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



<< Main Menu
September 2014 Edition

Line

FREE RAFFLE, FREE BBQ, FREE DIVE !!

When: Saturday, Oct 4, 2014 Who: ADA members, prospective members, family and friends

Where: John U Lloyd State Park, Jetty Pavillion, 6503 N. Ocean Drive, Dania Beach, Florida 33004 1.5 miles north of Sheridan St. on A1A

Time: Meet for beach dive at 9:00 am, raffle and BBQ at noon.

MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN RAFFLE PRIZES. MUST RSVP TO WIN PRIZES.

Call Lon at 305-251-4975 to sign up, deadline October 1st. For beach diving, bring all your own gear and a dive flag if you have one. The reef is about 100 yards off shore. The pavilion has covered shelter, very nice bathroom, showers, and changing room. We will have the BBQ and raffle, rain or shine, unless a hurricane threatens. BBQ will include burgers, dogs, chicken, extras and all drinks. A small fee is charged to enter the park ($4 for single occupancy vehicles, $6 for 2-8 persons per vehicle), free parking at the pavilion. Non-ADA members and non-family members may attend but will be asked to contribute $10 for the BBQ and are not eligible for the free raffle. They may also dive, but are not part of the ADA dive group.

Line

"A" Is For Aruba

--by Carol Cox

Last month, ADA members submitted reviews of Bonaire and Curacao so this month, let’s complete the ‘A – B- C’s’ with Aruba.  July was my third visit to this island in the Dutch West Antilles, just 19 miles off the coast of Venezuela. The diving in Aruba, on both the west coast and south coast, is amazing. I dove with Red Sail Sports (again!) because they have such a well organized operation.  The divemasters are all friends and it shows in their friendly and warm personalities.  I still remember seeing two of the dive masters (one had a group of students, one was with me on a private underwater tour) do an underwater high five after one had found a frogfish and showed it to the other divemaster.  They have a very real camaraderie with each other.  Their boats are big and spacious and can easily accommodate 20 divers.

I spent most of my time diving the West Coast on such wrecks as the Antilla, Pedernalis and Debbie II. We found seahorses, frogfish, eels, octopus, arrow crabs, flamingo tongues, tons of tunicates, you name it. On one dive on the Antilla (I dove it 4 times – it’s really big), we saw a huge dog snapper – actually the only really large fish I saw all week.  It was easily a two-hundred pounder.  Most of the west coast dives are on wrecks while the south coast dives are drift dives along a long, sloping wall, very similar to diving in Bonaire. Sites such as the wreck of the Jane Sea and Renaissance Airplane are very popular . While the waters were too rough to dive the South Coast several days (the wind was blowing unusually stiff for July in Aruba) there was always a site to dive – there was virtually no current underwater. While the Antilla is Aruba’s most famous dive, Arashi reef is also very popular for its various airplane parts (propellers , engines and assorted pieces from an old airplane that has basically disintegrated), seahorses were found on Blue Reef, frog fish on the Antilla, Arashi reef and the Pedernalis (another rather scattered wreck that also hosts green moray eels) and a few octopus occupied all of the above.

I stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort on Palm Beach, which was just a short walk along the beach from the Red Sail Sports boat dock (in front of the Hyatt).  Every hotel along the ‘high rise’ district is awesome and right on the beach.  While there is little in the way of shore-diving in Aruba, the west coast dives are only a five minute boat ride from the dock.  The south coast dives involve a 45 minute boat ride but the diving there doesn’t get any better anywhere in the Caribbean.  I’d go back to Aruba in a heartbeat.

Line

ADA 2014 International Trip Fiji - March 10 - 17, 2015

After extensive research and negotiations, Dan and I have put together a great trip for both divers and non-divers alike. Captain Cook's Cruises offers the intimacy of a small cruise ship, with the accessibility to diving that can't be matched on a land based tour. Click here to go to our info page.

