South Florida Scuba Diving Club
The Mouthpiece
Social Media Social Media
Questions? Call 305-251-4975


June 2014 Edition
Next Page>>

Line

SCUBA SKILLS TUNE-UP EVENT - Saturday June 14

ADA is reaching out to the community to provide an opportunity for lapsed scuba divers to brush up on their skills in a relaxed, friendly environment. This is an opportunity for prospective ADA members to meet and get acquainted with the membership, learn about our dive trips and join ADA! Here are the details of the event:

Date/Time: Saturday, June 14 / 9am to 2pm

Location: A. D. Barnes Park Pool, 3401 SW 72 Ave., Miami (Bird Road and 72nd Avenue), just east of the Palmetto Expressway

Cost: $25.00 per person and includes membership promotion for certified divers wishing to join ADA – offer available to new members only, and only offered for attendees of the Scuba Skills Tune-Up Event on Saturday, June 14. This event is free to current paid-up ADA members;

Instruction: Scuba Tune-Up Clinic taught by ADA Safety Officers. Topics presented include buoyancy, pressure, breathing, equipment assembly and maintenance, buddy system, underwater communication, underwater environment, dive planning and safety. The pool training covers the in-water scuba skills taught in the Open Water Course. 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, weights, and one filled  scuba tank.

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: Click Here (link to the form you set up) or Contact Rachel Davis  at rachelhancock7@gmail.comor call 786-316-9852.

Line

REFRESHER COURSE  “IT’S NOT TOO LATE”

I’m talking about doing a friend a favor and inviting him or her to join us  on June 14th.  It seems like every time I bring up the subject of diving to a friend, business acquaintance, or just anybody, I get the old: “Oh’ I used to dive too, but it’s been years”.  I’m sure it’s happened to you more than once.  If so, that’s your cue to bring them into the fold.  I mean really do it --- call somebody NOW!!! It’s a steal of a deal: free to our members and to your non-member friends, a half day pool and class training plus ADA membership for a measly $25, we’ll even toss in a free lunch. We usually follow it up with a basic dive down the road just to tune up those newly acquired skills. Your friend will thank you for it --- it’ll boost membership --- and it will justify all the hard work the safety officers and organizers go through to put on this event.  Did  I mention FAMILY?  I’m bringing two of my own who have gotten rusty over the years. How about you?

See you all bright & early at A.D. Barnes Pool.

--Lee Wood

Line

My First Dive With ADA

Miami Reef Dive - May 24, 2014

I descended into an immediate “fly-by” as a southern stingray (Dasyatis americana) buzzed me.  I turn to find my buddy, Roger Bach and find him I did, mounted on the head of a lion!  Not the fish, but a statue surrounded by Romanesque columns and court yards.  This was my introduction to the Neptune Memorial Reef off of Miami.   After a stop to check in with Lon and practice our buoyancy skills, Roger’s antics continued, posing atop pillars and posing me on the steps.  This was a very interesting site with lots of tropical fish and invertebrate life.  Unlike a typical wreck or reef dive however, the structure consisted of monuments and plaques of dearly departed divers and the like.  One of the highlights of the dive was a large sundial guarded by a mature Damselfish, who became quite disgruntled at my buddies intrusion.  Along with reef butterflyfish, tangs and box fish we saw an unusual pair of filefish that are not common in my usual stomping grounds further south.  In the Keys, we usually see Scrawled filefish, Aluterus scriptus.  I have tentatively identified these as Orange filefish, Aluterus schoepfii.  They were quite comical and unconcerned with my presence, allowing me to get a good photo. Another interesting find was a large sea cucumber whose underside begged for a close-up.  Feeding in the sand along the periphery were some spotted goatfish, Pseudupneus maculates.   It was interesting to watch them dig into the sand like it was a grand buffet.  Along with an outstanding variety of soft corals and sponges, the sights of this dive were really fun, despite average visibility.  This was my first trip to the Neptune Memorial reef, even though I have dove South Florida for over thirty years and I would recommend that all divers make it a point to go at least once.

(Continued Next Page >>)

Line

Fish Identification Series

Flamingo Tongue

While technically not a fish (it's a mollusk), the flamingo tongue is an interesting and colorful critter. Did you know the spots on a flamingo tongue are not part of its shell?  Flamingo tongues are gastropods that can usually be found on the bases of sea fans or other gorgonians   They have a hard,beige or white shell that is covered in a soft fleshy mantle with black ringed orange spots. When they are disturbed, they pull the mantle in, leaving just a plain, hard shell.  They ingest toxins from their hosts which gives the flamingo tongue an unpleasant taste, thus deterring predators. They are one to two inches long and usually found in shallow waters of the Caribbean.  Their shells were once used as a form of money among the populations of the Caribbean islands.

