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July 2015 Edition

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In This Issue:

Dive the Vandenburg in Key West with ADA!

--by Rachel Davis

VandenbergA special trip is planned for the weekend of August 22 and 23 this year in the lower Keys. Here are the details for the upcoming ADA Weekend Getaway: August 22 Looe Key reef dive on famous Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. This is a shallow reef with towering coral heads and numerous tropicals. The two tank boat dive is only $70 and includes tanks and weights. August 23  Vandenberg Wreck and Reef: This is a 522 foot former military missile tracking ship. It  sits upright in140 feet of water, rising up to within 50 feet of the surface.  The cost of the two tank wreck and reef dive is $70. This is an advanced dive, so ADA advanced diver criteria applies.

Weekend planning option 1:
Saturday morning drive to Looe Key Reef Resort, about 3 hours from Miami. Check in time is noon for the two tank dive. Stay overnight at the resort or at one of several nearby hotels (hotel not included).

Sunday at 7:30 a.m.: Check in at the Lost Reef Adventures shop in Key West  for two dives. Thereafter, spend the remainder of the day in Key West and watch the sunset and the crazies at Mallory Square before heading home. 

Weekend planning option 2:
Dive Looe Key only, and return home Saturday night, or wreck dive only, and return Sunday night.

Space limited to 10 divers and it's filling up fast! Call Lon today to reserve your spot.

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Dive Cruise Update - November 14 -21

--by Daryl Johnson

The first annual ADA dive cruise is off to a great start with 8 cabins and 10 divers booked!! Our Cruise Planner, Karin Bradder at 1-800-901-1172 ext. 41643 has promised to get all of our group on the dives in Grand Cayman, Roatan and Cozumel and we could actually end up buying out the entire excursion if we continue to add members to the ADA group!! We have been promised to get the lowest advertised price for the cruise regardless of what you book it at, so book now and save later. Give Karin a call today-Looking forward to seeing you on board!

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Reversing Coral Reef Extinction

--by Nathalie Ricard

Nathalie Ricard

Nathalie has recently joined the Active Divers Association and comes to us with many years of experience. The French native lives and works in Miami.

On Saturday, June 13th, I joined the Active Divers Association to volunteer with the Coral Restoration Foundation. It was one of my first events with the association, and I was very interested and curious about the action plan and achievements of the Foundation. Over the last 10 years, I have been diving mainly in the Red Sea, Guadeloupe, the Caribbean, but also in the Mediterranean Sea, and I can tell how healthy coral is necessary for a thriving sea life. Diving on a rocky, mineral setting is just not the same as on a reef with abundant, healthy corals inhabited by colorful fishes.

During one of my recent dives off Tavernier, I could observe firsthand the vast areas of dead coral. What used to be a vibrant reef is now covered in algae, grayish, and void of sea life. It looked to me like a faded old house, abandoned by its occupants in a hurry to leave, covered in cobwebs, whose splendor and life energy of its former guests you can only imagine. The Foundation’s objective is to restore the coral reefs where they used to flourish 30 years ago, by facilitating coral reproduction, growth and out-planting. Small fragments of coral are attached to a PVC “tree”, floating in the water column, where the coral growth is fostered by natural light and abundant nutrients. It is truly impressive to see how fast a small fragment can grow into a decent sized coral branch in only a matter of months. At that point corals can be out-planted on the reef, in select locations which used to host healthy corals and sea life.

The coral colonies are monitored for disease, and they can then reproduce naturally, during annual spawning events, to promote genetic diversity necessary for sustainable survival of the coral in their changing environment. I must admit that I walked in a bit skeptical about the real impact that a few passionate and dedicated coral lovers could have on coral extinction, widespread over hundreds of reef miles. Since the 1970s, corals have been under multiple threats, including degraded water quality, extreme water temperature episodes, sea urchin die-off, and a range of diseases. What a few volunteers could do to reverse this situation seemed to me literally like a drop in the ocean….., but I have reconsidered. There is hope! A proper sewage system is now operational in the Florida Keys, dramatically improving the water quality near densely populated areas.

