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February 2016 Edition

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In This Issue:

Time Is Slipping Away

The clock is counting down and we are nearing the last chance to renew at a reduced rate.Renew before March 31, 2016 and your membership fee is only $35 for a calendar 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.

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Cayman Brac Selling Out! One Slot Left

--by Daryl Johnson

There is not much time to book the July 9 through July 16 InternationallADA trip to Cayman Brac

The ADA trip package includes the following:

  • 7 nights Beach Room
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner daily
  • Welcome Rum punch
  • Manager's cocktail reception
  • Hotel tax and service charges
  • Round trip airport transfers
  • 6 days of 2-tank morning boat dives.
  • Use of tanks, weights, belt and dive computer (No diving the afternoon prior to departure)

There is a non-stop flight from Miami with fares around $350 on Cayman Airways currently available (not included, you must book your own airfare) making this an easy destination to reach. The price is $1465 per person, double occupancy and includes your diving, lodging, and all meals. If you have priced out a Cayman trip lately, you know what a bargain this is.Just click the link http://activedivers.org/CaymanBrac2016.html to put your deposit of $100 down now, with the final balance due April 15, 2016 (checks only accepted for final payment).

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Navy Seal Museum

--by Jerry Kosakoski

Does anyone know that this museum is right here in South Florida? It’s a great place to visit. It is located at: St. Lucie County, just outside Fort Pierce, Florida.: 3300 N Hwy A1A, Fort Pierce, FL 34949 It opened its doors in 1985

It's open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. It's c;osed on Monday. Phone: (772) 595-5845

The museum collection includes a number of rare artifacts dating from the founding of the SEALs, from the days of Scouts and Raiders, through the Underwater Demolition Teams, to recent present-day activities of US Navy SEALs. Original World War II–era obstacles used for demolition training prior to the Normandy landings ("D-Day"). Some of the exhibits you will see are:

  • LCPL "the Shark Tooth Boat" used by the UDT in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II and during the Korean War.
  • Patrol Boat River PBR, used during the Vietnam era. These boats had a shallow draft and jet drive making them ideal for insertion and extraction in the rivers and canals of the region.
  • navy_
  • Apollo space craft—the actual training devices used by the UDT "frogmen" recovery Teams during the Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury space missions.
  • SEAL Delivery Vehicles or SDVs, specifically the MK XII MOD 0, the MARK IX (9), and the MARK VII (7) MOD 0, which are mini-subs that flood inside (the operators wear compressed air tanks). These SDVs are used to clandestinely enter enemy harbors.
MV Maersk Alabama lifeboat exhibit:
  • Various SEAL vehicles from operations in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
  • The Alabama Maersk lifeboat aboard which Somali pirates held Captain Richard Phillips hostage.
  • A wall honoring Medal of Honor recipients, with the citations for each one.
  • Rare artifacts, equipment and weapons from the founding years during WWII through current engagements in Afghanistan.

Hint: Arrive the last hour and the tour is free. You can go through it in an hour if you don't read placard. I didn't. I like the pictures. At right is a photo of ADA member Blaze piloting some pretty impressive hardware.

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Soft Corals
--by Juliana Bach
Placeholder

Soft Corals, also known as Octocorallia, do not produce a rigid calcium carbonate skeleton and do not form reefs, though they may be present in a reef ecosystem. Although they are animals, soft corals have a flexible appearance that resemble plants or shrubs.

Essentially, soft corals are colonies of living polyps. The polyps have eight “plant like” tentacles, which is why they are also known as octocorals. One way to differentiate hard corals and soft corals is that hard coral polyps have six tentacles (branches), while soft corals have eight.

