The Technology Behind the Amphi

The Amphi team has simplified the powered underwater propulsion to the ultimate level. Our powered bionic monofin encapsulates two common personal modes of underwater propulsion in a single device. It contains advanced sensors and electronics to assist you with your dive and after-dive analysis and works as if it was a part of your body, it needs no attention. You are free to enjoy your dive or swim. The power is with you or to be precise - behind you. In this blog, we are going to go through the key aspects of the Amphi.

Key Technological Aspects of the Amphi

hybrid

The central idea behind the Amphi system is hybrid propulsion powered partially by human muscles and partly by electric thruster. Does this concept sound familiar? We see the same approach on our streets in the form of an electric bike. You may be wondering why one would build a powered bionic monofin. Wouldn’t it be better to use a good pair of fins or an underwater scooter? Well, the answer to this question is: it depends. If your goal is to minimize the weight and complexity, then fins are the way to go. The downside to using a pair of fins is that you are quickly exhausted and less accessible to air. 

If you want to maximize your bottom time and minimize effort, a powerful (and heavy) scooter is the best choice. Realistically, dives are somewhere in between. You are rarely forced to be super light and reliable or to be towed by a behemoth without any effort on your part. Ideally, you want something in between, a smooth transition between muscular and artificial propulsion. The Amphi delivers exactly that. It shares the effort between the diver and the thruster, and you can decide how much support you need. The fin and the scooter are integrated into a single device, adding other advantages that are not possible when using fins and scooters.

the mechanical Advantages

Boats have propellers mounted at the stern or near the stern. The reason for this is that it interferes with the haul. Ideally, you want your thruster to exchange the energy so that it creates thrust, not drag. Hitting the haul with the jet coming out of your thruster creates unnecessary turbulence and drag. The same is true for the diver. Holding a propeller in front of you creates interference with your body. You may minimize it by lowering the scooter and riding above it, but in this case, you generate more drag by being beyond the hydrodynamic shadow of the scooter. In addition, the line of thrust and the line of drag are not co-axial, and it creates torque, which throws the diver-scooter system of balance and needs to be compensated for, thus causing additional energy losses. 

Amphi places the propeller at your feet. Yes, the fin blade is behind it, but the blade is much smaller and smoother than your body and diving gear put together, so the drag created by the fin is way smaller. This configuration creates an additional hydrodynamic advantage, which I will write about later. And yes, you guessed it, the line of thrust and drag are co-axial. 

Another mechanical advantage is integration. We use the same mechanical structure which holds and attaches the fin to your feet to support the thruster. We don’t need handles, controls, anchoring points. The Amphi weighs close to ten pounds. Similarly, power-wise scooters weigh around 16 pounds. Keep in mind that Amphi already has a fin, which for a traditional diver adds another couple of pounds. Pound for pound, Amphi is roughly two times lighter than the scooter-fin combination. 

synergy

How does the propeller work with the fin? It is just two separate thrust generators put randomly together, or something else? Well, the answer is: this is something entirely else. There is a synergy between the two. The secret sauce of Amphi propulsion, if you will!

I need to be a little technical here, bear with me. I will try to stay at a fundamental level. For now, let me focus on the fin's angle of attack (AoA) and flow velocity through the fin blade. With any fin, the angle of attack is changing throughout the stroke. The closer to the end of the stroke (where the fin changes its deflection from one side to another), the higher the AoA. At the end of the stroke, the vertical velocity VFin is the highest. This vertical velocity VFin, together with swimmers velocity Vs., contributes to the flow velocity V through the foil (fin), see the diagram. Sadly, with this large angle of attack α > 40 degrees (especially at low swimming velocities and strong kicks), the fin cannot take advantage of the vertical velocity amplitude. It is similar to a wing stall. It generates no lift on the foil, thus no thrust either. So, the potentially most powerful moment of the kick is virtually powerless. In Amphi's propulsion, the angle of attack is changed by the thruster's jet. It decreases it by providing an additional vector Vt parallel (for the most part) to swimming velocity Vs and skewing the overall flow V vector towards lower attack angles. This prolongs the lift generation phase of the fin. What is even cooler, it decreases drag on the fin too. Drag is usually minimal for small angles of attack. Sometimes it feels almost as if the fin wasn't resisted by the water at all. In addition to the AoA magic, the thruster provides much higher velocities over the fin surface, which creates lift proportional to V2. As I said, I will be talking about this stuff more in later entries. If this was too much for you, then remember one thing: we can increase thrust created by the fin by roughly 10—20% by providing synergy between the propeller and the blade.