--by Carol Cox

Line

Coral Reef Restoration - 16 Slots Remaining

Since 2007 the Active Divers Association has been supporting and participating in the reef restoration activities of the Coral Restoration Foundation (“CRF”). On Saturday, September 6, 2014, the ADA will once again join our friends at CRF for a day-long program of classroom instruction, hands-on training, and diving to outplant baby corals to reefs at Pennekamp State Park.  Make plans now to join our group for a fun and fulfilling day of restoring the reefs to their former splendor.

The program will include classroom training at the CRF’s comfortable facility in Key Largo, where we will learn the latest techniques for fragging and prepping baby corals for outplanting, then outplanting them onto the reefs, maintaining previously-planted coral gardens, and documenting the successes of our efforts.  Then after a lunch break we will board a boat, specially reserved only for our ADA/CRF program, for a two-tank dive.  Our first dive will be a tour of the coral nursery, and involve setting-up for our outplanting tasks.  Then we will move to the reef and perform outplanting and maintenance activities on the corals.

ADA has negotiated a discounted rate for the boat trip through Florida Keys Dive Center. The cost of the program $125 per diver and includes boat fee, two tanks and weights, the Coral Reef Foundation fee and membership in the Active DIvers Association for the current calendar year. Participants can also opt to to receive a PADI Coral Restoration Specialist Certification and accompanying PADI Certification Card for an additional $31.20. More details for prospective members can be found at http://activedivers.org/CRF_New_Member.html.

Please contact ADA Conservation Projects Director, Roy Wasson, to indicate your interest in going on this trip on September 6.  Roy’s email address is roy@wassonandassociates.com.

Additional information can be found about the Coral Restoration Foundation may be viewed at  http://www.coralrestoration.org/.

Line

Did You Hear….

.….Captain Slate’s Scuba Adventures has opened in Tavernier?   After being located in Key Largo for 36 years, Capt. Slate has moved his dive operation to Tavernier Creek, at mile marker 90.7. If you are heading south on the Overseas Hwy, as you cross the Tavernier Creek bridge, pull into the left turn lane at the end of the bridge, make a left and go to the end of the street to Capt. Slate’s ‘new’ shop and marina. The Creekside Inn is next door for overnight stays and your favorite breakfast items and lunch are available at ‘Made 2 Order’ next to the Creekside Inn.  A good time to try out Slate’s new boat, the Inn and restaurant comes on June 21 when ADA will be doing an afternoon and night dive.

Check out the link then call Lon to sign up! http://www.captainslate.com/

--by Carol Cox

Line

Cruise Diving Grand Turk

In a previous article I wrote about three ADA members diving Cozumel via a super cheap luxury cruise ship. And I promised we would do it again, but this time it was to Grand Turk, only it was CHEAPER this time.  It was just $259 for a 4-night cruise with one port in the itinerary. While the main attraction for a lot of cruisers in Grand Turk is the Margaretville bar and restaurant, complete with surfing pool, for Dan Baeza and I, it was the diving.

Grand Turk is the center of government for the Turks and Caicos, but in reality there is very little there except for some world class diving. It is situated next to the deepest trench in the Atlantic, and within a quarter mile of shore the wall drops to 7000 feet. We opted for the cruise ship two tank dive package which included all gear except a wetsuit ($10 extra) for $119. The dive boats were two very nice pontoon boats waiting for us on the beach within 100 feet of the cruise ship dock. After a short stop at the Oasis Divers shop to pick up equipment, we were off to our dive.

The boats were not crowded, only 13 divers per boat. In about 15 minutes we were at the first site, a very nice wall dive with 100-foot visibility, 79 degree water, flat seas, and no current. After grouping together on the surface, we dropped down and proceeded to do a 75 foot deep dive on a very nice wall, complete with the requisite friendly black grouper. While we did not see any sharks, turtles, mermaids etc., we had a really great dive with lots of tropicals. After an hour surface interval we were on to our second dive to 55 feet on a wall, but this time the divemaster underestimated the return current. While we had plenty of air when we made the turn, we got back to the boat with a bare minimum of air to do our safety stop. One of the divers in our group developed leg cramps kicking against the current and had to surface to be picked up later. Just another reminder that you just don’t know when all that safety training will pay off!

