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June 2015 Edition

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In This Issue:

Dive Cruise Economics - or How I Saved $2,411

--by Daryl Johnson

 

Cruise ShipADA is doing a "Dive/Cruise" November 14 through November 21. So what are the economics behind a dive cruise?  I have heard some question the value of a $599 per person (interior cabin) 7 day cruise when you only get six dives: 2 in Grand Cayman, 2 in Roatan and 2 in Cozumel. So let’s assume that the cost of the dives between an airfare/hotel trip for six dives is the same in those locations as on a cruise ship (all rental gear included). According to Orbitz, the airfare to fly to all of these places starting November 14th is $1710. Next, let’s add in the room and board at $150 a day per person (total $1200), and you are now up to $2910 to do a land based trip to go to the same spots. Did I mention it takes a day longer to go by air/land versus the cruise /dive trip? Did I also mention the free entertainment on the cruise trip? And some of the flight schedules require overnights on an airplane instead of in your comfortable cabin on the cruise ship. So let’s weigh options. Save over $2,400, avoid any long flights, lodging in a clean, comfortable cabin, free entertainment, all you can eat, movies under the stars….….. Hmmmmm….., sounds like a no brainer to me!!! Book your trip now by calling our Princess Cruise Planner, Karen Bradder (1-800-901-1172 ext. 41643) today!!

Attention Ladies!! I have had some requests for female roommates for the ADA Dive Cruise. If you are a lady looking for a roommate, please let me know by sending an email to diverdaryl@bellsouth.net and I will see what I can do to match you up with other ADA ladies for this exciting trip!!!

By the way, some cabins can accommodate up to four people, so if you have some friends that want to go, whether they dive or not, invite them along. With additional people in the cabin, the per person rate drops even lower, so why wait? Invite some friends and come along!

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Scuba Skills Tune-Up Event a Huge Success

--by Rachel Davis, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

The fifth annual Scuba Skills Tune Up event was held on Saturday, May 16th at AD Barnes Park Pool in Miami. A total of 36 people participated in the event, which is the largest turnout in the history of the event. ADA welcomed 10 new members who participated in the refresher course: Braulio Aparicio, Claudia Fernandez, Osman Murillo, Chuck Hildebrandt, Adrienne Baloun, John Mamanna, Alonzo Grant, Bleston Wright, Tony Spagnolo, and John Fernsler. Other ADA members attending the refresher course were Carlos Noguera, Justin Maier, John Davis, Mark Silverman, David Silverman, Antonio Esposito, Karen Kerr, Peter Zarceno, and Franco Calvo. New this year was a Discover Scuba Diving course for non-certified diveres taught by Rachel Davis, who welcomed attendees Marisa Topete, Tammy Eller, Robert Beard, and Lon’s (dives-like-a-fish) grandson Pedro Valdes.

The instruction was led by Rachel Davis, with Safety Officers Lon Von Lintel, Lee Wood, Mo Smith, Dan Baeza, and Daryl Johnson teaching the refresher course. Special shout out and thanks to Austin’s Diving Center in South Miami for generously providing rental equipment and for Roger Bach’s Scuba Taxi for fetching it. The day was completed by a Subway lunch provided by Lon, with a special mango dish provided by Charles Julian, Lenora Bach and Juliana Bach. Mara Suarez and her husband were on hand to lend support and Maria Von Lintel was the official poolside photographer. AD Barnes Park Pool Manager Katrice Leach already promised us the venue for next year and expressed interest in doing the Discover Scuba Diving class. So mark your calendars for May 2016 for the 6th Annual Scuba Skills Tune-Up event!