ergonomics

How about no controls whatsoever? Is there anything more comfortable than “a perfect nothing”? No push buttons, dials, cables, gauges, levers handles? Nothing, nada, zip. You attach your feet to the Amphi and swim. Amphi will sense the strength of your kick and will add or subtract power accordingly. You can change the character of this control mechanism in two ways: by changing sensitivity to your kicks, or by changing for how long the thruster will remain “on” after you stop kicking. This allows you to go between aggressive sport like machines and relaxed cruising pal. 

Other aspects of ergonomics are the SPD clips we used instead of traditional foot pockets. The clips achieve three things:

Amphi can be disassembled into a fin blade (2 pounds), bindings (1.5 pounds), PowerPack (6.5 pounds). You can place them in separate bags or a single monofin bag, like those offered by Waterwayfins or similar. Easy to travel with as long as you remember that the bag is 30 x 30 inches. 

Mission-Specific

What’s more important than being able to share the system with your loved ones. Amphi can be turned from a powerful and very dynamic machine to a toy just by its software. Using your phone app, you can change almost anything within the system. But this is not where the flexibility ends. One can change the powerpack and blades. Examples: strong powerpack and shortfin blade for mostly powered dives or smaller powerpack and long flexible blade for relaxed long swims mainly using your muscles. And anything in between. 

We plan on having three different power packs and six types of blades. The only constant is the bindings, well, you can get different colors, though. 

On-board intelligence

By now, you know that Amphi has its electronic brain. A pretty powerful one, too. It can take inputs from multiple sensors to control your swimming actions. But it can also track your underwater path (including position, speed, and depth) if you want to, and then display it for you on your smartphone, or share it on the Internet.

In the future, we will add an optional sensor suite called MyGaya to record oceanographic data. But it’s a separate subject. The bottom line, Amphi, is an intelligent dive buddy. It’s not a dumb towing aid. 

UW to the cloud

The significant part of this project has been allowing people to share their underwater experiences online. Thus Amphi is capable of communicating with the cloud via the user’s cellphone. One will be able to sync Amphi’s data to user servers, share them on forums and with friends, compete remotely, etc. The possibilities are endless. We did not even scratch the surface yet. The wifi connectivity is there, and how people use it will be mostly up to them. We, the Amphi team, will follow the popular vote.

Amphi Americas - The World's First Powered Bionic Monofin

If you are interested in learning more about the Amphi, connect with us today! 

About the Amphi - Our Story

Our Amphi Product

Amphi is the first-ever, hands-free underwater scooter created to make snorkeling and diving effortless. As the world’s only powered bionic monofin, the Amphi waterproof mechanism helps swimmers propel themselves underwater with ease. The Amphi elevates your diving experience so you can take in all the things around you while also giving you more time under the water.

Effortless underwater propulsion for divers and snorkelers

Diving and snorkeling are some of the most exciting and enjoyable hobbies you can experience. But, it can be an exhausting activity that may leave some heading back to shore early. This prevents divers from getting to spend more time underwater and often causes them to miss out on getting the complete experience. 

Fortunately, the Amphi allows divers to conserve their energy by propelling them underwater without any effort from the diver. You get to take in your surroundings without worrying about overexerting yourself, which can make each new dive more enjoyable.  

Our Amphi Team

The Amphi was created by Dr. Marek Swoboda, a diving enthusiast, and highly respected biomedical engineer. Growing up in communist Poland left Marek with limited availability to SCUBA equipment, and he found that the technology being used wasn’t performing well. This led to Dr. Swoboda’s need to create the powered bionic monofin that would change the way divers and snorkelers experience the underwater world. 

Using the combination of biomedical technology and hydrodynamics helped Dr. Marek create the ultimate underwater propulsion device that we know as the Amphi. And with the help of our Research and Development team, our EP (Everything Person) CEO, our Training and Safety team, and our Expedition Director, we’re able to constantly make improvements and enhance the Amphi to its fullest potential.