The importance of the reefs as part of the ecosystem, but also for the economical and societal coastal development is more and more recognized. Over time, strategically located healthy coral colonies will genetically adapt on their own to their new environment. The coral will become naturally more resistant to the inevitable threats. The Foundation staff and volunteers are giving the initial effort necessary to balance the adverse impact humans have on the ecosystem. Nature is rapidly taking over to reverse the coral extinction. The day with the Coral Restoration Foundation was a unique opportunity to get to meet Active Divers Association members. It was also a true eye-opener about the critical environmental challenges of our modern lives on the one hand, and the long-lasting impact that we can have individually on the other hand.

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Diving in Turks and Caicos

--by Carol Cox

Turks & Caicos has some of the best diving in the Caribbean!  Seeing the clear, turquoise water while landing in Provo from a direct 1 ½ hour flight from Miami, is spellbinding.  The white sandy beaches of Grace Bay rival any in the world.  Dive Provo provides everything you need for a complete dive vacation.  They have 3 comfortable dive boats for 2 tank am dives and 1 tank pm dives, along with longer excursions and night diving.  Diving in absolutely crystal clear water with a huge variety of marine life is an every day experience in Provo.  Dive Provo will pick you up at your hotel or you can stay at the Ports of Call Resort, where Dive Provo is based.  Morning dives go to such places as Pine Cay, Grace Bay, Northwest Point, West Caicos and beyond.  Each dive is geared towards the customer, whether a beginner or seasoned pro.  The staff of Dive Provo will set up your gear on the boat and break it down, rinse it and have it ready for diving the next day. No lugging heavy dive gear around!

A dive master will accompany any diver that does not have a buddy.  Divers are free to explore on their own or with a dive master if they wish. Afternoon dives are usually in Grace Bay, just a short boat ride from the Dive Provo dock.  They also offer a 3 tank Scuba Safari, usually on Wednesdays for more experienced divers that includes a tank of Nitrox, lunch and refreshments.  Night diving is also regularly scheduled.  Diving in Grace Bay at night with a full moon is one of the delights of diving!

Sample rates for a 6 night stay with 4 days of diving at Ports of Call Resort run around $1075.

A special is running during 2015 – pay for 4 nights, get the 5th night free or pay for 5 nights, get the 6th and 8th nights free!  It's no wonder that after just one dive trip to Provo, divers return time after time.

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Scuba History

--by Jerry Koskowski

scuba history

The history of scuba diving is very well documented as far back as 1535. Jacques Cousteau was quoted as saying “It will happen my friends, surgery will affix a set of artificial gills to man’s circulatory system–right here at the neck–which will permit him to breathe oxygen from the water like a fish. Then the lungs will be by-passed and he will be able to live and breathe in any depth for any amount of time without harm. It will happen, I promise you.”

It appears as if Jacques Cousteau’s vision came true with the development of scuba diving. Actually, scuba diving or the idea of diving has been around for quite some time. In the 1500’s Leonardo Da Vinci designed the first known scuba diving apparatus. His drawings of a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus appears in his Codex Atlanticus. There is no record of Da Vinci ever following through with his design though.

However, you can go back even further into this history of scuba diving. Aristotle discussed the possibility of developing what eventually came to be known as a diving bell. A diving bell was a cable-suspended airtight chamber. It looked much like its name sake “the bell”. As the bell was lowered under the water the pressure of the water would keep the air trapped inside the bell. Hoses fed down from the surface would send in compressed gases. This not only allowed the person to breathe but compensated for the gases that were being released from the bottom of the bell. Without this compressed gas, the bell would partially fill with water. The diving bell was one of the earliest inventions for under water exploration. Around 1531, the Italian explorer Guglielmo de Loreno developed the first true diving bell which he used for exploring sunken ships.

S.C.U.B.A stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. So we can see why it is so much easier to say you’re going Scuba Diving.

People have been exploring the ocean since the beginning of time. Man ventured into the ocean for fish and other marine life. People have been practicing holding their breath underwater for as long as we can remember. The ocean and what it holds has always captivated us. Everything from a food source to simple curiosity over marine life and sunken ships, it’s all fascinating. In earlier days, reeds were use to breathe underwater. This however was limited since you could only go right below the surface. An attempt was also made to breathe from an air filled bag. The only problem was that divers were breathing back in carbon dioxide.

