Velvet from Odin Sphere sculpted by Bubba arrived on Tuesday, but since I wasn’t home to sign for the kit, I was relegated to picking it up the following morning. The box for the kit was unusually large as you can see by the comparison picture with Mr G3 Gundam. However, as excited I was to go home and break open the box to get her at least pinned, something else caught my attention towards the end of my work day.
As usual, I was checking the local scuba conditions as I randomly do to see what conditions are like; and the reported waves were 0-1 ft, surge light, and visibility 20-25 ft. My last couple of dives have been with a visibility of 10-15 ft and 2-4 ft surge. I then went to check another surf site for the deep water wave action to see what the conditions may be come the weekend. The deep water waves are predicted to raise as the week progressed, so I figured I should take advantage of the current conditions and just do a nice evening dive.
I arrived at Shaw’s Cove around 7:20 PM and started to gear up. While parking, I noticed that there were four divers ready to head into the water. I got geared up and was in the water by 7:40. The four divers were still on the surface when I kicked out to a suitable drop zone. The four dropped in before I did. Here are some pictures of the conditions when I arrived. The waves were very calm.
I dropped in and started to snap pictures while adjusting my strobe and camera settings. The visibility was incredible. I saw the group of other divers heading towards the arch which is the entrance to the inner reef area at Shaw’s; so I followed them a little and snapped a few pictures of them. I didn’t feel like following them as I was there to just take pictures and look at stuff, so when they continued on, I stopped and spent a little time adjusting my camera settings to the low light conditions.
The colors seem slightly different without daylight brightening the water. Adjusting the flash settings so as to not flush out the colors was a bit of a chore. I still need to better adjust the system while under water. But I kept snapping away.
At night, there are different creatures that wander out such as shrimp, octopi, lobsters, etc. I tried to snap some pictures of a gathering of shrimp in a creavice but was having difficulty getting the right angle with my strobe. I’ll just have to go back another time to get pictures. What didn’t help was the Garibaldi that was attacking me while I tried to take shots of the shrimp filled crevice. The little bastard actually bit my hand too. I had to flick it away to concentrate on the photos. There were sea stars everywhere.
I managed to get a semi decent picture of an octopus. It is off centered towards the left in the following picture. You should be able to see a few of it’s legs and part of the main body. There were lots of octopi in some of the crevices, they tend to creep deeper when light is shined on them, so again, photography is a little difficult as most of the pictures are snapped in darkness. I’ve started to point my light first and focus the camera at the light, then turn the light off before snapping the picture and that has been working fairly decently. I was just glad that there barely any surge so it was very easy for me to stay in a single position to take pictures.
On my way out, two of the divers from the pack of four came up to me thinking I was one of the four, until he saw my camera and just waved. We surfaced around the same time. While kicking back in, I tried to snap a picture of the cliff and palm trees as a reference against the first set of pictures I took for how much darker the sky had gotten in the 42 minutes of bottom time. I reached 27 feet, and had 1000 lbs of air in the tank when I got out. I chatted with two of the divers while they waited for the other pair to exit before heading back to the car to gear down. Damn good dive. I need to do this more often.
More pictures from my mid week dive are here: http://gamerabaenre.com/scuba11.htm
Back to the Velvet kit. Pulling the kit parts out, the size of the box is a little excessive for the size of the kit. I’ve gotten kits bigger than Velvet that were packaged in boxes easily a fifth of the size. But it is a nice box. The parts looks nice and crisp and I cannot wait to get the bugger pinned.