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July 2014 Edition

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ADA Refresher Event

The annual ADA Scuba Skills Refresher Event was conducted on June 14 with many current and future members in attendance.  Led by Instructor Rachel Davis, the ADA Safety Officer team first reviewed basic important fundamentals of safe diving. Then in small groups, reintroduced the students to the wonders of breathing underwater.

Later comments included, “This is my 4th refresher, but I never knew some of the things I learned today. Nobody told me."  "Well worthwhile, glad I came."  "Yes, I feel much more comfortable, will be diving again soon."  "Thank you for doing this, well done."

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ADA Safety Officers Tune Up their Emergency First Responder Skills

--by Rachel Davis

After the Scuba Skills Tune-Up on Saturday, June 14, ADA Safety Officers Dan Baeza, Daryl Johnson, Lon Von Lintel, Mo Smith, Lee Wood and Safety Officer candidate Mark Silverman attended a refresher course on Emergency First Response led by PADI Scuba Instructor Rachel Davis. The course covered the ABCD’s of Emergency Care: A for Airway, scene Assessment, Alert emergency medical services; B for Breathing; C for Circulation, Chest Compressions and CPR; D for Defibrillation; and S for Serious bleeding management, Shock management, and Spinal injury management.

Safety OfficiersMiami-Dade Police Officer Mo Smith provided a training dummy and a practice automatic emergency defibrillator (AED) for the practical portion of the course. He guided us in techniques for delivering chest compressions to adults and infants, and proper use of the AED. Each Safety Officer had their turn practicing chest compressions on the dummy. AEDs are found in most public buildings, airports and many dive boats. Knowledge of this important device can potentially restore heart rhythms and save lives.

The ADA Safety Officers are responsible for your safety on ADA dives, and we take this responsibility very seriously. It is important that we keep our knowledge and skills fresh because we never know when the occasion will arise when we need to use them. ADA always puts safety first, and the life we save may be your own.

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Bula! Welcome to Fiji !!

--by Daryl Johnson

For 10 divers, these might be the first words that they hear when they land at the Nadi, Fiji airport next March, 2015. The seasons in Fiji are opposite ours so March is near the end of the summer there while the waters are still warm. It is in a tropical zone so there is not much variation in climate but I’ll still take warm over cold any day! As I have researched the trip I have come to realize that there is much more to Fiji than “just” diving, although it is known as the “soft coral capitol of the world”. Rich in culture and with stunning landscapes, it begs you to explore both above ground and underwater. With that in mind, I am leaning towards going to the Pacific Harbor area which is on the south side of the island about a two hour drive from the airport.  More to come on that as I get quotes and research reviews.

For planning purposes you could expect around $1600-$1800 for a week at a resort with all meals and diving included. To get there it takes two days since you have to cross the International Date Line but on the way back you usually get home on the same date you leave, albeit 24 hours of air travel later and with a serious case of jet lag. Airfare will be in the $1100 range and again will be researched to find the best deals. If you have some specific knowledge to share or some recommendations on resorts that others have used please send it to either Dan at dmbaeza@bellsouth.net or me at diverdaryl@bellsouth.net .

 

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Fish Identification Series

--by Jerry Kosakowski

Photos by Dan Baeza

You guessed it, it’s a grouper. Pretty easy one. Many groupers are important food fish, and some of them are now farmed. Unlike most other fish species which are chilled or frozen, groupers are usually sold live in markets. Many species are popular fish for sea-angling. Some species are small enough to be kept in aquaria, though even the small species are inclined to grow rapidly. This is one of my favorite fish to eat. It has a delicious sweet taste. The bad news is that a lot of groupers have parasites so it must be cooked completely. Groupers are mostly monandric protogynous hermaphrodites, i.e. they mature only as females and have the ability to change sex after sexual maturity..Some species of groupers grow about a kilogram per year and are generally adolescent until they reach three kilograms, when they become female. The largest males often control harems containing three to 15 females. Groupers often pair spawn, which enables large males to competitively exclude smaller males from reproducing. As such, if a small female grouper were to change sex before it could control a harem as a male, its fitness would decrease. If no male is available, the largest female that can increase fitness by changing sex will do so.