Advances were being slowly made in the diving world and during the 16th century, France and England had both created leather diving suits and with the aid of manual air pumps divers were able to go to depths of about 60 feet. The 19th century brought great advances in underwater exploration. With the research completed by Paul Bert from France and John Scott Haldane from Scotland we learned more about the effects of water pressure on the body. Their work also helped to define safe limits for compressed air diving.

Technological advancements in the areas of compressed air pumps, carbon dioxide scrubbers, regulators and more made it possible for divers to stay under the water for longer periods of time.
There are typically two types of scuba diving, open scuba diving and closed scuba diving. Open diving allows the diver to breathe air from a cylinder and the air blown out goes into the water and rises up to the surface. Closed diving is where the diver breathes in from a tank and then the blown air is released back into the tank where it is recycled to breathe again. This is also known as using a re-breather.

Scuba diving has been used for personal recreation and has been adopted by our U.S. Military for its teams like the U.S. Navy Seals. One thing is for sure, the world of scuba diving is an amazing adventure unlike any other you will ever experience.

The historical time line below will walk you through some of the advancements made in underwater exploration. Although there were many advancements throughout our time, this calendar highlights some of the historical moments.underwater explorations.

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Timeline of Scuba Development throughout History

--by Jerry Koskowski
  • 1535 – Guglielmo de Loreno created the diving bell.
  • 1650 – First air pump created by Guericke.
  • 1691 – Edmund Halley created another form of the diving bell with weighted barrels. This was connected with an air pipe to the surface.
  • 1715 – John Lethbridge developed an underwater cylinder. The cylinder was supplied via an air pipe from the surface with compressed air.
  • 1837 – Augustus Siebe set the standard for many dive expeditions by sealing a diving helmet to a watertight diving suit.
  • 1843 – The first diving school was established by the Royal Navy.
  • 1865 – Benoit Rouquayrol and Auguste Denayrouse developed an underwater breathing apparatus. The tank connected to a mouth piece was strapped to the divers back. The diver was linked to the surface by a hose that pumped fresh air into tank.
  • 1911 – Draeger of Germany introduced the re-breather to the world.
  • 1933 - Yves Le Prieur created a demand valve that connected to a high pressure air tank. This allowed the diver to be independent from the hoses that connected them to the surface.
  • 1943 – Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan created the first Aqua-Lung.
  • 1948 – The Aqua Lung regulator was imported to the United States.
  • 1956 – At the University of California introduces the first wetsuit.
  • 1959 – The first national Scuba Diver Certification program was presented by the YMCA. In this same year the Underwater Society of America was also formed.
  • 1960 – National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) was formed by Al Tillman and Neal Hess.
  • 1961 – John Gaffney forms the National Association of Skin Diving Schools (NASDS).
  • 1966 – John Cronin and Ralph Ericson found The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
  • 1970 – Scuba Schools International (SSI) is created by Bob Clark.
  • 1971 – The Stabilization Jacket is introduced by Scubapro.
  • 1980 – Duke University presents a safe diving program known as the Divers Alert Network (DAN).
  • 1985 – The sunken wreckage of the Titanic was found.
  • 2001 – By diving to 308 meters, John Bennett breaks his own world record.

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Photography Part 5 - Editing Software

--by Dan Baeza

Getting the perfect shot takes many piece-parts: the right subject, proper framing, good lighting, optimal color balance, and suitable contrast. Although much easier with today’s computer-assisted SLRs, it is nevertheless a daunting task when shooting underwater subjects. Your subject won’t stand still, the lighting is not right, the color and contrast are washed out. Fortunately, snapping the photo is just the start of the process. Now with good editing software, you can improve the appearance of your photograph to rival those found in dive magazines and publications.

There are many high quality and free or inexpensive software applications for editing digital photographs. From the free Microsoft Photo Gallery bundled with Windows and Google’s Picasa as a free download, to Photoshop, the gold standard for photo editing. All good photo editors will contain the following must-have tools:

Crop: trim the superfluous portions of your photo so that the subject is prominently displayed.

Tilt: straighten your subject so that its orientation is in line with the photo’s horizon.

Color Balance: essentially three interdependent adjustments to vary the color balance between red and cyan, magenta and green, and yellow and blue.

Tone: permits adjustment of hue and saturation. Adjusting the hue adjusts the actual color of the subject, while saturation varies the amount of grey.

Contrast: vary the difference between the darker areas and the lighter areas of the photo being edited.

