South Florida Scuba Diving Club
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March 2014 Edition

ADA Season Kick-Off and Social

The Active Divers Association will host it's annual kick-off meeting and social event on Saturday, March 29. The social will begin at 5 PM, followed by a guest speaker at 6 PM, and dinner at 7. Dinner will be catered by Shorty's BBQ. The cost is only $10 per person, for members and non-members alike. Contact Lon at 305-251-4975 by March 24 to reserve your place.

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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, 2014 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.

LIKE ADA on Facebook.

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ADA 2014 International Trip

Bonaire, Netherland Antilles, July 19-26, 2014

The ADA trip to Bonaire planned for July 19 to July 26 is nearly sold out. There are two spaces available, so get your deposit in today! You may pay by check or online. If paying by check, please send it to:

Jerry Kosakowski
298 NW 83 Lane 
Coral Springs, FL 33071-7439

All checks should be made out to Active Divers Association. The balance of $959 is due May 1, 2014, and again needs to be sent to Jerry Kosakowski. You may also pay online and/or get more details at http://activedivers.org/Bonaire.html. Dan and I have been to Bonaire several times and we know the diving well, so all I can say is that this will be an awesome trip!

--by Daryl Johnson

Diving in Style in Cozumel -- From a Cruise Ship

Besides red t-shirts, what do three ADA members have in common? Well, for Dan Baeza, Daryl Johnson and Shel Seidman, they all share a love of diving, really enjoy cruise ships, and appreciate the fine art of of bargain-hunting!

The Caribbean Princess Atrium
Caribbean Princess Atrium

Last year both Dan and I noticed that the big name cruise lines were offering really low off-season prices on Fort Lauderdale to Cozumel cruises. It struck us that we could not fly to Cozumel for the price of the cruise, much less cover room and board. So we kept tossing the idea around and no matter how we looked at it, we could not find anything wrong with going on a cruise with only a major stop to some of the world’s best diving. But how do you make it even better and cheaper? Ask another ADA member (Shel Seidman) to go and share an interior room. So for a little over $300 each, including taxes, we embarked on the first cruise dive trip we ever did.

Dan contacted “Dive with Martin” and set up a charter for the three of us to do a private 3-dive trip rather than using the  cruise ship excursion package. We were able to make three dives for what the ship would charge for two. Best of all, the shop was located at the international pier where we docked. So,

Dive With Martin
Daryl Johnson and Shel Seidman aboard the "Dive With Martin" boat

first thing in the morning we rolled our dive bags out of the ship and were whisked away to the waiting dive boat. A cold front had come through, so the water was actually warmer than the air at just about 80 degrees. We had three terrific hour-long dives and  were back at the ship by 4 PM, just in time to get cleaned up for the 6 PM Sail Away party.

Four nights accommodations, one great day of diving, all the food we could eat and continuous entertainment for less than most  international dive trips. Would we do it again?? You bet’cha!!

--by Daryl Johnson

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ADA Supports Coral Restoration Foundation

The Active Divers Association has for over five years collaborated with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating offshore nurseries and restoration programs for threatened coral species. CRF is leading the development of new nursery and restoration techniques. Tens of thousands of corals are grown and maintained in multiple offshore nurseries. After a year in the nursery, corals are outplanted to a degraded reef. With the help of students, volunteers, scientists, dive operators, public aquariums, and community groups, thousands of corals grown in CRF’s nurseries have already been outplanted on coral reefs.

CRF’s Ken Nedimyer does not take winters off.  Ken just got back from CRF’s  nursery in Colombia, where he and his crew planted 2100 corals on the reef and hung another 4,000 colonies for next year. By the time this article is printed, Ken will be in Grand Cayman where he is  trying to start a CRF program.

On March 22, 2014 CRF is holding its Second Annual Gala, celebrating 10 years of coral restoration success.  The gala will be at the Hilton Key Largo Resort.  Tickets are $150. Entire tables can be booked for $1,500. Other sponsorship opportunities are available at a range of donation levels.  CRF’s 2013 Premier Gala raised over $80,000 for coral restoration in the Florida Keys. This year they look forward to going above and beyond that number in hopes of outplanting 20,000 corals to local reefs.

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Did you know….

....that you can dive 5 shipwrecks on one dive?  The ‘Wreck Trek’ is a drift dive off Fort Lauderdale.  Start at sunken sailboats Pride and Moonshot, rebar stakes sticking up in the sand about 200 feet apart take you from one wreck to the next. Follow the rebars about 100 feet from the sailboats to the Jay Scutti (a sunken tug), then on to the Tracy, a 132 foot oil rig supply boat and then ending the dive at the 90 foot Mercy Jesus, a freighter that was sunk in 1998.  If the current is running south, start at the Mercy Jesus and dive the trek in reverse order. Current is usually slack, necessitating fin kicks from one wreck to the next but sometimes it is just enough to carry you from one wreck to the next. Each of the wrecks is teeming with life and provides shelter for nurse sharks, eels and Goliath Groupers. Definitely a wreck lover's paradise.  ADA does the Wreck Trek with American Dream II in Fort Lauderdale. Check your ADA schedule!

