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May 2017 Edition


In This Issue:

7th ADA Scuba Skills Tune Up

May 13, 2017 - AD Barnes Park Pool in Miami

--by Rachel Davis

Most dive operators require a refresher course if it's been over a year since your last scuba dive, and most dive shops charge $100 to $200 for this course. But if you're an ADA member, you're in luck. One of the top perks of ADA is our annual Scuba Skills Tune-Up refresher course. Here are the details:

When: Saturday, May 13, 2017, 9:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Where: AD Barnes Park Pool, 3401 SW 72 Avenue, Miami, FL 33155


Skills get rusty, particularly if you skipped a dive season or two. With the passage of time, we tend to forget what to do in certain emergency situations. A refresher course allows your mind to be sharp and your reflexes automatic. Therefore, we want to make our mistakes in the pool, not in the ocean. While we're refreshing our skills, it's better to get pesky mistakes or equipment bungles out of the way in the safer pool environment, rather than in the ocean.

There is always something new to learn. Many of our members have reported that no matter how many years they have been diving, they always learn something new at our Scuba Skills Tune Up event. With our Safety Officers presenting on a variety of topics, the chances are very likely that you will learn something new too. Plus, we have several different ADA Safety Officers teaching various topics, and each one provides a different perspective. You may learn new tips and tricks from being exposed to a different diving instructor than the one who certified you.

Our Scuba Skills Tune Up can reduce your unease. Sharpening your water skills reduces anxiety for the next time you dive in the ocean, allowing for maximum enjoyment. This is because our Scuba Skills Tune Up will remind you what to do in an emergency. Emergency procedures need to be top of mind and instantaneous in the water should the need occur. Knowing the sign for "out of air" can alert your buddy immediately to your predicament and could save your life.

Did you know that new ADA members who join at the at the Scuba Skills Tune Up event receive a free 2017 membership to ADA with the $25 paid admission? That's $20 off regular price in effect at that time - and you get the course as a bonus. There's no better deal for divers wishing to return to the sport and have a built-in network of ADA buddies with which to dive, plus you'll meet new dive buddies at the event. Other safety-conscious divers will also be attending the refresher course, so you can make new friends with fellow scuba enthusiasts to dive with in the future.

You get all that and a free lunch to boot! Why wouldn't you join us? So we can better plan the event, please pre-register online or call Rachel Davis at 786-316-9852 for more information. We look forward to seeing you there!

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The Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park (formally called John Lloyd Park )has been significantly impacted by beach erosion. Those attending the Kickoff event noted it immediately. The beach itself near the Jetty pavilion is almost non-existent. There are patches of sand but for the most part it is rock mixed in. There is no soft spot.

Those of you diving noted that the sand was now missing from the entry point, as well. The entry consisted of trying not to slip on the exposed rocks and taking an unexpected tumble.

Further down you immediately notice the cliffing. A lot of plants and trees are overhanging the cliff ready to fall. This continues down the beach for a good half-mile before it starts to look normal. This is caused by the shipping channel. The channel blocks the flow of sand. Specifically, the north jetty blocks it. If you have ever visited the north side of the channel, you would discover where all the sand is piled up. That part of the beach is beautiful and soft and is what you would want for the entire park.

The good news is that a replacement of sand is on the way. The bad news is that it is not scheduled until 2020. The wheels of government turn slowly. Even at that point r,elief doesn’t come without a downside. While they dump the imported sand, much of it migrates to a deeper area and begins to cover the reef. I watched this process when it last occurred and it was not pretty. It took 4 to 5 years to get back to normal. But that is the good news, it does return to a better condition than it was. Here’s hoping.

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3rd Annual ADA Dive Cruise: Prices Have Dropped!

--by Daryl Johnson

I know it seems odd to start talking about an end of season event before our regular dive season has started but with these prices you should book now!! The third annual ADA dive cruise which departs on November 13, 2017 on the Crown Princess for 5 nights and six days, goes to Cozumel and Costa Maya for Caribbean diving at its best. It is really easy way to dive 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. It’s also a great way to experience international diving for the first time.