Line

--by Carol Cox

Have you noticed those mustard colored branches and ridges around and on the coral reefs in south Florida and other parts of the Caribbean?  Have you brushed up against one and immediately regretted it?  Welcome to your close-up and personal encounter with fire coral, an animal more closely related to the jellyfish than coral.

Like jellyfish, fire coral causes a stinging pain from the nematocysts that protrude from the fire coral’s surface.  Nematocysts are tiny capsules that contain an ejectable thread. Soon after encountering fire coral, a burning sensation or stinging pain develops with a red rash and itching where contact was made.

Fire coral stings can be treated in a number of ways. First, rinse the affected area with sea water. Avoid fresh water as that is more likely to cause the stinging cells to fire, increasing the pain. Apply a 50/50 mixture of alcohol and vinegar to deactivate the venom.  You can also use ¼ strength household ammonia or baking soda, applied liberally onto the skin. Use a compress liberally soaked with the ammonia or baking soda solution and apply for at least 30 minutes or until the pain subsides. A paste made from Adolf’s Meat Tenderizer or papaya fruit may also be helpful, but do not exceed 15 minutes application time, especially on sensitive skin.  Concentrated citrus such as lime juice may also be helpful.

Try to remove the nematocysts with tweezers or with tape after deactivating the venom. Another method is to apply shaving cream or soap and gently shave the area with a razor. Apply a thin coat of hydrocortisone lotion twice a day. Lidocaine or Benzocaine may also provide short-term pain relief.  Keep the area immobile to avoid causing the venom to spread.

Watch for signs of allergic reaction, such as shortness of breath, swelling of the face, tongue or throat. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. A pain reliever such as Tylenol, Motrin or Advil can be taken if pain persists.  The best treatment however, is to avoid contact with fire coral by maintaining proper buoyancy, watch where you put hands and arms and generally avoiding contact with any marine organism.

Source: emedicinehealth; Scott H Plantz MD

Line

Cruise and Dive Cozumel: The Suite Life

--by Rachel Davis

Cruising and diving doesn’t always have to be about finding the lowest possible rate. Sometimes savoring breakfast delivered to the balcony stateroom while watching the deep blue Caribbean sea glide by is well worth the price of the upgrade.

This is ADA members Rachel and John Davis enjoyed on a four-night cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Cozumel aboard Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas. This was a very relaxing vacation with one sea day, a day in Cozumel and another day at sea on the return. Although Vision is one of the older ships in the fleet, it was refurbished within the last year and everything was like new. The ship offered the usual amenities: fine dining, Broadway-style entertainment, fun activities like the men’s belly flop competition and the relaxing adults-only solarium pool area.

On July 5th we arrived in Cozumel and went on the dive excursion offered by the cruise ship. We prefer to use the dive excursions offered through the ship because they are screened for safe diving practices and if the excursion for some reason gets delayed, the cruise ship will wait for you. Luckily this day there was only one other diver onboard, making for a total of 3 divers onboard.

The two dive sites were Cedral Wall and Tormentos Reef. On the wall we saw an abundance of marine life including lobsters, a huge shark, numerous tropicals, and the most amazing site of a nurse shark and large green moray eel cuddle up next to each other under a shelf. Amazing!

So world class diving is closer than you think and a short cruise on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship is a great way to experience it.

Line

Fish Identification Series - Blue Runner

--by Jerry Kosakowski

Blue Runner

Pictures and information from Wikipedia

This one is a little harder to identify. It is a blue runner. The blue runner is distributed across the Atlantic Ocean, ranging from Brazil to Canada in the western Atlantic and from Angola to Great Britain including the Mediterranean in the east Atlantic. The blue runner is distinguished from similar species by several morphological features, including the extent of the upper jaw, gill raker count and lateral line scale counts. The blue runner is known to reach a maximum length of 70 cm and 5.05 kg in weight, but is much more common below 35 cm. The species inhabits both inshore and offshore environments, predominantly over reefs, however it is known to congregate around large man made offshore structures such as oil platforms. Juveniles tend to inhabit shallower reef and lagoon waters, before moving to deeper waters as adults.

