What is There to See in the Lake

What is there to see in the lake is a question that people have frequently asked me. For at least two years I would go diving nearly every weekend. I would dive in the Lac Léman, the Lac de Bourget, the Gouille Du Duzillet. I also dived the English channel in November. I dived all year round. In summer we would cook in our dry suits and in winter our hands were sometimes so cold that we couldn’t take off our dry suits.
Lake divers are an eccentric, hardy bunch of people. I used to say that the beauty of lake diving is that it is not affected by weather. You’ll get wet anyway and if you go below a certain depth water is always at 5°c. I’m in Spain at the moment and I decided to go snorkelling with my semi Dry Suit around El Portet. This is the cove where I worked on getting my rescue diver certification. I snorkelled by the rocks to the west at first. The waters are shallow and I did see a school of juvenile fish. As I finned further I saw some slightly larger fish and urchins.

After a while of searching I finned to the other side of the bay. New sand has been deposited along this beach. As a result of this new sand visibility has suffered near the beach. By the rocks the visibility is still good.

From the image above you can see that the water is really clear. I thought that with such clear waters I would see a lot. I was hoping to see fish, maybe an eel or two and maybe some crabs. It’s good to dive and snorkel close to marine reserves. In marine reserves fish are allowed to mature and grow and eventually they branch out to other areas. As a result diving and snorkeling are more rewarding.

It’s at the supermarket fish section that I saw the most fish. It’s a shame that they were lying dead, on ice, rather than swimming underwater. In effect I see as many fish in the mediterranean as in the lakes of Switzerland and France so you travel for the climate rather than aquatic life. People need to allow the seas and oceans time to recover. It’s a shame not to see much aquatic life. I should try again in a different location where there are fewer people. I might be luckier.

The Apple Watch does not fill a niche

The Apple Watch rather than fill a niche provides a fifth screen. According to Wikipedia the four first screens are the cinema screen, the television screen and the mobile phone and tablet screen. The fifth screen is the smart watch as designed by Apple, Samsung, Sony and others. Apple and others have designed phones that bring the mobile phone experience to the wrist.

Energy efficient

Suunto, Garmin, Fitbit and other brands fill the wrist worn niche effectively because they have designed devices with energy efficient displays that provide tracking whilst at the same time giving extended battery life.

Extended battery life in use

Health trackers by fitbit and other companies have been designed to last for a week or more whilst tracking movement 24 hours a day. Suunto, Garmin and other brands have designed watches that can track activities for hours or even days before they need charging.

Long stand by time

When not in use all of the devices mentioned above can last for weeks. In the case of the Suunto Ambit two I have found that it loses one percentage of charge per day. As a result of this it can be used as a watch for three months before I need to think of charging.

Data analysis

All of these tools are for collecting data about the route you took, the intensity of the exercise tracked, heart rate and complementary information. When synced on the computer or website a lot of information is presented. Garmin syncs with Runkeeper, Strava, Garmin connect and other services, Suunto syncs with Movescount and Strava intuitively. Fitbit syncs with the fitbit site and other fitness apps. The most interesting data is analysed on a computer rather than the wrist unit. This leaves the device to track information cost effectively, where cost is battery life, and effective is defined by how long you can track an activity.


My passion for “smart watches” stems from scuba diving. I bought a Suunto D9 to track dives and loved taking dive data and analysing it in view of improving my diving ability. I tracked training at the gym, hiking and other activities with various phones and their weakness was battery life. When you go for a hike in the mountains, go for a via ferrata or do a number of other sporting activities for extended periods of time you want a device that can last as long as you do.

Suunto’s Ambit 2 filled that need very well, so well that I upgraded to the Suunto Ambit 3. As an android user I can’t  take advantage of all the features yet but that will come soon, this month in fact.

The Apple Watch does not fill any of the requirements I have listed above and for this reason I am not tempted. I see it as a fifth screen that does not fill a niche. Fitness trackers, fitness watches and other devices cost the same price or less and fill niche requirements effectively. Why would I want a gimmick?

How PADI divers see an over-romanticised side of diving


Whilst it is true that divers are at the beach every weekend the location is not quite that nice. Some of us are or were in the mountains every Saturday and in the lakes every Sunday. We did have to wear shoes because the dive site is a lake. We don’t all drink beer and are not always salty. What you will have to get used to is that 6 or 7am wake up to be at the dive site by 8 or 9 in the morning. You will also need to get used to the bath being used to rinse off all of the diving equipment Sunday afternoons. You won’t need to get used to beer drinking because not every diver drinks beer.