Double occupancy prices vary according to cabin from as low as $414 per person for an interior cabin to $559 for a balcony (on sale as of this writing,) not including the dive excursions which range from $119 to $139 per diver, per day, including all equipment rentals. 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, 2017, 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. I strongly encourage you to book directly with our Princess Cruise Planner since using outside agencies can jeopardize the onboard credit for all in the Active Divers group, and also makes it more difficult for me to coordinate dive bookings.  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(voyage 3730, code TPH) 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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Good to be Weightless

--by John Davis

As the official start of the ADA season has begun it gives me reason to pause and think about why I love diving so much.  The truth is that many of us in ADA (including myself) dive all year round.  When the water is a little too cool in Florida we seek more temperate water elsewhere around the globe.  Many of us in ADA are fortunate enough to be able to take these amazing trips.

So, as I begin diving in earnest on April 8 I am thinking about why I love to dive.  In ADA there is a fellowship of like-minded individuals who are committed to exploring as well as nurturing and preserving our beautiful oceans.  When I dive I am reminded that I am part of the solution.  Even on a  regular ADA dive I am aware of the sacred obligation I have to keeping our oceans clean.  In 2017 as we did in 2016 we will be teaming up with FPAN (Florida Public Archeology Network)  to learn about and map some wrecks in the Florida Keys.  We will also team up with the Coral Restoration Foundation to further the cause of restoring our reefs.

When I go weightless something happens the almost cannot be explained in words.  There is a feeling of being one with the ocean.  When I jump in the water I am suddenly free of the burden of gravity.  I am at once uplifted and supported by the very water that all living beings crawled out of 400 million years ago.  The fact is that if I had swam in the ocean millions of years ago I would have seen some of the same living beings that I see today.  Sharks, turtles, and whales are some examples, but there are of course many more.  This is amazing to me! When I go weightless under the surface I have entered a living time capsule.  Time no longer matters.  Conflicts disappear.  Opinions don't matter.  Political differences are irrelevant.  What matters is the heartbeat of this living organism called the ocean.  It is an ever evolving living thing that I get the  privilege to explore.  Not many people get to do this.  I am one of a lucky few that get to see that timeless living being called the ocean.

When I go weightless I am free.  I am one with life.  I am a visitor with a sacred responsibility to honor her, and I am in awe at the wonder of this world that has barely begun to be explored.

Let's Go Weightless!!!

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Beneath the Sea Expo - Secaucus, New Jersey
--by Lenora Bach
Howard and Michelle Hall with an IMAX camera

Beneath the Sea (BTS) is a 3-day event held each March at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New jersey.  The event is the largest Consumer Scuba and Dive Travel Show in America.  It showcases national and international dive clubs, dive shops, resorts, training institutes and scuba diving equipment manufacturers.

BTS is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to increasing awareness of the earth’s oceans and the sport of scuba diving.  I was fortunate to attend this year with my daughter, Juliana, who was awarded a VIP pass along with a scholarship.  The show featured seminars, workshops and a film festival showcasing the work of world renowned underwater videographers.   This year we got to see Howard and Michele Hall ‘s Emmy Award Winning film of marlin herding a school of bait fish.

They are known for their films, Into the Deep, Island of Sharks and Deep Sea 3D.

The show also featured scholarship and awards for imaging underwater in several categories:

Sharky Sunset

Renee Capozzola
Palos Verdes Estates CA

Equipment: Canon 5D Mark iii, Nauticam housing, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, dual Sea&Sea YS D1's
Location: French Polynesia

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Diving in Tahiti

--by Connie Crowther

Tiputa Pass“We’ll drop you off the island on the other side of the pass. Follow your divemaster over the reef, down the wall, and drift ahead to the pass. You will know when you are there. The current will force you into a 90-degree turn and you will begin your drift of the Tiputa Pass.” This is what we divers were told as we prepared for our drift dive of the Tiputa Pass in Rangiroa, frequently rated one of the most exciting dives in the world.

