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Found 5 results

  1. We finally got to the Big Island and dove off of Kona as part of our 20th wedding anniversary. The seas were rough which cancelled half our dives, but we did two the morning of April 6th, 2014 and the Manta Ray Dive on April 7th. Even with the rough seas causing reduced visibility and surge bouncing us around, the manta ray dive was freakin' awesome. We'll be going back next year when it's calmer to do it again.
  2. My wife and I finally dove Athens Scuba Park in Athens, TX a couple of months ago. It was four dives in May 2014. I was reminded by a news story I ran across. Overall, it's a great place to dive, if you don't mind a 3-4 hour drive from Austin. The local hotels have discount rates for divers there, so you can get a decent hotel room for cheap (we stayed at the Super 8 and were very pleased, especially since we could keep our dog with us). Their web site clearly shows water temperature and visibility. As of this posting, it was: Updated: 08JUL2014 Facilities: excellent; Right by the water are a dive shop, change rooms, a washing station, parking near the water, lots of pontoon piers, etc. They even have a dog cage (I called it 'doggy prison') that you can use, and they allowed us to keep our dog nearby in his crate. The emplyees were very friendly and helpful. Accessibility: excellent (unless you include the drive from Austin); you can walk right off one of the many piers right into the water. Cost: moderate; $20/diver/day (pretty standard price) Visibility: excellent for green water on most days; if it hasn't rained recently, typically 20+ feet. I've heard it can get to 40+ feet, but there's always the chance that a large class or classes will come through and muck up that fine silt. Without flow, it can stay mucked up for awhile. Variety of Sites: excellent for man-made (see Obstacles) but poor for natural; Wildlife: poor; the high (basic) pH means no fish or really any wildlife to speak of - a few strands of tenacious algae is present but not even much of that. It makes for very clear, pretty blue water, though. Obstacles (things to see, swim through, etc.): excellent; we ran into the newly sunk airplane which was cool. They have other airplanes, tons of boats, motorcycles, a DART bus with cave-practice tunnels attached, etc. I think they have the best 'wreck-diving' park in Texas, as mentioned in the news story.
  3. Here are my notes on the dives I've done in the Comal River, specifically from (Prince) Solms Park in New Braunfels, TX. I love drift dives, and this one is in spring-fed, clear water that's always around 71F. The rankings are relative to other green-water diving in Texas (not blue water). Feel free to post comments, opinions, questions, etc., including your dives there. Updated: 15NOV2013 Current River Conditions/Level (as of this writing, it's 300 cubic feet per second (cfs) which is "Recreational flow- safe for all activities - tubing open for all levels of swimmers" - makes me wanna go dive!) Accessibility: excellent if you're using the same point for entry and exit, but drift diving is more fun to me for: good (excellent in, moderate out); there are stairs from Solms Park, Landa Park and others for people entering and exiting while toobing (inner tubes). If you miss the last exit, which is clearly marked, you will be in the Guadalupe River headed for Victoria and the Gulf of Mexico. The last exit stairs are pretty high which can make for a slog with wet dive gear. Make sure you park a second vehicle there to take you back to your entry point (it's only a few blocks from Solms Park, but walking in full, wet gear isn't exactly fun). Cost: excellent; entrance to the park is free, you just have to find parking Visibility: excellent; being spring fed, the vis is usually clear and as far as the bottom and shore (which is < 20'), but swimmers and rain runoff can reduce visibility, especially in slow, deep water like just before the Solms Park tube chute. Variety of Sites: moderate; there's really just the river. You may be able to choose upstream or downstream from your entry point. Wildlife: good, mostly typical sunfish, bass and catfish. There are turtles (sliders) and a lot of crawfish. I've seen some large plecostomi, too, probably from people dumping their aquariums. There's tons of nice plant life. Comal River Shore Dives Comal River, Solms Park, New Braunfels - 6 dives, latest March 2013 facilities: good; there are restrooms just up the hill from the entry stairs to the water obstacles: good; there are rapids and low-head dams with tube chutes downstream of the park. They can be very fun, esepcially the first one at Solms Park, if you take common-sense precations. I highly recommend you counter all of your diving instincts and go feet first-face up (feet-first supine). The water at the bottom of the chute is highly aerated meaning it has reduced buoyancy. That means you can bounce off the concrete bottom, and it's better to do that with your feet and fins than with your face, head and/or first stage regulator. The first chute is on the right, and the next two are on the left. Trust me, you'd rather go through the chutes Until recently, the Solms Park was called Prince Solms Park. I don't know why or exactly when they changed. Comal River Boat Dives I'm pretty sure that motorized vehicles aren't allowed on the Comal due to the toobers, rapids and low levels.
  4. My wife, dive buddy, a few others and I are diving the Comal River on Saturday, March 16th. I may be diving there this Saturday, March 9th, too (depending on the rain). Any are welcome to join us. For divers who haven't dove in awhile or feel rusty, it's an excellent refresher dive. It's basically a 2 hour drift dive in clear, spring-fed water that averages 4-8 feet deep (can be as shallow as 2' and as deep as 20'). The temperature of the water is fairly consistent around 70F, because it's spring fed. That's cold in the summer, but it feels nice now. If we get in around 2 PM, we get out when the air temperature is in the 70s and the sun is shining. There's also treasure to be found from the toobers (not as much right now). If you want to join us, PM me and I'll get you details. The park where we normally enter is Prince Solms in New Braunfels or just upstream of there.
  5. My wife and I are visiting her family in Honolulu around April 1st, 2013. Our dive buddy is going, too. We plan on doing as much diving as possible. If anyone happens to be on Oahu at the same time, you're more than welcome to dive with us. My buddy will have his dive camera; a real one, not like mine. Anyone have requests for pictures of their favorite species in the wild?
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