Garmin Descent MK1 comments/concerns

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Garmin Descent MK1 comments/concerns

Postby castronova » February 5th, 2018, 6:05 am

I'm sure most of you have seen this new watch by Garmin but if you haven't it's basically a dive watch which has really cool logging capabilities and a built in GPS. I understand that I am on a different coast than the majority of this board and everyone dives a lot different. That being said I would think most people take a lot of pride in finding spots and fish over the course of a diving career. This watch has the ability for the user to mark spots with the built in GPS while on the surface.

In the Keys numbers are gold. Having holes that hold grouper on the regular can be the difference from always going out and being a successful spearfisherman or just wasting your time and money. From both a recreational and charter stand point, which ever you can respond, who has a problem with this equipment?

My initial thoughts, which are still my opinion on the watch after much deliberation, is I'm pretty sure no one will get on my boat wearing one unless they are a very good friend. Am I just getting old and grumpy?
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Re: Garmin Descent MK1 comments/concerns

Postby Rob102 » February 5th, 2018, 9:29 am

Do you use this watch?

I read the specs but I couldn’t see how many marks you can enter of if you can enter data with the mark; like depth, terrain, type of fish etc. it only says that it automatically marks entry and exit.
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Re: Garmin Descent MK1 comments/concerns

Postby castronova » February 5th, 2018, 10:43 am

No, I don't use the watch. I have seen someone from a dive shop touting that you can mark spots but to me it seems it at least automatically marks your location when within 1' of the surface. I believe "marks entry and exit" is more based on a scuba dive. I don't know for sure but in apnea hunt mode I'd guess it gives a location each surface interval. If it does and is like the computer in the Aeris this would mate it to a particular dive. I don't think there is entry of data like you said but you can simply remember "dive number 15, 27, and 31" and gain someone elses numbers very easily. That is my concern.

I personally think the watch is awesome and would love to have one. I just think it could be a problem for some people.
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Re: Garmin Descent MK1 comments/concerns

Postby chris oak » February 5th, 2018, 11:09 am

That could definitely be a problem, but anyone with a cell phone also has the capability to mark gps if they can get a signal.

Out of curiosity, do you dive with a lot of new guys JP? I generally try to dive with only guys I know or trust or that come recommended by other freinds, that is not only to keep certain spots more secretive, but also because I'm really wary of guys not being able to get out of trouble when they shoot a big fish.
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Re: Garmin Descent MK1 comments/concerns

Postby castronova » February 5th, 2018, 11:26 am

I do understand the cell phone capabilities but that seems a little less specific but maybe I don't know all the app's that are out there.

I have dove with a fair amount of new guys over the years. Most the time they come with someone I know, I know of them, etc. Not really that big of a worry for the most part. I don't think people will click their phone in front of you. I think someone would be more tempted with no one around to see what they are doing.

The biggest threat I see is... my captains license should be here today. While I have way too good of a job to quit and charter full time I am going to pick up winter wahoo trips and maybe summer long range trips to make some extra money. That's when things get a little more scary. Especially with my numbers 80 or 90 miles out that I know very few people anywhere have if any.
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Re: Garmin Descent MK1 comments/concerns

Postby Bill McIntyre » February 5th, 2018, 12:01 pm

I don't think it would be as much of a problem in California as it would be in Florida. My understanding is that your grouper holes are very specific with no particular high spots or landmarks nearby. Out here we go to a kelp bed or to an offshore pinnacle. But after we get there, we hunt failed widely in that general area. If I take a new guy to a spot, it would be pretty easy for him to just glance at a hand held GPS or my boat's GPS to get the numbers.

And then our most prized fish, white sea bass and yellowtail, swim all around the general area rather than being in specific holes. Both fish tend to be on the up-current end of the kelp bed or high spot, but of course that changes with current change anyway. If a guy used this watch to get specific numbers where he shot a fish, the fish might be at the other end of the area an hour later.

Maybe in Norcal where ling cod hang out in holes the watch would be more useful though.
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Re: Garmin Descent MK1 comments/concerns

Postby Rob102 » February 5th, 2018, 1:37 pm

It would be useful if it could do everything that a hand held Garmin gps could do. If I have to remember that I found the spot on a specific drop number I would still have to transfer the number to my hand held. The scuba modes are pretty much useless. I burn about 4 tanks a year.

I think it’s $1000 for not much added value.
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Re: Garmin Descent MK1 comments/concerns

Postby Jeff B » February 8th, 2018, 9:28 pm

I hadn't heard of the watch but it seems like a super cool idea and a logical step for the technology. From what I've seen the gps part is a map display. Does it show your actual coordinates anywhere? Somewhat relatedly, does the built in Garmin map have MPA boundaries on it? If so, I could see that being a useful feature for California to make sure you stay outside the reserve.

I also wonder about the accuracy of the gps fix, especially for freediving when the watch is at/near the surface for only a few minutes between drops. I know the technology has come a long way in recent years, but my 6 yr old handheld unit sometimes takes several minutes to find enough satellites to fix accurately within a couple yards. If it fixes with poor, 50 yard accuracy is that really any better than poaching grouper (or lobster) hole numbers from the boat's gps 50 yards away? I sure wouldn't trust it to find some of my spots from shore that are right near reserve boundaries.
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Re: Garmin Descent MK1 comments/concerns

Postby Freeryde » February 11th, 2018, 1:10 pm

Yeah spots are a big deal in Florida. Charter captains sell numbers for thousands of dollars when they retire. And secret spots really are secret. My brother had someone break into his house a few years back and steal his book of numbers. I do have a couple of “secret” spots here in CA but mostly it’s just everyone piled into the same spots. As far as being worried about letting people on your boat with the watch that could mark your spots i think you are right to be concerned. I know my brother has caught a couple people taking pics of numbers on his gps when they were on his boat and he was in the water diving.
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