The Technology Behind Amphi

Thanks to Dr. Swoboda’s background in biomedical engineering and physics, he’s been able to use more innovative technology systems to create the Amphi. This device eliminates the need for other scooters and fins and is especially useful for freediving. This underwater propulsion system is hands-free, quiet, and lightweight. It also allows you to experience the water in a new and fun way that is environmentally friendly!

And our hybrid propulsion device allows divers to use their muscles for swimming, the thruster, or both!

Immerse Yourself in the Underwater World with Amphi!

Learn more about our product, our team, and more at the link below!

Connect With Us!

Travel to Oahu

Some of the most well-known Hawaiian cities can be found on the island of Oahu. Along with being the third largest island in Hawaii, Oahu is known for being the most diverse island. The diversity here isn’t only limited to residents but extends to their landscapes and lifestyle options. Whether you’re the busy city type, a beachgoer, or an agriculture aficionado, Oahu is the place for you.

Oahu offers a diverse culture for the locals who live there, but it provides a variety of new experiences for visitors. From the metropolitan luxury of Waikiki to the fun-in-the-sun adventures on the North Shore, it’s easy to see why people from around the world are eager to visit the tropical island of Hawaii Oahu. See all that Oahu has to offer below!

travel to oahuExperience Oahu

Oahu can be categorized into five districts, which are essentially the south, north, east, west, and central areas of the island. The districts all have their unique atmosphere and environment, some of which consists of farmland, metropolitan cities, and tropical beaches.

North Shore

The North Shore of Oahu provides the best surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, free diving, and kayaking on the island. This is where huge swells create massive waves during the cold winter months, and during the summer, you can expect calmer waters that are perfect for mellow water sports. The most popular city in the northern area is Haleiwa, which is famously known for being the “Surfing Capital of the World.”

South Shore

Next on the list is the South Shore, which is home to the popular metropolitan cities of the island; Honolulu and Waikiki. This section of the island is commonly known as being the perfect combination of sand and city. Here you can enjoy a casual day of surfing and finish the night with a gourmet meal.

West Side (leeward Coast)

The west side of the island is home to some of the most beautiful sandy beaches but is less visited than most other parts of the island. You can expect to see large nature reserves, opportune surfing conditions, and small Hawaiian fishing and farming communities.

East Side (windward Coast)

Oahu’s east side is a mix of North and South Shore influences. You can expect to see lush jungles and warm sandy beaches here as opposed to tall buildings and heavy traffic. The windward side provides more of a beach town vibe than a city scene, but its nightlife is more fun than dull. The entertainment here includes breweries, restaurants, and speakeasies.

Central Oahu

Lastly, we have the central district of Oahu. This part of the island is less developed than other areas, but it provides an accurate display of Hawaiian life back in the day. Farm fields are most commonly found here, and locals tend to grow pineapple, sugar, and coffee.

travel to oahuOahu Diving Spots

There are many beaches and diving locations to enjoy in Oahu. One of them is Kahe Beach Park, which is perfect for snorkeling. The water clarity here is immaculate, and the high fish population makes seeing marine life a definite possibility. Another popular dive site on Oahu is Makaha Caverns, which displays two open-ended lava tubes dipped under shallow warm waters. Turtles, eels, and octopus may be spotted swimming among the coral reefs underwater pockets. And lastly, Waimea Bay Beach Park is ideal for avid surfers looking to catch a smooth wave. Locals and visitors alike flock to this beach during the summer months, but true surfing devotees will want to take on the winter waves that extend over 30 feet.

Want to enhance your diving experience? Try our bionic monofin today! The powered bionic monofin is a helpful diving device that propels you underwater to assist with snorkeling and freediving for a smoother dive.

Creature Feature: Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, known to native Hawaiians as honu, is a very popular species of sea turtle mostly because of its large size and notable characteristics. Seeing one out and about is rare, but in Maui, your chances of experiencing them in their natural habitat are quite high. The green sea turtle is the most commonly encountered turtle on the reefs of Hawaii and is truly a spectacle. Learn more about this unique marine animal below!

Learn More About the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

At about 3-4 feet long and 300-350 pounds, the Hawaiian green sea turtle is the largest hard-shelled turtle in the world. And due to the ingestion of marine debris and the quick deterioration of its foraging sites, the green sea turtle has been added to the endangered species list. Luckily though, recent laws have helped slow the extinction of these creatures, and more green sea turtles have been recorded swimming around the island of Maui.

