Monthly Archives: May 2013

Foggy Morning

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So it was a foggy morning at the beach over the last few days. It’s interesting when you look out over the beach and see only a few meters ahead. Sometimes the morning starts bright and sunny, but because the air temperature drops much faster then the water temperature you can actually start to see the water rising from the surface as vapour.

As your swimming, you can actually see the water rising. It almost makes you feel like you are in a hot bath however the water is far from being a hot bat ! This simply happens because the air is so cold compared to the water (which in its self is really cold). If you look at the image on the left you can actually see the fog on the horizon making its way closer to the shore

I have actually wanted to go diving along the edge of the rocks with the fog but the swell has been very high so it hasn’t been the right conditions to go diving. With the fog it can be dangerous with boats but (assuming that the waters are calm and there is no swell) aslong as you stay close to the edge of the rocks and just explore this area it should be fine as boats never come that close to shore.

Anyway, this is just a quick blog post, check out the images above … one minute everything is fine then a few minutes later the fog starts to set in and the sun disappears from sight !

 

Pirate for a day :P

So today I took 2hrs of to go and drop Damir’s wetsuit to his new work place. Just so you know his new work place is on an old boat built in the 1940′s. It looks like an old school ship that captain cook came in when he found Australia.

Had a nice tour of the ship and said hi to the crew. Even had a chance to meet the captain “Marty”. It was good timing to as when we arrived Marty was trying to access the internet to check some important email when all his IT started to fail :P To cut a long story short, we did a bit of fiddle diddle and got the net working so he could check his email.

After the tour I had a chance to climb the mast which I think is about 19 meters tall. Before I climbed the mast I had to sign the usual disclaimer form (which is understandable). When I reached the top I took a few pictures and a video. It was a great climb and really exciting to see the harbour from so far up.

Hopefully I get a chance to do it when the ship is sailing. This way I can feel the boat rock as I am high up on the mast. That should be fun I think :P

Anyway, some pictures and video of the tour ….

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Awesome Freediving Video

There are a few great free diving clips online. Some of these clips focus more on the Artistry of freediving as opposed to the performance aspects of it. That being the case the more artistic videos are made from multiple takes and does not involve the free diver doing it on one single breath hold.

These clips usually focus on telling a story or conveying some sort of emotion to the viewer. The clip posted above (kudo’s to the creator for doing a great job on the video editing and music) was done by combining some of the really cool artistic free diving clips and rolled into one with some really good background music.

I think it’s a really great clip and features some of the best divers in the sport today. Just to note, the clip starts with the voice of Paul Bellinger from 60 minutes where he makes the introduction to the sport of free diving in one of the 60 minutes programs aired a few weeks ago.

Wobbegong Shark …

So in between super rainy weekdays the weekend exposed a lot of sunlight and great weather to be in the great outdoors. One of the issues is because of recent rain the waters were very murky and the swell was pretty high so not really ideal diving conditions, however this didn’t stop me and I still went diving and really glad that I did.

I did a few quick dives when I arrived just to get wet then exited and took a break while I just sat on some of the rocks to relax. After sitting for a while a guy came down with fins, the exact same wetsuit that I had, mask and the usual free diving equipment. I asked him if he was alone and he said yes so I asked if he wanted to join us. He agreed and connected one GoPro to his head mount, one GoPro to his chest and made his way to the water.

The minute he stepped into the water a massive wave smashed into him and when he recovered the GoPro mounted to his head was gone. The GoPro went missing right on the shore line where the waves were breaking against the rocks so it wasn’t exactly safe to be staying in that area looking for the missing camera. Irrespective of that, I helped him look for the GoPro (which was a black edition BTW) but still nothing. After about 10 minutes of looking and getting battered against the rocks we gave up and thought our lives were more important then a $500 dollar camera.

After sometime I went towards the rocks around the shallow part of the dive site. Its pretty boring for dive practice but much of the sea life resides within this area. It’s usually pretty nice when the waters are clear but there was so much dirt it was hard to see anything today. To my surprise as I was getting ready to go down and explore this area below the surface of the water, I saw a Wobbegong shark just hanging around at the bottom. It was about 1 meter long (maybe just a bit more then that) and was just sitting there probably waiting to jump on some prey.

I wasn’t aware of the behaviour of Wobbegong’s so I didn’t want to get to close. I knew it was a Wobbegong because I could recognise its shape and could see the beard along its mouth. I didn’t know at the time of the dive, if Wobbegong’s attack or what they ate, were they carnivores or herbivores, I remember reading it but had forgotten.  After some research on Wikipedia, it seems Wobbegong’s eat fish and have been known to attack snorkelers and scuba divers who annoy or try to block the Wobbegong’s path. They are also considered very flexible and can turn around and bite if you try to touch its tail. The grip of the Wobbegong shark is also thought to be very strong and once they bite, can hold on and can be very difficult to remove.

I stayed a safe distance from the Shark but was happy to see a Wobbegong in real life and to also be able to catch it on camera :) At least next time, if I see a Wobbegong I will know what to expect. I didn’t spend to long at the dive site because it was my old man’s birthday and had to go home and cook the birthday dinner as I had promised :)

Dinner for my old man’s Birthday …

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We had dinner out for mothers day, hurricanes so this time it was dinner in for my old mans birthday. I went and bought some rib eye meat, 2kg roll and bought some fish.