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My Biggest Shark

--by Lon Von Lintel

Whale SharkThe biggest shark I ever saw (no teeth) by far, was a 30 foot whale shark, located on Ningaloo reef in Western Australia. It was June, 1995, and it spotted by plane, our boat directed into the path of the slowly swimming giant.  We entered the water and waited....then it appeared, glided by, and disappeared.  The boat picked us up and positioned us again in the direct path.  Again and again we repeated this procedure of locating the creature, dropping into the water, and subsequently being picked up after it went by. Everyone was amazed by the size, as was I.  But equally amazing to me was the speed-to-effort ratio of the shark.  Almost imperceptible effort propeled it at 3 to 4 knots, far faster than most divers can swim at an all out maximum short burst.  The locals have named this cooperative fellow Stumpy, due to a shortened dorsal fin. He seems to be a permanent resident of this area, but sightings are sporadic.One diver mentioned he was an Aussie and had tried several times, unsuccessfully, to swim with Stumpy.  We were lucky indeed.  Only after we ( everyone but me, I wanted to keep going) were all exhausted did we call it a wonderful day.  A note of interest- there was no ladder on the dive platform. To expedite recovery of all the divers, two crew members would grab you under the upper arm and snatch you out.  Maria, a petite 101 lbs, flew up. Peter Pan take that!  My turn. I am thinking, "yeah, right, not going to happen". I am well north of 200 lbs, no way.  YES WAY! I landed on my feet easy as you please. Those Aussies are STRONG!

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Dive Destination: Riding Rock Inn, San Salvador

--by Carol Cox

Map

One of the out islands of the Bahamas is San Salvador, about 385 miles from Ft Lauderdale. The diving is phenomenal and the Riding Rock Inn is famous among divers in the Bahamas. There are 30 dive sites just off shore and Guanahani Divers have two spacious dive boats to get you there. All dive sites have mooring balls and range from 40' to 'la la land' ...more than 15,000 feet. Compact 80 tanks are provided so you need less weight. The boat crew sets up your gear for you each day and brings it to you at the stern of the boat when you are ready to dive.  This is wall diving at its best!  There are swim-throughs, reefs, walls and everything in between.  The water is clear and currents are minimal. Big critters are often seen...hammerheads, Caribbean reef sharks, large turtles and one of the largest Spanish hog fish I have ever seen!  The top of the walls are teaming with life from grouper, lobsters, crabs and plenty of macro photo opportunities. San Salvador is only 12 miles long and 2 miles wide and diving is what it is all about there.  There are less than 1000 residents.

Turtle

The Riding Rock Inn provides 3 scrumptious meals per day in their room packages (or can be purchased a la carte) and feature American and Bahamian cuisine. The Driftwood Bar has all your favorite beverages plus free Wi-Fi and TV.  The walls and ceiling are covered with mementos from previous guests.  There is also a large pool just steps from the rooms.

The Inn offers 4, 5, 6 and 7 night packages that include diving, spacious air conditioned rooms, all meals, airport transfers, a glass of wine with dinner, and all taxes. Sample rates from May through September includes 5 nights in a pool side room, 15 meals and 10 dives (2 morning, 1 afternoon dive) will run about $1236, excluding air fare.  Bahamas Air has daily flights, plus Spirit and JetBlue have special charter flights from Ft Lauderdale on Saturdays.  The Bahamas have good diving but San Salvador has great diving!

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Cook what you catch-Shrimp Jambalaya

--by Daryl Johnson

Shrimp Jambalaya

Okay, you are not likely to be catching shrimp while diving, but you can catch them at almost all markets. Jambalaya is a very adaptable dish so while this recipe only has shrimp in it feel free to add crayfish, chicken, andouille sausage or whatever else you like. I have actually taken several Cajun cooking classes in New Orleans and have found two key ingredients that really are amazing- Joe’s Stuff (a dry spice combination) and Cajun Power Garlic Sauce. Both can be purchased online at http://store.nosoc.com/ from the New Orleans School of Cooking. As a rule of thumb, raw shrimp should not be cooked more than three minutes, no matter how you cook them, so they will be added as a last step. Also, I try to modify recipes to make them a little more healthy, so this one uses brown rice which is a departure from Cajun tradition.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
2 tablespoons butter (divided)
1 medium onion diced
1 cup diced celery
1 green bell pepper cored and diced
1 cup red bell pepper cored and diced ( all of this is known as the “Holy Trinity” and is used in many Cajun recipes)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 small cans tomato sauce
3 garlic cloves minced
1 minced jalapeno
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups instant brown rice
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons Joe’s Stuff
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce (cayenne pepper style or your favorite)
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup chopped scallion
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined

Using 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter, sauté the Holy Trinity until the onion until it is translucent. Add the diced tomato and sauce, garlic, jalapeno, smoked paprika, pepper and Joe’s Stuff and cook all the herbs and vegetables until they are blended well. Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil, stir in the rice, bay leaves, salt and hot sauce. Return to a boil for 20 minutes, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, Check the rice to see that it is tender and that all the moisture has been absorbed and if not continue to simmer until it is. Sauté the shrimp in the remaining butter, olive oil, and lemon juice with the Old Bay seasoning for three minutes. Add to the rice mixture and make sure to stir it well to distribute the shrimp throughout. Serve up a heathy portion on a plate and garnish with the chopped scallions and Cajun Power Garlic Sauce to taste. Feel free to add your own touches to this recipe to make it yours- after all cooking is an art- not a science!

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Protect Fish to Save Reefs

Miami Herald May 7, 2015

BY DON RHODES RHODES/KEYSINFONET.COM

ParrotfishA main culprit in the decline of healthy coral is the loss of parrot fish, above, and other grazers. The fish eat algae and seaweed, which benefits coral reefs and other species. While drifting along on a shallow ledge on Conch Reef, I spot a group of colorful parrot fish chomping away at algae and other growth on the coral. A bit farther I see a massive plume of white debris blast from the tail end of a large parrot fish.

“What goes in must come out,” I think.

Turns out parrot fish, while eating algae and seaweed, are doing their part to keep the reef healthy.Without them and other sea dwelling plant eaters, algae and seaweed would overgrow the reefs, suppress coral growth and threaten the incredible array of life that depends on reefs for shelter and food.

Healthy coral reefs are important for the Florida Keys. They provide shoreline protection and support our tourism, sport fishing and diving businesses. A detailed report, Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012 says that Caribbean corals have declined by more than 50 percent since the 1970s. A set of photographs in the report illustrates the decline of the Key’s reefs. In 1975 Carysfort Reef had a continuous cover of elkhorn coral. In contrast, a 2004 image shows a sparse elkhorn coral population surrounded by a ghostly whitish-gray rubble. The report, the result of a three-year Caribbean-wide study, was compiled by nearly 200 experts, drawing from more than 35,000 quantitative surveys at 90 reefs throughout the region including 21 reefs where monitoring data predated a critical massive 1983 bleaching event.

Many of us are aware of the effect climate change has on coral reef. But, according to the report, climate is only one of the culprits killing the coral reef.

“While it is true that climate change poses an enormous risk for the future because of coral bleaching and more acid oceans, reefs protected from overfishing and excessive coastal development and pollution are more resilient to these stresses. Healthy reefs will bounce back faster after damaging extreme heating events and hurricanes,” according to coral reef ecologist Jeremy Jackson, Ph.D., lead author of the report.

According to Jackson, reefs near islands with effective local protections and governance have double the amount of living coral compared with those that lack those protections. They also have more fish and clearer waters.

A main culprit in the decline of healthy coral is the loss of parrot fish and other grazers (such as long-spined Diadema sea urchins), which the report says has been a more significant factor than climate change in the destruction of Caribbean reefs.

In 1990 Bermuda banned fish traps that were decimating the parrot fish population. Today, Bermuda’s coral reefs are relatively healthy, a bright spot in the wider Caribbean,” Jackson said.

It seems restoring parrot fish populations and improving other management strategies to curtail overfishing, invasive species and coastal pollution could help the reefs recover and make them more resilient to the effects of climate change.

“We must immediately address the grazing problem for the reefs to stand any chance of surviving future climate shifts,” Jackson emphasized.