Brightness: luminosity varies the lightness or darkness of the photo.

Below are examples of each attribute.

Crop

<< Original

Cropped >>

Notice that in cropping, we didn't attempt to center the subject, but rather imply motion from right to left by slightly off-centering the subject.

Tilt

<< Original

Straightened >>

We had to tilt this image so much that we also had to crop it to keep the canvas edges from showing.

Color Balance

<< Original

Balanced >>

The turtle looks more natural with the reds brought up in balance with the blues and greens.

Tone

<< Original

Tone Added >>

When adjusting tone (hue and saturation) care must be taken to make your subject's colors lifelike.

Contrast

<< Original

Contrast Added >>

Adujsting the contract is effective in poor visibility.

Brightness

<< Original

Brightened >>

Improving the brightness enhances the color balance to some extent.

As can be readily discerned, it is difficult to create clean underwater photos. With editing software however, an otherwise washed out photo can be made vibrant in post production. Enhancing a photo using editing software is as much an art as it is a science. This brief toutorial has barely scratched the surface. There are many excellent in-depth toutorials available either bundled with the software publisher's application or as stand-alone products. Many are low cost or even free to use. So if your photos are not coming out how you would like them to be, consider investing some time in learning how to use editing software. (Note: The photos used in this article were enhanced using Adobe Photoshop CS6 on an Intel i7-based PC running Windows 7.)

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The Longest Shark

--by Lon Von Lintel

Dateline: July, 1998

Location: Key Largo, Fl. USA

The longest, (many teeth) shark I ever saw was a Great Hammerhead. My wife, Maria, and I were enjoying a pleasant dive.  She was a little ahead of me and to my left.  She had stopped and was fixated on a small critter on the reef.  While waiting for her, I scanned the water column and noticed a form just on the edge of visibility, to my left.  It drifted directly toward us. As it came clearly into view, I could definitely make out the broad head with eyes on either side.  I hurried to alert Maria. She rolled to her right to lookback at me.  But the shark was closing on my left, and Maria had rolled to her right, so by the time she understood my signals, the shark was directly above us.She looked up and her first glimpse was the belly of the beast!!  Startled? I think so. Momentarily blocking out the sun, his shadow following, he cruised by, with a powerful but leisurely swaying of his tail fin.  But we treasure our encounter of what I guestimate was a 12 foot long Great Hammerhead.

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Beauty and the Blue Hole - Belize

--by Rachel Davis

June brings our wedding anniversary which is always a great excuse to do something special, particularly if it involves diving. I went on the Belize Aggressor liveaboard in 2009 and never got it out of my system. It seemed the perfect destination to bring my husband to celebrate our fourth anniversary.

Belize is nestled in Central America between Guatemala and Honduras, and boasts the second largest barrier reef in the world, and three of only four atolls in the western hemisphere. The diving is characterized by sheer and sloping walls resplendent with colorful sponges and abundant marine life.

Life on a liveaboard follows the predictable schedule of eat, dive, sleep and repeat. Five dives a day. And the Belizean reefs are so close to the mainland travel between sites is short and there is no pesky travel or crossings to interrupt the dive schedule.

The water was a temperate 83-85 degrees the whole week. In addition to the usual suspects of lobsters, eels and numerous tropicals, we were treated to numerous Caribbean reef sharks, pettable Nassau groupers, acres of garden eels, enormous tarpon and a beautiful seahorse. Each night dive we saw octopus changing colors before our eyes from blue, white to olive green, slithering along the coral.

In addition to a hike on Half Moon Caye they took us to the world famous Blue Hole where you plunge to 130+ feet to see a few stalactites hanging from the wall amid the cacophony of depth alarms all sounding at once. However, the formations were preferable on the cave tubing expedition on the last day which was a wonderful experience. As we emerged from the caves we saw the Toucan of Froot Loops fame fly overhead, the national bird of Belize.

Even with tiny staterooms and smelly toilets the worst day on a liveaboard beats the best day working. So that’s why I need to take at least one every year to achieve the proper work-life balance to maintain my sanity. John and I managed to achieve the coveted Iron Diver award, which is given to those select die-hards that go on every dive during the week – 26 in all. We came home exhausted but it was well worth the pain. I highly recommend the Belize Aggressor. Walls, caves, abundant marine life, all off the beaten path. Would I go back? You better Belize it!

