Avalon Dive Center – Blacksburg, VA

March 13, 2011 · Posted in goals, personal, projects, scuba, work · Comment 

Ever since December of 2010, I’ve been working hard on helping to open a scuba dive shop in Blacksburg. I’ve done my fair share of retail before, but my role has largely been on the technical side.

We’ve realized that the usual way things are done are: scuba instructor opens a shop, creates a website and attempts to make a living doing what they love. The problem is, these people are usually not business people, they’re not designers, they’re not programmers, they’re not using the latest technology. Take business people, programmers, designers, marketers, and influential people who all use technology on a daily basis and have a passion for scuba diving and combine them into one package. That’s what I feel the Avalon Dive Center is. We’re many people with many talents getting together to share our passion with others in the best way we know how.

 

Florida Scuba: Captain Tom’s Ledge (06/28/09)

October 23, 2009 · Posted in personal, photos, scuba · Comment 

In the afternoon, we did our third dive of the day on a place called Captain Tom’s Ledge. This was a bit of a deeper dive at 59 feet max, so the top of the surface was a beautiful 86 degrees, while the bottom was a relatively frigid 70 degrees. There is actually a layer of water that you pass through where you can immediately feel the difference in temperature. This is called a thermocline. After coming up from below the thermocline, the water feels like hot tub water. It’s really refreshing since you can start to get chilled wearing such thin layers. The total bottom time was 52 minutes.

Scott worked to get Juanca finished up on his scuba certification while Ana, Laszlo and I explored the ledge. The reef stands along a ledge that drops of to several hundred feet into the abyss. On the other side is a flat sandy surface nearly devoid of life. We stopped to get a photo shoot of ourselves as you can see from the photos below.

Laszlo had to surface due to constant condensation in his mask. But when we got back down, we were treated to a lot of Caribean lobster, moray eels and fish all over the place. We didn’t quite make it to the ledge because the reef was so wide. No bother though, not much to see but black ocean below you.

Captain Tom’s Ledge

Ana and me in front of the reef near the sandy bottom of the ocean.

Ana and me in front of the reef near the sandy bottom of the ocean.

 

Ana sees something interesting

Ana sees something interesting

Maybe it was this Caribbean lobster

Maybe it was this Caribbean lobster

 

 

 

An eel poking his head out to see what was going on

An eel poking his head out to see what was going on

Lobsters were everywhere on this reef. Wish they were in season!

Lobsters were everywhere on this reef. Wish they were in season!

Looks like this was taken in a fish tank.

Looks like this was taken in a fish tank.

 

 

Can you see it?

Can you see it?

Florida Scuba: Pleasure Reef (06/28/09)

October 22, 2009 · Posted in goals, personal, photos, scuba · Comment 

On our fourth dive of the day, Laszlo and I performed our underwater navigation tests for our Advanced Open Water Certification (AOW). This was Juanca’s first dive as a certified diver, so he, Elena and Ana went off with my camera and took some pictures of themselves. We met back up after the test so some of the latter photos are mine as well.

If you are curious, it takes me 18 kick cycles to travel 50 feet underwater. We stayed under water for 45 minutes and even though we were only 24 feet deep at the max, we used a lot of our air performing the AOW tests, down from 3000 PSI to 850 PSI in the end.

Check out the photos below:

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Florida Scuba: Molasses Reef (06/28/09)

October 21, 2009 · Posted in personal, photos, scuba · Comment 

After our deep dive on the USCGC Bibb, we used our second tank of nitrox (31% oxygen) for this very shallow dive to a max depth of 34 feet on Molasses Reef. The nitrox helped with fatigue and with a strong current. The current during our stay, we were told, was very unusual for Florida. Even so, it was a beautiful dive amongst beautiful animals and other ocean life.

Even though this was a pleasure dive, Laszlo and I practiced kick cycles and compass navigation in anticipation of our navigation dive for our Advanced Open Water certification.

Total bottom time was 52 minutes and I went from 3400 PSI in my tank to only 1800 PSI. Breathing nitrox definitely helped us consume less air, though the shallow depth also helps.

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Life Goal Complete – US Coast Guard Bibb: Wreck Dive

August 19, 2009 · Posted in goals, photos, scuba, videos · 7 Comments 

After learning to scuba dive, I put diving the Bibb on my list of things to do in my life. The U.S.C.G.C. Bibb was the ship my grandfather served on in the Pacific theater during World War 2. I was very young when I learned that the Bibb was sunk off the coast of Florida as an artificial reef. It never occurred to me that I would ever get to see it in person. I had heard a number of stories about the Bibb and was told that during its service in WWII, it was the ship that carried the Admiral of the fleet since the Bibb, being a Coast Guard ship, was one of the smallest of the U.S. Navy fleet.

I brought one of my camera so I got some photos and video of the experience.

A Little Visual History

The United States Coast Guard has a page on the history of the Bibb with a bunch of photos of its early history, so be sure to check that out. Below are some photos my aunt sent me.

Bibb-April-1943
Bibb1944

The picture above actually has my grandfather in it. He’s standing on the deck of the ship looking at the camera, to the left of another sailor in white, just to the left of the deck gun that’s in the center of the photograph. It’s hard to see in the photo of this size, but it’s him.

Bibb-January-1945

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