Green sea turtles got their name, not from the color of their shell, but the color of their underbellies because green sea turtles are herbivores and eat large amounts of seagrasses and algae, which often turn their undersides green.

hawaiian green sea turtle

PC: Maui Ocean Center

Diving with Green Sea Turtles in Hawaii

Diving with Hawaiian green sea turtles is a dream come true for many divers. Their rare appearance makes them a desirable sea creature to stumble upon, as does their fun and easy-going personality. If you’re lucky, you can see a green sea turtle relaxing on land, but if you’re really lucky, you can spot a honu swimming along the shores of Maui.

Turtle Town is a popular site to catch Hawaiian green sea turtles, and it can be found on Maui’s southside in Makena. Thanks to the lava tubes formed on the ocean floor here, coral reefs have grown and thrived in this area, which is perfect for sea turtles. This diving spot is mostly sheltered from strong winds that provide calm waters and generally safe diving conditions.

Another popular spot to dive with sea turtles in Maui is off of the westside beach at Olowalu. Here you’ll find the Coral Gardens where you can observe turtles being cleaned at turtle cleaning stations by other fish in the reef.

And finally, we have Honolua. This location is intended for more experienced divers due to the windy and wavy conditions. However, this is a very popular dive site because of the abundance of marine life - including Hawaiian green sea turtles - that explore here.

Travel to Maui

Maui is the second-largest island of Hawaii and attracts more than 2 million visitors each year. This Hawaiian island is world-famous for its extraordinary beaches and fantastic diving opportunities, but that’s not all “The Valley Isle” offers. Maui, called “The Valley Isle” because central Maui is located between two large mountains, has many attractions that make it a popular travel destination. For instance, Maui is known for being heavily trafficked by migrating humpback whales, farm-fresh cuisine, and beautiful beach sunrises and sunsets. And while water activities remain the most popular interests among visitors, there are plenty of land activities to partake in as well. Learn more about traveling to Maui below!

Experience Maui

Maui has a variety of excursions and explorations available such as incredible dive sites, helicopter tours, whale watching, boat tours, paddle boarding and surfing, hiking, and so much more. Another interesting characteristic of Maui is all the farming they do there. Though sugarcane is no longer grown here, you can find several different fruits and vegetables grown and sold right at their farmer's markets. The food is fresh and organic, but it's also authentic and locally grown with care. And whether you're an earlier riser or a night owl, you can see a beautiful sunrise or sunset from Haleakala, which is widely popular among tourists and locals alike.

Maui Diving Tips

If you’re like most Maui travelers, you’re probably there to do some snorkeling and diving. Fortunately, there are many dive sites to choose from, all of which are unique and exciting. Some of the best dive sites in Maui include:

Lanai Cathedrals

Listed as one of the best dive sites in all of the Hawaiian islands, the Lanai Cathedrals contain large caverns for divers to explore. Here, you can expect to see lacework among the lava in the area, a variety of marine life, and if you’re lucky, maybe even a turtle or dolphin.

Honolua Bay

 It has water depths of up to 45 feet and is easily accessible, making it ideal for divers of all experience levels. 

Molokini beach

It contains some of the most transparent waters found in Maui with visibility for up to 150 feet, making it a haven for experienced divers. This dive site is known for being on top of an underwater volcano, which offers a unique opportunity to most. Be sure to look out for whale sharks here! 

If diving is a passion of yours, then you know how crucial it is to have top-of-the-line diving equipment. Our team at Amphi has created a new device that is designed specifically for a better diving experience. If you’re headed to Maui for some recreational or professional diving, consider adding our powered bionic monofin to your essential dive gear! Connect with us here to check it out!

Critter Feature: Manta Rays

manta rays

As the largest rays in the world, manta rays are highly treasured fish in the sea. They are also a highly threatened species and are now protected in international waters by the Convention on Migratory Species. Along with this, many countries have implemented fishing bans that make it illegal to hunt and trade manta rays. Manta rays are most commonly known for their grand size and high level of intelligence which is uncommon in any other fish. These rays have a cognitive ability similar to other highly intelligent animals such as elephants and dolphins that gives them greater long-term memory. And though their large size may make them intimidating to humans, manta rays are very gentle creatures. 

Diving with the world’s largest ray is truly the experience of a lifetime. See what you can expect from a dive with manta rays in Hawaii, and find out why they’re so highly treasured throughout the world.

