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Equipment check-out for our Fiji trip!

:: Monday, January 14th, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

Saturday night Julie and I drove out to Tyson’s to spend a couple of hours in the pool for a little Fiji pre-trip equipment check. The swimming pool is a YMCA owned and operated one that our local dive shop uses for scuba classes. It’s not the nicest pool in the area by any means, but most public (and private) pools don’t want to have to deal with the ‘scuba diver’ and all the equipment they like to bring into the water.

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Julie at the YMCA pool in Tysons

I’ve heard lots of stories about pool owners having issues with the lead weights divers use or scuba cylinders banging up the bottoms of their pools, but until this past weekend I had never heard of pool owners blaming scuba divers for screwing up the water quality in a swimming pool.

The water quality in public pools is always on the low side anyway, but Saturday night was the worst I have ever seen this or any other indoor pool! The particulate matter in the water was incredible! Through a mask (or a camera lens) it looked like you were actually swimming in dirty dish water or something like that.

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My primary reason for using the pool in the first place was to test out a new Ikelite dSLR camera housing which I just finished making some modifications to for our Fiji trip next month. Flying 18 hours to get to the perfect underwater photography destination only to find out that a last minute equipment change screwed up my underwater camera housing would suck! This is why divers spend so much time checking and rechecking their dive gear and camera equipment!

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Okay, back to the pool water issue. I know your thinking I’m harping here, but I can handle the dead bugs and little bungee hair tie’s floating everywhere… I don’t have a problem with that. It’s the used Band-Aids, dead toe nails and crap like that I have an issue with! The water quality in this pool is not just a diver issue… it is a classic case of a poorly maintained and poorly managed public swimming pool. You could not even smell the normally heavy chemical odor that is always present at public indoor pools. This kind of thing really makes me think twice about using public pools at all!

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I took a couple of pictures of julie at a range of less than four feet with a wide angle lens and my strobes close to the front of my 8″ dome port to give you an idea of the amount of crap in the water. The new housing worked like a champ and all systems look like a ‘GO’ for our Fiji trip. I can’t wait to get this new rig into some really clear warm water…!!

Stay tuned… more to follow!!

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