South Florida Scuba Diving Club
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May 2014 Edition

New Online ADA Dive Calendar

One of the first things I did every spring when the ADA dive calendar was first published was to sit down for 30 minutes and hand copy the dives into my personal paper calendar. With the advent of smartphones and electronic calendars I still had to transcribe it all from the paper newsletter to my calendar, which again, took at least 30 minutes. BUT NO MORE!!! With some help from our webmaster Dan Baeza, I took most of the work out of it for you so that with a few clicks on Google you can overlay the ADA dives and events on your personal calendar. All you have to do is to follow the instructions at http://activedivers.org/calendarinstructions and in no time you will have all the events on your calendar.

There are other benefits too, since the club can update the schedule, and any changes that occur will automatically show up on your calendar. Also, each event has a link on it to take you to the relevant information on the website. Enjoy!!!

-- by Daryl Johnson

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Diving with the Manatees–Times Have Changed

One of the most fun ways to get in touch with the living underwater world is to dive with the manatees.  These large, air-breathing creatures move silently and rhythmically from bottom to surface along shallow coastlines or inland waterways, going up from grazing on soft vegetation to breaking the surface for air.  Ancient mariners used to mistake manatees for mermaids. Although “sea cows” are unmistakably mammals, those mistaken sightings were before eyeglasses were invented, and most likely by sailors who had been out to sea for a long, long time.

I started diving with the manatees in Crystal River more than 35 years ago.  One of the first underwater photographs I took (with an Instamatic camera in an Ikelite housing) was of a large manatee right in front of me.  Manatees frequent the river in large numbers, especially in winter, when they move out of the Gulf upstream to enjoy the relatively warmer water.  Nowadays it is illegal to touch a manatee, and a first offense is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail.  It did not used to be that way.  In the seventies when I started diving with them, it was common and expected that divers would touch the manatees.  The critters were so friendly, that they would swim right up and embrace you with their pectoral flippers.  They like it when you hug them back.  You can put your hand in their mouth without fear of being harmed, because their jaws are only strong enough to chew aquatic vegetation and their teeth have rounded tops like the surface of a salt shaker.  Baby manatees, used to looking under its mother’s pectorals to nurse, like to stick their snouts under your armpits, hoping for a meal.

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Fish Identification Series

Lionfish

(Content reprinted from Wikipedia, addidional commentary by Jerry Kosakowski)

Pterois, commonly known as lionfish, is a genus of venomous marine fish found mostly in the Indo-Pacific. Pterois is characterized by conspicuous warning coloration with red, white, creamy, or black bands, showy pectoral fins and venomous spiky fin rays.They are a popular aquarium fish. You can see why because of their beauty.

Pterois can live from five to fifteen years and have complex courtship and mating behaviors. Females release two mucus-filled egg clusters frequently, which can contain as many as fifteen thousand eggs.Studies on Pterois reproductive habits have increased significantly in the past decade All the species are aposematic: they have conspicuous coloration with boldly contrasting stripes and wide fans of projecting spines, advertising their ability to defend themselves.

Aside from instances of larger lionfish individuals engaging in cannibalism on smaller individuals, adult lionfish have few identified natural predators. This is likely due to the effectiveness of their venomous spines. Moray eels) and large groupers, like the tiger grouper have been observed preying on lionfish. It remains unknown, however, how commonly these predators prey on lionfish. Sharks are also believed to be capable of preying on lionfish with no ill-effects from their spines. Park officials of the Roatan Marine Park in Honduras have attempted to train sharks to feed on lionfish as of 2011 in an attempt to control the invasive populations in the Caribbean. Predators of larvae and juvenile lionfish remain unknown, but may prove to be the primary limiting factor of lionfish populations in their native range.

You know they are poisonous and I can testify firsthand it is painful, but a bee sting can be fatal for me, so judge from that. The cure is simple, hot water around 110 degrees. I was given morphine and that did nothing. But the smart Doctor rushed in telling me he just googled it and had the answer. Best news of the day, but if I was him I don’t think I would have revealed that source of wisdom.

2015 ADA International Trips Are Being Planned Now!

For some of you this may seem a bit early to start planning, but Dan and I have wanted to get a Fiji trip together for quite a while. Since this is a bit off the beaten track we thought

it would be a good idea to get ADA members to think about it and pencil in some dates. We are targeting a Fiji sojourn for March 15-22, 2015 (and yes, it is on the calendar already!) We will also be hosting a Caribbean trip on July 18-25, 2015. We haven’t narrowed it down beyond “somewhere in the Caribbean” yet, please take a moment and pass along your thoughts and suggestions to either Dan at dmbaeza@bellsouth.net or Daryl at diverdaryl@bellsouth.net.

