ADA Crystal River Swim with the Manatees
February 17 - 20, 2017
--by Lon Von Lintel
During the cold winter months, manatee move into the warmer waters of the Florida springs and the surrounding waters. Crystal River is famous for its congregation of manatees. We are virtually assured of seeing them in large numbers. The water will be cold by Florida standards, 70 to 72 degrees, so wet suits are needed.
ADA has reserved 20 spaces on board with Bird's Underwater Dive Center, Crystal River. The cost is $65 per person, per day and includes wet suit, snorkel gear, hot drinks, and snacks. Bill Bird has operated this facility right on the dock, since 1986 and has been featured on more than 25 TV shows. HIs stable pontoon boats offer enclosed areas with changing rooms. He also offers the PADI Manatee Awareness certification, as an extra cost option. We have reserved the morning excursions on February 18 and 19. The cost for both days is $130 per person for boat tickets only. Food, lodging, land transportation, and other expenses not included.
ADA has also reserved camp sites on the Lake Panasoffkee KOA near Crystal River. We have 3 RV/camper sites and 4 tent sites. Dates reserved are February 15 through February 20. Per night cost is approximately $20 for the tent sites and $40 for the RV/camper sites. KOA grounds include pool, recreation hall, laundry room, bath house, fishing pier, WiFi, etc. Call 305-251-4975 to reserve your dates for any, or all 5 nights.
Please note: swimming with manatee is a snorkeling event. No scuba will be used during the manatee encounters.
Below is an illustrative Itinerary:
Friday, February 17: Drive to Crystal River and check in hotel or campsite. Your choice, make your own reservations. Many of us plan to camp, but hotels are nearby and reasonably priced.
Saturday, February 18: Morning departure for head springs via boat. Time TBA. Usually 2-3 hours of water time with the manatees. The remainder of the day on your own for other activities. Some of us will plan to cavern dive in several of the nearby springs. Cavern diving is NOT cave diving. Any certified scuba diver can safely cavern dive, and ADA will have Safety Officers on duty to lead these dives. Call Lon to see if you qualify.
Sunday, February 19: Second morning trip via boat, usually to different areas to swim with manatee. Many of us will plan to return home after the swim, but others may stay another day. Possible cavern diving in the afternoon.
Monday, February 20: Being a legal holiday, many of us can enjoy another day of swimming or cavern diving. We have structured this event to allow flexibility in times, days and activities. Plan to join us for some or all this adventure.
A maximum of 20 participants can be accommodated. For reservations and additional information, please call Lon at 305-251-4975.
The deadline for final payment is January 10!
--by Jerry Kosakowski
Thirty members met on October 8, 2016 at Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park (formerly known as John U. Lloyd Beach State Park) in the Jetty Pavilion,, for our annual BBQ, gear swap, and raffle. This was right after Hurricane Matthew hit the area and, to my amazement, there was not the anticipated beach erosion, and the damage was much less than expected. However, not to my amazement, the visibility of the water was poor and stilted badly. Dives were made and lobster caught but it was no highlight dive. It was more of an exercise in dive navigation. I dove with my son-in-law and grandson. The grandson got separated from us, even though we were only five feet apart. We followed protocol and all gathered at the surface and continued our navigation dive. We could barely see our hands in front of us, so we surfaced and swam back to shore.
Roy, our resident chef, did the barbecuing and grilled some tasty burgers and hot dogs, along with his signature homemade chili. Other participants brought in specialty foods, including salads and desserts.. All members had an enjoyable time, and there was plenty of good food to satisfy hungry divers and picnicers.
The raffle included a scuba tank made into a bell, a buoyancy compensator, an expensive dive mask, gifts and gift certificates for dives and equipment from Slates, Florida Keys Dive Center, and Austin’s. Everyone had a chance to select a gift from our cornicopia of prizes. After the raffle concluded, we held an auction for tfor some additional prizes. When all was said and done, members had multiple opportunities to select prizes. We did really good this year!.
Chef Roy: Slaving over a hot BBQ
At around 2:00 PM the party broke up and I offered our pavilion to another group, whose pavilion did not have electric power. We are a gracious group, making friends everywhere we go. I also recruited a Ranger and his family to join our group. He indicated he saw us there every year and had stopped by to see what we do. When I explained, he thought it was perfect for him and his family. Can’t wait until the next one. Hope to see you there because the best part was meeting up with the people we haven’t seen in a while.
Report On the 5th Annual ADA Tune-Up Event
--by Lon Von Linteli
The 5th annual tune-up event was held on May 14 at AD Barnes community pool in Miami. In this annual event, ADA members and prospective members are offered the opportunity to review and refresh their diving theory and scuba skills in a controlled environment. Thanks to the ADA Safety Officers' Committee, who provided expert guidance, and many volunteers, who provided support, all those attending agreed the benefits were immediate and long-serving.
The Board of Directors wishes to thank Rachel Davis, coordinator and Safety Officer, Dr. Daniel Baeza, Safety Officer, Mo Smith, Safety Officer, Lon Von Lintel, Safety Officer, Lorena Bach, caterer , and Charles Julian, caterer and welcome our newest members Vicky Marsh, Stefano Barbosa, Thomas Rodrigues, Osman Murillio, and Rick Klein, along with current members Maureen Curtin, Bill Curtin, Jerry Kosakowski, and John Davis. Thanks also to Divers Unlimited for equipment rentals
ADA Introduces Youth Program for 2016
--by Rachel Davis
In an effort to bring more youth into the ADA membership, we have enlisted a new board member, Juliana Bach (age 16) to spearhead the new ADA Youth Program with unlimited possibilities. Under the new program, young certified ADA divers ages 10 and 11 may dive with parents. Certified divers ages 12 to 14 may dive with any ADA adult, and Januarycertified 15 to 18 year-olds may dive with any ADA member 15 or older, in keeping with PADI safe diving practices.
To facilitate and encourage new members, the ADA board voted to amend our membership dues to just $10 for members under the age of 18 who are not already on a family membership. ADA Youth Leaders are encouraged to organize youth groups to attend the regularly-scheduled ADA dives and social activities in 2016. Help us spread the word about the new ADA Youth Program and be on the lookout for more info to come this year.
Moved or Changed Email Addresses Lately?
If so, please email us with your current information. You may send an email to Dr Dan Baeza, Membership Chair at ActiveDiversInfo@gmail.com.
If you haven't renewed yet for the new season, you may still do so. You may pay by check or online. Go to http://activedivers.org/Membership-Renewal.html to renew your membership online. To pay by check, mail a check made out to "Active Divers Association" with the appropriate amount to:
Dr. Dan Baeza
Membership Chairman - Active Divers Association
7592 Parkview Way
Coral Springs, FL 33065
Be sure to include your snail-mail and email addresses.