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January 2015 Edition

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In This Issue:

It's Time To Renew For Discounted Rates

The clock is counting down and we are nearing the last chance to renew at a reduced rate. Renew before March 31, 2015 and your membership fee is only $35 for a year of discounts and diving news. After March 31, your annual membership renewal fee is $45.

Your membership includes periodic eNews emails about club activities as well as electronic access to The Mouthpiece monthly newsletter. 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.Line

ADA 2015 International Trip

Barbados - July 19 - 25, 2015

--by Daryl Johnson and Dan Baeza

Once again, Dan and I have tirelessly scoured through countless alternatives to put together a great ADA dive trip for the upcoming season. We actually found this one while at the DEMA  (Diving Equipment Manufacturers Association) show in Las Vegas last month. We were able to meet with the dive operator and review his operations as well. This year’s trip to Barbados is from Sunday July 19, 2015 to Saturday July 25, 2015, and includes the following:

6 nights accommodations (double occupancy) at the Sugar Cane Club Hotel and Spa in St. Peters Parish

5 days of two tank diving with one additional afternoon dive with Hightide Watersports (http://www.divehightide.com/about.shtml )

Airport transfers and all taxes

July Weather in Barbados

Air temperatures range from a daytime high of 86°F to a nighttime low of 77°F. Rainfall is moderate at 5 inches for the month. Water temperature is a tepid 82°F.

Check out the hotel by following this  link to their website (http://www.sugarcaneclub.com/ ) . Pay particular attention to the trip advisor rating. It is #2 in the Caribbean and #15 in the world!  This resort has an available all-inclusive food and drink package for those that want to indulge ( at an extra cost of course!).  But part of the fun in going new places is discovering new things, and there are 22 restaurants nearby to explore. As usual, the trip does not include airfare, since individuals can purchase airfare cheaper than groups these days.

Ten (10) lucky divers will be going with Dan and I for the bargain price of $989 per person (double occupancy)! To get your spot locked in,  click on this link to make a $100 per person deposit By March 1, 2015: http://activedivers.org/Barbados2015.html. Final payment will need to be made by check no later than May 1, 2015.

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Continuing Education - Rescue Diver

--by Rachel Davis, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

The next step under the PADI system after Advanced Open Water is the rating of Rescue Diver. It is the pre-requisite for both Divemaster, the first PADI Professional rating, as well as Master Scuba Diver, the ultimate certification for recreational divers.

The PADI Rescue Diver program prepares divers to help prevent and manage major and minor dive emergencies. Rescue Diver candidates learn a variety of in-water rescue techniques that improve skills and confidence as a diver, and prepare candidates for the next level. Most certified PADI Rescue Divers look back on their rescue training as one of the most challenging, rewarding and demanding programs they’ve taken. The subject is serious but the training is fun.

The knowledge review portion of the course includes the psychology of rescue, recognizing diver stress, emergency preparedness and response, accident management, equipment problems, thermal problems, missing diver procedures, dealing with an unresponsive diver both underwater and at the surface.

The in-water portion of the course includes demonstrating rescue skills (tired diver, panicked diver, unresponsive diver, missing diver etc.), and practicing rescue scenarios such as how to deal with an unresponsive diver underwater and at the surface.

The Rescue Diver course is a great next step for Advanced Open Water divers wishing to further their training, learn valuable skills and have more confidence in the water as a result.

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Goliath Grouper Spawning Aggregation Dive
--by Rachel Davis

Every year in mid-September a natural phenomenon occurs in our local ocean waters. The goliath grouper aggregate in groups of 20-50 in a mating ritual that is a wonderful sight to see. Goliath Groupers, once threatened due to overfishing, have been a protected species since 1990 and have since rebounded in abundance. These large fish can grow up to 8 feet in length and weigh up to 800 lbs.

On September 13th of this year, five brave ADA divers set out from Jupiter Diver Center to witness this annual aggregation. Unfortunately, the captain had some trouble figuring where exactly to drop the divers over the MG 111 and Zion Train wrecks.

On the first dive my husband John and I went straight to the bottom as the divemaster and the rest of the group floated away over the sand, seeing nothing. We crawled along against the current until a manmade cement pillar came faintly into view. I went to it with a hunch that the wreck would be nearby. I saw about 8 of the large beasts around the pillar. I continued in the same direction crawling on the bottom until we came upon the wreck where maybe 30-40 groupers were swirling around in the wreck. The fish were completely oblivious to our presence as they were completely wrapped up in their mating ritual.

