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July 2016 Edition


In This Issue:

Dawning of the Age of Aquarius - Part 2

--by Roy Wasson

On June 25, eleven ADA divers experienced an adventurous full-day mission to the Medina Aquarius Program and its underwater laboratory and habitat.  Submerged since 1993 in sixty feet of water in the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary nine miles offshore, Aquarius is the world’s only permanent underwater laboratory. It provides a platform for the study and preservation of marine ecosystems worldwide.  Aquarius is a globally significant facility that offers a unique means to study the ocean, test and develop state-of-the-art technology, and train specialized divers and NASA astronauts. The habitat can accommodate up to six guest divers for long term missions of up to ten days, or even longer.  Divers are able to experience long missions through a technique called “saturation diving” in which they adapt to cabin pressure equal to the outside water pressure, and then decompress in a hyperbaric chamber for fifteen hours at the end of the mission.

Want to see additional photos of the Aquarius dive? Click here!

Because I prefer specialty dives to recreational diving, I first became aware of Aquarius in 2008, the year when ADA’s collaboration with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) began.  As I was investigating CRF as a possible conservation activity for ADA, I happened upon a link to a live webcam broadcast of Ken Nedimyer, the founder of CRF, who was on a mission aboard Aquarius.  Ken was studying first-hand various techniques for developing his underwater coral nursery, that has since evolved to a highly-efficient source for staghorn and elkhorn transplant specimens.  I enjoyed watching Ken going about his daily activities off-and-on for days on end, and called him to volunteer our services.  Now that we have established a longtime working relationship with CRF, I decided to investigate the Aquarius underwater laboratory and habitat as a possible ADA activity.

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ADA to Tour the Turtle Hospital in Marathon

--by Rachel Davis

The Turtle Hospital is a non-profit organization and fully-functioning veterinary hospital dedicated to the rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles. Their goals are: 1) Rescue, rehab, and release sick and injured sea turtles. 2) Educate the public through outreach events and local schools. 3) Conduct and assist with research aiding to sea turtles. 4) Work toward legislation making the beaches and water safe and clean.

The Hospital is built on the grounds of the old Hidden Harbor Motel. The motel rooms serve as living quarters for their rehab staff and storage. There are several small pools for patients and two very large outdoor pools. The most common injuries treated at the turtle hospital are caused by humans. These include boat strikes, fishing line entanglement and fibropapilloma tumors caused by fertilizer runoff.

Sea turtles that are deemed non-releasable by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are permanent residents of The Turtle Hospital. The most common reason for permanent residency is bubble butt syndrome caused by boat strikes. Boat strikes creates an air cavity in the shell which makes the turtle positively buoyant and unable to dive to forage for food. Thus they must live out the rest of their lives at The Turtle Hospital.

ADA is planning a special tour of The Turtle Hospital on Saturday, August 6th at 9:00 a.m. designed for those attending the Looe Key/Key West weekend. The tour lasts 90 minutes and will be over in plenty of time to drive 20 miles south to Looe Key Resort and have lunch before the dive check-in. The tour provides a presentation on sea turtles as well as a behind the scenes look at the hospital facilities and rehabilitation area. There are also educational exhibits about turtle conservation and how we can prevent illnesses and injuries to sea turtle populations. At the end of each program guests are invited to feed the permanent residents.

Tour admission is $22 per person, payable directly to The Turtle Hospital upon arrival, which is located 2396 Overseas Highway Marathon, FL 33050, MM 48.5 Call Rachel Davis at 786-316-9852 or email to sign up for the tour. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Dive Etiquette

--by Mo Smith

Boat charters survive by maximizing the number of divers on each dive trip. Frequently charter boat real estate is minimal and divers have to strategically utilize their gear space. These are some tips that can help a diver navigate through a dive trip by using proper etiquette resulting in a successful day on the water.

  • Arrive on Time – Check in time will be posted in the weekly eNews and also mentioned when members call for the weather check. Divers needing rental gear should arrive a bit earlier than the check-in time to aviod any departure delays. During this time the diver should complete any paperwork needed and gather all gear required for the dive trip. With proper time diver anxiety is diminished.

  • Organize Your Boat Space – Minimize space used by organizing your gear. I like to secure my gear within my BC. After setting up my gear my fins are placed vertically inside the chest cavity area of my BC, my mask is clipped onto the chest strap; my weights and dive bag are on the floor just underneath my seat. This protects my gear from damage and allows space to my next-door neighbors.

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Join ADA For Our First Archaeological Diving Experience

--by Rachel Davis, John Davis and Lon Von Lintel

ADA has partnered with the Florida Public Archaeological Network (FPAN) to present our First Annual Underwater Spanish Wreck Diving Weekend. The Florida Public Archaeology Network, FPAN, is a statewide network with regional centers dedicated to public outreach and assisting local governments and the Florida Division of Historical Resources, in order to promote the stewardship and protection of Florida’s archaeological resources. Through creating and developing partnerships, FPAN strives to engage the public with Florida’s rich archaeological history.