All in all, it was a great dive trip, but again the accommodations and food, not to mention the entertainment were first class compared to a bare bones land based dive trip- and probably CHEAPER! Would we do it again? We have already booked two more cruise ship trips which include Grand Cayman, Roatan, Cozumel and a return visit to Grand Turk. So the answer to the question is a resounding YES!

--by Daryl Johnson

Line

Ready for the 2014 Lobster Season??

This year the lobster mini-season begins at 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 30 and ends at 12:00 midnight on Thursday, July 31. The regular 8-month lobster season is always August 6 through March 31. Make sure to always verify dates and regulations with Florida Fish and Wildlife

So why are we writing an article about something that happens two months from now? Well, for one reason, most Florida diver fatalities (http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-461082.html ) occur during the lobster mini-season. Why? Every unprepared diver goes out at midnight on an overcrowded dive boat with a lot of equally inexperienced divers that may have not been in the water for over a year.

How to get ready? First things first, make sure that you have your equipment serviced now, since the dive shops will get overloaded the closer you get to lobster season. You will pay more and get slower service, not to mention that there is always the possibility that someone in a hurry will not service you equipment properly. So, I recommend that you go diving at least once before lobster season, but after your equipment has been serviced to make sure everything is in good working order. If it has been a while since you have been diving, the June 14th ADA Scuba Skills (see the May newsletter) tune-up session would be ideal to get you ready.

There are a lot of ways to catch a lobster, but my favorite is with a lobster loop. Lobster instinctively walk backwards when they feel threatened, so you place the loop behind the tail and tickle them a bit in the front to get them to move backwards. Once the tail is in the loop, pull back hard on the handle so that the loop contracts around the tail and captures the beast! Always make sure that you have a measuring device with you to check and verifythe lobster meets the minimum size requirements. You CANNOT bring only a lobster tail up from a dive. You must bring the whole lobster up in case the boat is stopped and checked by the Marine Patrol to verify the lobster meets the minimum legal size. Additionally, you cannot take egg-bearing females, which are characterized by a bundle of red eggs on their belly.

If you are under the age of 65, you must have a Florida saltwater fishing license and a Lobster stamp in order to hunt lobster. They can be obtained online at http://myfwc.com/fishing/ for a reasonable fee, and they must be with you when lobstering..

Finally, once you get to the dock you need to clean them…....and I will be glad to tell you how the next time I see you on a dive. Or better yet, call me at 954-591-1161 and I'll explain how it's done. It’s just a bit too graphic to put in a newsletter!!

--by Daryl Johnson

Line

My First Dive

Many, many years ago, as a boy of 8 or 9 yrs. old, (I think it was just after the invention of the wheel) I loved comic books.  I checked the local newsstand on a regular basis and when a new issue of one of my favorites came out,  I would rush to search the couch for pennies, and do odd jobs for the neighbors until I had the purchase price of 10 cents.  With the coins jingling in my pocket as I ran, would hurry to buy my latest treasure.  By the time I was 10 or 11, I had quite a collection.  I never discarded any of them, but

my Mother would get tired of picking them up and secretively make them disappear. My favorites were Superman, Batman, and Captain America. One day I noticed a new one perched beside Batman, it was Our Army At War. In it, one adventure depicted was a frogman swimming underwater with a tank  of air on his back.  How cool would that be!  I bought several others that featured a frogman and dreamed of someday being a real frogman. But that dream had long faded until one day a teenage friend of mine proudly announced that while on vacation in a distant city, he had taken scuba diving lessons.  WOW!  The dream was alive and I pestered him until he finally agreed to teach and take me diving.  The closest body of water was an abandoned sand pit, which was great for swimming, but not so much for diving due to the visibility, at best, of about 2-3 feet.  After the obligatory "Never hold your breath" we started down the sandy slope, tethered together to avoid getting separated.  The first few feet went well, but at about 10 feet, we hit a thermocline, the temp dropped 10 degrees and the vis down to zero.  The idea of groping around in the icy black, possibly among car bodies, and DEAD bodies, did not particularly appeal to me, so  I gave my buddy a strong squeeze on his arm, (our predetermined signal to surface) and we surfaced.  (The now universal hand signal of "thumb up" was useless because we literally could not see our hands in front of our faces.) "How deep did we go?"  was my first question.  Thinking it must have been at least 30 or 40 feet, I was shocked to learn it was only 15 feet.  F I F T E E N ! Not very manly or worth much as an adventure to tell my grandchildren. But we all have to start somewhere.

