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November/December 2017 Edition

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In This Issue:

ADA's Grand Cayman Dive Trip is Ready to Book!
July 7 - 14, 2018

--by Daryl Johnson

The 2018 trip is to Grand Cayman at the Cobalt Coast Resort July 7-14. For those of you that went to Cayman Brac with us you will be happy to know this resort is owned by the same company and has the same dive operator, Reef Divers with their “Valet Diving”. This property was built in 2000 and just won the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for 2016.  Check out the rave reviews at Trip Advisor with mostly top ratings.

While ADA has gone to many exotic locations, this trip gets “back to basics” at a location known for blue water, marine life and wall diving. Take a look at the 5 star ratings for North Wall diving on Trip Advisor at Trip Advisor. And we will be doing a lot of diving since this trip includes six two tank morning dives and 5 one tank after noon dives. With all that diving you are going to want to use nitrox- so guess what?? That’s included as is the use of a dive computer if you need one!

If you have never been to the Cayman Islands before, the first thing you learn is that food is very expensive and you can easily spend $75-$100 per person a day eating out. That’s not going to be a problem for us as three meals a day are included! You can dine in the beautiful restaurant right next to the pool.

Flights are very inexpensive with direct flights from Miami starting at $319 on Cayman Airways for a nonstop flight directly to Grand Cayman. As usual, we do NOT include flights so that you can use your favorite carrier or frequent flier points if you want.

So, this is what is in the package:

  • 7 nights Garden View Room including breakfast, lunch, dinner daily,
  • free Wi-Fi, welcome rum punch, cocktail reception, fees, taxes and gratuities
  • 6 days of 2-tank morning boat dives, use of dive computer, tanks, nitrox,
  • weights and belts.
  • 5 days of 1-tank afternoon boat dives, use of dive computer, tanks, nitrox,
  • weights and belts.
  • Roundtrip airport transfers

The total price is $1399 per person, double occupancy (a single occupancy requires a single supplement). A deposit of $100 is required at booking and final payment of $1299 is due by check by April 15, 2018.  As usual we will match up divers without a companion to get to double occupancy. So get ready for another awesome ADA dive trip by using the “deposit button” at the end of this article or send a $100 check to:

Open-air dining area at Cobalt Coast Resort

Jerry Kosakowski
298 NW 83 Lane
Coral Springs, FL 33071-7439

See you there!!

Grand Cayman Dive Trip
$100 Deposit

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Wine Cellar in the Ocean

--by Jerry Kosakowski

Edivo Vina (http://www.edivovina.hr/en) is a winery in Croatia. They have made a wine cellar in the ocean. Well, we can do that, can’t we? The person behind this is Ivo Segovic, and he states that the ocean is the perfect place for the wine to be stored. It took him seven years of tinkering around to get the process right. He had many difficulties to overcome.

He ages the wine above-ground for three months. It is then corked and placed into an amphora, which is strong enough to protect the bottles. It is then placed into the ocean at 20 meters (66 feet) for one to two years. The amphoras are locked into cages. No free pickings here.

Experts state this process provides a stress-free environment. This results in the wine having unique characteristics. Try this and let me know.

However, if this seems like too much of a project for you, the wine can be purchased online. A bottle of the Navis Mysterium goes for 309 Euros or about $365 US.

You can also dive this site when in Croatia.  It is in the Adriatic Sea. I bet it isn’t a cheap dive either. (Editor’s note: The current water temperature in Croatia is 64 degrees Fahrenheit. It ranges from a low of 55, to a high of 75 degrees).