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Coral Reef Restoration - 20 11 10 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. (Continued Next Page >>)

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New Social Media Site for ADA

ADA has added a new external social media site to help attract new members to ADA. Known as  “Meetup” (http://www.meetup.com/ ), this site helps people find groups of people with similar interests and connects them to events that the groups have. Go to the website and enter any of the following interests: Outdoors · Recreational Sports & Outdoor Events · Sports & Recreation · Beach Diving · Dive Travel · Scuba · Scuba Diving · Diving · Scuba Diving Travel · Scuba Diving Wrecks · Scuba Events · Scuba Diving Adventures · Scuba Dive Trips · Scuba Diving wrecks and reefs · Scuba Diving Safety & Education. Among the groups that come up you should find the ADA Meetup group. Spread the word among your friends and acquaintances that this is just another way to find out ways to see what ADA is doing in the community! Who knows? Maybe YOU will find something on Meetup that interests you!

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Cruise Diving Update

-- by Dan Baeza and Daryl Johnson

In an earlier newsletter, we introduced the concept of cruise-diving. That is, using a cruise ship as a transportation and lodging platform for Caribbean diving. Since then, ADA members have asked Dan and I if we could publish the dates of the cruises that we have booked. So, here they are:

October 4, 2014, 7 day cruise on Princess with dives in Grand Cayman, Roatan and Cozumel, presently on sale for $499

December 18, 4 day cruise on Princess to Grand Turk, presently on sale for $249 ( three ADA divers are onboard!)

While these are not official ADA international trips we would certainly enjoy seeing you on board!

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Ready for the 2014 Lobster Season??

--by Daryl Johnson

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 do we continue to write about lobster season? 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. (Continued Next Page >>)

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Did You Know.....

--by Carol Cox

The Eagle is considered one of the most popular wreck dives in the Florida Keys? Originally a 268-footl freighter, the Eagle, formally called the Aaron K, caught fire in 1985 en-route to Venezuela. Funds were raised by the Florida Keys Artificial Reef Association and the Keys Association of Diver Operators to sink the vessel in 1985. The ship was renamed the Eagle, after the Eagle Tire Company, and lies on her starboard side in 110 to 115 feet of water, with the highest point at 70 feet. In 1998, Hurricane Georges tore the vessel apart, leaving the bow and stern about 100 feet apart. A diver should be able to see the entire wreck at a depth of about 65 feet, since visibility is usually good. The wreck is home to Goliath Grouper, tarpon, jacks and other large fish. Brightly colored sponges and corals cover most of the surfaces. This is an advanced dive due to the depth and current, but descending on one of the mooring lines, watching your gauges and making a required safety stop makes this one of the Florida Keys top wreck dives.

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EAT, SLEEP, DIVE!
Life Aboard the Cayman Aggressor Liveaboard

--by Rachel Davis

There’s no better way to celebrate our third wedding anniversary and my husband’s 100 dive than spending a week on a dive yacht in the Cayman Islands. Only an hour flight from Miami but completely disconnected from the outside world, we departed on the Cayman Aggressor IV from Georgetown Marina on Saturday, May 31 and did not set foot on land until we returned seven days later.

The Cayman Aggressor staff did a wonderful job of keeping our hungry bellies and Nitrox tanks full several times a day with this schedule: EAT DIVE DIVE, EAT DIVE DIVE, EAT DIVE SNACK SLEEP, REPEAT. We logged 25 dives in six days on this amazing journey.

After visiting the Doc Poulson wreck and the world famous Stingray City petting zoo, the yacht headed over to Little Cayman where we spent the majority of the week. This island offers the best dive sites complete with tunnels, chimneys and chutes, plus the famous Bloody Bay Wall with long sloping swim-throughs that start at 15 feet and slope down to 100 feet on the wall.

