Saturday, July 18, 2009

Scuba testing the GO Pro camera

I just returned from a Vet School reunion cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel Mexico. Beth got me the Go Pro Surf Hero camera that mounts on the front of my board so I can shoot video of myself....thats right, it's all about me. I think she did it because I think I surf better than I might actually be doing and she wanted to bring me down a notch. The camera is really small and runs on 2 AAA batteries (1 hour) and holds 50-60 minutes of high quality video on a 2GB card. Oh....and it's waterproof to 100 feet. It's so small and light that you can stick it in your BCD vest pocket. I did have some goober moments where I couldn't tell when it was on or not. You have to look into the front and see if the small screen has a number on it...and whether it's flashing. There are no lights on the back of the camera. It worked great and never leaked. When you're back on the surface you just put the card in your laptop and view ...that simple. We dove Eagle Ray reef (non-eagle ray...none there) and Devils grotto. Both are very close to shore since it drops off to 2000 feet very quickly. Quite a few tarpon present and a very active reef. We did a few "swim through s" ...kinda like a cave but with an opening at the end. Now let me set everyone straight....I hate caves, and when the dive master said "anybody got a problem with swim through s?" I was to busy trying not to crap myself to speak. He said "these are really big ones"....translation ( they are very small and your tank is going to scrape along the walls so don't panic) ....concentrating on sphinter and bladder control earnestly at this point. When we dove down to the devils grotto at about 50-60 feet I couldn't even see the opening....even when he went in. I waited towards the back of the line and went in ahead of Beth. She commented afterwards on how warm the water was inside....I didn't tell her how scared I really was and just why it was so warm. I also didnt shoot video inside either as mentally I had some difficulty turning the damn thing on and shot about 2 minutes of my fins because I thought it was off and was trailing behind me. Just as well since the sound of my tank hitting the coral roof is still a bit un-nerving , especially when combined with my girlish whimpering through my regulator. Once out I was much better, saw some huge tarpon....sorry no video....still having touble with the on/off thing but got some classic clips of my shorts. We went to Cozumel the next day and did a shore dive at Villa Blanca for $25 each...including all the equipment. A shallow dive about 40 feet and the camera worked great, however there was some operator error. I didn't change the batteries (see note at top..2AAA batteries=1 hour). After the dive we had lunch at La Mission, a great Mexican resturant with killer Margaritas. After 3 ,I was unable to add up the bill and had to get Beth to do it.Seriously had trouble walking back in a straight line so we did some shopping at the Tequilla store. We did learn a great travel tip...while they say you can only bring in 1 bottle per person, thats not exactly true. You can bring back however much you want, the duty is 3% but they don't collect on any total less than $10. So you can actually bring back $300 of booze without a problem...just declare it. All in all another great Weldon adventure....may have to take the kids next time.