The Evolution of Helmetcam

Saturday, May 28, 2011 19:26 | Filled in Dive Equipment
Author Posing with Helmetcam 3.0

Author Posing with Helmetcam 3.0

A couple years ago I had an idea. I wanted to take one of those small portable extreme sports video cameras and use it underwater as I was scuba diving. Actually, I wanted to mount it to a helmet like the skateboarders, motocross riders, skiers, skydivers and all those other crazy people. The concept of having a hands-free video camera recording everything I was doing was cool. It also had the advantage of being a zero-taskload accessory. It sat on my head and I didn’t have to do a thing.

 

Around this time, a company started advertising a mask that had a built-in video camera.  The Liquid Image mask looked cool, but I did not like the fact that since the camera was built into the mask, I did not have any leeway if the mask was not a good fit.  As we know, masks fit differently on different peoples’ faces.  I have found a mask that fits great on my face, even with my mustache.  This means that my video camera setup had to be helmet mounted.

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What Do I Buy or Bring to NC When I Dive?

Thursday, May 26, 2011 12:27 | Filled in Dive Equipment, Dive Safety
Assembling Gear on the Boat

Assembling Gear on the Boat

There is a list of equipment that you will want to make sure that you have when you dive the North Carolina coast. Some of this you may already have. Also, I have mentioned much of the gear in some of my previous posts. This equipment will help to make your dives much more enjoyable and safe.

 

Of course, you will want your standard gear. This includes your BCD (Buoyancy Compensation Device) or backplate and wing, which accomplish the same goal, except from a technical diving perspective. Also, you will have your mask, fins and a regulator along with an air tank or two. A SPG (submersible pressure gauge), depth gauge and bottom timer or a dive computer that combines all those functions is required, as well. The rest of the items I list are not essential for diving, but are highly recommended for diving around here.

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How to Find Fossils at Fossil Ledge

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 10:39 | Filled in Dive Training
Megalodon Tooth

Megalodon Tooth

I like to think that I am pretty successful when looking for shark teeth and other goodies when diving at the Fossil Ledge off the North Carolina coast. But, then again, I am still working on my collection. I haven’t found my 7″ Megalodon tooth yet (I can dream!) and I would like to find a Sperm Whale tooth one of these days.  It is always fun to go out and collect artifacts that you can bring home and show off.  I like to give the occasional tooth away as a present.  My relatives and friends really appreciate holding and owning one of these amazing fossils.

 

Occasionally, I get asked about my hunting methodology and how to find the good fossils when one goes diving out there.  There is definitely a plan when I go diving for teeth and I do not randomly swim and dig holes in the sand looking for the fossils.  You will be more successful with your hunting if you take a few moments to read some of the tricks I have learned over time.

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Diving the USS Indra, AR-330

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 13:39 | Filled in NC diving
Bow of the USS Indra

Bow of the USS Indra

I lied in my previous post.  Well, I took a little literary license.  We did not go straight back to the dock from the U-352.  We came inshore and did a nice dive on the USS Indra (ARL-37).  The Indra was a landing craft repair ship commissioned in 1945 and saw limited service in the Pacific.  She served supporting post-World War II operations and the Vietnam War.  Decommissioned in 1970, she was sunk in 1992 off the North Carolina coast as an artificial reef.

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Diving the U-352

Monday, May 23, 2011 14:00 | Filled in NC diving
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Conning Tower on U-352

Conning Tower on U-352

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to check off one of the dives that has been on my must-do list.  I’ll have to share that list with you in a separate post.  This one is all about a German submarine.  The U-352 is a submarine that was sunk off the North Carolina Coast near Morehead City by the USCG Icarus on May 9, 1942.  There are not many U-boats that have been sunk in recreational diving limits.  Off the North Carolina Coast, there are three!  The U-352, U-701 and U-85.  The U-352 has more of its structure exposed above the sand and generally has the best diving conditions, making it the most popular one of the three to dive.  Mark, his son Brian, Glenn and I head out late Sunday morning to drive up the coast and make this memorable dive.

