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December 2014 Edition


In This Issue:
  • It's Time To Renew For Discounted Rates
  • Winter is a-Comin'
  • DEMA 2014
  • Grand Cayman: You Can See Forever (Almost)
  • The History of Diving Museum
  • Diving Tips and Tricks - Bouyancy Control
  • Shore Diving in South Florida - John U Lloyd Park
  • Dive Computers -- The Basics
  • Fish Identification Series - Surgeonfish
  • Cavern Diving: Dangerous and Exciting
  • What To Do About Lionfish Stings
  • ADA T-Shirts For Sale
  • Florida Sea Turtle Nesting Increases
  • Have You Moved or Changed Email Addresses Lately?
  • Newsletter Delivery

It's Time To Renew For Discounted Rates

The clock is counting down and we are nearing the last chance to renew at a reduced rate. Renew before March 31, 2015 and your membership fee is only $35 for a year of discounts and diving news. After March 31, your annual membership renewal fee is $45.

Your membership includes periodic eNews emails about club activities as well as electronic access to The Mouthpiece monthly newsletter. You may pay by check or online. Go to to renew your membership online. To pay by check, mail a check made out to "Active Divers Association"  with the appropriate amount to:

Dr. Dan Baeza
Membership Chairman
Active Divers Association
7592 Parkview Way
Coral Springs, FL 33065

Be sure to include your snail-mail and email addresses.Line

Winter is a-Comin'

--by Lee Wood

In case you haven’t noticed it, the wind is up, the temperature is down, the seas are up, and the visibility is down.  It might be time to put away the dive gear until the Active Divers Association 2015 season begins in April. In the meantime --- WHAT TO DO?

ADA history is rich with ideas.  Over the past 45 years or so, some of the most memorable ADA events I can recall have taken place in this winter gap to keep the Active Divers Association divers, active! There are overnight canoe trips base-camped at Fish Eating Creek or, better yet, Arcadia. Indeed, there are camping trips all over Florida, bike trips through Everglades National Park, literally hundreds of cavern diving trips to every imaginable spring, and kayaking trips, up and down the east coast, from as far away as Jupiter to Indian Key.  Interestingly enough, they all have one thing in common: They require volunteers to step up and organize these events and make them a reality.

It is for this reason that I am appealing to the general membership. I mean YOU, not the board of directors, safety officers, newsletter editor, or one of the many committee chairman who run the club on a daily basis, to show us your skills by spearheading any of the above activities. But just organizing an event isn’t enough. It takes members, like you to support it.

So a second appeal goes out to each of you to think about getting involved, and if any one of these activities sounds interesting, either as a solo participant, or with  family and friends, I want you to call me, Lee Wood, at or (305) 758-0827

If my phone rings off the hook then there’s a strong chance one of these activities will become a reality, and if not, IT’LL BE A LONG COLD WINTER!

I anxiously await your call.


DEMA 2014

--Story by Daryl Johnson, Photos by Dan Baeza

The 2014 DEMA (Diving Equipment & Marketing Association) show was held in Las Vegas this year.  With a pair of free tickets in hand, a cheap airline ticket and a bargain hotel rate, Dan Baeza and I headed west to see the latest in dive equipment, and more importantly do some research on dive travel for the club. And no, ADA DID NOT foot the bill, although we did mention it to Lon!

We got there as the show started on Saturday and it was a veritable candy store for divers. There was hardly a booth that didn’t interest us! By 1:30 we had only gotten to about a third of the booths, so we did not even take a lunch break. Some of the things that really caught our attention was:

  1. Cameras are definitely big business for diving and there were several show specials (Dan bought a GoPro knockoff)
  2. There was an array of equipment from the simplest accessories,  all the way to dry suit cavern diving equipment
  3. I was very surprised at how many Indonesian and Maldives resort and live aboard operators were at the show. It really opened our eyes for some future trips.
  4. We also connected with some local south Florida operators and discovered some possible “Mini Trips” in our own backyard! More on that next month.

We had to speed up our efforts to get through all the show, but we managed to do it. We were able to get a lot of information on Barbados and are waiting for some quotes from the operators. It was well worth the time and money for all we learned from the companies at the show.  We had enough energy left afterwards to take in a few shows. After all, we were in Las Vegas!