--by Carol Cox

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The Spiegel Grove: South Florida’s Best Wreck Dive

We are blessed here in South Florida to have many great wreck dives right in our own back yard. I have dived countless of them, but always am eager to come back to the USS Spiegel Grove, Key Largo’s most notable wreck.  This 510-foot-long landing ship dock is the largest ship ever sunk as an artificial reef.  Many will recall the unique tale of her sinking in 2002 when she unexpectedly sank and

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WORDS TO LIVE BY CONTEST - JANUARY WINNER

Our Words to Live By contest winning phrase is:

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed."

--Mahatma Gandhi

Thanks to Rachel Davis for submitting that quote. She is the winner of a free dive during the upcoming season.

This is the final month to submit entries to the Words to Live By contest. It will start up again in the fall. All members of the Active Divers Association are eligible to WIN FREE DIVE TRIPS in this fun contest each month from September, 2014 through March, 2015. Watch our newsletter for details.


JOIN THE FEW.....THE PROUD.... THE ADA SAFETY OFFICERS!!!

Calling all Dive Masters, Assistant Instructors, and Instructors. On each and every ADA dive there is supervision provided by an ADA Safety Officer. The Safety Officer's job is to ensure the safety and T-shirt back enjoyment of all ADA divers. It is a big job, with little or no thanks, but very rewarding for those of us who have accepted the challenge. You too can be a part of this elite fraternity.

The process of becoming an ADA Safety Officer begins with an orientation session conducted by the Safety Officers' Committee where all your questions can be aswered.

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CREDITS, REFUNDS, AND RENEWALS

Members who have a credit due to a canceled dive in 2013 will be automatically renewed for 2014, and a check for the difference will be mailed to the address of record. If you wish to have the entire amount refunded to you, with no automatic renewal, please call Lon at 305-251-4975. All standard memberships expired on December 31, 2013.

For members with no credits from 2013, please renew by March 31, 2014 to receive the discounted annual rate. See the "Time To Renew" article elsewhere in this newsletter.

Decompression Diving

What is a decompression dive? Literally, every dive using scuba is considered a decompression dive, because every time a diver descends, nitrogen goes into solution in the bloodstream. The phenomenon known as “the bends” or caisson disease was first observed in the 1840s, on workers digging tunnels in water-tight boxes or “caissons” beneath rivers. In 1908 Boycott, Damant, and Haldane created a set of guidelines known as Haldane’s Principles of Decompression and developed a series of tables based on these guidelines. Haldane’s studies were based on extensive testing with goats (yes, goats) in various hyperbaric chamber experiments. He then extrapolated his findings for human use. Later, the U.S. Navy ran some empirical studies with humans on Haldane’s results to modify and validate his tables.

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Dive, Cruise, and Food For Thought

Last month under ADA History you may have read my article about Andros Island in the Bahamas and was probably amazed with the $100 all-inclusive international trip cost. A lot of what’s changed since then is the airfare to these exotic places, making it difficult, if not impossible, for the “Average Joe” to experience these dream dive locations. Now, thinking outside of the box, consider the cruise ship industry and the real possibilities of extending our dive horizons. Up until now, a number of ADA’ers (including myself) have taken it on their own to use these bargain basement mini-vacations to explore and dive the Caribbean. The possibilities are endless: Jamaica, the Bahamas,

Shore Diving in South Florida

The Yellow Brick Road

This popular Hollywood dive spot is called The Yellow Brick Road. Park on Johnson Street and enter the water behind the amphitheater. Swim out to the eastern ledge and head south along the ledge and you will run into the dive site. It is marked by layer of concrete blocks heading east. At certain times of the year the lobster are plentiful here. Beyond the concrete blocks is a pile of rubble with numerous critters hanging out in the rocks. The area can keep you busy and entertained throughout the dive. The depth is shallow so you will have plenty of bottom time. If you finish exploring the area and still have some air remaining, continue south along the ledge, until you reach your turnaround point. At the turnaround, reverse course and swim north until you hit your exit point. Alternatively, you can swim to the middle of the reef and explore it that way. Just pop up periodically and locate the amphitheater on shore as a visual aid.

There are public bathrooms and showers nearby, and restaurants line the boardwalk if you are hungry after your dive. You may check conditions of the site by using the Hollywood Beach Cam at http://www.visithollywoodfl.org/beach-cam.aspx. You see right where you will be diving and the walk from your car to the beach is really short. Can it get any better than this?

-- by Jerry Kowsakowski

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Save The Date

By popular demand, we will offer the Scuba Skills Tune-up on May 17 for current and new ADA members. See next month's newsletter for details.

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, as 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 buddied 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 ADA Trip Cancellation Insurance news article above!)

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