January 2007

Can alligators get you when you dive?
Last October we dove Catfish Sink of the Florida Manatee Spring Cave System with an alligator present, and kept an eye on him. The other day I read a book on cave diving in which none other than the great cave diving pioneer Sheck Exley stated that alligators could not withstand pressure deeper than ten feet, so below that you're safe. That made me think and I ended up asking one of the world's foremost crocodilian experts, Dr. Adam Britton, who responded. Read "Will alligators get you? -- Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007 by chb

Review: Submerged -- Adventures of America's Most Elite Underwater Archeology Team
Some people are fortunate enough to combine their hobbies and passions with their career. One such man is Daniel Lenihan, author of "Submerged -- Adventures of America's Most Elite Underwater Archeology Team." In it he describes the founding and activities of the National Park Service's Submerged Cultural Resources Unit, or SCRU, a top notch team of diver/archeologists who have been mapping and documenting shipwrecks since 1974, including such major sites as the USS Arizona, the USS Saratoga in Bikini Atoll and a confederate steamer off the coast of France. [Read our review of "Submerged"] -- Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 by chb

Pushing the comfort level: caverns and caves
Most divers will always prefer tropical waters, colorful lagoons, and similarly warm and pleasant places. Others are driven to explore darker places, like caverns and caves. In caverns you can still see daylight; caves mean deeper penetration. Additional certification and training are required. And a whole load of additional equipment. [Read contemplations about caverns and caves] -- Posted Tuesday, January 23, 2007 by chb

Thoughts about rebreathers
We only use a small fraction of the oxygen in the air we breathe from our tanks, and the rest goes up in bubbles, wasted. Rebreathers change that, cleaning the air of carbon dioxide so it can be used again. That means much longer bottomtimes, less weight, fewer (or no) annoying bubbles, and other advantages. Read some thoughts about rebreathers, a technology that has been around for well over 100 years, yet is used only by a small fraction of divers. [Thoughts about rebreathers] -- Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2007 by chb

Oceanic GEO scuba/free dive wristwatch computer
For those who don't like bulky dive computers, Oceanic now has the GEO Wristwatch Personal Dive Computer. Multiple modes accommodate diving with air or Nitrox and include special functions for free diving. There's "OceanGlo" backlighting, intuitive user settings and options menu navigation, alphanumeric display, and a diver-replaceable battery. In Free Dive Mode, the GEO tracks Nitrogen loading allowing alternating between SCUBA and free diving. The GEO samples at a 1-second rate for PC download and analysis via an interface cable, so users can view, edit and graph detailed log files, as well as view and edit GEO settings. The GEO has an MSRP of US$429.95. [Check the GEO page] -- Posted Tuesday, January 16, 2007 by chb

OZTeK '07
OZTek '07 will take place at Technology Park in Sydney, Australia, March 17/18th. From what we can tell it promises to be a highlight event on the international dive industry calendar, combining the OZTeK Diving Technologies Conference with a dive exhibition targeted towards that affluent and influential audience of industry professionals and diving consumers who want more. The event will focus on the full spectrum of underwater activities, from recreational, technical, commercial, military and scientific diving through to free-diving and marine conservation issues. [Learn about OZTeK 07] -- Posted Sunday, January 14, 2007 by chb

Big names in dive sector to exhibit talent in Cayman
The fourth annual Cayman Islands International Film Festival will take place on Friday, 26 January at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort on the Seven Mile Beach. Scuba enthusiasts will be treated to a fantastic display of photographic talents and stories from around the globe. The film festival, organized by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and sponsored by the Marriott Beach Resort and Divers Alert Network (DAN), is the second event in a high profile week for scuba divers around the world, which kicks off with the annual Induction Ceremony for the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame on 25 January. -- Posted Wednesday, January 10, 2007 by chb

Lovin' that C-card
Many experienced scuba divers have a whole collection of C-cards, no big deal. But for new divers, getting the first couple of certification cards means a lot! Conrad's thoughts on C-cards. -- Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2007 by chb

New Year's Plunge
The Sacramento Bee reports on 13 hardy scuba divers hitting the 54 degree water of the American River off oldtown Folsom, California. Andy Siebert, proprietor of Andy's Scuba World in Sacramento and the event's host, said it began when "two crazy guys decided to jump in Folsom Lake." Since then, the event has grown. The biggest year, Siebert said, was in 2000 when 65 divers showed. In the words of Citrus Heights diver Darren Kirtley, the New Year's dive was sure to "cleanse all your sins away." -- Posted Thursday, January 4, 2007 by chb