The blue runner is a schooling, predatory fish, predominantly taking fish in inshore environments, as well as various crustaceans and other invertebrates. Fish living offshore feed nearly exclusively on zooplankton. The species reaches sexual maturity at between 225 and 280 mm across its range, with spawning occurring offshore year round, although this peaks during the warmer months. Larvae and juveniles live pelagically, often under sargassum mats or jellyfish until they move inshore. The blue runner is of high importance to fisheries, with an annual catch of between 6000 and 7000 tonnes taken from the Americas in the last five years. The species is also a light tackle gamefish, taking baits lures and flies, but is often used as bait itself being a mediocre table fish.

Line

Continuing Education: Advanced Open Water

--by Rachel Davis, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor

The standard open water certification level authorizes diving to a maximum depth of 60 feet. In order to dive beyond this depth to the recreational limit of 130 feet, divers must obtain the Advanced Open Water (AOW) certification. The PADI AOW certification is a fun, experiential course requiring five supervised adventure dives, each focusing on a different topic. Students are required to read and study the Adventures in Diving manual, but no exam is required to pass the course. Two of the adventure dives are mandatory – navigation where students learn to navigate using an underwater compass, and the deep dive where students learn how to dive safely between 60 and 100 feet. The other three adventure dives are electives chosen according to the student’s interest from: wreck, peak performance buoyancy, AWARE fish identification, boat diving, drift diving, night diving, underwater naturalist, and more.

Once the student satisfactorily completes the AOW course, depth restrictions are removed and any dive operator will allow the diver to participate in advanced dives and dive to the recreational limit of 130 feet. Earning the Advanced Open Water certification can be accomplished in just three boat trips and is a fun and easy way to advance your dive training. Contact your local PADI professional to sign up for a course, or visit the PADI website [link to: http://www.padi.com/scuba-diving/padi-courses/course-catalog/advanced-open-water-diver-course/ for more details.

Line

My First Dive

--by Rachel Davis

I grew up in Texas with endless days of 100+ degree heat in the summer, and the swimming pool in my back yard was where I spent most of my time. I learned to use a mask and snorkel in childhood, however my first time actually snorkeling in the ocean was at Stingray City sandbar in Grand Cayman in 2001, on a Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Grand Princess. The ship offered a chance to experience the thrill of scuba diving in the ship’s pool led by diving instructors. They basically strapped a tank on your back with integrated weights, put a reg in your mouth and pulled you along the bottom of the pool face down by your tank valve. I was apprehensive at first, but when I realized in that pool how incredibly easy it was to breathe underwater through the regulator I was sold, and thus sparked a lifelong passion.

I immediately went to the ship’s tour desk to sign up for the Discover Scuba Diving excursion coming up in Cozumel. The tour started out under a thatched hut shoreside with the Mexican guides explaining to us how to descend, equalize, etc. I was so gung-ho for the experience I had no fear and did everything they told me. Out of six people who started in the course, only three of us completed the 20-foot shore dive, a father with a ten year old daughter, and me. I will never forget the experience of being weightless and one with the ocean, so thrilled looking around and seeing all the fish and the coral. It was amazing and I still have a glimmer of that same thrill and excitement every time I descend to this day, even after 400+ dives. I guess I’m lucky to have my first dive be such a positive experience, and I hope I never tire of the thrill I experience on each and every dive to this day.

Scuba Tips and Tricks

Dive Boat Etiquette Seven tips on how to be appreciated by others.

