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Thread: Truth Aquatics for Newbie?

 


  1. #11
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    OOOH, first I am envious of your trip. Second, we need some more information, so we can give better suggestions.

    1. Do you get seasick? Have you planned your strategies for that?
    2. How long do you have before you go on this trip?
    3. Are you in reasonable physical shape? (several dives a day in cold water gear is physically taxing)
    4. Will you be renting the gear locally or at TA? (Worried about fit issues.)
    5. Would you have time to do a cold water tour (or two) locally before the trip? (These tour dives (shore dives) will be more physically demanding than boat diving, but it will sort out a bunch of problems so you don't lose the first day just doing adjustments.)

    That said, I took my youngest brother on a TA trip to do his AOW class. Many of the locations the boat anchored at were placed so you could go one direction for mellow dives and another direction for more challenging dives. So it is entirely up to you on the level of diving you do.

    In real terms, this trip will give you more knowledge and ability than you will believe possible, if you go for it. You will have problems, you will make mistakes, you will learn from them, you will become a better diver, and you will see amazing things that will stay with you forever.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." -- Mark Twain

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by merxlin View Post
    Since you have only warm water experience (and not much of that) I would STRONGLY suggest that you get some time to practice in the gear you will need to use for diving the northern islands. Doing multiple dives can really zap your core temp down and being cold on a dive is no fun, and can add to your anxiety, especially if you are a new diver. So you will need adequate exposure protection: at least a 7mil and unless you are particularly warm blooded an additional core warmer/hood. That also means you will need considerably more weight to sink all that rubber. Even if it is in a pool, you should get a chance to see what the thick wetsuit does to your buoyancy, and how your gear feels with that much neoprene.

    Too many people take this too lightly, and spend the first several dives trying to work it out, which can really wear you out. If you are not comfortable, and spend all your dives over-weighted, it can make for a long (and somewhat unsafe) 5 days.

    Now all that said, I am one of those that thinks our local diving is spectacular once you get used to the conditions.
    Hi Mike
    Great advice! Very wise info and right on the money. I have been wondering about the buoyancy with all of the different (extra) gear. I think I want to log a lot more time in warm water first. My buoyancy has varied anyway, probably at least partially due to different BC's. The pool test drive strikes me as crucial. Thanks so much for your guidance. You've saved me a lot of trouble!
    Lisa

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by covediver View Post
    i think TA are the best boats around. I have been on a couple of their longer trips in the last few years. You will probably see a variety of dive sites and conditions. When I was on, the crew was pretty good about decribing the site and the level of difficulty, but on that boat the decision and responsibility are yours and yours alone (as it should be).

    With this in mind, some of the questions you may want to ask yourself based on condiitons I had on last year's trip:
    Are you comfortable wearing a 7mm suit with full gear and appropriate weights?
    Do you have bouyancy control and the skill to hang on an anchor line in 15 feet of water (assuming you can navigate back to the anchor) in a pretty good current?
    How comfortable are you swimming through kelp?
    Do you handle low visibility conditions well?
    Can you sit out a dive that may be marginal for your skill level when the conditions indicate despite everyone around you enthusiastically gearing up?

    If the response to any of these questions is "no" or "I don't know" you need to ask yourself is this a trip for you. At one point, TA was running boats mid-week to give new divers "experience" in diving California conditions. These were single day boats designed with new divers in mind. A great way to get experience on a great boat with a great crew.
    CoveDiver
    Your glowing endorsement of TA is greatly appreciated.
    You ask some Q's I have asked myself and some I had not thought of...thanks for that. It'd be hard for me to sit out a dive, but I've already done it, cause forcing things (esp. in diving) leads to disappointment if not disaster...so great Q! As I said in response to Mike's most recent post, I am trepidatious about all of that rubber and its effect on buoyancy. I can hang onto a line for sure, and strong against some pretty feisty current I have encountered, but have never done kelp and haven't faced the kind of visibility conditions I would see (or not!) around here. I wasn't kidding about the newbie thing, obviously. I'm curious: is the visibility issue about staying oriented? Keeping track of your buddy? Not panicking?

