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Thread: Caribb-LEM Mark III, March 1st-11th of 2017 (or March 4th-11th if you want 7 days)

  1. #141
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    Home and in bed. Just moved the clock from 2:19 to 3:19. And back to work by 9 am. Ugh. The projector made it from San Pedro to Atlanta ok and I made it a carry on from there to Baltimore. Good times.... we should be on the dive boat in 5 hours instead.
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  2. #142
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    Ugh. After a grueling 15 hr day I made it home, only to discover that one of my bags didn't make it onto the connecting flight from Atlanta to Charleston and wouldn't arrive until nearly 11 PM. I opted to have them deliver my bag to my door this morning vs waiting at the airport for another 3 hours or worse, driving back late at night. Fortunately, the bag arrived at 9:20 this morning without incident.

    This was the first time we had any sort of trouble with the airport people in Honduras. Their version of the TSA is called "DSA", and they were real jerks. They refused to allow any laser projectors into the cabin of the planes flying to the USA, even though the airlines (Delta and American) said it was fine. In the end, I simply checked my two projectors, since they were already in a suitcase. But Brad's 12-watt projector was not in any case whatsoever, so he was understandably uneasy about checking it. Jonathan was in an even bigger jam, since he already had 2 checked bags, so he would have to pay $150 for the 3rd one.

    In the end, we worked things out. I checked my projectors, as did Brad, and they arrived in one piece. Jonathan gave his lumia projector to Brian, who checked it for him under his ticket. (Both were flying to Miami.) Once in Miami, Jonathan could carry the projector on the plane as before. But it took us nearly 4 hours of frustrated arguing with the Honduran authorities before we resolved this. A really sour ending to an otherwise enjoyable trip.

    That being said, apart from the ridiculousness at the airport, the rest of the trip was great! I logged 20 dives and over 15 hrs submerged. It will take me a long time to sift through the video and upload it, but the initial previews look promising. Also, we put on two different laser shows while on the island, and they were very well received. When you have a pair of 8 watt RGBs plus a 12 watt RBG, the beams are visible from quite a ways away! Very cool.

    And now for the good stuff: Pictures! Click on each one to get a larger (1024 x 768) version. I also have the originals in 4032 x 3024 if anyone wants copies.

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ID:	51873 Skid Row show (we also had lasers inside which are not running in this pic)...

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ID:	51874 Discoscan lens doing logo on the street...

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ID:	51875 The view from the other end of the street...

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ID:	51880 Dinner at RJ's, thanks to Richard Gonsalves (A.R. Gon). Look at the size of that steak!

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ID:	51881 Sunset at the resort...

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ID:	51882 12 watt RGB on the observation deck above the bar at the end of the dock at the resort...

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ID:	51883 Dinner at the Texas Mule (Also thanks to Richard Gonsalves!).

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ID:	51884 Public show at the beach in town...

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ID:	51885 What the lasers looked like from ~ 1/3 mile east of the public beach!

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ID:	51886 EEL swimming around near the dock at the resort...

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ID:	51887 Downtown harbor on the one calm afternoon we had...

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ID:	51888 Group photo at Skid Row bar on our last night...

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ID:	51889 Island security! Tarantula we found at the airport on the island when we left...

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ID:	51891 Look who we found at the airport in San Pedro... (Matt is in the foreground, and yes, that is Gordon Ramsey in the background!)

    I have some video I will post later, and once I have had a chance to go through all the GoPro footage of all the dives, I'll post some of that as well. But this should get you started!

    Adam

  3. #143
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    This looked an amazing - I'm genuinely gutted I couldn't make it
    After going to the first two, I REALLY wanted to go to No.3!

    I'm glad you all had a great time.
    I'll keep an eye out for any future trips
    - There is no such word as "can't" -
    - 60% of the time it works every time -

  4. #144
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    Faye was asking about you, Daniel.

  5. #145
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    Wow! Thanks everyone for an awesome trip!

    Rich and Vernon are awesome mates, Faye did an excellent job getting us back to the boat and showing us cool stuff. Mrs Tonya and her crew served up excellent food and tidied up our rooms everyday, and the dock bar was a good spot in between! It was great getting to know more fellow laserists more in-depth and I got to log what usually takes 4 years worth of diving for me in a week and a half!

