South Florida Scuba Diving Club
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May 2016 Edition

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In This Issue:

Kicking Off the New Dive Season

--by Jerry Kosakowski

The Active Divers Association Annual Dive Season Kickoff event was held on April 2, 2016 at the John U Lloyd Park Jetty Pavilion, with over 25 members in attendance.

2106 ADA Dive Season KickoffThe weather was a bit uncooperative for diving, to say the least. It was windy and the seas were rough, with visibility less than two feet. Needless to say, no one attempted to dive. However, the kids and some adult "kids" went in and enjoyed the surf. I noted a few adults sharing my granddaughter’s surfing equipment.

Roy Wasson did an exemplary job as the chief chef, barbecuing hot dogs and hamburgers for the hungry patrons. He also brought a potful of his special steak chili, which everyone sampled. He can be my chef any day. Additionally, some of the members brought some homemade dishes to augment the barbecue.

ADA Picnic

The annual scuba equipment swap/trade, always a hit, was no exception this year. Great bargains went went quickly and included masks, fins, snorkels, regulators, BCDs, regulators, gauges, and even tanks. Afterwards, the club held its annual free raffle. The free raffle included wet suits, air cards, T-shirts, as well as an assortment of smaller items. All who attended received prizes.

As much fun as eating, shopping, and winning raffle prizes, the best part of the day was meeting new members and catching up with old friends. Friendship is what it is all about and this certainly had that. Can’t wait for next year's picnic.

 

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ADA Cayman Brac Trip Update - Will YOU Be Taking the Last Available Spot???

July 9 - 16

--by Daryl Johnson

We still have one opening for a male diver to share a room on this fabulous trip to Cayman Brac. So, if you are interested in this trip, act quickly by emailing me (Daryl Johnson) at diverdaryl@bellsouth.net. Check out this great video on what you could be doing this July with fellow ADA divers. You will have to watch a short ad but it is worth it! Included in the ADA trip is:

  • 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 dive
  • 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 below $350 currently available (not included, you must book your own airfare) which makes this super easy to get to. You can join us for $1465 per person, double occupancy (single supplement is an additional charge) which will be required at the time of booking.

Are YOU going to be the lucky diver to go with us?

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Scuba Skills Tune-Up Event - May 14

--by Rachel Davis

Calling all ADA Members and Prospective Members! Join us on Saturday, May 14th for the ADA Scuba Skills Tune-up Event.

This exciting event generates awareness of ADA and encourages 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 also provides an opportunity for prospective ADA members to meet and get acquainted with the membership, learn about our dive trips, and join ADA!

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

LocationA.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 and you must attend the event to join.  New membership is valid through December 31, 2016.


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Dawning of the Age of Aquarius
(Aquarius Underwater Laboratory, That Is)
--by Roy D. Wasson

For those ADA members who never seem to get enough time under water, spending a week to ten days more than fifty feet below aboard the Aquarius Underwater Laboratory may be what we need to quench that saltwater thirst. Now part of the Florida International University (FIU) Marine Education and Research Initiative, the Aquarius Program operates the world’s only fulltime undersea research laboratory, dedicated to the study and preservation of marine ecosystems worldwide.

Aquarius is a complex diving system that consists of the lab below the ocean. It has a life support buoy on the surface that houses power generators, air compressors and data connections, and a mission control center in Islamorada. Using a technique known as saturation diving, Aquarius residents can spend days to weeks under water conducting research that cannot be accomplished anywhere else on the planet.

Aquarius was built in Victoria, Texas in 1986. Underwater operations first began in the United States Virgin Islands, in St. Croix’s Salt River Canyon (now a national park and previously home to Hydrolab, the predecessor to Aquarius) in 1988. After 13 missions (and Hurricane Hugo), Aquarius was relocated to Wilmington, North Carolina where it was refurbished over an 18-month period by the National Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). Aquarius remained in Wilmington until 1992 when it was deployed in to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary four miles off Key Largo.


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Second Annual Dive Cruise Update -

Book Soon To Avoid Dive Excursion Price Hikes!!!

--by Daryl Johnson

One of the things we discovered last year is that if you don’t book your dive excursions early you may encounter some price hikes if you book them later in the season. So how do you avoid this? Book now!! Our Princess Cruise planner will book the dives for you as soon as they become available to guarantee the lowest price. Dives will become available to book in the next 30 days, so if you are thinking about doing this trip I strongly recommend that you do it now rather than later. Ask anyone that went on last year’s cruise, and they will tell you it was fantastic!

The trip departs on November 13, 2016 on the Caribbean Princess for seven days and six nights, and goes to Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel, all of which are world class dive locations. Princess is now offering a special where fares start from as low as $599 per person for an interior cabin, to $849 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. And right now, they are offering $150 per interior cabin and $300 per balcony cabin in onboard credits, almost enough to pay for your dives!!

An additional benefit of booking the ADA Group trip is the extra 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 extension 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.

This is a fantastic way to cap off the dive season so don’t miss out!

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Diving in Current
--by John Davis

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One of the most challenging and exciting, I might add, adventures is diving in current. As divers, we know that when we jump into the ocean there is no guarantee of calm water with little current. So, we must be prepared to handle it when it does occur.

There is, of course, drift diving where you intentionally are placed in current along the reef or wall. The boat operator will drop off the divers, and pick them up downstream sometime later. In this article I am NOT speaking to drift diving, but rather to the conditions that can occur when diving from a stationary anchored boat.

A very basic rule of thumb about diving in current is to always begin your dive swimming into the current. This is so that if you get tired you can simply relax and let the current take you back to the boat. As on all dives we should be aware of our compass heading, and simply reverse that heading to get back to the boat. Another very important thing to remember is that (especially in shallow diving) there is no shame in holding on to a rock to rest for a while.


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What the Heck is a Nudibranch?
--by Dr. Dan Baeza

NudibranchNudibranchs (pronounced noody-brank, whereby brank rhymes with “crank”) are invertebrates and belong to the phylum Mollusca, the same group that clams. Squid, octopus, snails, and sea slugs belong. The word “nudibranch” means “naked gills”, a good descriptor for the nudibranch. A nudibranch looks most like a snail without a shell, but infinitely more colorful. While snails tend to be drab dark browns or blackish, nudibranch are vividly colored, often with striking splashes of red, blue, yellow, green and/or orange. Most tend to be on the small side, ranging from less than a quarter of an inch, to two inches. However, there are some species that grow as large as 24 inches! There are over 3,000 known species of nudibranch, with more being discovered every day.

One of the more well-known is the Spanish Dancer, so named because of the way it undulates in the water resembles a Spanish Flamenco Dancer. View this YouTube video to see a Spanish Dancer in action: Spanish Dancer video.


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Blue Heron Bridge's Diverse Marine Life
-- by Juliana Bach
(Photos and captions by Mark Silverman, ADA Member)

Blue Heron Bridge (BHB) at Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach, FL is well known for its diversity of unique marine life. ADA is planning a night dive on October 15, 2016 to this exciting and diverse area. Mark your calendars now and plan to attend.

Blue Heron is famous for its macro-photography and especially for it’s night dives. ADA club member Mark Silverman took the photographs included in this article last year.

Blue Heron Bridge

Part of the bridge’s allure is the ease of diving. Blue Heron is easily accessible from the shore. The beach entry is smooth and gently sloping. Visibility can range to 60 feet. The best time to dive is during slack tide.

Night time brings out all kinds of sea creatures, including mantis shrimp, starfish, and numerous types of crabs.


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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.

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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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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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