Learn More About Manta Rays

Despite their large size, manta rays typically feed on zooplankton and krill by simply opening their mouths wide and drawing in their prey. This type of feeding is called filter feeding which is also how whales eat. Essentially, they use their teeth to filter through the water to get the tiny plankton. Thanks to their intelligence, manta rays are great predators and are able to use their wit to prey on plankton. Often, manta rays will feed together, making a circle around their food and swimming fast to create a cyclone effect that traps their food in one spot. Another fun fact about manta rays is that they often use their long term memory to visit cleaning stations in coral reefs regularly. There are several species of fish that feed on the surface of manta rays, removing dead skin and parasites. Manta rays will commonly visit the same cleaning station over and over where they remain for several minutes at a time.  

manta ray

Diving with Manta Rays in Hawaii

The most popular destination for diving with manta rays is in Kona, Hawaii. For many, diving with mantas is one of the most satisfying underwater experiences there is, especially in Kona. You can dive with manta rays in the Maldives and Galapagos Islands where you’ll get to see these fish at one of their cleaning stations. However, in Kona, you can see the manta ray in its prime, right at dinner time! 

Night dives in Kona are quite popular because this is when manta rays are out hunting. During your dive, you’ll wind up on the floor of the ocean with manta rays up above you. Here, you’ll get to watch the mantas from the underneath while they feed and swim. Plankton is attracted to bright direct light, which is why manta rays often come out during night dives. Just be sure to keep some distance between you and the manta rays during your dive to avoid disturbing or startling them!

Travel to Hawaii: The Big Island

green mountainside overlooking the bright turquoise watersHawaii is one of the most well-known vacation spots in the United States. Not only are the tropical beaches and warm weather enticing to many travelers, but the combination of luxury and adventure associated with The Big Island makes it an ideal destination. Here you can enjoy several outdoor activities from horseback riding, ATV rides, hiking, swimming, and of course, scuba diving and snorkeling. And with 12 different climate zones, you can expect to see more than just sunny, balmy beaches. Hawaii’s Big Island offers a variety of different temperatures and scenery including some snow-capped mountains in Mauna Kea. Whether you decide to travel to the Big Island for the remarkable diving opportunities, or for the luxury resorts, you won’t be disappointed by all that this island has to offer

Learn More About the Big Island of Hawaii

Along with the Big Island’s extensive amount of beautiful sites and fun activities, the island comes with very spiritual history. It’s believed that the Hawaiian goddess Pele and demi-god Kamapuaʻa, created a divide among the island that explains why the west is so dry and the east is so wet. Also, the island itself has 5 volcanoes, 4 of which are labeled as active. Mostly, the Big Island is known for its extraordinary diving, the many volcanoes, and the ever-popular Kona coffee blend. The nice sandy beaches and tropical palm trees make Hawaii a safe haven for visitors to come and relax or have some fun.

aerial view of the mountainside and ocean on the Big Island, HawaiiHawaii Diving on the Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii is favored for the scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities it holds. The bright, clean, blue waters allow divers and snorkelers a clear view of the marine life and natural habitat that lie beneath the surface. Not only does Hawaii have large open waters for diving, but you can also visit various lava tunnels, ponds, and shorelines for a more unique diving experience. One of the most popular dive sites on the island is Two-Step. Two-Step in Honaunau Bay is located on the western part of the island. When waters are calm, you can expect to see pretty much the entire bay including the stunning coral reefs and all the sea animals and fish that live there. You might even get to see a sea turtle or dolphin in this area if you’re lucky! 

Our team at Amphi has created a new device that is designed specifically for a better diving experience. If you’re thinking of heading off to the Big Island for some recreational or professional diving, then consider adding our powered bionic monofin to your equipment essentials! Connect with us here to check it out!

Creature Feature: The Queen Triggerfish

The Queen Triggerfish, also known by the scientific name Balistidae, is a native fish of tropical areas such as the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Gulf of Mexico. Although triggerfish are commonly described as being aggressive and mean, they are often captured and put into the aquarium trade due to their attractive appearance. Unfortunately, this has put Queen Triggerfish on the vulnerable species list and is now at a greater risk of becoming endangered. This fish species not only has a unique appearance but has many other qualities and abilities that make it a treasure for our oceans.

queen triggerfish florida

Queen Triggerfish Features

The Queen Triggerfish is best known for its unique ability to lock themselves into small hiding spots with their spines to stay safe from predators. Their extraordinary spinal features allow them to lock into a tight space using their first spine. Once the second spine depresses, it acts as a “trigger” to unlock the first spine and allows the fish to swim free. This is also how the fish received the name “Queen Triggerfish.” 