    For those wondering about the whole security aspect of the trip -- I flew into Roatan then to Utila. Roatan seems like a larger more polished Utila (but not huge by any means.) The airport reminded me a bit like standing in line for a Roller Coaster inside the building right before the ride, it's not a huge airport by any means. There is room for maybe 2 jets to be parked there and they use stairs "like the president" to board. Everyone was laid back, no issues at all. The American Airlines process for heading out was a bit derpy with regards to process flow, but that was the case coming inbound as well. Kiosk doesn't print the baggage stickers, leading to long line at the baggage kiosk lady, etc. I later realized there was another place I could have done things that wasn't self service, and my electronic check in was pretty useless compared to other carriers I've flown with.

    Only *ONCE* in Utila did a encounter a panhandler I believe, and that was across the street from Tree Topia at 2AM in front of a store. And he didn't talk to me, I just saw him over there. Tree Topia is off the main street, playing deep house music and is all decorated in tile mosaics, with a bar / stage that is in a treehouse type of thing. I'm not even kidding. Contrast my 10 days in Utila to Chicago a few weeks ago where 20+ panhandlers approach between the hotel and the datacenter I was there to visit daily. Don't be stupid -- but whatever the issues are over in San Pedro Sula don't seem to carry over to Utila. I don't know if there are streets that are risky on the Island but we didn't encounter any, especially mostly going to places on main street. A few people from our group walked home a mile at 2AM, 6AM, etc without issue.

    Some cool eateries on the Island and the dive sites are amazing.

    The first DJ at the public party was DJ trainwreck. Galloping when trying to beat match, couldn't even transform cut but hopefully with time and practice he will improve his craft. Barefoot band rocked out some decent covers, and the DJs that went on after them were killing it with some pretty nice house music (I'm not a specialist by any means but liked what I heard!)

    Also, the amount of floating grounds and ground loops on the Island builds a nice testament to the robustness of modern computing hardware and the Pangolin FB3 :-)

    My phone did not do so well on Tmobile. Rich's phone which can do the LTE bands did well on Roatan, not sure how well on Utila island. I was able to get text messages and calls most of the time (better when closer to the center of the island.) It said it was roaming on Claro, and I couldn't find confirmation that Claro is the proper partner for Tmobile worldwide free roaming thing. I wasn't able to connect to Tigo, which I thought was the proper service. But with the phone set to connect to the preferred network it went to Claro. I think the lack of data might of had to do with the APN that was configured, I'm not sure. Most places had Wifi. There was a lot of Wifi, so no one was really offline very long.

    We will have underwater laser projectors next time, I swear :-) Had parts but not enough time/motivation! I will probably mess around with building mine in time for diving at a semi-local spot, Lake Phoenix, this summer.

    The fact that dogs just kind of chill on the island and stop by at restaurants is awesome.

    The 12 watt lightspace projector is AMAZING! 12 watts of white light beaming out over the open ocean is also AMAZING.

    While at CarribLEM my colo'ed server with a bunch of sub-servers some of which have been around 22 years without issue exploded. Some sort of disk error made it's way to Linux which blew up a horrible death, and the colo people had recently moved between data centers to consolidate, which took out the remote management capabilities. System has RAID 5 w/ one hot spare, so shouldn't of been an issue (okay, maybe I have been procrastinating on replacing one of the disks, but it can lose two!) So pretty much all of my time outside of day job after getting back has been backing up the data before attempting to recover the virtual servers (which is done with no data loss.) Kind of ironic the timing of the whole ordeal! Fun times!

    I've got a couple hundred pics at least from the trip, which I will get online. I shot some video as well, but not as much as I thought I would. I used to use flickr all the time but once they web 2.0'ed the interface I started to split my uploads between Flickr, Imgur and Facebook. I will post the pics from CarribLEM to Flickr though, and probably facebook. I do have older pics from SELEM and maybe FLEM events on there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ethanotoole/albums/

    But yea, for those with issues flying out I would look into Roatan next time. Roatan looked like a pretty nice island as well, from the air. A little less DIY, paved streets and resorty hotels that had swimming pools and such.

    Kudos to those that leveled up to their AOW certifications as well! I felt a bit bad for those that had that pressure to do work on top of the vacation but you got a better deal (and better instruction) than when I did it in Virginia Beach!

    Anyways, thanks everyone for a great trip!

    (And yes, when I got home I had to pull up some Skid Row - Wasted Time, Skid Row - Quicksand Jesus and Skid Row - Monkey Business when I got home due to them being stuck in my head thanks to the Bar Name.)