For divers with a romantic spirit, an inquisitive nature, or an appreciation of history, there is nothing quite like exploring a sunken Spanish Galleon in the Florida Keys! ADA is proud to offer this unique opportunity to learn and explore a living piece of our history.

Here are the details: Who: ADA members interested in learning about and diving on Spanish wrecks. What: 2-1/2 day course of classroom, pool training, and Spanish wreck diving. When: September 9-11, 2016 Where: Upper Florida Keys (Key Largo and Tavernier) Cost: $199 per diver includes classroom training fees, boat fees, pool fees, recording and mapping and photography equipment and tools. Free 2016 ADA membership included for those not already members. Not included - scuba equipment and tanks (can be rented from Capt. Slates), meals, and lodging.

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Turtle Walk

--by John Davis

Have you ever wanted to witness the amazing sea turtles perform their life giving ritual of laying eggs that they have been doing for over 65 million years? Well, my wife Rachel and I did have that opportunity on Thursday, June 9 at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton. Gumbo Limbo offers a program called the Turtle Walk. The Turtle Walk involves going out to the beach, and watching a turtle lay her eggs in her nest. What an incredible and dare I say humbling experience.

The program that evening began with a class at Gumbo Limbo on the lives of these turtles, and their difficulty journey to adulthood. The presenter gave a startling statistic. Only 1 in 1000 turtles that hatch survive into adult hood (20 years old). That's just another example of how nature takes care of itself. The turtles somehow now that they will have to lay many, many eggs in order for their species to survive. The hatchlings when they come out have to deal with foxes, seagulls, as well as the many creatures in the sea that want to eat them as they make their way out to the sargassum in the gulf stream. Not only that, but they have to deal with the man made dangers of trash and other pollution that they have to deal with.

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The Seven Mile Bridge
--by Jerry Kosakowski

The seven mile bridge is a national treasure. Yep, you pass it every time you go to Key West. It connects Knight’s key to Little Duck Key. It was completed in 1982.At that time it was the longest continuous concrete segmental bridge in the world. The Japanese people love to visit it. They seem very interested in bridges, especially this one. I think they just like Key West and use that as an excuse.

The bridge is actually two bridges. But you have seen that older bridge and it does not look safe. However, it performs a function of letting visitors go to Pigeon Key. That was constructed in the early 1900’s. At first it was for the railroad but when the 1935 hurricane hit it was remade to take traffic only. The tracks were dismantled, painted white and used as guardrails.

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Dry Tortugas National Park

--by Jerry Kosakowski

This park lies off the south of Key West. It has less than 1% land. Humm, another underwater park, right here. I thought I wrote how unusual that was; well don’t bring up past stories. This still remains one of my dreams. At least to visit the Dry Tortugas where Fort Jefferson is. It always appears so magnificent in those post card pictures. And that history of having Dr, Mudd incarcerated there. You do recall how he was convicted of assisting in the murder of President Lincoln by helping John Wilkes Booth? Hey, why don’t they move those Gitmo guys there? Could be a winner. After all it was a former prison during the Civil War.

This park is 100 square miles of water. So we shouldn’t be bumping into the tourists like we do at Key West, where you keep seeing the same people all day long. Or at least it seems like that. Maybe because they are so odd you kind of remember them more?

The fort is about 70 miles from Key West so you should almost be in Cuba, because that sign (that they keep moving) states you are 90 miles from there. There are actually seven islands altogether located nearby. It is call the Dry Tortugas because there is no water and there are turtles. Tortuga is Spanish for turtle.

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Lionfish Meuniere
-- by Charles Julian

Meuniere  is a classic French preparation for  fish with a delicate flavor such as sole.  Butter and lemon enhance the taste and texture of Lion Fish in Chef Charles’ LIONFISH MEUNIERE

Whole Foods market has partnered with divers from the Florida Keys to Pensacola to sell the invasive Lionfish in its markets (See: “Lionfish Are Being Sold at Florida Whole Foods Markets“, elsewhere).

Whole lionfish is priced at $9.99 per pound and occasionally on sale at $8.99, with an average lionfish weighing in under 2 pounds. The fish is offered whole, but employees will gladly filet or butterfly the fish at no charge.


6 (4–6-oz.) boneless, skinned or not skinned filets of Lion Fish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup flour
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup White Wine
3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp. capers
1 lemon,  ½ thinly sliced crosswise

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Freediving Blackout

--by Lenora Bach

Diagram Courtesy of Divewise.orgFreediving Diagram

A few ADA members have been training with free diving exercises. I find that free diving has the same meditative qualities as practicing yoga. By focusing on your breathing, you eliminate distractions. Free diving is the new yoga.

The Yogis call breath control exercises “pranayama.” Breath control is essential in scuba diving as well. As soon as you hit the water and submerge you are very aware of your breathing. As you calm your breath you become focused on the environment and start to soak in much of the dive. However, controlling your breath while free diving can be dangerous for obvious reasons.

The diagram at right shows that a blackout is more likely to occur during ascent at 30 feet below the surface and shallower.