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ADA’s 2017 Coral Restoration Program:

First Reef Responders” After Hurricane Irma

by Roy D. Wasson

Although we were delayed two months from originally-planned date—due to the ravages to the reefs of Hurricane Irma—on November 5 eleven ADA volunteers, plus Safety Officers Rachel Davis and Lee Wood (a co-founder of ADA), continued our longstanding collaboration with the Coral Restoration Foundation (“CRF”).  We worked to be “First Reef Responders” to address widespread destruction of large areas of CRF’s transplanted corals. For more than a decade ADA has supported the efforts of Ken Nedimyer and the entire CRF staff to repopulate Florida Keys reefs with staghorn and elkhorn corals that have been decimated by pollution, climate change, careless anchoring, and other threats.  Responding to the damage from the hurricane was a mission that thirteen ADA divers were eager to accomplish.

Once relegated to borrowed classroom and meeting facilities, CRF has for the last few years operated out of comfortable quarters at the Pilot House Marina in Key Largo, thanks in large part to the generosity of the Pilot House.  It was there our 2017 program met at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.  We were checked-in by CRF intern Christina Mallica, who gave our group a briefing on the day’s scheduled activities, and assisted us in our completion of registration forms and other paperwork.

Christina Mallica is an intern at CRF, where she has worked following her graduation last year from the University of Florida, where she earned a degree in Marine Science.  Although in and around the ocean all of her life, Christina didn’t recognize her true passion for coral conservation until she learned to dive four years ago. After that, she changed her college major to marine science and says:  “I haven’t looked back since!”  When we asked Christina for her favorite memory so far at CRF, she replied: “That would be participating at Coralpalooza, an annual summer event thrown by CRF that introduces hundreds of recreational divers to what to we do and give them an opportunity to get involved and make a difference.”  Christina is a true professional and worked with us throughout our program that day.


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Report: Annual End of Season BBQ
--by Jerry Kosakowski

Thirty-five members gathered on October 14, 2017 at the Jetty Pavilion, Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park (formerly known as John U. Lloyd Beach State Park), for our annual BBQ, gear swap and raffle. This was right after Hurricane Irma hit the area. There was a lot of erosion and the entrance from the pavilion to beach (that is a loose term) was eroded badly (actually roped off). The water entrance just in front of the pavilion was very rocky and made an entrance and exit a little bit of a challenge (fell on my face getting out, thanks Jeff Roth for recuing me, Rachael, give Jeff a certification in Recue diving please).

Dives were still made despite the horrible visibility and crashing waves. We are truly a dedicated group of divers. The visibility was so bad, you couldn’t see your feet. There were maybe 15 of us who dove it anyway. Two were completing their check-out dives and received certifications from Rachael. My hat goes off to them because it was bad. They definitely got the best training regimen for low visibility diving. I really don’t know how Rachel did it.

Roy, our resident chef did the BBQ in a fantastic manner, including his signature chili, which everyone loved. Roy was BBQing in the rain with Lon holding an umbrella over him. Storms came suddenly and left suddenly.

Other members brought additional food dishes to the picnic, including various salads, fruits, and deserts. All members had a good time (I think) with plenty of good food. That’s what they told me anyway.

An auction was held with dive gear donated by Carol Cox. The auction included a complete Sealife professional camera and extras worth over $800.00 that went for a more then reasonable price. Thank you, Carol. The money raised will help ADA provide service to our members in 2018.


Photo courtesy of ADA member Jerry Kosakowski.

Congratulations to ADA mother and daughter dive team Becky Valencia (left) and Sofia Valencia, age 11 (right) who braved challenging shore diving conditions at the ADA End of Season BBQ on October 14th to earn their PADI Rescue Diver and Junior Open Water certifications. At center is Rachel Davis, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer.

Once again, we held a raffle and numerous items were raffled off. Among the prizes, were wet suits, a BC, lion fish gun, and gift certificates from Austin’s. There were a few remaining raffle items that were not claimed, and they were offered as “come and grab what you need”. No arguments from anyone on this giveaway. Some members received as many as three items. Included in the giveaway were 50-yard line tickets for the Miami Hurricanes Football game donated by Roy.