  6. #146
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    I'll echo Ethan in that Utila has never made me feel in any danger and yes, it's a bit like NYC in that it never sleeps. There is activity 24 hours a day it seems and, I would not hesitate to walk anywhere around town. Just like anywhere else... be aware of your surroundings and don't do anything stupid. I saw the panhandler too but I agree that's pretty rare. I see more of that in my own town and on my recent visits to Houston.
    .
    I have pics as well and am sorting through them to put together the best ones. I HATE the iPhone camera and would consider getting a Samsung for just the picture taking ability alone.
    .
    And yeah.... I frequently forget but, then once I'm using it I remember, just how much I enjoy the Lightspace 12 watt. I really need to get the third one finally paid for and shipped. Seeing it light up for miles was pretty impressive.
    Last edited by Bradfo69; 03-14-2017 at 16:41.
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  7. #147
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  8. #148
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    Thanks for posting the links, Brad... I just ordered both flashlights, some spare batteries (and a charger), and the filters for my GoPro. I figure I'll cut a circle out of the filter material and stick it inside the waterproof case.

    For everyone who went diving on Utila and didn't get their log filled out, here is all the information I have for the 20 dives I went on.

    Day 1 (March 2) 2 boat dives. Jack Neil Beach - enter 8:57AM, 45 min, 67 ft max depth. Black Coral Wall - enter 10:44 AM, 54 min, 72 ft max depth.
    Day 2 (March 3) 2 boat dives. Big Rock West - enter 8:54 AM, 35 min, 61 ft max depth. Little Bight - enter 10:37 AM, 47 min, 63 ft max depth.
    Day 3 (March 4) 2 boat dives. Spotted Bay - enter 9:05 AM, 43 min, 65 ft max depth. Diamond Cay - enter 10:49 AM, 46 min, 69 ft max depth.
    Day 4 (March 5) 2 boat dives. Ted's Point - enter 9:36 AM, 44 min, 63 ft max depth. Airport Caves - enter 11:21 AM, 51 min, 60 ft max depth.
    Day 5 (March 6) 2 boat dives. Ron's Wreck - enter 8:26 AM, 43 min, 62 ft max depth. Silver Garden - enter 10:03 AM, 49 min, 66 ft max depth.
    Day 5 (March 6) afternoon shore entry dive (Ethan and Adam only). Coral View Resort House Reef - enter 15:34 PM, 52 min, 61 ft max depth.
    Day 6 (March 7) 2 boat dives. The Pinnacle - enter 9:09 AM, 43 min, 106 ft max depth. Paradiso - enter 11:03 AM, 50 min, 88 ft max depth.
    Day 7 (March 8) 2 boat dives. The Haliburton Wreck - enter 8:33 AM, 34 min, 97 ft max depth. Moon Hole - enter 10:17 AM, 57 min, 36 ft max depth.
    Day 8 (March 9) 2 boat dives. Stingray Point - enter 9:38 AM, 53 min, 83 ft max depth. Black Coral Wall - enter 11:30 AM, 50 min, 61 ft max depth.
    Day 8 (March 9) Night boat dive. Black Coral Wall - enter 18:30 PM, 44 min, 50 ft max depth.
    Day 9 (March 10) 2 boat dives. Raggedy Cay drift dive - enter 8:46 AM, 43 min, 61 ft max depth. Jack Neil Point - enter 10:31, 46 min, 59 ft max depth.

    I have shitloads of video to sort through, but I've started previewing it and I definitely have some cool footage. Faye killing two lionfish on the drift dive at Raggedy Cay, Matt clowning around at Ted's point, Nisha and Brian cruising through the horseshoe swim-through at Airport Caves, and Ethan, Faye, and I playing with a sea egg at the Haliburton wreck, to name just a few. I just need to find time to edit and color-correct it all!

    Adam
    Last edited by buffo; 03-22-2017 at 04:11.

  9. #149
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    You rock, man! Thanks!

  10. #150
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    Hey guys,

    After reviewing the dive footage I noticed a mistake in my logs. The first dive on Day 5 (my 9th dive) was at Ron's Wreck, not Ted's Point. I have corrected the information in my post above.

    Note that Ted's Point, Moon Hole, and Ron's Wreck are all pretty close to each other, so it's not a huge difference. But the GoPro video clearly shows Ron's Wreck for dive # 9. Sorry about the mistake!

    Adam

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