My first dive-  depth: 15 feet, bottom time: 11 or 12 minutes, aquatic life: none, adventure: none, vis: zero, temp: freezing, fear factor: high.

-- by Lon Von Lintel

 

 

Disclaimers - Only qualified instructors should teach scuba.  Do not attempt to scuba dive until certified by a professional scuba instructor ( in the early days of scuba, there were only a few instructors in the entire U.S. and obtaining lessons was very costly and difficult.).

Scuba Diving Magazine selects KEN NEDIMYER

Reprinted from Scuba Diving Magazine, June 2014

Scuba Diving Magazine selects KEN NEDIMYER as June, 2014 Sea Hero. Ken, host of ADA's September 6 coral restoration project, started out planting just a couple of corals. To date, Ken and his group, the Coral Restoration Foundation, have transplanted 40,000 corals in the Keys, and 10,000 in Bonaire and Colombia. His goal is 1,000,000 (that's one million) in the next 10 years in South Florida. In the early days, 2002, he stated his biggest challenge was, "Funding, permits and convincing people it can work. This was really a new idea when we started. The good news is that once local governments see it working on their reefs, they become our biggest cheerleaders." ADA's September 6th project will include education, hands-on training and supervised dives in the nursery and on the reef to help grow and transplant corals. Scuba Diving Magazine asked Ken "What keeps you going" Ken answered, "The thought that my life is making a difference. I believe everyone can make a difference somewhere. I started out with planting just a couple of corals on the reef to see what would happen, and look at where it is today. Everything has a starting point -start something today"

Line

The Hidden Benefits of Diving

Many of us are aware of the obvious benefits of diving, including seeing amazing sea life, experiencing weightlessness, and connecting with a world that few experience. However, there are many hidden benefits of diving that may not be so obvious. When we jump in the water we really don’t know exactly what lies beneath. Similarly, in life we can’t predict what will happen from one moment to the next. Diving teaches us to literally go with the flow. We jump in and trust. This trust builds faith and confidence in life ashore to help face whatever life brings.

On the physical level, diving promotes good fitness. Divers need to be in good shape in order to stay safe in the water and be ready for any situation that may arise. Practicing slow, deep breathing not only conserves air, it promotes relaxation and reduces stress. All divers are familiar with the euphoric feeling that lingers for hours after a great day of diving. This makes the way we feel on land that much more enjoyable.

Lastly, diving builds our social skills. ADA emphasizes the buddy system and teaches us how to rely on each other to stay safe. Planning dives as team teaches us valuable problem solving skills that help us in our daily lives. This teaches us healthy dependency and fosters good teamwork.

We are all made better by scuba diving. Our lives are enriched emotionally, our physical bodies healthier, and our connection with others strengthened by exploring this little-known world called the ocean.

--by John and Rachel Davis

Line

Shark Sanctuary Established
(Reprinted from Pew magazine May 22, 2014)

The British Virgins Islands and others protect sharks.  The BVI, by establishing a permanent shark sanctuary, has become a world leader in conservation. It bans the sale and trade of sharks  and shark products, thus protecting these predators that are so vital  to the health of our oceans.  BVI joins the Bahamas and Honduras as leaders in the Caribbean.  Others in the region that have committed to establishing protection by May of 2015 are Dominican  Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St.  Vincent, and Grenadines.

Click here to see the complete article.

Line

I Did Not Know That....

Reprinted from Sport Diver Magazine, June 2014

Green moray eels are..... brown. Morays from the Caribbean are actually brown, but a yellow mucus covering makes them appear green.

Moray eels are fish…

…and other eels, along with closely allied tarpon and bonefish produce pelagic transparent ribbon like larvae.

Morays...

...rely on a highly developed sense of smell rather than sight to locate prey.

Morays....

...have a second set of jaws in their throat that thrust forward to pull captured prey back into their esophagus.

...Chain morays...

...can stay out of the water for 30 minutes as long as their skin remains damp.

...Morays....

...are one of the few species of fish that can swim backward and can

...tie themselves into a knot.

Line

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.

Line

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.

T-shirt back

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.

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.


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.