The second dive took us to the Zion Train wreck where we saw many on this wreck. All in all, this was a day of tough diving between the disoriented captain, the strong current, cold thermalclines and less-than-optimal viz. However, seeing the groupers spawning in such numbers in their natural habitat make the effort well worth it.

About three years ago I went with Jim Abernethy’s out of West Palm on a 3-tank grouper spawning dive with lunch in which the water was warm, clear and the diving effortless. This would be my choice for next time around. Any way you do it, this incredible site is well worth the time and effort to experience.

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Demystifying the Dive Computer
--by Rachel Davis

Gone are the days when divers have to rely on tables to dive safely. In this era of modern technology, dive computers are an indispensable must-have on every diver’s gear list. They are convenient, easy to use and most importantly, they provide information to help you stay within safe diving limits.

Computers come in all shapes, sizes and prices. They range from $150 for the most basic models to upwards of $2,000 for the fanciest ones. Some are worn on the wrist while others are integrated into the console. Some are air-integrated and act as a pressure gauge, and others have special features such as a built-in compass that functions on land or underwater, and wrist computers with wireless air integration.

But all dive computers, regardless of price, have some basic features in common. Nearly all are pushbutton or water activated, with a different mode on land vs. underwater. The most important information a dive computer provides during a dive is depth, elapsed dive time, and no-stop or no-decompression (“safe”) minutes. Most also give the water temperature, clock time, length of surface interval and a dive planning mode that shows no-decompression limits for every given depth down to 130 feet, taking into consideration your theoretical nitrogen absorption at any given moment. Another very important feature is dive log mode, which displays stored information (entry and exit time, depth, etc.) about your last several dives for easy reference. Lastly, nearly every computer on the market today offers a separate setting for Nitrox, which is very important for those who are Nitrox certified, and those who will be someday.

The most important thing you can do is to read your computer’s manual and become fully familiar with all of its functions and settings. It is important to know what the numbers mean underwater, particularly depth, elapsed dive time and remaining no-stop (“safe”) minutes. You should also be able to access the dive planning mode and data from previous dives. Lastly you should be able to easily switch from air to nitrox and set the oxygen percentage in the Nitrox mix on each dive. Don’t expect anyone else such as the dive master on the boat or ADA Safety Officer to show you how to set your computer, since every model is different and there is almost no consistency in the settings between brands and models.

Dive computers offer convenience, safety and allow for maximum bottom time. But it is every diver’s responsibility to be very familiar with your own brand of computer, know how to set it, find the data you’re looking for, and most importantly to understand and heed what it is telling you in order to stay safe on every dive.

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Take the Our Florida Reefs Survey

The Our Florida Reefs survey seeks to collect data on how and where southeast Florida’s coral reefs are being enjoyed by residents and guests. This gives an opportunity for all stakeholders to participate in the Our Florida Reefs community planning process by letting us know how you enjoy our reefs.

All survey participants’ data will be combined to create maps that show a summary of where people are visiting the reefs, what activities they are participating in, and how often those areas are visited. This information will allow the Our Florida Reefs community working groups to be better informed to recommend management actions that will help ensure a balance between resource use and protection.

Survey sponsor Amanda R. Costaregni is a Graduate Research Assistant, GIS and Spatial Ecology Lab at Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center. She will be the speaker at our March kickoff event informing us about this project, and other coral reef research and conservation efforts. 

Click here to take the survey.

Return to Index--by Rachel Davis

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My First Dive (a Mom’s Point of View)

--by Lenora Bach

I can’t remember much about my first dive, since it was over 30 years ago!  But I do remember being with my dive instructor, Yvonne Harper.  She was a native Caymanian and dove with Captain Don in the 1960’s.  I was in my early 20’s and best friends with Yvonne’s daughter, Diana.

Diana had a new boyfriend and she thought it would be a great idea to have her mother teach me and Alex how to dive. Then we could all go on adventures to the Cayman Islands.  On our first open water dive, I remember laughing at Alex because he vomited underwater.  He was so embarrassed!  And I was so “mean”.

Flash forward 30 years.......

