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December 2015 Edition

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In This Issue:

2016 ADA Dive Trip to Cayman Brac Beach Resort
July 9-16, 2016

After scouring all the best deals from the DEMA show this year, Dan and I found a sure winner in this trip to the Cayman Brac Beach Resort. It is rated the number one resort on the island by Trip Advisor (See Trip Advisor Review here) and is known as a great location by many divers. The Cayman Islands are a great destination but are very expensive when it comes to dining out. And that is what makes this deal so good since it includes all meals!! Here is what is in the ADA package:

  • 7 nights Beach Room, breakfast, lunch, dinner daily
  • Welcome rum punch
  • Manager's cocktail reception
  • Hotel tax and service charges
  • Round trip airport transfers
  • 6 days of 2-tank morning boat dives
  • Use of tanks, weights, belt and dive computer
  • No diving the afternoon prior to departure.

There is a non-stop flight from Miami with fares below $400 currently available (not included, you must book your own airfare) which makes this destination super easy to reach. Ten lucky divers can join us for $1465 per person, double occupancy. If you want your own room, there is an additional charge single supplement. Just click the button below to put your deposit of $100 down by December 31, with the final balance due April 1st, 2016. Only checks will be accepted for final payment.

Place your $100 Cayman Brac deposit by December 31, 2015

Questions? If so, send an email to me at diverdaryl@bellsouth.net

See you there!

 

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Our 1st Annual ADA Dive-Cruise Is History!

--by Rachel Davis

Hogfish

Twenty ADA members set sail on November 14th for seven fabulous days aboard the Emerald Princess for the First Annual (official) ADA Dive Cruise. The lucky cruisers were Daryl Johnson & Beverly Smith, Jay & Elizabeth Abbazia, Roger Bach, Terry Longmore, Dan & Nina Baeza, Carol & Stuart Cox, Shel & Randy Seidman, Ellen Siegel, Betty Howie, Randy & Cindy Sonntag, Tony & Pat Spagnolo, and John & Rachel Davis.

After a rather rainy departure and first day at sea, we sailed to Grand Cayman where we dove with Don Foster's Dive Cayman. The first dive site was Trinity Caves, followed by the Oro Verde wreck and Paradise Reef. The water was a balmy 85 degrees as we descended down the wall through an open crevasse. The highlight of this day was the divemaster petting seemingly tame nurse sharks, and the ADA divers gathering around to take turns petting them. Click here to check out the video shot by our intrepid trip planner, Daryl.

The next day brought us to Roatan, a beautiful tropical jungle island off the coast of mainland Honduras. After our gear was hoisted and strapped to the top of the Jesu Cristo microbus, we wound around a narrow road through the lush jungle to Anthony's Key Dive resort. Here we dove Deep Eel Gardens and Wreck of the Aquila ("Eagle" in Spanish), followed by Melissa's Reef. If anyone on the ADA dive trip to the neighboring island of Utila three years ago was dismayed by a lack of fish, the divemasters at Anthony's remedied that concern with a large bag of smelly sardine chum. This brought fish by the hundreds including several large and friendly Nassau groupers that followed us for every fin stroke of the dive. We saw turtles, sharks and scores of creole wrasse teeming along the bottom. Here's a great hawksbill turtle video seen on one of the dives (credit: Dr. Dan Baeza).

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The Maldives - A Once in a Lifetime Dive Experience

January 28-February 4, 2017

--by Daryl Johnson

Mantaray

I‘ve been to almost all the “magazine cover” dive sites except for this one. Dan and I are always on the lookout for unique trip opportunities and this one really came about because we found a repositioning cruise from Abu Dhabi to Singapore on Celebrity Cruises (Details) with an incredible 15-day itinerary that includes the Emirates, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Singapore. If you have a globe handy, take a look about halfway between Singapore and the Emirates and you will find the Maldives. The cruise ends on January 26th in Singapore so we went in search of a dive trip that would fit that schedule.

Almost like magic, the DEMA (Dive Equipment Manufacturer’s Association) Show came up with a perfect match: A 7-day live-aboard leaving Male, Maldives on January 28 on a NEW ship, the Carpe Novo (Latin for” Seize New”), the third ship in the fleet for this operator. There is really too much information to repeat in this article so I suggest you go to their website at Explorer Ventures and take a look at all of the amenities the ship has to offer, including free Wi-Fi, in-suite bathrooms, and all the latest you would expect in a new ship.

The 7 night ADA trip includes:

Free nitrox, Lower deck suites, includes transfers, all meals, free WIFI and up to 3 dives daily. Each lower deck suite has a queen size bed and a large single bed.

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • 7 nights/8 days
  • 3 meals daily, plus snacks
  • Up to 3 dives daily (weather and itinerary permitting)
  • Use of tanks (11.5L/80CF or 13.5L/100CF) with DIN & YOKE compatibilities
  • Air fills, weights and belts
  • Airport transfers on the days of embarkation/ disembarkation
  • Maldivian GST (General Service Tax-if increased this would be an additional charge)

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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
--by Dr. Dan Baeza

You’ve heard about it on the news and maybe even seen photos of floating garbage heaps purported to be the “Pacific Garbage Patch “ or “Pacific Trash Vortex”. First of all, let’s define what it is and what it is not. Although there are some large pieces of floating trash, the bulk of the trash, over 80 percent, is made up of tiny pieces of plastic. If you were to sail through the Pacific Trash Vortex, one of five such patches in the world, you probably would note that the water looks cloudier than the surrounding water, but not see the island of trash you expected to view. Because plastic is not biodegradable, it accumulates wherever the ocean currents take it. Plastics have been around for nearly 150 years and unlike organic material, they never leave the environment.

