Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A horse collar in diving?

What the heck? Where does that come from? A horse collar is for horses, right? Well, not completely. During the mid/late sixties, various dive product manufacturers started to develop a new style Buoyancy compensator, which was soon called a horse collar.
Seatec, US Divers, Scubapro, Dacor and Nemrod among others came out with in those days 'brand new and revolutionary' products.

Dacor Horse collar

Dacor horse collar

When I was in Subic, not too long, learning about side mount diving I met Marc, the manager at Arizona Diveshop in Subic. Besides being very enthusiastic about diving and his job, he is also a diver since he was a kid and he had two horse collars on display in the dive shop!

Seaquest Horse collar

Seatec horse collar

The Dacor and Seatec collars displayed here are both collars he used. A true piece of diving history that I couldn't leave untouched and I had to get pictures of them.

Seatesa Horse collar

Seatesa horse collar

When Dave and me walked into a different shop to get our side mount equipment, I could hardly believe that there was another horse collar on display on the wall of the dive center! In no time I 'collected' 3 collars in one day I was well impressed and happy!

Here's a bit of 'History on buoyancy compensators', for those that are interested!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Underwater and beach clean up, Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui 6th October 2012

Sponsored by the THA (Thai Hotel Assocation) Southern Chapter, 6th October will see a beach and underwater clean up at Chaweng beach on Koh Samui.
The underwater clean up is mainly aimed at all dive pro's on Koh Samui and the beach clean up will be undertaken by the participating hotels on Chaweng beach.
Project AWARE is also helping out with promoting this event.

Debris found on Chaweng Beach

Some of the stuff found underwater at Chaweng beach

For the underwater clean up all divers will meet at 9am at Al's resort, at the parking lot near TOPS supermarket and for the beach clean up the meeting point is at Baan Haad Naam in North Chaweng.

Around noon both clean up teams will meet for lunch sponsored by the participating hotels at the Haad Naam area.

Debris found at Chaweng Beach

More things that can be found on Chaweng beach

We're looking forward on seeing plenty of members of the Samui diving pro community participate in this event and feel free to join or help in any other way!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hawksbill turtles released on Koh Samui, Thailand

It has been 21 years ago since there had been a recorded Hawksbill turtle nesting. Not too long ago, in April 2012 this long wait came to an end.

Staff of the Silavadee Pool Spa Resort in Lamai discovered turtle tracks on the resorts beach and within a few days they were able to locate a nest.

108 Baby Hawksbill turtles

108 baby Hawksbill turtles

87 green turtle eggs were found and over a 1000 Hawksbill turtle eggs.
Initially the eggs were brought to the Samui aquarium to incubate and when there were too many eggs, the Maritime and Coastal Resources Resource Center (MCCRC) in Chumphon got involved.

A Hawksbill baby turtle close up

A Hawksbill baby turtle close up

Of the 8 species of known turtles, 5 can be found in Thailand and two, the Green and Hawksbill turtle can be found in the Gulf of Thailand.
All 8 species are classified under CITES as endangered and in need of protection.

Crowd at the Silavadee beach in Lamai

A good crowd gathered at the Silavadee Resort in Lamai

This was the 2nd turtle release event I had the privilege of witnessing this year. In February this year I was at PADI 5* IDC Center Oceans 5 on Gili Air in Indonesia turtle release event, where some 20 Olive Ridley turtles were released.

Hawksbill turtle on the run, go buddy, swim!

Turtle on the run, go buddy, swim!

It's important that events like this happen and give turtles a chance to survive!

Turtles being released

Khun Ruengnam Chalkwang, president o THA on Koh Samui releases a turtle

Please have a look at my Koh Samui info blog for a more in-depth blog post on this event. Thanks!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Hollis SMS 50 side mount systems have been ordered

After my recreational side mount course in Subic, Philippines with Andy Davis, it's now time to take it a step further and I ordered two side mount systems. 

Front view

The choice fell upon a brand new product by a longer established company; Hollis and their SMS 50 model. Come mid October I should be able to hold them in my hands and fit them out for proper side mount diving.

The Hollis side mount systems "SMS" are not only made and designed for cave or other forms of penetration diving (wreck) but for any side mount diving! This brand new SMS 50 is no different although this system is build for side mount only!

The advantages of this system are;
  • Full visibility over your system - tanks, valves, regulators all within eyesight and adjustable at depth 
  • Reduces additional gear: Doubles bands / Hardware / Manifold - Benefit when traveling 
  • Aids in transporting gear to and from the beach or boat - one tank at a time 
  • Streamlines profile which in turn reduces drag increasing your bottom time
It's a first of its kind harness, wing and plate in one and ready to dive out of the box.

Side mount training is coming your way soon! Please contact me for me details.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Diving around Gili Air in Indonesia, August 2012

Once more I was lucky enough to get some diving in around the recent and busy August PADI IDC on Gili Air in Indonesia, in conjunction with PADI 5* IDC center Oceans 5.

An male (small one on the left) and female (big on the right) Ornate Ghost Pipefish at Kecinan in Lombok

The two sites I visited were Shark Point near Gili Trawangan, a site I dive almost every time when I'm diving around Gili Air. The other site was Kecinan, a bay, beach and small village that go by this name with an amazing underwater reef and sand area to dive on.

A leafy scorpion fish at Kecinan

Various people that work at Oceans 5 were telling lots of good stories about this site so I had to see it with my own eyes and I went the hole 9 yards in order to be able to dive this site and I don't regret it. It delivered as promised, lots of macro and another first; black ribbon eels. Unfortunately i couldn't catch the latter on my camera, it had it's moment' again.

A big scorpion fish at Shark Point

The diving around the Gili islands is very diverse and lots of macro can be found, and Gili Air has the added bonus that Lombok is not far away, about 15 minutes and you're at either Teluk Nara or Kecinan, two great macro sites.

A 'celernia heffernani' sea star

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and hopefully you will have the chance to visit the Gili islands and be able to log some dives. You guessed it already, Gili Air is my favorite island, very relaxed and laid back and not as busy as Gili Trawangan, but to each their own!

Kecinan beach, view from the boat

Hope to see you around!