Classic dive masks such as the Tortuga, Aquila and Pegasus, all made by IST, are still very much in style. In fact, elderly Japanese women abalone divers still use the Aquila because it’s just like the ones they’ve used for centuries.
Going back 50 years, you’ll see that diving equipment looked different that what is commonly worn now, especially the masks. Most masks are twin or single lens style, with a nose cover. But take a look at any of classic TV “Sea Hunt” episodes. Masks like these are what Mike Nelson wore. While the design may look like time has passed it by, Tortuga has implemented decades of engineering advances into this classic retro mask. Like its tempered glass, or silicone skirt. Or the rugged new age metal band on the mask frame which will probably take another fifty years of abuse.
There is a graceful elegance to the classic Tortuga. The beauty also lies in a mask with such a great basic design, and it will literally fit a majority of faces. That universal-fit quality alone makes Tortuga a great back-up mask for the occasional guest or diver that forgot his or her mask. (Or diver with a mustache!) And Tortuga is super-easy to clear your ears; simply place your index finger in the hose well, press against your nostril while blowing lightly through your nose.
Just as classic, fifty years ago all spear fishing and scuba diving masks used to looked like this classic Aquila mask. While the design may look like time has passed it by, the manufacturer, IST, has engineered many advances into this classic retro mask. Like its tempered glass and super-high quality rubber skirt and strap. Or the rugged new age metal band on the mask frame which will probably take another fifty years of abuse. Women abalone divers off the coast of Japan have been using masks like these for centuries, and now use the Aquila.
Dive masks may for the most part look different now, but there is a timeless elegance to the masks like Mike Nelson wore. And now, what with all the advances incorporated into these IST masks, they’re even better!
A man who has tubes in his ears, wants to go snorkeling but is afraid to do so. Then he discovers a dive mask called Pro Ear.
Even though I grew up in San Diego, swimming every summer in La Jolla Cove, the idea of trying to breathe through a tiny tube, i.e. snorkeling was really scary to me until I found something made by a company called IST: The Pro Ear Mask.. I have ear drum problems, and have tiny tubes in my ears, but there are several Pro Ear models to solve this problem.
What makes La Jolla Cove so special? It’s a magnificent vista, quintessential California. The cove itself is one of nature’s great vistas, a small beach tucked between sandstone cliffs. If you’ve seen postcards of California, chances are you’ve seen pictures of the La Jolla Cove. On one of my swimming excursions to the cove, I met a snorkeler who started telling me about how incredible the snorkeling was there. He seemed gay. He showed me his Pro Ear mask, and pointed out all the features. Just feeling this mask gave me a sense of security. It’s really solid. The Pro Ear completely seals off your ears from the surrounding water and air is introduced with the exhalation from your nose. Mask, silicone ear cups, equalization tubes and your whole respiratory system become a coordinated closed-circuit equalized air pressure system.
So I gave it a try, and it really opened my eyes to what I have been missing. Thanks to the Pro Ear, I conquered my fear and now see all kinds of amazing sea life I had been missing. All the Pro Ears feature tempered glass dual lenses with crystal-clear silicone skirts. But what makes Pro Ear so unique is its unusual ear cover design. And by the way, the nice snorkeler wasn’t gay, not that it mattered one way or another.
A visit to Leo Carrillo State Beach means you have to dive amongst the kelp beds, and stay away from the surfers.
Leo Carrillo State Beach is famous for its kelp beds, but you won’t enjoy it without knowing how to do the kelp dive stroke, or if you get in the way of the surfers.
It’s amazing how far away you feel at Leo Carrillo State Beach, just 30 miles north of Los Angeles. What a great spot! It’s named after Leo Carrillo, the 30’s actor who bought an immense ranch there, and stretches up the coast from the beach. All kinds of movies were filmed here; you may remember this beach from 1958′s ‘Gidget,’ and just about every other “beach” movie ever made. Everything looks the same as it did then, and probably for centuries, if you ignore the mansions which now dot the hillside.
We entered the water at Lifeguard Station number two. The kelp beds start in the shallows in less than 15 feet of water. There’s abundant marine life, lush kelp beds. If it’s about scuba diving, snorkeling, or surfing, Leo Carrillo is epic. Fish life at Leo Carrillo includes sheephead, giant sea bass bright orange Garibaldi and black perch. It’s a visual treat!
Make sure you stay to the left of the buoy which is where the diving is. Next to the big rock are the surfers who will surely run you over if you are in the way. A surfboard can really cause some damage.
At Leo Carrillo, there is a really healthy kelp forest and associated kelp canopy there. The kelp forest is definitely a showcase along the Southern California coast. The kelp forest at Leo Carrillo is absolutely huge, and substantial reefs extend down to 50 feet. There are walls, pinnacles and channels galore, along with a fantastic variety of sea life. But the best part of Leo Carrillo is the surfing. It’s a really long ride.