An extremely informative presentation on the Aquarius Project was given by James W. Fourqurean, director of Marine Education at Florida International University. Among his many duties at FIU, Doctor Fourqurean heads up the management of the Aquarius  Project, an underwater habitat in the Florida Keys 63 feet below the ocean’s surface . In addition, he explained how the military was using the Aquarius Habitat for specialized training and described some of their processes. I hope that isn’t classified. It seemed so to me.

At around 2:00 PM, we broke up (the sun was finally out in force) and I offered the pavilion to another group, who just arrived.  Can’t wait until the next one. Hope to see you there, because the best part was meeting up with the people I haven’t seen in a while. A special Thanks to Rachael for staying to help clean up.

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Mistaken Identity
-- by Lenora Bach

The first most common reef fish you will encounter on a typical dive in the Florida Keys is the grunt.  Grunt are known to huddle around rocks and ledges. However, you usually find two different types of grunts hanging together in 60 feet of water or less. They are called grunts because they produce a grunting sound by grinding their teeth together, which is amplified by their swim bladders.

Here’s how to distinguish the French Grunt (Haemulon flavolineatum) from the Blue-Striped Grunt (Haemulon sciurus) (photos by : Humberto Ramirez / Getty Images):

The French Grunt on the left has a few rows of stripes running lengthwise down the fish’s body, but the lower stripes run diagonal.

The Blue-Striped Grunt on the right has visible blue stripes. Its stripes run lengthwise down the fish’s body throughout. But the easiest way to distinguish them is by their dark brown tail and dorsal fin.

A team of scientist from Belgium found that the distinctive grunting sounds the grunt makes are not related to communication among the species, but rather a second set of pharyngeal jaws which grinds and pulverizes food. They examined the enamel on the teeth and found evidence of wear and tear.

The second most common fish you will encounter are probably the Yellowtail Snapper Ocyurus chrysurus and the Yellow Goatfish Mulloidichthys martinicus

Many divers confuse the two because of their similar markings and coloration.  These two species often school together and hang on ledges similar to the French Grunt and Blue-Striped Grunt. (Photos by Stephen Frink / Getty Images):

The yellow goatfish on the left has whiskers or barbs underneath its chin, while the yellowtail snapper on the right has none. The purpose of the barb on the goatfish is to hunt for food hidden in the sand. Another distinguishing feature is that goatfish have two separate dorsal fins.   While Yellowtail Snapper are very tasty, don’t ever eat a Yellow Goatfish. They are known to carry the ciguatera toxin.

Reference- Gibb, Natalie. "Common Reef Fish of Florida and the Caribbean." ThoughtCo, Nov. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/reef-fish-identification-guide-2963142.

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The Effects of Hurricane Irma on Boynton Beach Reefs

--by Rachel Davis

Hurricane Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key in the middle Keys at 9:10 a.m. the morning of Sunday, September 10th as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds. 200 miles to the north, strong waves battered the deep reefs (50-70 ft) at Boynton Beach. On Saturday, September 30th , John and I surveyed our neighborhood reef at Delray Ledges to assess the hurricane damage.

First of all, the hurricane effect was not nearly as dramatic as that of Key Largo. Boynton Beach dive sites are famous for their numerous large purple vase sponges, and the first thing we noticed is that many looked like they had been chewed on the top, obviously damaged from the heavy storm surge. Some were missing altogether, with just a wide white circle where the sponge once stood. Other effects include damage of soft corals and sea fans. However, the biomass of yellowtail and grunts was still there, along with numerous tropical reef fish.

At the end of the dive we recovered a large tarp and scrap aluminum rods that were part of a beach cabana. Hurricane Irma took the cabana and blew it a half-mile out to sea where it landed on the reef.

Hurricanes are natural phenomena, and coral reefs are part of the cycle of renewal for the marine environment. This article from NOAA outlines the positive benefits hurricanes provide to reefs, as coral reefs have experienced these effects of hurricanes and survived for millions of years. Over time Mother Nature will regenerate our local reefs and eventually restore them to the splendor that we all know and love.