Grand Cayman: You Can See Forever (Almost)
--by Carol Cox

I recently returned from a cruise stopping in Grand Cayman and Cozumel.  Even after a prior week of rain, the water off Grand Cayman was almost crystal clear with visibility in the 60 to 80 feet.  We could see the coral reef 80 feet below us from the boat.  The first dive was an 80 foot dive on Grand Cayman’s West Wall, an easy dive for novice and experienced divers alike.  We dove with the Don Foster dive operation, and with only 8 divers on the boat and 2 divemasters, it was like having a private guided tour.  The colors along the wall and the reef were amazing.  Sadly, there were very few fish – a few jacks and some yellowtail were about all we saw – except for 2 large scrawled cowfish hiding in a crevasse.  Regardless, the corals looked healthy and were everywhere – stag horn coral, sponges, brain corals, and others as far as you could see.  Since there are no rivers or streams on Grand Cayman, there is no runoff thus the crystal clear water year around. Grand Cayman is the top of a sea mount so the wall slopes down from about 60 feet to over 6000 feet and full of life – elephant ear sponges, tube sponges, sea fans and whip corals were everywhere.  There are many crevasses and sand chutes along the wall to explore. After a 3 minute safety stop, we climbed aboard the boat and headed to Paradise Reef and the wreck of the Oro Verde, which turned out to be the highlight of the day.  The Oro Verde is an old liberty ship that was scuttled off the coast of Seven Mile Beach in 1980. I dove this wreck about 15 years ago when it was still a standing structure. Due to storms and natural decomposition, it is now mostly metal plates and twisted wreckage resting on the sandy  bottom.

A resident nurse shark played puppy for  us for over 30 minutes. Each time the dive master clapped his hands, the shark came and swam around him looking for a hand-out. This was obviously not the first time the divemaster and this shark had interacted.  The shark swam with us as we explored the wreck. While we didn’t spot any moral eels, we did find 6 large lobsters hiding  under a plate and a southern sting ray resting in the sand.  A small turtle swam to the surface for air as we made our ascent from 50 feet.  If you only have one day in Grand Cayman, Don Foster’s runs an excellent dive operation. However, I have one tip for everyone: take your own regulator even if you rent all your other equipment.  Their regulators needed a good cleaning and within 8 hours of diving, I had a sore throat that turned into a full blown upper respiratory infection. Just sayin’.

Unfortunately, the dive the next day in Cozumel was cancelled due to “lack of participation”.  Huh?  Not enough divers signed up on board the ship and it was too late to find a local operation within the short time the ship was docked.  There is talk of a dive cruise with ADA next year so maybe Cozumel will be on the schedule, since my previous dives in Cozumel produced some of the best drift diving I’ve ever done.


The History of Diving Museum
--by Rachel Davis

This roadside gem situated in Islamorada just down the road from Bud & Mary’s Marina tells the story of mankind’s quest to explore, understand and venture under the sea. It contains hundreds of artifacts including one of the largest collections of historical diving helmets from around the globe.

The museum chronicles the history of diving from more than 4,000 years of human history – from breath-hold divers and early diving machines to the development of the diving helmet and the change to swim diving with early SCUBA. There are also exhibits to explore about sports diving, underwater photography, treasure diving, and marine biology.

A special exhibit about commercial and military diving displays how advances in these fields have contributed to the advancement and popularity of modern recreational diving. You can also see diving armor and an early collapsible decompression chamber.

The Museum is located at MM83 Bayside, and is open from 10 am to 5 pm every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is only $10 with this coupon  It is a fascinating attraction for divers of all ages and well worth the time to explore. For more information, go to


Dive Computers -- The Basics

--by Roy Wasson

Some ADA members have been diving so long that I heard someone say we should change our name to the “Aged Divers Association.”  Diving technology has come very far from the days that we dove with only two simple instruments, a depth gauge and an air pressure gauge, to assist in calculating bottom times, rate of ascent and surface intervals.

The first generation of dive computers were widely considered “extra” pieces of equipment that were nice to have, but not absolutely necessary, because they used only dive time and maximum depth to perform the same calculations we learned with dive tables. Now a dive computer is an essential part of any diver’s gear.  Ranging in price from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars, equipment manufacturers now offer computers with an ever-widening variety of features to select from which all certified divers should consider in making their purchasing decisions.

The primary purpose of a dive computer is to minimize the risk of decompression sickness from any one or a combination of factors including diving too long, diving too deep, diving with insufficient surface interval, ascending too quickly, and otherwise failing to deal with the loading of nitrogen into your body as a result of breathing compressed air at depth.  Dive computers provide much important data for the diver, including current and maximum depth, water temperature, bottom time, ascent rate, safety stop depths, and surface time.  In the “no decompression” dive mode, a computer will count down the dive time remaining before decompression is necessary.  Bar graphs on computers display easy to read nitrogen loading calculations using both compressed air and nitrox mixtures based on single or repetitive dive profiles, time before the diver can safely fly, and other information.

Continued Next Page >>


Cavern Diving: Dangerous and Exciting
--by Roy Wasson

Long before cavern diving became a recreational diving certification area and cave diving was recognized as a sophisticated technical diving specialty, my first dive buddy, Paul Glass, and I enjoyed exploring the springs and sinkholes of north Florida.  My best friend Paul owned the only dive shop in Lexington, Kentucky, where I lived in the Seventies, and he was a dive instructor (first with Scuba Schools International, and later with PADI).  I made several trips with Paul to the Keys to assist him with the final check-out dives for classes of his students seeking Open Water Certification.  On the way back to Kentucky we would stop at various sites in the northern part of Florida for refreshing fresh water dives in Ginnie Springs, Orange Grove Sink, and other scenic areas.  The water was so crystal clear in those sinks that you could see leaves floating on the top from a depth of more than 100 feet.

