Trying to find the infamous funnel…

If you’re familiar with cave diving, you know that sites under active exploration are taboo to talk about.  While that’s nice if you’re the one exploring it, it makes it incredibly difficult to find various sites if you hear rumors of them and want to follow up to see what all the fuss is about.  That was the case with the site Andreas and I set out to find, we’ll call it “the funnel” in this blog entry to avoid giving the real name away.  We had been told about it, and finally had a general idea of where it was located.  After spending almost 5 hours driving around the forest, we finally found an access road that allowed us to access the riverbank near the GPS coordinates we had.  Because of how late it was, we didn’t have time to dive this site.

Along the drive, we found several sinkholes which we marked on our GPS to look out for next time.

“Wreck Trek” with Parrot Island Scuba

Since I was already in the South Florida area, I couldn’t leave and not go diving.  Cris had some friends of hers that were going out, so I decided to join them.  After borrowing a set of LP85 doubles from a cave diving friend who lives in South Florida, I was ready to dive.  We met Nate and Brian at Dennys for some breakfast before heading off to Wm. J. Alsdorf Boat Launching Park where we would board with Parrot Island Scuba.  As it turned out, everyone on the boat knew each other, so we were able to rent the boat out for $300, or $50/person, which is a great deal!  Furthermore, we got to choose where we would dive.

After we talked it over, it was decided that our first dive would be on Wreck Trek, and the second would be on a reef.  As odd as this might sound coming from a cave diver, wreck dives don’t really do much for me, but I do love reef dives.  For the first dive, I brought my video camera along.  Here’s some video that I took-

Wreck Trek from James Garrett on Vimeo.

Photo Shoot with Becky Kagan Schott of Liquid Productions LLC

Tonight I finally had the opportunity to go on a photo shoot with Becky of Liquid Productions LLC, something I had wanted to do for a long time.  Andreas was my buddy for the shoot, which worked well, as we had tons of time with a single stage and back gas since we’ve both dove Devil’s quite often.

This was my first shoot with a professional photographer, and I was very impressed.  I had worked with Becky before when I was Vice President of the UCF Dive Club, where her and her husband David gave a presentation on shooting video and photos underwater, as well as the Weeki Wachee exploration footage.  Becky did an excellent job on the surface explaining the complex shots that she had planned, and also with directing “on the fly” underwater after we completed the staged shots.

Learning the Facebook Graph API

Earlier this month, I was approached by a software company to assist writing a Facebook application.  I hadn’t done this, however I have read about their powerful Graph API and was anxious to give it a shot. The first step was to learn to connect to the facebook API, which was greatly assisted by using the PHP SDK that has been written and released as open source. I’ll write a longer blog soon once I develop the application, but here’s the steps to begin writing your own external facebook application.

  1. Register your facebook application ( link )
  2. Download the Facebook PHP SDK (link)
  3. Read tutorials to learn the basics (click here for a good one)