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Sea Hunt: Fact and Fiction
--by Dr. Dan Baeza

"Hello there. I'm Lloyd Bridges. Skin diving is fun and adventure for young and old, but it can be dangerous, so know the sport well and don't take any chances. Be with you next week for another exciting Sea Hunt."

Lloyd Bridges as Mike NelsonThe quote above was the concluding narrative for a beloved TV series. In 1958, Ivan Tors Studios began filming a TV adventure series called “Sea Hunt”, starring a little-known actor named Lloyd Bridges. Bridges’ character, Mike Nelson, was an ex-Navy frogman working for the Coast Guard Auxiliary in southern California. Somehow each week, Mike found himself in adventures that ranged from scientific experiments, underwater demolition, and locating lost ships, to just plain fighting crime. He was always in the wrong place at the wrong time, getting into trouble, but escaping within 30 minutes, in time to roll the final commercials and credits.

A standard feature of each show was Mike’s voice-overs that helped viewers understand what was going on in the underwater scenes. His narration served to educate the public about the fascinating world of scuba diving, a relatively new sport at the time. Close-ups underwater usually showed him with about an inch of water in the bottom of his mask.

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Lionfish Are Being Sold at Florida Whole Foods Markets
-- by Carlos Frias, from Miami Herald, June 8

This invasive fish, devouring every other species, tastes like hogfish or snapper, at a much lower price.  Only the spines are venomous, and the meat is completely safe to eat.  The spines are removed in store by gloved employees.  Starting this month, all 26 Whole Food Markets in Florida will carry this fish, as prized for its rich flavor as it is reviled by divers.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has produced how-to-videos dispelling the common misconception that they are not safe to eat.  Whole Foods are selling lionfish for about $9 a pound, while hogfish and snapper costs almost three times that.

The FWC is doing everything to create open season on lionfish and has co-sponsored spearfishing tournaments.  And only those who plan to sell it need a license.


Update: 2nd Annual Dive Cruise - Book Soon to Avoid Dive Excursion Price Hikes -
Get FREE Gratuities When You book by July 5th

--by Daryl Johnson

Breaking news!!! Only one dive space is left for Belize!!!

One of the things we discovered last year is that if you don’t book your dive excursions early you may encounter price hikes booking them later in the season. So how do you avoid this? Book now!! Our Princess Cruise planner will book the dives for you as soon as they become available to guarantee the lowest price. Dives are available to book now, so if you are thinking about doing this trip I strongly recommend that you do it now BEFORE THEY SELL OUT the dive excursions. Ask anyone that went on last year’s cruise and they will tell you it was fantastic!

The trip departs on November 13, 2016 on the Caribbean Princess for six nights and seven days and docks in Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel, all of which are world class dive locations. Princess is now offering a special where prices are as low as $529 per person for an interior cabin, to $729 for a balcony (on sale as of this writing), not including the dive excursions. The excursions range from $119 to $200 (for a very special dive out of Belize to Turneffe Atoll), per diver, per day, including all equipment rentals.

An additional benefit of booking the ADA Group trip is the onboard credit that each cabin will receive, depending on how many cabins are booked within the group. So, how simple is it to book this trip? All you have to do is call our Cruise Planner, Karen Bradder at 1-800-901-1172 extension 41643 and tell her that you want to book the Active Divers Group cruise and make a deposit. That’s it, no muss, no fuss and you will be ready for another outstanding trip with ADA!! I will coordinate with our cruise planner to get the dive excursions arranged for all ADA divers, but be sure and go online and verify that the dives you want are booked on your reservation.

This is a fantastic way to cap off the dive season so don’t miss out!

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Changing Seas on PBS

--by Dr Dan Baeza

The PBS affiliate WPBT2 "Changing Seas" series gives viewers a fish-eye view of the Earth's oceans. Now in its eighth season, each season features four 30-minute episodes on the ocean's marvels and secrets.  Episode 804, titled "Beneath the Bridge, features the Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach.

See the complete episode guide here.

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Have You Moved or Changed Email Addresses Lately?

If so, please email or call us with your current information. you may send an email to: Dr. Dan Baeza, Membership Chair at You can also call Dan at 954-260-8225 and leave a message with your new contact information.

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Newsletter Delivery Options

Want your newsletter delivered via snail-mail? Contact the webmaster and request a printed copy. Be sure to put "ADA Newsletter" in the subject.

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ADA 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


  1. Be current (dive activity within the previous 3 months).
  2. Have the approval of an ADA Safety Officer.
  3. Have a minimum of 25 logged dives.
  4. Carry an alternate air source (octopus), time keeping device and depth gauge


Before departing for the dive site, confirm weather conditions with Lon at (305) 251-4975 or with the designated Safety Officer. It is the responsibility of the member to call. Because of the large numbers of divers involved we are not able call you with weather information. For morning dives, call between 6 and 10 p.m. the night before the dive. For afternoon dives, call between 9 and 10 a.m. the morning of the dive


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


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


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


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


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

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