Some of the diving was in caverns.  A cavern is a cave-like structure in which the light from the entrance is always perceptible, so divers can find their way out without the need for safety lines stretched from the entrance along the route of the dive, which can be followed back out.  On one such dive I went into a room of the cavern through a large opening, and then tried to exit the room through a smaller opening near the roof of the room. That is when my trouble began.

Continued Next Page >>

Diving Tips and Tricks - Bouyancy Control
-- by Carol Cox

Wait on the surface for a few seconds after entering the water to let your wetsuit absorb water and purge air bubbles. Breathe normally when descending and ascending. To help your descent, tip your right shoulder into the water while purging air from your BCD. In a clear area on the bottom, do several fin pivots to achieve neutral buoyancy. Practice inhaling and exhaling to lift and lower your body to avoid touching corals. Ascend slower than your exhaled bubbles. Inflate your BCD on the surface after ascending then lean back and relax while holding the tag line while waiting your turn on the boat ladder.


Shore Diving in South Florida - John U Lloyd Park
--by Jerry Kosakowski

This is one of the many locations in John Lloyd Park. Park at the very first parking lot from the entrance, on an open (unpaved) field. Gear up and get ready to cross the bridge, next to bath number 1 on your left. At soon as you hit the beach, enter there. The reef is located very near the shore. It is a low ledge reef with many nook and crannies. Sometimes there are a few lobster hanging around.  Surface swim to the end of the sand and then descend. Head north and explore away. Since this is very close to shore make sure this dive is done on a day following a relative calm or the sand will fill your vision.

-- Oct 2014 Fishing Wire


Fish Identification Series - Surgeonfish

--by Jerry Kosakowski
Pictures and information from Wikipedia

Acanthurus coeruleus is a surgeonfish found commonly in the Atlantic Ocean. It can grow up to 16 inches (41 cm) long. Common names include Atlantic blue tangblue barberblue doctorblue doctorfishblue tangblue tang surgeonfishyellow barber, and yellow doctorfish.

Although the body of the reef fish can vary in shade from light to dark blue, the dorsal, anal and caudal fins are golden blue. As juveniles, the edges on their dorsal and anal fins and the rings around their eyes are purple-blue, blue or blue-green. Their colors change during growth from a yellow juvenile, yellow tailed blue subadult and the blue adult phase.

Acanthurus coeruleus is common off of Florida, the Bahamas, and other places in the Caribbean sea, including Bonaire. Blue Tangs are very common in Belize and especially Ambergris Caye. They are also common in the Gulf of Mexico. They are also found south to Brazil and north to New York and eat krill.

Blue tangs inhabit coral reefs and inshore grassy and rocky areas, where there is a high prevalence of algae. They are herbivorous, and their diet consists only of algae. They eat the algae from the reefs in which they reside, as well as off the bodies of surrounding fish. By eating the algae off of other fish, the blue tang serve as cleaners for them. With the decline in the Diadema antillarum (sea urchin) population, the blue tang population increased since the algal resources that the two animals usually competed for were more abundant.

Juvenile blue tangs eat continuously and feed heavily. This heavy feeding requirement is due to their poor utilization of food resources. The blue tang's stomach and intestinal lining are proficient at absorbing crushed cellular content, but are not very effective at processing cellulose. This digestive system inefficiency leads blue tangs to spend more time and resources on foraging on a very abundant and fast-growing food source in close proximity. This close proximity to an abundant food source allows for continuous foraging.

Food distribution, density, and accessibility can determine population density and territory size in blue tangs. Territories with low biogenic structure are larger than those of higher biogenic structure. Since the algal food resources are less dense in low-biogenic structured areas, these territories would have to be larger in order to include the necessary amount of food. This is in accordance with theIdeal free distribution model. This model states that competitors should adjust their distribution in accordance with habitat quality such that each individual will gain the same amount of resources.

Continued Next Page >>

What To Do About Lionfish Stings

--by Lon Von Lintel

Lionfish venom is a proteinaeous neurotoxin and heat will denature the venom quickly.

  1. Remain calm, notify your buddy, and terminate the dive.
  2. Ascend slowly, and do a safety stop if dive was 40 feet +
  3. Apply heat, sources could be engine exhaust water, a wet towel heated by the engine block, a thermos of hot liquids.
  4. Once on shore, seek other sources of heat and apply as you are transported to the nearest medical facility.

Remember not to scald the affected area, apply just comfortable levels of heat.


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.

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

Florida Sea Turtle Nesting Increases

In the 3 national reserves this year, a total of 960 nests were reported, an increase of about 30%.  Sea turtles spend the vast majority of their life at sea, coming on land only to nest.  Nesting season runs from May to October.  Beach goers are urged to:

  • Remove all belongings from the beach and flatten sand castles and fill in holes.
  • Properly dispose of litter
  • Stay off of dunes and use walkovers
  • Shield artificial light that shines toward the beach
  • Avoid interaction with nesting turtles
  • Avoid marked sea turtles nests.

-- Oct 2014 Fishing Wire


Newsletter Delivery

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

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 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 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.


  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!)