So we finally got back out to the South Korean East Coast to log some dives. It is hard to admit but this first trip wasn’t that easy to get excited for. The video from this past weekend (except for the first driving video) was all shot with the GoPro Hero 4 Black in 4k resolution. If you have this camera and are editing video be prepared for some extremely large file sizes and long upload times to get 4k resolution from YouTube.
A special thanks to Namae Scuba (www.NamaeScuba.com) for once again providing some excellent dive facilities and diving, we wouldn’t have had a great weekend with out you! Preparing for dive trips isn’t hard just moderately time-consuming since you don’t want to forget anything back home, hours away. This is especially true since this was the first ocean trip for the PRISM 2 eCCR. We wanted to check everything multiple times to ensure we had what we needed and everything worked correctly. We also were preparing for testing out the Hollis DX300 dry suit and the 500SE regulator & DC7 first stage.
Thankfully BOB (bright orange ball in the sky, aka the sun) was out in full effect the days prior to the trip which really helped motivate all of us to start preparing food, equipment and willingness to make the trip. So was it worth it? DEFINITELY! This trip had some of the best visibility that we have seen in a very long time. Plus we met some new divers Jonathan and Stacey as well as making some new Korean dive buddies (even celebrating a birthday).
Saturday started at a perfect pace, relaxed and fun…we hit the beach to test out new configurations, new equipment and re-familiarize ourselves with our equipment (like the PRISM 2). Thankfully so because some of us needed to adjust weighting from previous dives and for others this was the first time diving in this temperature water. So many people ask…”isn’t it cold??” OMG Yes! It was freezing (on the hands) but our dry suits kept (most of) us warm. The water was a lovely 6-8C / 42-46F…definitely C.O.L.D! Thankfully that didn’t stop us from hitting a second dive on Saturday to explore the dive site West Ridge (13-24m deep) where we say great viz around the artificial concrete cube reef. After we got back from the dive we cleaned gear grabbed some coffee and dinner in Gangneung to relax.
Sunday started early with some of us getting up to watch the sun rise and warm our faces…others decided to sleep in a bit before our 0930 dive. This dive is one of our favorites, early morning, very calm and our favorite site…Steel House! This site has 3 giant 10 meter steel structures that are approximately 25m apart attached by rope to easily find each other. There are lots of new growth and during the summer months lots of fish around the structure. As we descended on the steel structure we were astonished by the amazing visibility we had. The water was simply amazing, blue, clear, and no surge or current…amazing!
After the dive we warmed up and cleaned equipment in preparation for the long trip home. We thought we would beat all the traffic home however there was a huge forest fire that spanned the expressway on all sides which slowed all traffic down to a grind. It did provide a great opportunity to capture some cool video of 8 or so helicopters gathering water from the local lake to help put out the fire.
For those of you looking for the Hollis DX300 review please check back later this week. We will post our thoughts on Hollis’s newest drysuit.
Ok Ok we know…we have been gone a LONG time. Since the PADI IDC, IE, Specialty Instructor Course and finally obtaining several Master Scuba Diver Training ratings we decided we would treat ourselves with waiting for some warmer weather before beginning the season. We had a great weekend. We met some new divers Jonathan and Stacey (my apologies if I misspelled either) and logged a few dives. We are currently uploading the photos and will be editing the video shortly. Check back in the next day or two for the video and photos.
Thanks again to Namae Scuba (aka Namae Dive Center) for an excellent weekend!
After a long break the 38th Parallel Divers took some time off from tour Korea topside and got back in the water. We went to Namae-ri Dive Resort and dive lots of recreational diving this 3 day weekend. It was great to see our dive buddies again, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and of course Korea. We got to log some dives with divers in training conducting their Open Water course, Advanced Open Water Course and just plain fun diving. We had a great time grilling up some cheese burgers and sausages as well as eating some pasta salad, grilled potatoes, and even pickles and chips (crisps for our British friend).
The water is warming up to a nice temperature (roughly 19 C) down to a depth of 9 meters but from there on down it is brass monkeys (aka COLD)…now that I got in my British slang I hope that our Brit friends will stop beating me up for misuse ;). All jokes aside the thermoclines were a bit chilly at 9m (14 C) and then again at 18m (10-11 C). These temps were a bit chilly in 5mm wet suits and made us miss our dry suits. Wet suits are nice though and do make for easy on/off recreational diving. It was an easy transition from the last dive to getting the burgers on the grill and food in the belly.
Thanks again to everyone that came out and it was great to meet and dive with all of our (hopeful) new followers. We hope to see you on the coast and in the water again soon.
If you would like to see more surface pictures from this weekend check out the BackPackBees Blog post.
The 38th Parallel Divers are heading back out into the ocean. I finally got the green light to get back in the water after getting LASIK eye surgery, so we are headed to the Korean East Coast for a 3 day weekend of diving. This weekend will be a mix of training dives and fun dives.
With the updates to PADI’s new course materials (and since we have been out of the water for 2 months) we hit the books to make sure we know the standards and requirements for PADI’s Peak Performance Buoyancy (PPB) and PADI’s AWARE specialties. It was nice to see that there is more acknowledgement of rebreather divers in the new Instructor Guides, this is going to be critical now that more and more manufacturers are making Type “R” (Recreational) rebreathers like the Hollis Explorer. It has been a while since we have dove an entire weekend in ONLY recreational gear, usually we try to get a mix of Tec and Rec especially since getting our PRISM2 technical rebreather. Is is tough to give up the possibility of 2.5hours on a single dive.
The exciting part of diving purely recreational equipment is the decreased time for setup and tear-down…this increases our ability to hang out with new divers, offer (and learn) tips and tricks, and get our BBQ on. We will be celebrating America’s Independence with our friends from around the world. How can it get better you ask? We now stay at the dive resort so we don’t have to hurry with gear cleaning to rush to the hotel to rush to dinner…we relax and clean…and shoot the breeze!
Everyone is truly welcome to join us on the east coast for some great diving, we hope to see you there!
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Dates: 4-6 July 2014
Namae-Ri (Local Area)
GPS Directions: 77 Maebangu-gil, Hyeonnam-myeon, Yangyang, Gangwon-do, South Korea