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Coral Heat Resistance: Nature Toughens Up Against Pollution

--by Chris Burns
(Excerpted from Slashgear.com, June 26, 2015)

So-called "genetic rescue" found in coral as species survive increasing heat over time. Elevated thermal tolerance has been found in certain types of coral in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef by scientists that suggest that, as long as one type of coral's parents come from a warmer lower-latitude location, they're able to survive far better than similar coral without said parents. As long as you're a piece of coral whose parents lived in a heated environment, you're going to be able to get hot.

To view the complete article, go to SlashGear.com.

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Buddies From Hell
(1st of many submitted by our members)

--by Anonymous

I was diving with a group on the Eagle wreck, a deep dive. All was well until, at 100', my computer said it was time to go up to avoid making it a decompression dive, which was not allowed by the dive shop.  I signaled to my assigned buddy that I need to start the ascent.  He signaled back to me that his computer said he had plenty of time.  Again I signaled I needed to go up.  He waived good-by and swam away into the wreck by himself.  Leaving me no choice, I ascended by myself.  Later, after he got on board I asked him why he did not come up with me.  His reply was "I had more time and was not going to cut my dive short just because you had to."

Readers: What kind of buddy was he?  As bad as this was,do you have one even worse? Remember, no names will be used.  Send your horror stories to Dan at dmbaeza@bellsouth.net

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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!

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! Availables sizes are small, medium, large, x-large, and xx-large. We have 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 Lon at (305) 251-4975 or with the designated Safety Officer. It is the responsibility of the member to call. Because of the large numbers of divers involved we are not able call you with weather information. For morning dives, call between 6 and 10 p.m. the night before the dive. For afternoon dives, call between 9 and 10 a.m. the morning of the dive

HOW TO MAKE DIVE RESERVATIONS

  1. Check this newsletter or the annual calendar for upcoming dives.
  2. Call Lon at (305) 251-4975 or via email at lon@diverlon.com to make a reservation. If via email, you will receive a notification whether space is available. Please do not leave requests on his answering machine, the trip may be full.
  3. We will hold your reservation for four (4) days from the date you call. If we do not receive payment within four days, your space may be given to other members. If you wish to confirm receipt, call Lon.
  4. Ask for details about the trip when you call. Otherwise, details will be given when you call for a weather check. (See “Important Weather Information”)
  5. Make your check payable to ACTIVE DIVERS ASSOCIATION, not to any individual, and mail to:
Jerry Kosakowski 
298 NW 83 Lane 
Coral Springs FL 33071-7439
You may also pay online via PayPal on the "Dive Schedule" page.

ADA GUIDELINES FOR COMPUTER ASSISTED DIVING

  1. Members using dive computers may extend their time 10 underwater minutes beyond the time allowed by the tables.
  2. Computer assisted dives must be well within the NO DECOMPRESSION LIMITS
  3. Members should understand and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  4. If a computer diver is buddyed with a diver using the tables, both must follow the tables.
  5. If a buddy-team is using dis-similar computers, both must follow the more conservative readings

ADA TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE

ADA has created a unique concept in local diving: NO FAULT INSURANCE!! For an additional $5.00, per person, per local dive trip, members can eliminate the worry of losing their dive fees because of an unforeseen change of plans. If, for any reason you are unable to attend a local dive for which you are scheduled and have paid the insurance, ADA will credit your dive fee to another date. The $5.00 insurance is  non-transferable and non-refundable. When you make a reservation, ask for dive trip cancellation insurance.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE SAFETY OFFICERS’ COMMITTEE

All members are reminded to read the “Rules & Guidelines for Diving Activities” you received with your membership package. Number 16 states, “All divers must be present for the pre-dive briefing”. If the diver is not present for the entire briefing, diving privileges may be revoked for that dive. Please plan to arrive on time - or better yet - a bit early. We thank you and appreciate your cooperation.

CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY FOR LOCAL DIVE TRIPS

Because of our contractual agreements with our service agents - dive shops and boat captains, we must notify them - usually seven days in advance - of the final number of spaces we are paying for. Thus, if our members cancel less than seven days in advance, we regret that NO REFUND OR CREDIT can be given, unless trip cancellation insurance has been purchased at the time of the dive trip payment (see next news article!)

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