A curious wildlife attraction for divers here are “Nassau Labradors” extremely tame groupers. Fred, Fran, Alfonso, etc. will literally swim up to you and beg to be petted. I had never experienced anything like it.

We dove the Russian Destroyer on Cayman Brac at night which was amazing, then back to Grand Cayman to finish up the week on the Kittiwake wreck. Sunk just three years ago in 70 ft. of water with the top of the crow’s nest at a mere 15 feet, it has many hollowed out passageways made safe for divers. You can get in over an hour’s bottom time exploring top-to-bottom, end-to-end, through and through. And yes we did our safety stop standing atop the crow’s nest at 15 ft. What an amazing time!

I highly recommend this experience and look forward to the next liveaboard vacation next summer!

Scuba Tips and Tricks

Wetsuit hard to put on? Put a plastic grocery bag over each foot and your wetsuit will glide on. I prefer Publix bags, but any clean, dry plastic bag will do.

Protect your console computer and depth gauge while in your dive bag by slipping a nice foam coozy over it. It can also double as a beverage holder when not protecting your console.

Want to be sure your C-Card is always with you? Take a photo of the front and back with your smartphone and as long as you have your phone, you'll have your C-Card.

Do you have a favorite tip or trick you would like to share? Send all your tips and tricks to dmbaeza@bellsouth.net.

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My Flashlight Fish of the Red Sea
--by Lon von Lintel

I saw it, but now it's gone.  There it is again. Over and over, now it's here, now it's gone. What is it??  During a night dive in the Red Sea, I came across this mystery.

The beam of my light illuminated the reef, but just to the side of the main beam, I would see a bright  blue/green flash, lasting only 1 to 2 seconds.  Each time I would swing the beam of my light to the spot, I saw nothing but reef.  Frustrated, I decided to change tactics.  Turning off my light, I waited for a flash, then slowly swam to that spot.  Waited again, and when the next flash came, quickly turned on my light.  There it was, a small fish with a large pouch under its eye.  Later after some research, I learned the pouch contains bacteria that has the ability to produce light.  The flashlight fish uses the bacteria in a symbiotic relationship to attract prey, (zooplankton), attract mates, confuse predators, and communicate.  It has a window shade-like cover to regulate the flash. Being nocturnal, the flashlight fish will dart into the reef when a bright light, like a divers light, exposes it.  I spent much of my remaining bottom time, hovering above the reef with my light off, and enjoyed the symphony of dozens of flashlight fish, as they went about their business of surviving in the Red Sea.

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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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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.

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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.


The Youngest Aquanaut On Cousteau's Mission 31

Conch Reef, Tavernier, Fla.

Grace Young is living and working 60 feet under the sea in the only offshore underwater habitat still functioning in the world.  It is anchored  at Conch Reef, just offshore from Tavernier.

ADA dives the reefs at Conch and others from our bases at Florida Keys Dive Center and Atlantis Dive Center. Unfortunately, diving on the habitat is off-limits to all divers except those working on and in the project. However, we can see and hear what's happening by going to Grace's blog located at www.graceunderthesea.com and viewing the many videos, photos, and articles she has posted about her experiences. You'll find it a fascinating read!

ADA T-Shirts For Sale

Show your pride inthe 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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Genus: Cribrochalina dura
Photo by Carol Cox
Sponges
--by Carol Cox

Did you know that a sponge found on Emerald Reef contains an anti-cancer agent? During the May 24 ADA dive with Divers Paradise near Key Biscayne, Lon Von Lintel found a patch of sponge which looked unusual, to say the least. I took a few photos in order to forensic identification work. After researching both sponges and soft corals, I've concluded that what Lon found was “Cribrochalina dura”, which has recently been identified as containing the anti-cancer agent called Duryne. Lon stated after the dive that he had never seen this particular type of sponge before. What’s the point of this tale? No matter how long you have been diving, there is always something new to see, and the underwater world is wide open to new discoveries.

<< See a photo of the sponge at left.

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.