November 2006

Tis the season for Scuba Santa
Go to Google News and type in "scuba santa" and you'll find a whole bunch of scheduled Scuba Santa appearances all over the nation. Yes, the jolly guy goes underwater, too, bringing joy to the critters and to the children watching. The picture here shows Santa in the Newport, Kentucky Aquarium. For info on the Newport Aquarium Santa shows, click here. -- Posted Monday, November 27, 2006 by chb

The Manta Network needs you!
There are many places where mantas are disappearing for a variety of reasons. The Manta Network and its Manta Sightings Program seek to protect the ecological wealth of the planet by advancing the knowledge of these magnificent creatures. The mission of The Manta Network is to learn more about populations and migration behavior by assisting manta researchers worldwide. You can help by adopting a manta ray, volunteering, supporting, or simply registering for their free newsletter and information. The picture to the right shows the "Manta Cam."[Check out The Manta Network] -- Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006 by chb

What's new at
Always something! Today, Carol talks about the importance of knowing your limits, especially as a new diver. Read her "Ego ... Know Your Limits" blog. Conrad, meanwhile, adds a review of Jacques Cousteau's "Silent World". -- Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006 by chb's DEMA coverage
Sad but true: Google for DEMA coverage and all that pops up is the on-site reporting by our friends at Britain's Click here to follow their daily coverage. Congrats, team. We wish we were there as well. We will next year! -- Posted Friday, November 10, 2006 by chb

DEMA News and Product Launches
Didn't have time to go to DEMA this year, but want to know all about product launches, exhibitor news, and celebrity appearances? Click here for a comprehensive DEMA news list! -- Posted Thursday, November 9, 2006 by chb

DEMA: Light & Motion shows new underwater housings
High-end underwater housing specialist Light & Motion showed prototypes of their professional grade Titan D200 housing for the Nikon D200 digital SLR. -- Posted Thursday, November 9, 2006 by chb

DEMA: Gates introduces three new products
Underwater housing specialist Gates introduced three new products at DEMA: The Gates EM43 4.3-inch color display is terrific for framing and focus. The HID 250 Light System provides versatile, powerful lighting, and the new Gates Tripod is a flexible, stable underwater platform. -- Posted Thursday, November 9, 2006 by chb

DEMA 2006 opens to record crowd
The DEMA 2006 international trade show for the diving, action water sports and adventure travel industry runs from November 8 through 11 in Orlando. Over 10,000 industry professionals are expected to attend. This event showcases more than 700 exhibitors on a 185,000+ sqft show floor, offering the most extensive educational program in the industry, with exhibitions, exhibitor sponsored seminars, DEMA Sponsored Seminars, Dive Training and Certification Organization-specific seminars and training; as well as DEMA's own Pre-Show Workshop. -- Posted Thursday, November 9, 2006 by chb

Shieldzone unveils dive computer display protectors
At DEMA, ShieldZone unveiled a new line of invisibleSHIELD designs created specifically to protect the screen of dive computers. Phillip Chipping, ShieldZone’s veep of new business and founder said, "We think scuba divers will be thrilled with how well the invisibleSHIELD™ protects dive computers.” ShieldZone currently offers the product for Aeris XR-1, Atmos Console 2, Atmos A1 Console, Atmos Elite T3; Aladdin Prime Wrist; Oceanic Atom 2.0, Pro Plus 2, VR3, VT3; Suunto Cobra, Vyper and D9. As someone who just scored a big scratch in his UWATEC (which fortunately has its own screen cover), I highly recommend these shields! [See ShieldZone product line] -- Posted Wednesday, November 8, 2006 by chb

What's an Advanced class, and are you ready for it?
NAUI instructor Carol Cotton Walker explains when to take an advanced course, what it includes, and how she conducts her course curriculum and advanced checkout dives. [read Carol's blog on the advanced scuba course] -- Posted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 by chb

Original Texas Clipper to be sunk as artifical reef
The Texas Park and Wildlife Department reports that the U.S.T.S. Texas Clipper, a 473 foot decommissioned Texas Maritime Training Academy ship built in 1944 will be sunk in 135 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico, almost 20 miles off Port Isabel. There the proud ship will become an artificial reef and diving destination. Before sinking, the ship will be prepped, wiring and electrical components will be removed, as will all potential contaminants. [Read history of Texas Clippers and plans] -- Posted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 by chb

Full review of Olympus 740 with deepwater case
If you're in the market for a seek a sleek and handy 7-megapixel camera that you can also take scuba diving, the combination of the US$349 Olympus Stylus 740 and its optional US$249 PT-034 deepwater (133 feet) case is attractive. Unlike the Olympus 720 SW, the 740 itself, while "weather-proof," is not waterproof and needs the underwater case, so you need to be careful not to get it wet. The case is first rate, and the camera rewards you with a full 5X optical zoom and a superb high-res LCD. Select from three special underwater modes, each of which can be tweaked with manual settings. [Read our full review] -- Posted Saturday, November 4, 2006 by chb

Halloween underwater
Halloween is over, and there's been plenty of trick and treating. But did you know some of it happened under water? Yes,'s Carol and her gang created a whole spooky underwater Halloween experience at the Loch Low-Minn quarry in Athens, TN. They've been doing this for years and have been learning new tricks every time. Hey, it's tough enough to make ghouls float on dry land; imagine what it takes to pull it all off underwater! [Read about the Haunted Night Dive!] -- Posted Friday, November 3, 2006 by chb