Plastic debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (photo from National Geographic.org).

The Pacific Trash Vortex is actually two garbage patches, the Western Garbage Patch about 1,000 miles southeast of Japan, and the Eastern Garbage Patch, about 1,000 miles off the coast of San Francisco. The combined area of the two patches is estimated to be about twice the size of Texas, although the accuracy is subjective. The trash accumulates here as the ocean currents in this area, called the North Pacific Gyre, move in a circular path between East Asia and western North America. The circular motion of the currents moves the trash into the calmer center of the vortex.

Trash enters the oceans mostly through littering and dumping. Stronger international anti-dumping laws have been enacted in recent years to reduce the amount added to the oceans, but the trash accumulation is still growing. The trash is many miles away from any sovereign country, so no nation will take responsibility for its cleanup. Indeed, it will take more years and money to clean up the trash than any one nation could shoulder. Steps to reduce or eliminate the use of plastics have begun in many countries. Many countries and several U.S. states have banned the use of disposable plastic bags in an effort to reduce landfill waste. This indirectly helps the oceans as a bag not manufactured will not end up as marine trash.

If you would like to read more about this subject, check out these links:

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Ripping Currents
--by Jerry Kosakoski

Placeholder

After Hurricane Joaquin passed by Florida in September, I thought it would stir up the lobsters and be good hunting. The seas were relatively calm, but even on the surface, it I felt a good current pushing north. After descending I noted it was even stronger on the bottom. Well, the lobsters weren’t pushed in and the pickings were slim. I did manage to catch one but I was not going to be bragging about the size of that catch. Now it was time to return to shore. The outgoing current was really strong along with the north current. It was hard to swim against, especially after my recent knee surgery as this was my firsr post-operation dive. I could see this would really wear me out. So, instead of using my legs I relied on my old favorite trick to grab the bottom and pull myself along, this is low-tech hard work (unless you located one of the communication lines and grab that) but it eventually gets you to shore. The trick is to make slow progress from one rock to another. It also helps to check your heading because that current can change your direction quickly.

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Stonefish

--Reprinted from "The Fisheries" blog, November 18, 2013

Stonefish have usurped the title of ‘Most Venomous Fish’ in recent years. They often resemble encrusted stones (hence the name), blending into their natural environment with ease. They deliver their venom through a row of spines on their back that can be extended when threatened (or stepped on). Venom is involuntarily expelled when pressure is placed on the fish and the more pressure the more venom. They reside in the Indo-Pacific region and northern Australia. A sting from one of these fish can cause excruciating pain, rapid swelling, tissue death, muscle weakness, temporary paralysis, and in very rare cases, death.

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Corals Discovered Where You Least Expect Them
--by Juliana Bach

Deep sea corals were discovered in 1869, but it took the advent of sonar and deep sea submersibles to discover the size and abundance of cold water reefs.

By 1998, a new generation of remotely operated underwater vessels allowed ocean scientist to gather information about the most remote deep-sea coral habitats.  With the help of submersible vehicles, scientists have found forests of coral living 200 to 10,000 feet deep in cold dark water. Coral without sunlight are able to live all around the world.  They are far more widely distributed than scientists previously thought. They can live in waters from  -1˚C to +30˚C  (30˚F to 86˚F).   Deep sea corals live for hundreds to thousands of years, feeding directly on microscopic animals.

Deep water coral reefs have been found throughout the rocky ocean floor, in canyons and continental slopes. Locations are found in the waters of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ecuador, Japan, Norway the United States and Antarctica.

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Advantages of Deep Dives
-- by Lon Von Linrel

We have outlined the many advantages of shallow dives, but deeper water has some advantages as well.

  1. No surge- at 20' even a 2' chop on the surface produces a washing machine affect, none at 100'.
  2. Bigger animals- large sharks, pelagics. giant groupers, sailfish, eagle rays, all like the deeper water, not so much at 20'.
  3. Better buddies- all ADA divers are screened by a Safety Officer on their first ADA dive. To be eligible for an advanced dive, they must have the approval of a Safety Officer. So, no waiting for a buddy while he/she adjusts weights, fiddles with gear, etc.
  4. Better vis- wave action produces silt in the water column at 20', while at 100' less silt, plus closer to the Gulf Stream means better visability.
  5. Drift dives- few if any boats offer drift diving at 20', but it is common on deeper dives. So, go with the flow and no swimming required.
  6. More drama- 20' dives are easy, pleasant, fun, and relaxing. At 100' the unknown is always present and the need for intense focus excites the senses and pumps the Adrenalin.
  7. Vertical vistas- wall dives, especially in the Bahamas, offer a very different orientation to the reef, vertical vs horizontal. This is a challenge most advanced divers enjoy.
  8. Intact ship wrecks- shallow wrecks are either broken up by storms, or blown apart by explosives as required by the Coast Guard citing them as navigation hazards.
  9. No snorkelers aboard- we all love snorkelers, but their boating etiquette/knowledge is sometimes lacking- strewing gear on the deck, sitting in front of your tank, getting in the way of divers, and are more prone to upchucking in your lap.

In conclusion, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And we all like different things and different types of diving, your choice.

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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 dmbaeza@bellsouth.net. You can also call Dan at 954-260-8225 and leave a message with your new contact information.


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 calendar 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.

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You may pay by check or online. Go to http://activedivers.org/Membership-Renewal.html 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.

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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

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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