Welcome

Hello and welcome to my website. I admit that it hasn't seen any updates in the past several years. Lots of changes since 2008. So I'll get back on it.

I'm currently working on photo albums of the house and garden (mainly garden) over the past few years. It's for people I know only so you'll have to sign up and sign in to see. I know this would be easier for you if I were on facebook. I'm a late adopter when it comes to social media. Besides, having my own website gives me more perceived control over my privacy.

I'm still diving lots and taking underwater photos. Most of my web attention has been on the Vancouver Apneist site. I even have a blog.

Site Moved

I moved my website yesterday. For years it had been hosted by ICDSoft. They were excellent but the server was in Hong Kong. I felt it was more appropriate to have my site hosted in my own country. So I moved it over to GreenGeeks. So far the transition has been pretty seamless so we'll see how it goes.

Introducing the Dol-fin

The Dol-fin

Earlier in September I had a chance to dive with Peter Scott and check out his new Dol-fin. It is basically a monofin with a high aspect ratio blade. Interestingly, the blade has much the same dimensions as the power blade of my Aqueon. However, unlike the Aqueon, it is very light in weight and low in drag. I think the Aqueon has more power though.

Peter's Dol-fin is a prototype, built by someone in Arizona. So, sorry, you can't buy one yet and I don't have a link to the inventor/manufacturer.

Have a look at the video below to see the Dol-fin in action:

Third Aqueon Video

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I've made a third video of my experiences with the Aqueon. This one is about constant ballast diving on a line.

Sailing on board the Amistad

Name on the transom
After diving the Ogden Point breakwater, I stayed on in Victoria to visit with my friend Tony. Tony and I go back a long way, having met in university. While Tony and I were in university, his father built a boat and decided to sail around the world with it. Tony's parents made it almost all the way but stalled at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Something about the easy lifestyle and cheap bear... In the long process of time, Tony ended up inheriting the Amistad and had it shipped home to Victoria where it is now moored at the Goldstream Marina. The recovery and restoration of the boat has been ongoing for years. I had heard so much about this boat but this weekend was my very first time to lay eyes upon it. It was therefore an extra special treat that on this occasion we got to take it out and actually try sailing it. There's not much wind in Saanich Inlet and it's certainly not very predictable but it was nice to get out and have the sails up. Thanks, Tony!

Ogden Point Breakwater

Looking up at the Kelp Forest
On July 26, several members of the Vancouver Apneist Club took the 7:00 am ferry to Victoria to dive the Ogden Point breakwater. There we were joined by several other divers from Victoria and Saltspring Island. In all, we had 16 freedivers in the water, It was the biggest turnout for a freediving event that we've had in years.

Second Sea Trial at Whytecliff Park

Ascending with the Aqueon at Whytecliff Park

I had the Aqueon in the water for the second time on March 1. I knew this time to keep the kick tighter and to rely mostly on the backwards surface dive. I was much more comfortable with it this time and spent some time zipping around on the surface and seeing how far I could launch myself out of the water with it.

Below is a video from that day's experience:

First Sea Trials

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I took my Aqueon for a dive at Porteau Cove on February 23, just a few days after receiving it via courier. I was very excited to be using it for the first time but there were a number of things that I had to relearn:

Introducing the Aqueon

About to use the Aqueon in the ocean for the first time

The Aqueon is a swim fin unlike any other that you will see. Unlike monofins or bifins which mount on and extend the feet, the Aqueon is mounted on the lower legs. The swimming blades are actually forward of the mounting point, moving up and down below the wearer's navel. This device was invented in the early 1970s by Calvin Gongwer of Innerspace Thrusters.

Vanapneist 2007 Underwater Christmas Tree Decorating Event

Santa underwater at Ansell Point
The Vancouver Apneist freediving club held its very first underwater Christmas tree decorating event December 15, 2007. It was a very rainy and windy day but despite that, we had four divers in the water. Nikkey and Patti provided moral and logistical support on shore. Greg was the chief enthusiast, bringing a small fake tree, numerous decorations, a stuffed Santa and a battery powered fish. The sea was about as rough as we had ever seen at Ansell Point so we left the more delicate decorations on shore. Decorations were sparse but tasteful, with apples supplied by Sean and a star on top that was a live sunflower star. The star quickly folded itself around the top of the tree, as if to devour it. A bit scary for a Christmas event. I spent much of my time trying to get that perfect underwater Santa shot. Unfortunately it was pretty buoyant and had a tendency to float backside first unless wedged between two rocks or held under by another (equally buoyant) diver. Manfred performed artificial respiration on the Santa after bringing him back to shore. It was a fine start to what will probably be a long standing Vancouver Apneist tradition. Hopefully the weather will be better next year.
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