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Dive Gear Storage

--by Mo Smith

The water temperature is telling me that the end of the dive season has arrived. I now begin to prepare my dive gear for storage for the next few months until once again the water temperature warms up above the precious eighty degree threshhold.

The ultimate in storage

Throughout the year and after every dive, I thoroughly rinse my dive gear to prevent salt buildup and avert damage or malfunctions. I also check the gear when hanging to dry for stress or damage and replace any needed parts.  This routine during the season has worked well and provides me with confidence that my gear will perform as expected.

But for lengthy gear storage, I step up the maintenance phase to a much higher level.  I begin by saturating my gear for approximately two to three hours in a large bin filled with fresh water removing any residual salinity.  I include a mild liquid soap and conditioner in the water mixture eliminating any bacteria or odor buildup especially my wetsuit and within the bladder of my BCD.  Next, with a hose I then meticulously rinse and completely remove the soap and conditioner from the gear.  This includes filling the BCD bladder with water and then empting the bladder through all the purge valves.  My BCD includes four purge areas.  I follow this step with hanging all the gear on a rack until dry.  Once dry I inspect the gear for wear and tear and replace any damaged parts.  I also coat all the gear zippers with a thin coat of wax or silicone.  The cylinders are also rinsed and checked for the appropriate pressure (for me, is usually over 500psi), preventing humidity from entering the cylinder cavity.  I then store the rack with the gear and cylinders in a cool area for the winter months. I also remove any batteries from flashlights and strobes to prevent corrosion.

Note: Dive gear is meant to be wet. When gear has been stored and not used for a period of time, O-rings, hoses, batteries and many other parts can decay and can fail on your first or subsequent dives. For this reason, I don’t conduct the annual service to my gear until the beginning of the dive season. This system has worked well for me since 1972; well, maybe I wasn’t as meticulous until I was much older and understood fear.

For you divers that continue to dive all year around, “Enjoy”.

For you snow bunnies, “Happy Skiing”.  For the rest of us that have to wait for the warmer waters, don’t let the anxiety build too much, by finding a heated pool and daydreaming until, well you know, Dive, Dive, Dive!

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Beneath the Sea Scholarship Applications Available
--by Lenora Bach

Scholarships will be awarded in 2018 to:

  • Become a scuba diver or obtain advanced scuba certification
  • Become a Diver Medic Technician
  • Obtain training in underwater photography
  • Participate in marine environmental conservation, marine biology or ecology programs
  • Follow a career path using electronics to illuminate and expand our underwater knowledge
  • Participate in a Hyperbaric Medicine Program
  • Explore career opportunities in the maritime industry, such as marine engineer, marine technology, small vessel operations and many more

To learn more about the scholarships and Marine Careers Program go to: www.BeneathTheSea.org and click on "Marine Careers".

Applications plus two letters of recommendation must be submitted by the deadline December 30, 2017.

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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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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 ActiveDiversInfo@gmail.com. You can also call Dan at 954-260-8225 and leave a message with your new contact information.

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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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Your Buddy?

--by Jerry Kosakowski

There are many type of buddies, some great and some you may want to avoid. These questions are a hint you may want to switch buddies if you are asked any of these questions or bring up these topics:

  • Which one of these do I put in my mouth?
  • You mention you like your BC and he states he read that comic strip also.
  • He asks to carry everyone’s gear to the boat.
  • He asks what windows application is on his dive computer.
  • He pees in his wetsuit before the dive.
  • You mention Nitrox and he states that Godzilla sure took a beating from him.
  • He states he usually waits for that tingling feeling to hit him before he surfaces.
  • He cleans his mask with tooth paste but doesn’t rinse it. Just leaves it on.
  • States he is going to try extra heavy weights this time because of his previous problems.
  • He spits into your mask and leaves it there.
  • States he will be collecting some coral as usual

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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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