I made a ginger and shallots with garlic sauce for the fish which was cooked over a steamer. I roasted the rib eye and once it was roasted I took some of the juices that had been exposed during the cooking process and turned that into a pepper gravy.

There was also some squid so I got the pan griller out and grilled the squid, then stirred through a mildly sweet sauce that I made from a few ingredients,  through the squid for some extra flavour.

Made some garlic vegetables and fried some Lebanese bread. Made a garlic sauce with some mushrooms and olive oil to dip the fried Lebanese bread in as a starter. We had 7 people there all up and it was a nice dinner for everyone.

Sister bought a cheese cake so finished of the meal with a cheese cake :)

Dinner After the harvest …

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So, to me going shopping at Flemington was the gathering and harvesting of the food. Had to make heaps of room in the fridge and shift a lot of the food so I could get the veggies that needed to be refrigerated inside.

IMG_0348After some shifting and moving it was time to cook. Because I had so much veggies and meat to play with I didn’t have to go sparingly on the food. I also made lots of food because I had my cousin coming over with her husband.

I decided to make beans with chilli’s, mushroom, onions, parsley and garlic. I also wanted to eat the squash so I went ahead and steamed some of the squash. I made a garlic sauce and simmered it over some light heat. When the squash was nicely steamed I put the garlic sauce over the squash so that the flavour of the sauce and the taste of the squash would combine nicely. I usually do this instead of cook them together to get a  stronger flavour from the veggies and the sauce.

I then made the steak, all medium and made a chilli and garlic sauce to put on once the steak was done. I had some scallops in the fridge so I poured boiling water over them and added some salt. I kept repeating the process as the water got cold until I felt IMG_0346the scollops where tender and warm on the inside but not over cooked.

I made a ginger, garlic and shallots sauce combined with sesame oil and soy sauce, mixed them together and heated the sauce slightly. Once the shallots were soft I poured it over the scollops.

Time to cook was about 30 mins all up …

HUH ?! …. WTF … $4.48 ?

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I wanted to make guacamole the other day. Went to coles and even some of the local fruit markets to buy some avocado’s. $4.48 each … WTF !? Almost $5 an avocado ?! What the hell is inside these things, seeds made out of gold. The normal fruiters had it on special, $4 for 2 ? Still laughable prices…

Anyhow, I got pissed and left the shopping center without buying anything. Next day I went to Flemington markets at 9am in the morning and bought myself fruit and veggies at what I thought is the more appropriate price.

  • Whole box of Avocado’s for $12 … (that feels better *sigh of relief*)
  • Whole sack of Onions for $5
  • Whole box of Broccoli for $8
  • Whole box of Capsicum and Mild Chilli’s for $10
  • Whole box of Squash for $5 ! Yes $5 bucks

So what was the disadvantage of this, I had to pay 10 bucks for a trolly but got back 6 bucks if I returned it. I had to push the trolley up the ramp to where my car was parked (bit of a walk) and had to lug around big boxes and load it into my car.

Oh and you have to make sure you eat all the food otherwise it goes off. I don’t classify this as a disadvantage cause it just promotes more eating of good food :P

Now that I have a whole box of Avocado’s I can make as much guacamole as I want and not feel like im getting jipped by the tossers running the big supermarket chains. 

Woohooo…..

Big Swells and Heavy Rain @ “Dr Shelly”

Ok so let me quickly clear up the term “Dr Shelly”. Many of the long time swimmers at shelly beach refer to the shelly pools as “Dr Shelly”. The reason being is that it keeps the older folk healthy, fit, active and provides a social environment that is nice to be around. What does a doctor do ? Keeps you well and healthy. Whether its mentally or physically the doctor helps with all those things. Since the pools at shelly does both for the longtime swimmers, its referred to as “Dr Shelly” :)

DCIM100MEDIASo today I arrived at the crack of dawn, said hi to the usual suspects and looked out over the water and realised that it was not the kind of conditions that would be good for freediving training (or swimming for that matter), specially if you are after some nice dynamics back and forth through the pool. I got in the water and began the session with some warmups followed by the swim. Started on the far right corner of the north end of the pool and after the laps due to the washing machine effect caused by the currents, most of us ended up at the bottom left corner of the south end of the pool. Visibility was also crap so it was hard to know whether you had reached the other side or not. Pretty much everyone ended on the bottom left of the south end of the pool so even the swimmers would get clumped together in one end of the pool.

Today was a pretty crappy day to train but watching the waves crash and the height of the water coming in over the rocks, along with feeling the pull and the strength of the current just makes you realise the awesome power of the ocean. It can be calm and peaceful one day and on the next its completely rough and unforgiving.

Anyway, to close of the morning pool session, I simply took my fins off, took my mask off and just floated on my back with my face to the sky. It started raining and feeling the rain on my face, the bobbing up and down of the waves on my back and the sound of the waves crashing was very relaxing. Had my wetsuit on too so it was nice and warm.