One day, I walked by our swimming pool and saw my 9 year old daughter, Juliana doing the moonwalk on the bottom of an 8 ½ foot pool.  She came up slowly and showed me all the rocks she had stuffed into her bathing suit.  I asked if her ears hurt.  She said “yeah, but its fun.” That’s when I decided Juliana had better learn to scuba dive and learn all the science that goes with it!  We hired Sally Siebert (now at Florida Keys Diver) to teach the junior open water.  We all went to Bonaire this summer and Juliana really blossomed as a diver. We then hired ADA’s own Rachel Davis to finish the Advanced Open Water !

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Fish Identification Series - Jacks
--by Jerry Kosakowski
Pictures from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and information from Wikipedia

The Elopidae are a family of ray-finned fish containing the single genus Elops. They are commonly known as ladyfish, skipjacks, jack-rashes, or tenpounders. The name comes from the Greek ellops - a kind of serpent.

JackThe ladyfish are a coastal-dwelling fish found throughout the tropical and subtropical regions, occasionally venturing into temperate waters. Spawning takes place at sea, and the fish larvae migrate inland entering brackish waters. Their food is smaller fish and crustaceans (shrimp). Typically throughout the species, the maximum size is 1 m (3.3 ft) and the maximum weight 10 kg (22 lb). The body is fusiform (tapering spindle shape) and oval in cross-section; being slightly laterally compressed, and the eyes are large and partially covered with adipose eyelids.

Like those of eels, the larvae are leptocephalic - being highly compressed, ribbon-like, and transparent. After initial growth, they shrink and then metamorphise into the adult form.

This family is fished, but the body is bony and therefore this fish is not marketed widely for consumption. They are caught and used as bait or may be ground down for fish meal.

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Diving Tips and Tricks - Wetsuit Care
-- by Dan Baeza

It's the end of dive season, although it never really ends in south Florida, and that wetsuit can almost swim on its own. You've diligently soaked it in fresh water after each dive and perhaps even used one of the enzymatic cleaning products available in your local dive shop. Those cleaners work well, yet the suit still has a distinctive, shall we call it aroma, wafting over it. Well, cleaning it thoroughly is as close as your washing machine. Running it through a gentle wash and spin cycle with a small amount of laundry detergent will clean it  like new.

Be sure to rinse the salt water out before putting your wetsuit in the washer, as you don't want to introduce the corrosive effects of salt water to your washing machine. Measure a small amount of detergent into the washer and set the controls to "knit" or "delicate". You don't want to agitate the suit too much during the spin cycle. You can safely throw all your wetsuit-related products into the washer, including hoods, vests, booties, and gloves.

Once the excess water has been removed during the spin cycle, hang the suit up, out of direct sunlight, preferably indoors. Do not hang the suit by the shoulders, as the weight of the suit may cause the neoprene in the shoulders to separate. Fold it over the hanger it like you would hang a pair of pants. A wide plastic wetsuit hanger is ideal. If one is not available, put two or three plastic hangers together and drape the suit over them. After one side is dry, turn the suit inside out and continue the drying process.

I have used this technique on my current wetsuit for over ten years. It has been on many hundreds, perhaps thousands of dives, and although the outer shell is a little faded, the suit still does the job it was designed to do.

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Shore Diving in South Florida - Dania Beach
--by Jerry Kosakowski

This location is at Dania Beach. Park at the farthest north location (near the pier) that you can, then walk north 50 to 100 yards. Enter anywhere along this stretch. Swim out on the surface at least half the pier length. From there, swim directly east until you hit the ledge. It is well defined at this location and there are interesting spots on the way out. Continue your dive south along the ledge until you past the pier by 25 yards or more. Swim at a southwesterly angle and you will find a great nook and crannie spot. You can explore this for quite awhile. When your air dictates, swim towards the shore. The swim to shore is also very interesting as there is much to see. Enjoy.

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New Study Shows South Florida Soft Corals May Withstand Climate Change

--by Jenny Staletovich - Miami Herald Staff Writer

The oceans absorb more carbon on a planet increasingly choked by greenhouse gases, scientists worry its reefs — the great storm-deflecting rampart for much of the tropics — will crumble and fall.

But for the first time, a new study by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a team of international scientists has found that at least one soft coral, the shrub-like sea rod found throughout South Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas, is more resilient to ocean acidification fueled by carbon than previously thought. Unlike hard corals and other marine animals with shells that need less acidic water to build calcified skins, corals with interior skeletons like the sea rod can survive.