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Did you know….

....95% of Biscayne National Park is underwater?  Officially designated a national park in 1980, the park is accessible by road (328th Street), but only to the Visitors Center. You need a boat to see the majority of the park, which includes  the northernmost part of the world's third largest

coral reef. It is one of the four distinct ecosystems within  the park  (the others being mangroves, Biscayne Bay, and the northern islands of the Florida Keys). Some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in Florida can be found in the park, although currently, a private boat will be necessary.  Hiking trails, kayaking and canoeing (bring your own), picnic areas, and fishing are popular along the shoreline. Several of the most popular dive sites include Ball Buoy Reef in the southernmost point of the park and "The Wall’ along the easternmost boundary.  The Wall is a drift dive along a half mile of near-vertical drop-off, from 60 feet at the top, to 105 feet at the sandy sea floor.

Moray eels, turtles, and schools of fish, along with tiny banded coral shrimp, flamingo tongues, and nudibranchs make their home along the slope. Eagle rays and the occasional swordfish have also been sighted swimming in the blue water opposite the wall.  More information can be found at the Visitors' Center at Convoy Point.  Bring a lunch and enjoy the picnic tables in front of the Visitors' Center or dock you boat and come ashore.

--by Carol Cox

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Can Jellyfish Tentacles Sting After Separation from the Body?
(Reprinted from WiseGeek.com)

Jellyfish tentacles are still able to sting after separation from the creature's body or even after it is dead. Stings from jellyfish tentacles that are separated from the body typically occur because of ocean tides that scatter them in the water. Jellyfish tentacles contain specialized cells that are activated by touch to release the venomous stingers. Even if a jellyfish is dead, its tentacles are able to be activated and sting prey, emitting toxins that can cause pain or severe allergic reactions — or even death in humans, in rare cases.

A jellyfish typically consists of about 95% water, and the remaining portion is mostly a gelatinous material called mesoglea. More than 900 million pounds (425,000 tons) of jellyfish are caught and consumed by humans each year, mainly in Southeast Asia. Jellyfish are thought to date to more than 500 million years ago and to have been the first animals to have a nervous system, as well as the first creatures to use muscles to swim rather than just drifting in the water.

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Signs of New Life
(Source: Miami Herald,Jan.22, 2014)

The C-111 canal was dug in the 1960's to transport rockets from the Aero-jet plant in south Dade to Cape Canaveral.  The plant was never built, thank goodness, but the canal has been starving the Florida Bay of fresh water, causing it to be too salty.  The result was damage to fish, birds, and other wildlife.  But now, a network of pumps, levees, canals and wetlands constructed near the Homestead entrance to Everglades National Park is paying big dividends.  In its first year of operation, the new project is exceeding expectations.  Underwater plants, which provide food and shelter for life in Florida Bay, now cover five times the area they covered in 2008. And fresh water flow into the Bay is twice that of five years ago.  Roseate spoonbills, the "canary of the coal mine" populations had dropped from 1,200 nesting pairs in the late "70s, to 200 three years ago.  Today the count is about 400 pairs.  The health of Florida Bay is linked to the health of our reefs.

Keep your fingers crossed!

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Newsletter Delivery

Want your newsletter delivered via snail-mail? Contact Carol Cox at cox911@att.net and request a printed copy. Be sure to put "ADA Newsletter" in the subject.

SCUBA SKILLS TUNE-UP EVENT - June 14

Calling all ADA Members and Prospective Members! Save the date for Saturday, June 14th for the ADA Scuba Skills Tune-up Event.

This exciting event will generate awareness of ADA and encourage new members to join. ADA will reach out to the community and provide an opportunity for lapsed scuba divers to brush up on their skills in a relaxed, friendly environment. It will also provide an opportunity for prospective ADA members to meet and get acquainted with the membership, learn about our dive trips and join ADA!

Date: Saturday, June 14, 9am to 1pm

Location: A.D. Barnes Park Park Pool, 3401 SW 72 Avenue, Miami, FL 33155 (305) 666-5883

Cost: Free to current paid-up ADA members; $25.00 one-day only membership promotion for certified divers wishing to join ADA at the event – offer available to new members only.