Divers come from everywhere to share the experience of drifting from the ocean into the lagoon on the ripping ingoing tide of the Tiputa Pass. They are not alone. Many big animals – black tip, white tip, grey and hammerhead sharks, manta and eagle rays, dolphins, and thick clouds of schooling fish are always fellow travelers on the ride through the exhilarating pass. The Tiputa Pass is located in Rangiroa, Tuamotu Atoll, Tahiti, French Polynesia.

The five divers in our group, two buddy groups and our Top Dive divemaster Yukuri, were all advanced, experienced divers with thousands of logged dives among us. We all dived using 32 percent Nitrox, which limited our depth to around 111 feet. Yukuri kept us all wrangled well above this depth.

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Treasure Hunting

--by Dr. Dan Baeza

Recently, I attended a lecture at Force-E on treasure hunting presented by Captains Brad Williamson and Carl “Fizz” Fismer. While we are enamored with the romantic movie view of the dashing treasure hunter, nee Indiana Jones, they explained that the reality is treasure hunting is hard work. The intrepid treasure hunter must research thousands of pages of historic documents written in Spanish, Italian, and Greek, among other foreign languages, to pinpoint potential wreckage sites among the hundreds of thousands of square miles of oceans. Once the treasure hunter has found a promising area to search, he or she must somehow convince investors to put up funds against a one in a thousand chance that they will just break even, much less make a profit. Then, after months, or even years of searching in potentially dangerous conditions, the treasure trove is uncovered. It could be jewels, ancient artifacts, or hopefully gold or silver doubloons. Then the real work of cataloging, cleaning, and valuing each piece begins. A treasure piece has two values, the intrinsic value of the metal or gemstone, and the historic value. While an ounce of gold goes for around $1300 today, the historical value of a piece could easily be 200 times its smelted down value.

So, why do it? It’s hard work. It’s underfunded. It takes years to see results. All true, but our lecturers told us there is no greater thrill than clearing away the silt and there just inches away, are three or four-hundred year old gold doubloons, diamond-encrusted jewelry, or valuable antiquity, sometimes in as little as six feet of water.

Interested in perhaps giving treasure-hunting a try? Check out Captain Carl’s book, Uncharted Waters: The Life and Times of Captain Fizz available on Amazon, or Captain Brad’s treasure-hunting class at

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Can Sea Creatures Predict Disaster?

--by Jerry Kosakowski

Can Sea creatures predict disaster? Apparently so, according to the latest research. We know land animals can do it because there are many instances where they evacuate an area and then disaster hits. They also start acting in strange ways before an earthquake.

Oarfish are the world's longest bony fish and can grow up to 50 feet long.


Wait, is that what is happening to us humans, now? Maybe so, but let me do more research before I state this as factual.

Recently in the Philippines, the island of Mindanao was struck with a 6.5 magnitude earthquake. Before this, many bodies of oarfish, which inhabit the deep parts of the ocean, were found just before the earthquake hit. Coincidence?  Perhaps, but we know the same thing has occurred in Japan, Chile, and Haiti just before earthquakes struck there.

Researchers believe they sense the tremors and come to the surface to avoid danger. Little do they know that the greater danger (man) is waiting for them. Since it is rare to see oarfish, not much is known about them. Scientists think the tremors cause strong currents and the fish are reacting to that.

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Underwater Animal Encounters - Damselfish
--by Mo Smith

"...Ounce for ounce, the meanest fish in the sea..."

One of my most favorite underwater animal encounters is the adult Damselfish. I know you’re wondering how can that be. Spectacular encounters normally include Sharks, Rays, Dolphins and much more exciting types of underwater creatures.

