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October 2014 Edition

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Reef Farmers

-- by Daryl Johnson

On September 6, 2014, the Active Divers Association (ADA) received training and participated in a coral reef restoration dive with the Coral Restoration Foundation in Key Largo, Florida. A classroom session was conducted at the CRF facilities. Divers gained familiarity with the mechanics of growing and planting corals and with the tools needed to perform the various delicate operations.

Once the divers learned how to do the coral restoration activities above-water, it was time to take their new-found skills to the ocean. The first dive consisted of harvesting and planting staghorn coral in the CRF nursery. A second dive followed to attach the harvested corals on a nearby reef. In all, 50 new pieces of coral were planted. See a related story on the coral reef initiative below.

To see a 9 minute YouTube video of the dive, click here. Additional photos may be found in the Photo Gallery under "CRF", or click here to view the photos.

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Fiji Dive/Cruise Vacation Update

--by Daryl Johnson

Four ADA members have signed up for the Fiji trip and were able to take advantage of early booking discounts we were able to secure to date. There is still space on the ship for both divers and non-divers, although the price will vary over time. The ship, the Reef Endeavor operated by Captain Cook Cruises out of Australia, is a small cruise ship ideally suited for navigating the waters off the Fiji Islands.

I will continue to keep the pricing information and other details updated in the trip briefing on our ADA website page located at Fiji.html. If more ADA divers show interest in the trip, I may be able to negotiate an additional discount. If you have any questions contact Dan at dmbaeza@bellsouth.net or Daryl at diverdaryl@bellsouth.net

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Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative

--by Roy Wasson

The Active Divers Association supports the Coral Restoration Foundation's work in restoring the reef eco-system in south Florida. In addition to ADA’s role in supporting the mission of the Coral Restoration Foundation, there are numerous other opportunities for us to help preserve and restore Florida’s coral reefs.  I recently was invited to attend a monthly meeting of the South Community Working Group of the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (“SEFCRI”) held at Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center in Dania Beach.  Below is an overview of that initiative.

In 2000, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) adopted a National Action Plan to conserve coral reefs. With guidance from the USCRTF, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission coordinated the formation of a team of interagency and non-agency marine resource professionals, scientists, resource users and other stakeholders. This SEFCRI Team, first gathered in May 2003 to develop local action strategies targeting coral reefs and associated reef resources from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties to improve the coordination of technical and financial support for the conservation and management of coral reefs. SEFCRI is targeting this region because the coral habitats are close to shore and co-exist with intensely urbanized areas that lack a coordinated management plan (like that of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary).

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Caribbean Reef in Paradise Meets Sanford & Sons

Author’s Name Intentionally Withheld
(currently in the witness protection program)

As you may recall, this year’s international diving adventure took us to Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles.  It is a diver’s paradise with crystal clear water, 100’+ visibility, and lots of fish and coral.  About a dozen of us were fortunate enough to be able to go on this July 2014 trip, planned by our adventure dive aficionados Daryl Johnson and Dr. Dan Baeza.

This article is not about how great the diving was, the pristine reefs, the abundant sea life and the great people on the trip.  Yes, it was an absolutely fabulous trip, but that’s a story for someone else to tell.  This story is about a particular reef dive a few of us took one afternoon off the dock of the hotel in Bonaire.

Just north of the hotel resort was the pier dock.  It is a relatively small pier where the cruise and cargo ships dock.  As the sign says … “It is Strictly Prohibited to Dive Near or Under a Cruise or Other Ship While Docked, at the North Pier”.  So I won’t say we did that, and I won’t even admit to being on the dive, but I will say that some of us were curious to see what the reef looked like near the pier, so off we went.

Bonaire is breezy and sunny year round, and it hardly ever rains.  But, just as we were ready to jump off of the dock it began to rain.   Fortunately, it never rains underwater, so everyone jumped into the water and we started the dive.  Initially, the reef was beautiful, just like the reef we dove a couple of days earlier in the southern direction.  However, the closer we got to the pier, the more it changed.  Initially, the water was crystal clear, and the reef dive started off with coral, and fish, and sponges.  But the reef quickly transitioned to crystal clear water with tires, old timber pilings, a boat or car motor, assorted pieces of unidentifiable objects of all sizes, and a whole lot garbage that probably had been pushed off of the pier for decades.  It was

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Continuing Education: Enriched Air Diver - Nitrox

-- by Rachel Davis, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor

Enriched Air, better known as Nitrox, is a special gas mix that contains an oxygen percentage higher than that of air. Technically nitrox is any enriched air mix from 22% to 40%, although the nitrox mixes most practical for recreational diving range between 32% and 36% oxygen.