Events and Activities: Ongoing Scuba Tune-Up Clinics taught by Safety Officers and PADI-certified scuba instructors. Clinic topics include re-familiarization and assembly of scuba equipment, proper use of equipment, and refresh on the typical pool skills with scuba equipment taught in the Open Water course. Also covered will be safety topics, equipment, dive planning, underwater environment, computer use, etc. Note: This is not the official PADI scuba refresher course and participants do not receive any sort of certification for this event.

Lunch: Poolside lunch served after the pool session compliments of ADA.

Rental Equipment: Participants must bring their own scuba gear – mask, fins, snorkel, BC, regulator and weights. Each participant must also bring one filled air tank.

Volunteers Needed: If you would like to volunteer for the registration table, lunch setup, clean-up, or clinic instruction, please contact Rachel at rachelhancock7@gmail.com or call 786-316-9852.

Spread the Word and Bring Your Friends! We want to use this event to get in as many new members as possible so please spread the word and bring your friends. There will not be another opportunity to join ADA for just $25 for the rest of the year.

To RSVP or More Info: Contact Rachel Davis  at rachelhancock7@gmail.com or call 786-316-9852.

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ADA Volunteers Honored

ADA is an all volunteer organization. We depend on the generosity of members who give their time and effort so we all can enjoy the many befits of being a member of the ADA family. Those honored on March 29th at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Day and Kickoff Event were: Dr. Dan Baeza, Lee Wood, Rosey Wood, Chris Wood, Rachel Davis, John Davis, Carol Cox, Connie Crowther, Roger Bach, Lenora Bach, Juliana Bach, Charles Julian, George Lamidrid, Jerry Kosakowski, Daryl Johnson, Helen Colby, Roy Wasson, and Lon VonLintel.

THANK YOU, WELL DONE!!


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 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 answered.

T-shirt back

Following orientation, there is a period of on-the-dive observations, as well as an apprenticeship under the supervision of an ADA Safety Officer. Thereafter, the Safety Officer Committee evaluates its observations and based on a positive outcome, you are awarded the coveted ADA Safety Officers T-shirt.

Are you up to the challenge? Want to give something back to ADA? Call Lon at 305-251-4975 for more information.

Sea Cucumbers Ala King

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a commercial daily trip and vessel limit of 200 sea cucumbers in both state and federal waters that will take effect June 1. Sea cucumbers are sedentary bottom-dwellers that are becoming a staple of Asian seafood markets, and commissioners said they wanted to be proactive in preventing overfishing.

Sea cucumbers are widely prevalent in south Florida waters. Sea cucumbers have two phases, contracted or normal, and extended. When in its normal phase, the animal is 10 to 12 inches and 4 to 6 inches in width at its widest part.  They can be seen on the bottom in sand and look more or less like a spike-like foot-long whole wheat sub sandwich. They are usually brown or reddish-brown, although other colorations are possible.

Sea cucumbers are the garbage disposals of the sea, feeding on the droppings of animals and other organic debris. The sea cucumber takes in nourishment though its mouth at the anterior end of its cylindrical body, and expels waste at the posterior end. As sedentary scavengers, they will consume up to 300 pounds of sediment in a single year, although watching them move on the ocean floor is akin to watching paint dry.

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Shore Diving in South Florida

Glenn's Reef

Glenn’s Reef; it is located at the south end of Dania Beach. The rule for diving Dania Beach is that there is no entry along the beach itself, but re-entry is allowed. Thus, for this dive, park as far south as possible. There is a sign on the beach that indicates where to dive. When you enter it is shallow, so walk out as far as possible and dive. Initially, you will see sand. Head in an east-southeast direction. The coral will soon come into view. It is going to be low and sandy, but eventually rises. Continue in an east-southeast direction until you note it beginning to rise, and then head for the high points. The best part will be on the southeast side. The reef is a small circle, with sand separating it from the rest. If you experience trouble locating it, surface and align yourself with the second condo and three-fourths to the end of the Dania pier to the north. There are some caves here, so look carefully. I’ve dug out some areas here for the lobsters to hide, and I rarely go home empty-handed. If there are no lobster around, it’s because they are hiding deep into the caves.  This is a shallow dive, so you'll have plenty of time to locate the reef. It's close to shore, making it an easy dive. If you went past the pier you missed it. It’s that close!

--by Jerry Kosakowski

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.