatting some of the material and eliminating some junk. But it's not going away. There's a link to it and the longer Trip Reports to the right, or see Older Optical Ocean Web Gallery.

My most current photo work will be on Flickr. I have also already moved some of the best of what's on the .Mac site to Flickr.

For right now, I will continue to have Blogger host the blog and the url ( will remain the same, but in the future I may have the blog hosted elsewhere, so you'd be best to change url links to here to

What's upcoming? Reports from my 13 day dive trip to North Sulawesi, two upcoming trips to dive in California (in Aug. and Dec.), a trip up to the Gulf Islands in British Columbia in October, a return trip to the Truk Odyssey, Seattle Aquarium dives, sailing trip reports and tips, photo tips, as well as lots of local reports and photos. Bookmark, subscribe to the RSS feed and check back! Oh, if you enjoy the blog consider sending a small Paypal donation to the camera fund, gear is expensive...

Thursday, July 06, 2006 

Optical Ocean Photos in NW Dive News

Some of my photos of the Straits and Cape Flattery were used in an article in NW Dive News this month. Thought you might enjoy a peek.

See:NW Dive News also see my original trip report at: Road Trip! and Cape Fattery Flickr Set

About Jack

  • Adventurer, diver, sailor, photographer, writer and sometimes graphic designer. Proprietor of Optical Ocean Sales, LLC. Enjoy the blog, check back and please leave comments!
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