Nitrox provides the diver several benefits, the most important of which is an extended bottom or no-stop time vs. air diving. Nitrox is most beneficial for dives with extended depths between 60-90 feet. For example, the no-decompression limit for a diver on air at 90 feet is 25 minutes, compared to 40 minutes for the same diver on 36% Nitrox. It is especially beneficial for repetitive diving over many days such as on a liveaboard. The presence of additional oxygen in the mix reduces nitrogen build up in the tissues that could lead to decompression illness. Many divers report feeling less fatigued after diving when breathing nitrox vs. air, especially for repetitive dives.

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The General Hoyt S. Vandenberg Wreck in Key West
--by Rachel Davis

Key West is a fun vacation spot anytime of the year, but over Labor Day weekend, the bars on Duval Street seem a bit wilder than normal, with the revelers taking advantage of the “two Saturday nights” that weekend. It seemed a fine time for John and Rachel Davis to visit Key West, and no visit would be complete without diving the Vandenberg.General Hoyt S Vandenberg

She lies seven miles south of Key West in 140 feet of water, at 510 feet, 10 inches in length, edges out the Spiegel Grove by a mere 10 inches. She was sunk in 2009, but unlike the Spiegel, the Vandenberg sank according to plan and landed upright. The seas over Labor Day weekend were rough, and we waited until Monday morning for the best conditions, but still bucked out to our morning double-dip in 3-5 foot seas. We anchored at mid-ship and explored the back half during the first dive. We found the swim-through satellite dish and managed the moderate current. Fortunately, there was plenty of railing to hold on to. The two huge aluminum satellite dishes are hallmarks of the Vandenberg, but are gradually succumbing to five years in salt water and are now half their original size. I had a piece literally break off in my gloved hand.

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Is Barbados in your future??
--by Daryl Johnson

If you go on the 2015 ADA Caribbean dive trip it will be!!! Situated on the outer reaches of the Eastern Caribbean in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is a unique mix of British influence and West Indies flavor.  At one time Barbados was known for sugar production, but tourism has taken over as the main economic influence. As the natives like to say “Life didn’t start here but it was perfected here!”  Planning and research has already started and we expect to get some more definitive information out there by January. But, go ahead and pencil in July 18-25, 2015,so you don’t miss out on another great diving adventure trip!

Scuba Tips and Tricks
--by Lon Von Lintel

MASK FOGGY, CAN'T SEE?  NO FUN!! Common, de-fog liquids purchased at your dive shop, many times do not work as intended. Why?  You apply just as instructed, and still the mask fogs. The problem is a thin layer of oxidants, usually silicon from the mask skirt, that is deposited on the inside of the glass. This oxidant often starts during the manufacturing process and continues to form over time

Your de-fog liquid cannot do it's job if anything is coating the glass. The solution is to remove the oxidant with an chemical agent designed to dissolve the oxidant. A much more practical approach is to scrub the mask with a mild abrasive such as toothpaste or a household cleaner. I use Softscrub or Comet.  Yes, both will produce microscopic scratches on the glass, but you will never see the scratches, nor do they affect your vision.  Just apply a bit of either cleaner or toothpaste to the inside glass, add a few drops of water, and scrub for a few minutes with a piece of paper towel.  I usually do this every 3 to 6 weeks or 5 to10 dives, whichever comes first.

Rinse well. Then before your dive, apply defogger as usual.  Problem solved !!