Photos and video attached… :)

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Equipment Testing Day ! :)

So today my diving buddy couldn’t make it and I had all this equipment I wanted to try out. I have been using each of the new equipment at different times but not all together so today was the day. The only problem is without a buddy I couldn’t push it to far otherwise it wouldn’t be safe.

When I got to the dive site I saw some guys getting in the water so I had a bit of a chat with them and we paired up as we each took turns taking our dives to various different depths throughout the bay. I wanted to explore around the ledges and stay down longer but because my buddy wasn’t with me and the fact that I didn’t set up the dive buoy meant it wasn’t a good idea to stray to far away from where I had initially taken the dive and where my spotter was positioned.

I started the day just doing laps across the bay doing freestyle just to get a bit warmer and to get my daily exercise. When I got out of the water it was freezing but I dried up, warmed up a bit with some tea and then quickly wet my body got into my wetsuit and went in for the dive.

I wanted to test the fins that I had just bought in some deeper water as I haven’t had the chance to try them at depth (only in the pools so far). It takes a bit getting used to at the start but once you get into the flow and the rhythm of the kicks it feels really smooth. I feel that my legs are still somewhat wobbly going down but after a few more laps in the pool I think it should be alright. I also feel that the Cressi Gara Modulars (with the default black fins) that I have are pretty stiff and really tough for surface kicking, but once you are underwater they are awesome. Thinking about it I might buy the green blades because they are supposed to be softer and better for surface and medium depth. Since im not going past 20m at the moment I think they might be better then the default black blades for now.

Anyway it was a good day until it was time to get out. Towards the end of the day the swells became huge and getting out of the water was difficult. I had my camera pole, I had fins on and no one to help grab the stuff whilst I got out. The waves were big and they where all breaking on the dive exit. A few people had gotten cuts on their legs throughout the day and one spear fisherman who had got in at the wrong time ended up with cuts and scratches on his face, legs and arms, so instead of getting out the normal exit I swam to the beach which was about 300-400m, got out and walked about 500m’s or so to where I had placed my gear :)

By the time I wanted to get out at the normal exit I was already exhausted and the break not letting me get out easily wasn’t helping. Using the fins for the first time made my legs tired and I could feel the lactic acid build up so the 400m paddle to the beach was tiring :P I have to say though, I would rather be tired then have cuts and bruises all over my body, so paddle to the beach I did :)

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Btw just a one picture I took of a school of fish hanging around ….

My Free Diving kit upgrade

IMG_0337Winter is coming and its getting colder here in sydney. Along side that, I plan to travel a bit this year so I wanted to make sure that no matter the conditions I would have sufficient gear to go diving. Made a few purchases, some that I am happy about and some that I might have to change, its fine though as the item I want to replace (the snorkel) isn’t to expensive.

I bought an Adrenaline wetsuit, not the top of the range by any means but its 3MM, fits very nicely and keeps me warm. Im already pretty tolerant to the cold because of my morning swims but this just gives me that added comfort and protects me from silly things like jelly fish and other such nasties in the water. I have used it many times since I bought it and very pleased with the fit, the comfort and the price. I know sometime in future I might get an upgrade but it wont be for a long time.

I bought a Cressi dry snorkel. The snorkel is great and I purposely sought out a dry snorkel because of the experience I had when I used to do basic snorkelling before. As opposed to my old snorkel now I can take nice mouthfuls of air at breathe up and when there are waves I don’t get water coming into the top, I have always enjoyed the dry snorkel.

Initially, I used to wonder why free divers used the basic flexible snorkels but only after taking this snorkel for a spin in the freediving scenario, I now understand. The previous snorkel I had was crappy but it was very small and thin length wise, so when I was moving around in the water I couldn’t feel it, this new snorkel however is longer and bigger. When I finish my breathe up, take the snorkel out of my mouth and start diving, I can feel the drag of the snorkel on the side of my head. Its not really that bad but it is annoying and different to how I used to feel before when there was almost no drag. I can imagine that with any other flexible basic snorkel it would be much more streamlined so I might make another purchase sometime in future.

The final upgrade I bought was a pair of fins. I was contemplating different kinds of fins and I had a few in mind that I had tried and wanted to buy. I was waiting for a discount either on amazon or some other site and by chance found the Cressi Gara Modular fins at a massive discount here in Australia. It meant, quick delivery, easy return if any problems and these were one of the fins that I had in mind, though I thought I wouldn’t end up purchasing them because of the price.  However with the massive discount they fell right into my price range and I bought them right away. When you are used to using basic crappy fins or going bare foot, it takes some getting used to because of the fin’s length and hard blade material, but once you have the flow going these fins really propel you through the water nicely. Very happy with the purchase and now instead of burning energy and oxygen on moving my hands and my feet I have a chance to look around and spend more time in the water by kicking nice and smoothly whilst taking snaps and videos underwater. The fins are slightly big for my feet but using my vibrams they fit just right :)

Now that I have all the equipment that I need (bar my camera which I need to upgrade) im ready to go diving anytime anywhere ! The plan is to go to bali this year and dive the ship wreck at Tumbulen and if time permits past by Egypt and do the different sites there.