Without parrot fish and other herbivores, algae and seaweed would overgrow the reefs, suppress coral growth and threaten the incredible array of life that depends on these reefs for shelter and food,” wrote Jackson and co-author Ayana Johnson, Ph.D., in a Sept.18, 2014 New York Times guest editorial. (See: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/18/opinion/we-can-save-coral-reefs.html?_r=0 )

Florida has special challenges, according to Jackson and Johnson. “In Florida, banning fish traps — which should result in more parrot fish, less algae and more coral — has not stemmed coral decline,” they wrote. “That’s because of extreme local pressures from millions of residents and tourists and insufficient controls on development. “We need to move immediately beyond listings of species as threatened and research about climate change and take rigorous action against the local and global stresses killing corals.

“Monitoring and research are vitally important, but collecting information without strong corrective action is like a doctor analyzing a patient’s decline without doing everything possible to save her life. “To save coral reefs, we need to follow the lead of Barbuda and our other proactive neighbors. We need to stop all forms of overfishing, establish large and effectively enforced marine protected areas and impose strict regulations on coastal development and pollution while at the same time working to reduce fossil fuel emissions driving climate change. It’s not either/or. It’s all of the above,” concluded Jackson and Johnson in their guest editorial.

Jackson shared his insights on the status of coral reefs in the region and the path to protecting them with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s Advisory Council at its April 21 meeting in Key West. To see a recording of Jackson’s presentation go to: www.youtube.com/watch ?v=bwqfbRMY8z4.

So, the next parrot fish you see is more than just a pretty face. It is helping to protect our valuable coral reefs.

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Diving Attitude Part 2 - The Roll Axis


--by Lon Von Lintel

When standing on a sandy bottom, (never stand on any uw bottom except all sand) do you seem to fall backward?  When floating in a horizontal position, do you tend to roll over onto your back? Have you habitually positioned your weights (either weight belt or integrated BCD system) on your lower back?  If you answered yes to these questions, I have a tip for you.  As previously discussed, (see Diving Attitude Part 1 - Pitch Axis) weight placement along the pitch axis effects your horizontal attitude.  Now consider weight placement along the same pitch axis, but above or below this imaginary center line of the body, when in a horizontal position. The tank and first stage of the regulator are traditionally positioned above the center line. (on your back)  They are usually negatively buoyant and effect your buoyancy like lead weights.  Now, if you also place weights above the center line, (on your back) you have the tendency to be unstable and roll over onto your back and/or fall backward.  The solution?  Position lead weights below the center line, on your lower abdominal area instead of lower back.  How to do that?  If using a weight belt, slide all weights toward the buckle, position the buckle on your left hip, and with some adjustments, the weights will now counterbalance the effects of the tank and first stage of the regulator on your back.  If using an integrated BCD, try to carry less weight in the pockets near the back, and more weight in the front pockets. Depending on the design of your BCD, this may not achieve the desired affect.  In this case, you may want to consider adding a belt and carrying some of the weights on it.

Next Month: Diving attitude Part 3 - The Yaw Axis.

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Fattened up’ coral may beat warming, study says

--by JENNY STALETOVICH JSTALETOVICH@MIAMIHERALD.COM
from The Miami Herald, May 6, 2015