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North Carolina Coast Dive Links

Saturday, May 21, 2011 11:53 | Filled in NC diving
Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I

My First Computer

My first computer was a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I that my parents got me in 1980.  There wasn’t much of an Internet back then.  Fast forward a few years and we can’t seem to live without the Internet.  As a diver who lives on the North Carolina coast, I tend to do a lot of web surfing finding the sites of other folks and organizations who share my passion.   There are many good web sites and a lot of information out there.   Below is a list of some of the sites that I frequent.

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Night Dive on the Hyde

Friday, May 20, 2011 13:41 | Filled in NC diving
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Sand Tiger Shark on the Hyde

Sand Tiger Shark on the Hyde

Last night, I had the opportunity to get in the water for the first time since the Safari Hunt, May 7.  I was excited to get in the water again.  This was especially true since 1) I was going to the Hyde, one of my favorite wrecks.  2) This was a night dive, one of my favorite types of dives.  3) I was interested to see the Sand Tiger sharks and take some pictures of them for my portfolio.  As an added bonus, one of the guys I like to dive with, Glenn, was on the boat and I was going to buddy up with him.

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How Did I End Up Being a Scuba Instructor?

Thursday, May 19, 2011 9:27 | Filled in Biography, Dive Training
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Frank Preparing for the Exam

Frank Preparing for the Exam

I recently obtained my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) certification.  This means that I can train divers for their initial Open Water certification all the way up to Divemaster and Master Scuba Diver.  I am also allowed to teach various specialties that are offered and eventually create my own distinctive specialties.  This is not a position I would have seen myself doing back in 2008 when I got my Open Water certification and started scuba diving again with my son.  Our primary goal was very clear.  Do what we need to do so that we can dive the Fossil Ledge and find our Megalodon teeth.  My son, Anthony, decided that since he was stationed in Wilmington, NC as a Navy recruiter, he would take advantage of this opportunity to get the shark teeth he always wanted.

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Taking Pictures, Keeping Memories

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 14:21 | Filled in Biography, Dive Equipment
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The Yue Family at the Beach

The Yue Family L-R: Charlie, Joann, Haeyoon and Author, Frank Enjoying a Day at Wrightsville Beach in 1968

I was moving some pictures around between computers an hard drives the other day. As I moved them, I would glance at them and recall the time that they were taken. That’s the beauty of photography.  The pictures are a link to the past and help stir images and memories of when that event occurred.  Of course, I don’t really have any memories of this first picture.  Here I am at Wrightsville Beach, NC in 1968.  That’s me on the right.  My brother Charlie and sister Joann are on the left of my mother, Haeyoon.  I am glad to see that I am in relatively good spirits, though I do know it took a little encouragement to actually get me in the water. Read the rest of this entry »

I Got Certified to ___. What, There’s More?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 10:34 | Filled in Dive Training, NC diving
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Going towards the light

Exploring a wreck in Statia

When I hear that someone is a certified diver, it is usually because they had a specific goal in mind.  A couple may get certified because they are going on vacation in Cozumel and they want to be able to do a little diving while they are there.  Some young adults get certified because they get college credit for it and the class is certainly more fun than doing exercises in a gym (I know that is debatable but I believe the majority of people will agree with me).  Personally, I got certified in 1985 because I knew I would be doing some diving in Australia for the national parks.

 

What do all these scenarios (including mine) have in common?  Once we got certified and did whatever task we had set before us, we stopped.  I did not dive for 23 years until my son picked up an interest.  I did a scuba tune-up for someone who has not done a dive in over 20 years.  I was in a recently in a meeting where I was doing a scuba presentation to mostly non-divers.  All of the people who mentioned that they were certified had not done any dives in many years. Read the rest of this entry »

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