Allow me to explain what I know about the Damselfish and why I enjoy their encounters. The Damselfish are a large family of small, very colorful fish that can grow up to a maximum length of 4 to 7 inches, depending on the species. Some of the common South Florida species include bi-color, Three-spot, Sergeant Major, Long-fin, Yellowbelly, and the Yellowtail. These are only some of the multitude of Damsels that a diver can enjoy. The Damselfish can be located in a horde of underwater environments, encompassing shallow and deep reefs, wrecks, and walls. These territorial fish are known to guard their turf aggressively. This is where the encounters begin. A diver usually notices a Damsel after feeling small nips somewhere on their body. Most of the underwater encounters that I have enjoyed have been with the bi-color Damselfish, which seem to be one off the most aggressive within the group, at least with me. If the diver can identify the territory being protected, slowly and gently approach without touching the protected area with an extended arm, presenting an upward facing open palm. Bring your hand close, but not too close, preventing an unwanted level of fear that will cause the fish to leave. If the fish leaves,  back up a little bit until it returns. Once the hand is correctly positioned, the Damsel will get excited and begin defending its territory, gradually getting closer to your hand and eventually nipping at your fingers. If you keep your hand in the same location without moving the damsel will then change its strategy and begin spanking your fingers and hand with its tail. Eventually, the damsel will figure out that you intend no harm, and subsequently calm down. When you notice this calm behavior, slowly spread open your fingers. The damsel will then use the spacing as a game and begin to swim within your hand and between your fingers, frequently touching you as it swims through and around.

The enjoyment of this small fish interaction can carry on from a few minutes to a much longer period. Have patience and stay still while experiencing the physical encounter with the fabulous Damselfish.

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The Great Barrier Reef: Is It Terminal?
-- by Dr. Dan Baeza

A few years ago (2009), I had the opportunity to spend a week in a liveaboard, diving the Great Barrier Reef. Although the structures and wildlife were amazing, it was not what I would call "Great". There was evidence of coral bleaching and coral necrosis that was distrurbing to me as a scuba diver (See photos below).

Whether you are a climate change denier or an ardent believer, evidence is mounting worldwide that the fragile eco-system that are the oceans' reefs are undergoing serious stress. Now Australia's Great Barrier Reef is showing signs that it may be on its deathbed. This article, featured in Forbes magazine, details the extent of the damage and its prognosis for recovery. Click here to view the article in its entirety.

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O-Rings 101
--by Dr. Dan Baeza

In the world of scuba there is an uneasy balance in keeping dry things dry without compromising their functionality. In this first of a series of articles on O-rings, the basic operation will be discussed.

O-rings perform in one of two modes, static and dynamic. In the static mode, the O-ring is slightly compressed by the fitting in which it is placed. Once set, neither the O-ring nor the fitting move. A good example of a statically placed O-ring is the one between your tank valve and your regulator. Once the regulator is snugly fitted to the valve, the O-ring seals the connection. No lubrication is needed on the O-ring because it only requires compressive forces to maintain a good seal. Indeed, lubricating your tank O-ring risks contaminating your air supply.

The second mode of operation for O-rings is the dynamic mode. This simply means that the fitting touching the O-ring moves. In this case, a silicon lubricant is sparingly applied to the O-ring surface to reduce friction and extend its useful life. A good example of a dynamic O-ring application are the tiny O-rings in the connection between your submersible pressure gauge and its high-pressure hose. The two O-rings are lightly lubricated so the gauge can swivel around 360 degrees. Without the O-rings, air would leak out of the fitting, and without the lubrication, the O-rings would quickly fail due to frictional forces.

To summarize, there are two modes of operation, static and dynamic. A static O-ring application does not require lubrication, while dynamic application does.

Next time, we’ll discuss the types of O-ring materials available and their uses.

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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 You can also call Dan at 954-260-8225 and leave a message with your new contact information.


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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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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 Guidelines and Policies


  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


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


  1. Check this newsletter or the annual calendar for upcoming dives.
  2. Call Lon at (305) 251-4975 or via email at 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.


  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 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.


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.


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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