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

Last month we talked about diving south Commercial Boulevard. This month, we again visit Commercial Boulverd,  only this time, the north side. The parking has been cut back drastically by townhouse construction, although there still remains public parking one block north of Commercial. Nearby are restaurants and bars including Aruba, a restaurant that is an excellent choice for an after-dive meal right on the beach. Enter the dive location and you may swim in either direction, north or south. The reef is one large reef line and the same in both directions. No need to go to the second reef from here. Just continue north while zig-zagging east and west, then turn around and head south to complete the dive. There are no lifeguards at this location. It is a popular dive spot for beginners and those who are earning their C-cards via shore diving. I did some of my advanced open water certification work at this location. During the lobster season this is popular with the shore divers.  At one time I lived two miles from this location and caught my share of lobster here. It was my favorite and I hope it becomes one of yours.


Fish Identification Series - MarineAngelfish
--Source: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomacanthidae

Marine angelfish are perciform fish of the family Pomacanthidae. They are found on shallow reefs in the tropical AtlanticIndian, and mostly western Pacificoceans. The family contains seven genera and approximately 86 species. They should not be confused with the freshwater angelfish, tropical cichlids of theAmazon Basin.

With their bright colours and deep, laterally compressed bodies, marine angelfishes are some of the more conspicuous residents of the reef. They most closely resemble the butterflyfishes, a related family of similarly showy reef fish. Marine angelfish are distinguished from butterflyfish by the presence of strong preopercle spines (part of the gill covers) in the former. This feature also explains the family name Pomacanthidae; from the Greek πομα, poma meaning "cover" and ακάνθα, akantha meaning "thorn".

Many species of marine angelfishes have streamer-like extensions of the soft dorsal and anal fins. The fish have small mouths, relatively large pectoral fins and rounded to lunate tail fins. The largest species, the gray angelfish,Pomacanthus arcuatus, may reach a length of 60 cm (24 in); at the other extreme, members of the genus Centropygedo not exceed 15 cm (5.9 inches). A length of 20 to 30 cm (7.9 to 11.8 inches) is average for the rest of  the family. The smaller species are popular amongst aquarists, whereas the largest species are occasionally sought as a food fish; however, there have been reports of ciguatera poisoning
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as a result of eating marine angelfish.

The Queen angelfish, grows to be 45 cm (18 in). With neon blue and yellow scales, with iridescentpurple and orange markings, surprisingly it is not conspicuous, and actually hides very well, and is very shy. The larger species are also quite bold and seemingly fearless; they are known to approach divers. While the majority adapt easily to captive life, some are specialist feeders which are difficult to maintain. Feeding habits can be strictly defined through genus, with Genicanthus species feeding onzooplankton andCentropyge preferring filamentous algae. Other species focus on sessile benthic invertebrates;sponges, tunicates, bryozoans, and hydroids are staples.

Most marine angelfishes restrict themselves to the shallows of the reef, seldom venturing deeper than 50 m (160 ft). The recently described Centropyge abei is known to inhabit depths of 150 m (490 ft). They are diurnal animals, hiding amongst the nooks and crevices of the reef by night. Some species are solitary in nature and form highly territorial mated pairs; others form harems with a single male dominant over several females. As juveniles, some species may eke out a living as cleaner fish.

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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.

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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Shark Week Disappoints
--by Lon Von Lintel

The Discovery Channel's recent program about sharks generated many negative comments from viewers around the country. The following are several, in part, sent to the editor of Dive Training Magazine: "each year it seems to grow increasingly worse", "What should be an opportunity to educate the public is passed up for the ratings", "Pathetic attempt to help us understand the truth about sharks" ,"The most positive development about Shark Week is that fewer people watched it", "For those of us who are weary of Discovery Channel's inferior portrayal of sharks. a 9 million viewer drop in one year is most encouraging". My opinion echoes all of the above and I watched the first night, hoping my skepticism would be unfounded. But alas, I too was disappointed and never watched again.

Source: Dive Training Mag. Oct. 2014

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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.

ADA Guidelines and Policies

ADA RULES & REGULATIONS FOR ALL ADVANCED DIVES
(DEPTHS OVER 60’) ADA DIVERS MUST:

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

IMPORTANT WEATHER INFORMATION

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

HOW TO MAKE DIVE RESERVATIONS

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

ADA GUIDELINES FOR COMPUTER ASSISTED DIVING

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

ADA TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE

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

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE SAFETY OFFICERS’ COMMITTEE

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

CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY FOR LOCAL DIVE TRIPS

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

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