    I like the idea of the beginner tours. When I feel ready for the next step, I'm all over that, if they still have it. Or I will prevail upon some local divers to be my buddy-guides >

    Just out of curiosity, does colder water affect one's equilization differently from warm water?
    Thank you!
    Lisa

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by --tom-- View Post
    OOOH, first I am envious of your trip. Second, we need some more information, so we can give better suggestions.

    1. Do you get seasick? Have you planned your strategies for that?
    2. How long do you have before you go on this trip?
    3. Are you in reasonable physical shape? (several dives a day in cold water gear is physically taxing)
    4. Will you be renting the gear locally or at TA? (Worried about fit issues.)
    5. Would you have time to do a cold water tour (or two) locally before the trip? (These tour dives (shore dives) will be more physically demanding than boat diving, but it will sort out a bunch of problems so you don't lose the first day just doing adjustments.)

    That said, I took my youngest brother on a TA trip to do his AOW class. Many of the locations the boat anchored at were placed so you could go one direction for mellow dives and another direction for more challenging dives. So it is entirely up to you on the level of diving you do.

    In real terms, this trip will give you more knowledge and ability than you will believe possible, if you go for it. You will have problems, you will make mistakes, you will learn from them, you will become a better diver, and you will see amazing things that will stay with you forever.
    Tom
    Sesasickness Q is awesome. I grew up on boats and only felt awful one time in all my years, not sure why. What are your strategies for that?
    You can postpone your envy: I have decided not to go (to a collective sigh of relief from all of my kind gurus here) and it was to be this next week.
    I'm in good physical shape, no problems with stamina or strength on my dives so far (2-3xday)...but I tend toward getting cold, and yes, cold is exhausting for me when I am not used to it.
    The gear issue is tough: I don't know enough about the options to just go into the store and buy something, and will be renting wherever I go. I have been using as many different brands/configurations as I can when I rent to learn about what works for me, but am not ready to invest. So fit, etc. is definitely an issue. Not sure how to overcome that. School of hard knocks there?
    Local cold water tours are in the plans, definitely.

    >In real terms, this trip will give you more knowledge and ability than you will believe possible, if you go for it. You will have problems, you will make mistakes, you will learn from them, you will become a better diver, and you will see amazing things that will stay with you forever. > Thanks! Just the inspiration I need.

    Honestly, what a nice group you are...very kind to answer all of my Q's, so knowledgeably and supportively!
    A+, people.
    Lisa

  5. #15
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    Don't let all our advice scare you out of the local waters for too long. Late summer and fall are some of the best times to dive here. Take a couple single days (classes/mentors/guides- whatever it takes) to get used to the cooler water and the kelp, and a great world of diving will open up to you. California diving rocks when you are prepared for it.
    onebadasslass likes this.
    Mike

    "The world is changed by your example, not by your opinions" - Paulo Coelho

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  6. #16
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    Lisa

    I have to tell you upfront that I think you made a wise decision. One that many of us probably would NOT have made. You realized that even though you really DID want to go, and had a BUDDY you knew who would work with you, and the trip company are awesome, in the end it was where you are at as a DIVER that was the final decision maker. And that was smart.

    Sometimes we get so caught up by what everybody else is doing that we forget about ourselves. You realized that you may not be up to ALL of the new things that would be happening at the same time during that trip (the cold, new equipment, thick wetsuit, repetitive cold dives, buoyancy issues, etc) and decided to postpone it.

    Again, very wise idea (IMO). Work on your skills, find some gear you like and train with it, learn to deal with the cold, then GO BACK and then do the charter.

