April 27, 2012

Thanks, Top Gear!

I confess I hadn't heard about Seasick Steve until I saw an episode of the famous BBC program where Jeremy Clarkson interviewed him. He was the star guest who drove the cheap car but for me it was more interesting to learn about this great musician. (As a scuba diver who travel or ride often by a boat I have stories about seasickness, so his name sounded familiar...)

April 24, 2012

Impossible is nothing

Some certified divers find pool practice meaningless. But I think it can be important even when you dozens of dives. I have a friend who can't dive regularly. She often dives as my buddy so appears in many of my photos. Under water she's relaxed, she barely use air, her buoyancy is perfect- but only from the 5th minute of the first dive. Somehow she has problems with the first dive of the trip especially when she hasn't dived for a while.

Next week our group will go to the Adriatic sea for a dive trip and I offered her to join me on a pool practice. She came and when we drove to the pool I said my plan is to do some challenging exercises. I said "to swim around for an hour is useless so prepare some difficult but rewarding under water tricks". In the first 5 minutes she was scary as usual. So we started with the simplier skills. In a few steps we did the mask clearing, mask removing, buddy breathing. But we didn't stop. We swapped our masks under water. We did it while we swam. We removed each other's mask. We made mask clearing during buddy breathing. And finally I showed to do buddy breathing and mask swapping. Although until this point she did everything fine my buddy became nervous. We surfaced. She said she wasn't able to do it. I said "OK, I believe you - but first let's make a last try". So we descended. We started buddy breathing in a calm rhythm. I removed my mask. Later she removed hers. We swapped them, cleared them - and that's all.

After the pool session I said to her she can be proud. This is not a typical exercise during the OW course. To be honest it's quite useless in the real life but very good if you want to know your limits. Hopefully she won't be so nervous next time during the first dive. It's very good to experience you are able to do more than you expected. Now she surely know she's better diver than she thought. That is the reason why I like pool dives.

April 20, 2012


My 100th blog entry about my 100th dive. I confess I had to browse my old dive log because I simply can't remember anything about that dive. It says: 22.03.2004., Egypt, Hurghada area, Shaab Sabrina, 11:58 AM, Bottom Time 58 minutes, Maximum Depth 19 meters, Water Temperature 23 Celsius degrees. It was a drift dive. There aren't any remarks about special sightings.

So I can't share any memories about my feelings regarding the 100th dive. I'm usually not the man of big celebrations. Certainly I knew this can be a milestone: when I was a beginner, 100 dives seemed incredibly much. When I passed this mark I was experienced enough to know, it's only a number, nothing else. I recall those times when we traveled to Egypt in the winter. Although the weather wasn't that fine we enjoyed diving in the chilly water- we thought about the differences between frozen Hungarian lakes and the 21-23 degrees water of Red Sea and this relatively cold water made us really happy. We usually booked a hotel room and went to dive with daily boats.

A few years later I go to Egypt only in the summer and I prefer liveaboard trips. Not the 100th dive changed everything but the experiences. I remember a trip when our group was big enough to rent a whole daily boat. We decided where to go, when to start and what to do. There was a night dive and as we sailed to the dive spot in the sunset we sat on the upper deck. I'm sure all of us thought about the same: why should we go back to the shore? It would be much more fun to stay on the boat while we're mooring near a reef. On those trips we couldn't do that, but nowadays I do whenever I have the chance...

April 11, 2012

A great vintage movie

A few years ago I found this 17 minutes long short documentary from 1966. The Octopus Hunt was made by Canadians and I confess it's one the nicest movies I've ever seen about scuba diving. It always make me think about my relationship with underwater exploring: I realize again and again why I do love being a scuba diver.

Here you can watch the whole Octopus Hunt movie on the website of National Film Board of Canada.

April 7, 2012

Wreck treks: Patrol Boat

It's quite typical to sink boats as diving attractions, this small boat lies near Alanya. The locals call this artificial reef simply New Wreck or Yenibatik in Turkish. Not the most exciting wreck I've ever seen but it's easy to dive - unless you have some problems equalizing.

We booked our daytrip in Alanya but the extremely cold A/C of our hotel room caused some problems. The first dive from the spacious boat was OK, the really warm water in August was nicer than I expected. We saw some octopus and crabs but I felt my ears didn't work perfectly. Our next dive site was the wreck where we needed to descend directly to 20 meters from the surface. My buddy and me weren't able to go down so the group left us behind. When they came back (their bottom time wasn't too long), our dive leader, a very experienced former navy diver with some pressing movements around my ears made me to equalize. So we descended and I spent a few minutes near the wreck.

The maximum depth was around 30 meters. The boat was a former patrol boat which was in nice condition and we could penetrate. There were some artificial amphoras around as well. I didn't see too much life except when a shoal of barracuda swam near the wreck. We finished the dive but for the next few days I had to forgot every dive because of my ears. Anyway, I dived this artificial reef and I learned they try to attract more divers even to Turkey. Alanya is a typical holiday destinations but it seems even there they expect more and more underwater explorers. This small and not too special wreck is just enough if somebody plan a nice and relaxing day in the sea during a family holiday but those who want really exciting adventures will choose another dive destinations.