As mentioned before, triggerfish are commonly sought after for their aesthetic appeal. Most Queen Triggerfish is triangularly shaped and are a yellow and green color with interesting lines circling the eye. Some triggerfish may also have blue or purple on their fins and in other areas, and have a fanned, indented tail shape. 

Queen Triggerfish Behavior and Habits

Queen Triggerfish are commonly known as being aggressive and often wreak havoc in the reef during feeding times. As bottom dwellers who dig out their prey to feed on, triggerfish have become adept at using their fins to move away debris to locate their prey. Then, they use their strong teeth and jaws to bite through tough, hard shells of crabs, shrimp, sea urchins, and clams. Other sea creatures that triggerfish will feed on are squid, worms, and krill. Because of how hostile and fierce the triggerfish can be with their prey, smaller fish often follow behind to pick up their leftovers!

Learn More with Amphi Americas

Amphi Americas is dedicated to advancing underwater technology and capabilities, not only for those who enjoy diving but also for the wildlife that lives in our oceans. If you are interested in learning more about our product or would like to gather more information about our training, vacations, and seminars, connect with Amphi Americas today!

LifeStyleBreak, our escape to another, unknown world.

Hello to all readers!

We hope that the current situation does not bother you more than most of the world's population. What strange times have come. Most of us are stuck in our homes without being able to move freely. Well, let's hope that the situation improves quickly and we can all return to normal, everyday life. In the meantime, we decided to revive our blog, and perhaps provide you with some excitement during this long quarantine 😉 As I mentioned earlier, the current situation in the world is completely not conducive to travel, to explore new places, and to search for new adventures, so we decided to start a new thematic block called “Wednesday Adventures”. At the beginning, we would like to take you on a journey that we (Viola and Alex) took a few years ago. A journey that started in November 2012, and lasted for over 5 months. A journey for which we were preparing for a long time. Finally, a journey that has so far turned out to be the journey of our lives, to which memories we often come back with a smile on our faces. So let's begin!

 

Where, when and why?

As people inspired by the stories of other travellers, we decided to make our own travel dreams come true. We have always had the idea of ​​visiting distant and unknown places lying on such a beautiful continent called Asia! Finally, THE day has come, but first, let's start from the beginning…

Since we can remember, our heads were full of dreams of travelling the world, meeting new people, getting to know different cultures and admire the beauty of nature, so different from our everyday surroundings. Reading many books, guides and seeing millions photos from trips of other travellers, have made our hunger for travel even stronger. One day, we have finally decided to go for it. We have booked our time off at work for 12 weeks called LifeStyleBreak. From this point there was no turning back. Planning has begun!

The date of our trip had to be adjusted accordingly to the region we wanted to visit. Asia is a very large continent where at the same time, the season may vary from place to place. But first, how did we decide to visit Asia? It's hard to remember now. Maybe because Asia is a very interesting and exotic (for us) region of the globe, Himalaya mountains - another dream of ours, many of our friends are from Asia, plus a fact, that southeast Asia is recommended to backpackers who are going on their first trip. So basically, it was a perfect place for us to visit.

After many months of particulars planning, reading even more books and guides, the day, where our trip starts has finally come. First, we are going to spend some time with our families and friends. After a week's time, we will cross paths in Warsaw at the airport, where we will take the plane to Asia. Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam, more known as Saigon, is our first stop. After a couple of days, when our jet lag symptoms will go away, we will start to explore the country from south to north. From Vietnam, we want to go to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. It is a tentative itinerary, not a rigid plan. If we'll like a particular place a lot, then we will stay longer than initially planned, and vice versa, if any place is less than expected, we will move on.