Gorgonia, more commonly known as sea fans, are found mostly in the tropics and subtropics around the world. Individual tiny polyps form colonies that are normally erect, flatted, and branching, resembling a fan. Gorgonians include sea whips, sea plumes and sea rods. A colony can be a few inches thick but can extend several feet high.

http://www.sabahnow.com/files/2012/06/Gorgonian-Forest.jpg http://www.naturefoundationsxm.org/images/coral/sea_plumes.jpg

Toadstool corals are found in various shades of brown, tan or green, with white or gold polyps. Toadstools look like toadstools (the classic red with white dot mushroom) with a distinct stalk and cap. As they age their caps fold.

http://freethumbs.dreamstime.com/1772/big/free_17724504.jpg

Unlike the gorgonians, tree corals have a stalk with no polyps. Only the braches have polyps. Tree corals are slow growing and are found in waters with a lot of movement and current. Tree corals often provide habitats for juvenile fish.

Octocorals look like strange trees and shrubs. Unlike the hard corals, octocorals are unable to build thick limestone skeletons. They are not reef builders, but they are found on reefs and on the ocean floor. The most common octocorals in Florida are sea fans and sea whips.

Source: oceanexplorer.noaa.gov, www.reefs2go.com

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Diving in Cuba
--by Dr. Dan Baeza

In January, I along with fellow ADA divers Daryl Johnson and Shel Seidman, visited the island of Cuba as part of a government sanctioned program. One of the cities we visited was Maria la Gorda (translation: Fat Mary), a seaside town tucked into a lagoon in the southwest corner of the island. There is a dive operation at Maria la Gorda, so we planned to use the ship’s excursion service to dive it.

A vintage 1952 Chevy

But first, let me talk a little bit about the tour. Celestyal Cruise line has created a People-to-People educational exchange program that allows U.S. citizens to visit the island. We flew to Montego Bay, Jamaica and boarded the Celestyal Crystal, a 521 foot, ten deck cruise ship. In addition to visiting Maria la Gorda, the itinerary included two days in Havana, a day in Santiago, and a day in Cienfuegos. Also included were numerous lectures on Cuban culture, economics, and politics, as well as dance lessons, cooking demonstrations, and drink mixology as practiced on the island. Although the ship, built in 1980, was a little dated, it had been recently refurbished and had all the amenities of a modern cruise ship.

L to R: Daryl Johnson, Shel Seidman,
and Dan Baeza

Cuba was amazing. We got a real kick out of seeing the vintage cars parade down the street. The vintage cars are used mainly as tourist taxis. The Cuban people were delighted to engage in conversation.

Now, on to the diving. Because we were unfamiliar with the dive operation, we opted to use the ship’s sanctioned excursion rather than book one on our own. The cost was $135 for what we later found out was a one-tank dive. A bit pricey, but included all the equipment. The equipment consisted of Scubapro BCDs and regulators, Mares foot pocket fins, and various and sundry shorty wetsuits and console gauges. The equipment worked as expected, although the regulators breathed a little hard.


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Deep Stops
--by Mo Smith

Divers with good ascent strategy – Credit: Melissa Gwaldis  Sources: Dan Alert NetworkA deep stop is a pause or a series of pauses on the ascent, prior to any mandatory stops, such as a safety stop or a decompression stop. The initial reports about the “effectiveness” of deep stops come from Hawaiian fishermen (who made up to 12 dives per day, some at depths of more than 200 feet) and northern Australian pearl divers, who made 200 to 300 foot, hour-long dives twice a day, 6 days a week. Both groups had few cases of the bends.

The person generally credited with bringing deep stops to the attention of the diving community is Hawaiian ichthyologist and tech diver, Dr. Richard Pyle. Some researches still refer to deep stops as “Pyle stops.” In the 1980s, Dr. Richard Pyle often dived deeper than 200 feet on air. Upon surfacing, he was frequently fatigued and had flu-like symptoms, indicating decompression stress. However, when he was collecting tropical fish, the symptoms were generally not present. To bring the fish to the surface, he made short stops along the way to puncture their swim bladders. The brief stops seemed to make a real difference. Dr. Pyle published his findings in 1995.

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ADA Youth Program

--by Lenora Bach

ADA is proud to present a new Youth Program in 2016. The program is designed for preteens ages 10  to teenagers under the age of 18 years old. The cost of membership is just $10 per year.