    You potential saved us all from having to read about another incident

    But I applaud you
    "FIRST In LAST Out - So That OTHERS May LIVE"
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by onebadasslass View Post
    Tom
    Sesasickness Q is awesome. I grew up on boats and only felt awful one time in all my years, not sure why. What are your strategies for that? Puke towards the stern or the lee side of the boat. Really what happens with me is some medications affect me badly on the first day, so I start medication the day (or night) before getting on the boat.
    You can postpone your envy: I have decided not to go (to a collective sigh of relief from all of my kind gurus here) and it was to be this next week.
    I'm in good physical shape, no problems with stamina or strength on my dives so far (2-3xday)...but I tend toward getting cold, and yes, cold is exhausting for me when I am not used to it. So again, strategies, take a deck coat and put it on before you get chilly. There are warm water showers on deck so flush warm water through your suit between dives. Keep your calorie count high enough to keep up with thermal demands, lots of warm fluids help too. When you are done for the day, hang your suit in the engine room (inside out) so it is toasty warm and dry the next morning. The next morning, when your boots and gloves are still wet & cold bring a cup (or two) of hot water from the galley and fill them so they are deliciously warm when you put them on. The little things help a lot.
    The gear issue is tough: I don't know enough about the options to just go into the store and buy something, and will be renting wherever I go. I have been using as many different brands/configurations as I can when I rent to learn about what works for me, but am not ready to invest. So fit, etc. is definitely an issue. Not sure how to overcome that. School of hard knocks there? That or you are actively seeking things that don't work. You are in Monterey, so you are in an area that has 5 shops that I know of off the top of my head, so you have choices. Hopefully you will be taking notes in your logbook about gear (and stores) that you liked & more importantly what you didn't like & why.
    Local cold water tours are in the plans, definitely. Monterey Bay Sea Otters Dive Club This might help.

    >In real terms, this trip will give you more knowledge and ability than you will believe possible, if you go for it. You will have problems, you will make mistakes, you will learn from them, you will become a better diver, and you will see amazing things that will stay with you forever. > Thanks! Just the inspiration I need.

    Honestly, what a nice group you are...very kind to answer all of my Q's, so knowledgeably and supportively!
    A+, people.
    Lisa
    Good diving. Monterey & Carmel in the fall is great.
    onebadasslass likes this.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." -- Mark Twain

  8. #18
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    Hi Tom
    More wonderful tips! (I love the galley-water-glove/bootie trick.) And of course I'll be sure to think of you when I puke over the stern. I've never tried meds, you mean Dramamine? They probably affect each person differently under water.

    With regard to gear: not sure what you mean by my "actively seeking things that don't work"..? What's your process for selecting the right stuff? Unfortunately, I've gotten some bad advice here in stores before and have the ill-fitting gear to show for it. Once it's out of the store, it's yours, esp. if you've used it.

    Someone else just recommended the Sea Otters Club so I'll have to check them out. Thanks!

    Lisa

  9. #19
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    I agree with all the advice above Lisa, Truth is a great op, but some familiarization in semi-warm (that what we call it) water will help a bunch. I have dove it in drysuits without undergarments, and 3mm full with light hood..............everyone is different, so it would be good for you to find out before hand what exposure protection you need. In fact last year, just for fun, we dove it in trunks on one dive...............but we are used to 40 degree water...........and we usually see low 60's down there in September! Get some practice and do the trip, it is a lot of fun!

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    I dive with TA once a year during Lobster season. They are a great outfit and the diving in the Northern Islands can be challanging but worth it. One thing to remember since you have only dove warm water or resort diving, usually you have a guide leading you around. Diving off most California boats and this includes TA you are on your own, they will have a safety diver onboard suited up but he will not be in the water so brush up on your navagation skills. As others have said you have some great diving in your back yard that is closer to what you will experience in the Channel Island than warm water diving. I use the same gear setup in Monterey as I do in the Islands. Fall and winter have the best vis for Monterey and Carmel, summer the vis can drop due to plankton blomes from warmer weather.

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