UM scientists found that endangered staghorn coral — nearly wiped out in Florida reefs — could weather warming oceans if it consumes enough food in advance. Like a jock beefing up for a big game, some corals could do far better at withstanding the heavy blows of climate change when pumped with supplements, according to a new University of Miami study. The study looked at endangered staghorn coral, a fast-growing branching coral that once provided the scaffolding for much of Florida’s reef system. For the first time, the research found that vanishing staghorn might have a shot at withstanding the withering effects of warmer and more acidic oceans if the corals could consume enough food in advance to build up reserves. The findings offer a rare glimmer of hope for declining reefs, suggesting a recovery plan is possible, said lead author Erica Towle, a coral physiologist at UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “This is really one of the few good news stories we’ve had recently about corals and climate change,” she said. Reefs have long battled multiple stresses — from pollution to boat anchors — and scientists say climate change has only weakened the resiliency of many corals and the symbiotic algae that live inside them and fuel their growth. If temperatures rise too much, corals will expel the algae. Scientists don’t know why but decades of such events, called coral bleaching, show the effects can be devastating. In the late1990s, a global El Niño weather pattern warmed water and led to a massive die-off of staghorn. Staghorn coverage in Florida reefs is now estimated at just 2 percent of what it was in the 1970s, a dramatic decline for reefs that are not only vital habitat for sea life but that also provide the first line of defense against storm surge and rising seas. UM researchers wondered whether coral, like people, could essentially live off “fat” during times of stress. “If you and I were starving, our bodies would rely on our fat reserves. It’s the same idea with coral,” Towle said. So the teams tested eight genetically diverse colonies of staghorn, subjecting them to temperatures of about 86 degrees — the threshold for bleaching events in the Keys — and carbon dioxide concentrations predicted for the oceans by 2065. Twice a week for eight weeks, half the corals were fed an extra boost of dried zooplankton — the tiny organisms corals eat in the wild. The other half got none. While the unfed coral stopped growing by a significant amount, the coral getting extra food maintained a growth rate even under the harsh conditions, according to the study published last month in the journal PLOS ONE. The findings could have significant implications for how reefs are managed in the future, Towle said. For one thing, coral grown in nurseries could be fattened up before being moved to restore troubled reefs. Scientists also could better target limited conservation efforts, Towle said. If they can figure out which parts of the ocean are attractive to zooplankton, they can better select areas to protect. “Some reefs have higher densities, just like some places on earth have more insects than others,” she said. “That would be a really good place to focus conservation efforts.”

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Electrical Reefs?
--by Jerry Kosakowski

Yep, you read that correctly. An electrical current (slight current, enough to power a light bulb) is being run through metal rods in damaged reef areas with positive results. The current encourages the build up of calcium carbonate on the structural surface. This is the building block of natural reefs. This build up has reefs growing in years instead of decades, at least this is what the preliminary results indicate. Hopefully, this a partial answer to the depletion of coral reefs. The other answer is for divers to be more careful regarding reef contact. Let’s not depend on science for the total answer.

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Buddies From Hell

--by Lon Von Lintel

A new feature about our member's experiences with "buddies" who were anything but a buddy.  Even worse, a buddy who jeopardizes the safety of you or others.  Maybe a buddy who should not even be on that boat.  Tell us your horrifying tales, no names will be used.  And any resemblance to anyone, living or not, is purely coincidental.  Your name or that of your buddies will not be used.  Send you stories to Dan at dmbaeza@bell

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Reef Shades?

--by Jerry Kosakowski

Shades are being used on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Squares seven feet by seven feet floating on pontoons over the reef, have shown some success. The shades lower the amount of light reaching the reef and lower the water temperature on the reef. The Australian government is considering using larger shades for more valuable areas. Now, how they plan to cover the next 1,250 miles is going to be a problem. Let’s just hope this does not turn out to be like the great tire experiment in Broward. Back in the 1970s 2 million tires were dropped into the ocean. hoping to build an artificial reef. This supposedly made sense at the time as well. Now there is a program by Coastal America, working with the U. S. Navy salvage divers to retrieve these tires during training. Well, get working because there are 34 acres the tires spread over each acre. Now, back to Australia. Isn’t that the place that rabbits were brought in to solve a problem and the solution was worse? An initial introduction of 24 wild European rabbits in 1859 produced an astounding 10 billion rabbits by the 1920’s!

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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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It's Easy....

.......to be the owner of the new Active Divers Association license plate frame, and the best part is it's FREE for the asking. A colorful red and white license plate frame with the ADA web address is available free to all ADA members and available at most ADA events.  Each member is asked to install on your cars, and those of your friends and family.  They need not be a member of ADA or even a diver. We hope to make our name more prominent around S. Florida, attract new members, and offer more new programs.  Call Lon at 305-251-4975 if you need more frames.

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Newsletter Delivery

Want your newsletter delivered via snail-mail? Contact Carol Cox at ccox911@att.net 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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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!)

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