To apply for the program you must already be certified, (restrictions per PADI regulations)

Age 10-11 may participate on any ADA dive if accompanied by a parent or guardian

Age 12-14 do not need to dive with a parent but must dive with an adult 18 years or older. They will be assigned to an ADA Saftey Officer

Age 15-17 may dive with any certified diver age 15 or older, including other ADA youth members  age 15 or older.

New members are encouraged to attend the Scuba Skills Tune Up on Saturday, May 14 from 9-2 at AD Barnes Pool.

For more information, please contact:

Rachel Davis rachelhancock7@gmail.com 786-316-9852

Lenora Bach LenoraBach@msn.com 305-586-7793

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The Second Annual ADA Dive Cruise is ready for booking!!!
--by Daryl Johnson

After a very successful dive cruise in November 2015 we are ready to book the second annual ADA dive cruise departing on November13, 2016 on the Caribbean Princess for six nights and seven days and goes to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel all of which are world class dive locations. It is really easy to do when no flying is involved to get to your destination, and the ship repositions overnight to the next dive location while you are dining, being entertained, watching “Movies under the Stars”, or simply enjoying the voyage. Dan and I have taken several of these and enjoyed outstanding days of diving, gourmet meals, and a terrific cruise experience.

Double occupancy prices vary according to cabin from as low as $629 per person for an interior cabin to $879 for a balcony (on sale as of this writing,) not including the dive excursions which range from $119 to $200 (for a very special dive out of Belize to Turneffe Atoll), per diver, per day, including all equipment rentals.   Right now the special offer Princess has is on-board credits from $75 to $150 per person. Our experience has been that if the prices drop (they usually do as the date of the cruise approaches), and you have a deposit down prior to final payment being made, Princess can give you the new rates if you contact them.  So to make sure you get the cabin you want, I urge you to make your deposit now rather than later. Final payment is due August 30, 2016, and I recommend that you wait until then to make the final payment. Oh, and by the way, prices are lower if you want to book more than two to a room (four maximum).  I did one dive cruise with two other divers in an interior cabin with no problems.

An additional benefit of booking the ADA Group trip is the onboard credit that each cabin will receive depending on how many cabins are booked within the group. So, how simple is it to book this trip? All you have to do is call our Cruise Planner, Karen Bradder at 1-800-901-1172 ext. 41643 and tell her that you want to book the Active Divers Group cruise and make a deposit. That’s it, no muss, no fuss and you will be ready for an outstanding trip with ADA!! I will coordinate with our cruise planner to get the dive excursions arranged for all ADA divers but be sure and go online and verify that the dives you want are booked on your reservation.

See you onboard!!

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Scuba Certifying Organizations:
PADI Is Not the Only Boat Afloat
(Second in a Series)
--by Roy D. Wasson

I am not shy about showing my Advanced Open Water Diver certification card.  After all, that card bears a photo from the 1970s when I actually once had a full head of hair.  After staring for a moment at my flowing locks, many of those who accept my invitation to look at my C-card seem puzzled by the name and address of the certifying agency:  Scuba Schools International of Fort Collins Colorado.  Wait a minute, a major scuba certifying agency that has been around for 45 years is based in a landlocked state?  True enough, although SSI is more than 2,000 miles from South Florida and more than 1,000 miles from any salt water diving in the Gulf or Pacific, its home is also the home of Colorado State University at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Northern Colorado.

Although many divers I meet have never heard of SSI, the agency has over 2,500 authorized dealers, 35 regional centers, and offices all over the world.  Unlike some other certification agencies, SSI Instructors can only work through an authorized SSI Dive Center or SSI Dive Resort. Instructors cannot teach independently, which according to SSI’s website “means you won’t inadvertently take a diving certification course from someone doing business out of the trunk of their car.” The agency says that it “make[s] sure that all SSI Dive Centers, SSI Dive Resorts, Dive Professionals and Instructors are fully insured and up-to-date on all of the latest training techniques.”