  1. Show up on time, or better yet, early. You don't want to miss part or all of the predive briefing. Remember. it is required by ADA Rules and Regulations, and no one wants to get stuck with a buddy who missed the briefing. Tardiness causes tensions.
  2. Listen up.  Important information is disseminated by the ADA Safety Officer and the boat crew.  If you don't want to listen, at least keep quiet so others may hear. This is especially important for advanced dives.  Be courteous to the speaker.
  3. Wait your turn.  It is never a good idea to rush the dive platfor when the "pool is open"  Those near the stern usually go first. But, if they are not ready, it is acceptable to slide past them.
  4. Stow your stuff.  Gear left on the deck is a trip hazard and it is likely to be damaged.  Also be aware some boats have scuppers. These are openings in the side of the boat that allow water to drain off the deck.  Small items can get washed overboard.  Secure your gear under the bench seat in your bag with zipper closed.
  5. Follow the dive plan.  It is certain that your dive buddy will be at least be annoyed and likely be stressed if you change or don't follow the dive plan.  Enter the water with your buddy and exit with the same buddy.
  6. Don't crowd the dive ladder. Not only is it a hazard if the diver in front of you should fall backward, but it is appreciated by others if you exercise courtesy.
  7. Show your appreciation.  Boat crews usually depend on tips to supplement their salary.  Some even work for free and derive all their salaries from tips. It has been suggested that an appropriate tip for a two tank dive is between $10 and $20.  (ADA does not offer suggestions)

Which Sea Creature Has the Strongest Bite?
(reprinted from Wise Geek, August 5, 2014)

The jumbo squid is a sea creature that has the strongest bite--it is estimated to have a force of more than a thousand pounds (455 kg). In comparison, a human bites into a piece of steak with 150 pounds (68kg) to 200 pounds (90 kg) of force. The force of the jumbo squid’s bite was measured by researcher’s observations of the sea creature biting a piece of Kevlar, a material 20 times stronger than steel used in bullet proof vests, in half. The white shark is estimated to have an even stronger bite than the jumbo squid at around 4,000 pounds of bite force; however, the figure was developed with a computer model and has not been measured in nature.

Line

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.

Line

Newsletter Delivery

Want your newsletter delivered via snail-mail? Contact Carol Cox at cox911@att.net and request a printed copy. Be sure to put "ADA Newsletter" in the subject.

 

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.

Line

JOIN THE FEW.....THE PROUD.... THE ADA SAFETY OFFICERS!!!

Calling all Dive Masters, Assistant Instructors, and Instructors. On each and every ADA dive there is supervision provided by an ADA Safety Officer. The Safety Officer's job is to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all ADA divers. It is a big job, with little or no thanks, but very rewarding for those of us who have accepted the challenge. You too can be a part of this elite fraternity.

T-shirt back

The process of becoming an ADA Safety Officer begins with an orientation session conducted by the Safety Officers Committee where all your questions can be answered. Following orientation, there is a period of on-the-dive observations, as well as an apprenticeship under the supervision of an ADA Safety Officer. Thereafter, the Safety Officer Committee evaluates its observations and based on a positive outcome, you are awarded the coveted ADA Safety Officers T-shirt.

Are you up to the challenge? Want to give something back to ADA? Call Lon at 305-251-4975 for more information.

Shore Diving in South Florida - Commercial Blvd
--by Jerry Kosakowski

This location is at Commercial Boulevard, south end. I suggest you park on Datura Street, next to a motel. It’s a great entry point and the reef is nearest the shore at this location. Swim straight out and you will hit an anchor, some cannons and pile of rocks. Yes, it was placed there purposefully. This marks the start of the reef. The pier will be to your north. There are showers here but no bathroom. The ocean will have to do. From the cannons swim east a little more and then turn south. You can wiggle your way back and forth as you spot things you want to explore. It runs out quite a way south which is your indication to make a U turn and head north back to your exit point. The reef can also be explored by continuing (maybe your second dive) east from the cannons. Cross the first reef then cross some sand and there is a magnificent second reef. Turn NE and when you get to the middle of the reef turn south. Crisscross like you did the first one and when it ends turn west to the first reef and make your way to your exit point. There is suppose to be a wreck at the NE end of the pier but I have never observed it. Good luck if you try. This is a popular spot so if the parking lot is full just drop your gear and park at the nearest spot and walk back. A lot of you will find yourself returning to this spot. There are a lot of nice stores and restaurants close-by. Enjoy.

Line

Did You Know.....
--by Dan Baeza

A group of sea turtles is called a bale.....

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.