Friday, November 11, 2011

Back from the mainland....

Whew, the last half of October was crazy busy, charters every day with some days running double charters. On the 30th I took off to Florida for a rondevous with my wife, who'd been visiting friends and family earlier in the month, and a visit to the dive industry show put on by DEMA.

Florida is a couple of loooong flights from here. Not sure if I'm hot to do that one for the dive show for a while. We went this year largely to get away, and I also needed to take some repair technician classes that I can't get locally as well as go to several other seminars that I was interested in.

The show seemed pretty well atteneded. Pat and I thought it was one of the more crowded first days of the show that we've seen in several years. Hopefully things are picking up in the industry. Many of the "big" companies had smaller booths the last couple years in comparison to say 3-5 years back, and dive travel seemed to take up a larger portion of the show than a few years back.

The single busiest company kiosk I can recall was the GoPro camera booth. They had introduced a new HD camera called the Hero2, with a wider angle of view, faster frame rate, brighter color and higher megapixel still camera, and were selling them like hotcakes. They sold out in the first 2 days and then sold out their remaining older HD model in the next day. It looks like an interesting little camera. They're introducing an underwater specific housing early next year. Current models are waterproof, but the optics are more for above water use and apparenlty have some focusing issues. The new housing will have a flat oversized port that will allow for focusing without vignetting.

After the show we took an airboat ride (have wanted to do that since watching Gentle Ben as a kid) and spent a couple of long days at the Disney parks. We tried to hit all of the major rides. Rides there are fairly tame compared to many coasters at other theme parks. Expedition Everest does a pretty good job, largely because there's a backwards portion. I do have a fear of heights issue that popped up out of nowhere when I was 28 years old (still can't figure out where that came from) and the only ride that really got me uncomfortable was "Soaring" at Epcot... where you're essentially riding a glider through California. You are strapped into a seat which they raise up into a concave screen that more or less surrounds you with the film. You're probably 15-20 feet off the floor, but that was enough to get me white-knuckled for the first 2-3 minutes of the video. It was a cool ride/show, and I'm glad I did it, ONCE - I wasn't up for a return flight.

Yesterday was a good day of diving. I'm lightly loaded for the next little bit so I'll try and take the camera down and start catching up with photos and videos for the blog while I can.



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