I finally got in the water today with my new backplate/harness/wing rig (hence, the trip to Dardy's pool), and I can say with convinction that I will never dive a BCD again. A backplate and harness is so comfortable underwater, and swimming with it is really easy!
Recently, HydroOptix sent me a Mega panoramic mask to evaluate, which I also tried out the in the pool. I can say that it certainly works as advertised. At first I didn't think much about the product, but then I realized that it was only because my field of view underwater matched what I normally see on the surface! When I put on my regular mask again, I felt someone had slapped shutters on me. Unfortunately, the HydroOptix mask doesn't really fit my face, so I'm not sure that I'll be able to bring it with me on this trip.
Thanks to Dardy for pool access, and to Cindy for keeping me company.
Before all of that, I met with Nash at eBay, who wanted to introduce me to Clara, the "Photo & Cameras" category manager. We had a nice chat and had fancy coffee drinks at Starbucks (when in Rome...), and even though it had been billed as a "meeting," I was grateful that it felt more like hanging out with a couple of friends.
Also in the photos today: Cindy Yu, and Schrep and Erin's beautiful burmese kitties. :) [see some photos]