 

From Europe to Asia

After a week’s time, we met at the Frederic Chopin airport in Warsaw. Getting to the airport was rather smooth, and we hope things will go like that for the rest of the trip. The first part of the trip is a flight from Warsaw to Moscow, with Russian airlines called Aeroflot. A few days before departure, we learned that these airlines do not have good reviews. The reason for this, as we were told, is a high aircraft failure. Indeed, the plane was not the first youth, but the rest seemed to be fine. The plane did not differ in any way from most of the planes we flew. We decided not to give a cool head and just begin to enjoy the first steps of our adventure. On the plane, we met an Egyptian man, who teaches English in the Polish city of Gliwice. So, the flight went by in a pleasant atmosphere and after two hours we landed in Moscow, where we have four hours to the next flight, which will take us to Ho Chi Minh City, a city better known under the name of Saigon.

Despite the fact that we are not fans of any airports, Moscow’s airport makes a positive impression on us. Well, maybe except for the prices! Although, that should not surprise us really, after all it is an airport 😉

We fly again with Aeroflot, the Russian airline, to Saigon: friendly service, comfortable seats with plenty of legroom and good food, so our flight passes quickly and pleasantly. Funny story: On the plane, in the row next to us, sat a Vietnamese-looking man holding in his hands a Polish sport magazine. It looked as if the newspaper was there by accident, and he was just looking at pictures and writing in an unfamiliar (to him) language. What a great and pleasant surprise it was for us when he began to speak to us in our native language. This is how we met Slawek, a Vietnamese, living in Warsaw for many years.

After almost 10 hours, Asia greeted us with a magnificent sunrise, which was even more spectacular when seen from the plane...

So, this is how it all began. We have over five months of amazing adventures ahead of us, during which we will visit (as it turned out later) as many as 8 countries! We will visit popular tourist attractions, we will discover less popular, but also interesting places. We will meet local people, try to learn about their culture and behaviour. We will climb the Himalayas, as well as relax on tropical beaches. Stay tuned and follow our blog so you don't miss the next episode, where we visit the most populous city in Vietnam called Ho Chi Minh City.

 

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

 

NEXT: LifeStyleBreak: Ho Chi Minh City ⇒

 

Let’s talk underwater, let’s talk personal

(blog dedicated to personal underwater propulsion and vehicles)

Let’s talk about this.

If you are reading this, chances are you like water. I would bet my hopelessly insignificant retirement plan that you would rather be under the surface than in front of the computer reading my blog. If I am right, then you are like me. Well, unfortunately being underwater is not a permanent state of things for us mortals. We go there when we can.

The next best thing to being there is to talk about it. I know two good ways of doing it: one over some good beer with your dive buddies, another is to be online. In both cases it is great to know some cool stuff about stuff. And this is where blogs like this one come in handy. We write about stuff we know or have learned through painful experience, so you can take it and use in your delightful beer infused sessions in your local bar, by the campfire on the beach, or enjoying the evening in a gazebo after a successful diving day.

I am not going to write much about regular SCUBA here. I love it, but this is not my focus here. I am not even going to talk about freediving a lot. I love it too, but my story is somewhere else. I am going to talk about something which has a potential of changing our underwater experience from being akin to a backyard walk, to something which is like cross country skiing or maybe flying. I will talk about personal underwater propulsion and vehicles.

Given! It will be partially about stuff I built for the Amphi project. But I don’t want to stay with Amphi‘s technology the entire time. I like it, but like everything, Amphi has its space in terms of application and the “fun factor”. I want to go beyond my personal experience. I will talk about history of personal underwater propulsion and vehicles, technologies involved, new products, novelties, trends, safety, civilian and military applications, etc. So yes, you will learn a lot of stuff about stuff. Enjoy! See you underwater.


marek amphi founder
Dr. Marek Swoboda

About the author:

Dr. Marek Swoboda is a life-long enthusiast of underwater technology. He holds M.S. degree in Physics and Ph.D. in Biomedical engineering. His behind-the-iron-curtain upbringing gave him a unique perspective on the underwater technology. Due to the lack of SCUBA equipment in communist Poland he was forced to improvise and learn on his own. As a teenager, together with his father, he built a series of buoyancy Control Devices, tested his father’s regulators and depth gauges. However, his professional career brought him in a different direction, namely the Artificial Heart and blood pumps, where he had the opportunity to flirt with his lifelong love – hydrodynamics. He teaches biomedical engineering related topics at Drexel and Rowan Universities. His busy schedule gives him little free time, but when it does, he immensely enjoys freediving and SCUBA. He is the brains behind the Amphi concept and implementation. He dreams of creating a new “cross-country diving” movement. On occasion, he enjoys good beer and company.