For marine biologists, it’s a bit of good news in a growing catalog of risks as they race to manage oceans 30 percent more acidic than a century ago.

Read the entire article at: The Miami Herald, 12/14/14

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ADA T-Shirts For Sale

Show your pride in the best dive club anywhere! Sizes small, medium, large, xlarge, xxlarge. Some tank tops available also. All shirts are $10 each. CALL LON AT 305-251-4975 AND PLACE YOUR ORDER TODAY!. Lon will deliver it to you on your next dive

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Have You Moved or Changed Email Addresses Lately?

If so, please email or call us with your current information. you may send an email to: Dr. Dan Baeza, Membership Chair at dmbaeza@bellsouth.net. You can also call Dan at 954-260-8225 and leave a message with your new contact information.

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Newsletter Delivery

Want your newsletter delivered via snail-mail? Contact Carol Cox at ccox911@att.net and request a printed copy. Be sure to put "ADA Newsletter" in the subject.

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ADA Guidelines and Policies

ADA RULES & REGULATIONS FOR ALL ADVANCED DIVES
(DEPTHS OVER 60’) ADA DIVERS MUST:

  1. Be current (dive activity within the previous 3 months).
  2. Have the approval of an ADA Safety Officer.
  3. Have a minimum of 25 logged dives.
  4. Carry an alternate air source (octopus), time keeping device and depth gauge

IMPORTANT WEATHER INFORMATION

Before departing for the dive site, confirm weather conditions with the designated Safety Officer. It is the responsibility of the member to call. Because of the large numbers of divers involved we are not able call you with weather information. For morning dives, call between 6 and 10 p.m. the night before the dive. For afternoon dives, call between 9 and 10 a.m. the morning of the dive

HOW TO MAKE DIVE RESERVATIONS

  1. Check this newsletter or the annual calendar for upcoming dives.
  2. Call Lon at (305) 251-4975 to make a reservation. Please do not leave requests on his answering machine, the trip may be full.
  3. We will hold your reservation for four (4) days from the date you call. If we do not receive payment within four days, your space may be given to other members. If you wish to confirm receipt, call Lon.
  4. Ask for details about the trip when you call. Otherwise, details will be given when you call for a weather check. (See “Important Weather Information”)
  5. Make your check payable to ACTIVE DIVERS ASSOCIATION, not to any individual, and mail to:
Jerry Kosakowski 
298 NW 83 Lane 
Coral Springs FL 33071-7439
You may also pay online via PayPal on the "Dive Schedule" page.

ADA GUIDELINES FOR COMPUTER ASSISTED DIVING

  1. Members using dive computers may extend their time 10 underwater minutes beyond the time allowed by the tables.
  2. Computer assisted dives must be well within the NO DECOMPRESSION LIMITS
  3. Members should understand and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  4. If a computer diver is buddyed with a diver using the tables, both must follow the tables.
  5. If a buddy-team is using dis-similar computers, both must follow the more conservative readings

ADA TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE

ADA has created a unique concept in local diving: NO FAULT INSURANCE!! For an additional $5.00, per person, per local dive trip, members can eliminate the worry of losing their dive fees because of an unforeseen change of plans. If, for any reason you are unable to attend a local dive for which you are scheduled and have paid the insurance, ADA will credit your dive fee to another date. The $5.00 insurance is  non-transferable and non-refundable. When you make a reservation, ask for dive trip cancellation insurance.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE SAFETY OFFICERS’ COMMITTEE

All members are reminded to read the “Rules & Guidelines for Diving Activities” you received with your membership package. Number 16 states, “All divers must be present for the pre-dive briefing”. If the diver is not present for the entire briefing, diving privileges may be revoked for that dive. Please plan to arrive on time - or better yet - a bit early. We thank you and appreciate your cooperation.

CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY FOR LOCAL DIVE TRIPS

Because of our contractual agreements with our service agents - dive shops and boat captains, we must notify them - usually seven days in advance - of the final number of spaces we are paying for. Thus, if our members cancel less than seven days in advance, we regret that NO REFUND OR CREDIT can be given, unless trip cancellation insurance has been purchased at the time of the dive trip payment (see next news article!)

© COPYRIGHT 2015 - ACTIVEDIVERS.ORG, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.