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My First Live-Aboard
-- by John Davis

Wow! What can I say about the live aboard life?! My first experience with this was the Cayman aggressor in June 2014. My wife Rachel and I were celebrating our third wedding anniversary, and what an incredible way to celebrate! The Cayman Aggressor is just an amazing ship. Over 90 feet long with beautiful State rooms, a hot tub the dining room and a beautiful sundeck. It was boating at its finest. From the very first dive on the wall with the bottom of 6000 feet down to the night dives to the morning dives, and all the other dives during the day, every single dive was absolutely spectacular! I must admit that because it was my first time driving on the wall I was quite literally scared out of my mind. When I dove off the boat the first dive I saw that wall down about 80 feet below the boat and almost totally freaked out. But, through some encouragement from my loving wife I was able to make it through that first dive. As the week progressed I got more more comfortable and more and more amazed with diving on these incredible walls. By the end of the week I fell in love with the Cayman Islands and this amazing diving adventure. What was just as incredible was the fact that I never had to change my tank over. The amazing crew literally just filled up your tank just where it was. Didn't have to move to BCD.  Didnt have to move the tank! It was eat sleep dive five times a day for six days. And boy did we eat! The chef on board the aggressor was just incredible. Every day we were treated to omelettes, fish, and other incredible food including a big barbecue toward the end of the week.Another treat was luxuriating in the hot tub on the beautiful sun deck at the end of a long strenuous day of diving. My wife were rewarded at the end of the week by receiving the Iron Diver award which is given to the diver or divers who participate in all 25 dives during the week. What an honor!
I can tell you without a doubt that I would absolutely do another live aboard and in fact my wife and I did do another Liveaboard in Belize the following year. It was just as amazing as this beautiful trip in the Cayman Islands. I would highly recommend  to anybody who's looking for the adventure of a lifetime to try the LiveAboard life! It is totally worth it!

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Use and Care Of Your BCD
--by Lon Von Lintel

Most students are taught to vent air under water by raising the mouth piece of the oral inflator above the head and pressing the dump button.  However, most BCDs are also equipped with a dump valve on the shoulder.  This allows air to be dumped by pulling down on the oral inflator hose.  This method is better since little water, if any, enters the BCD.  If water does enter, it is important to rinse the inside of the BCD after each use.  To rinse, inflate the BCD about half way, then add enough water to make it feel heavy.  Move the BCD up and down, turning it top to bottom, and reverting back to the upright position.  After a minute or two, dump the water by inverting, pointing the hose down, and pushing the dump button. Repeat if the water tastes salty.  Of course, rinsing the outside is a given.  After the BCD has dried in a cool, well ventilated area away from direct sun light, deflated it by "bear hug" squeezing while pushing the oral inflator dump button.  Never, ever, deflate by inhaling the air by mouth.  Unless a special anti-bacterial agent has been used in conjunction with the internal rinsing, it is likely that pathogens have begun growing inside the BCD shortly after the first use.  These pathogens can cause serious lung maladies, and there is no guarantee that anti-bacterial agents are 100 % effective in eliminating all the bad stuff.

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ADA Off-Season Pool Workouts

--by Lon Von Linteli

Join fellow ADA members to get in shape or to stay in shape for the upcoming dive season:

Who:ADA members or not-yet-members who want to meet us.

What: Pool swims, conditioning, skin diving skills tips.

Where: A.D. Barnes Park, 3401 SW 72 Ave. Miami.

When: Noon to 1 PM, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Cost: $1.50 for seniors, all others $2.50

THE POOL IS HEATED! !

Bring your mask and fins.  If you want to practice free-diving also bring weight belt.

For more information, call Lon at 305-251-4975.

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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.

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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Newsletter Delivery Options

Want your newsletter delivered via snail-mail? Contact the webmaster and request a printed copy. Be sure to put "ADA Newsletter" in the subject.

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 Lon at (305) 251-4975 or 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 or via email at lon@diverlon.com to make a reservation. If via email, you will receive a notification whether space is available. 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!)

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