May 2009

523-feet Vandenberg sunk as artificial reef
Wednesday 27, 2009, marks the sinking of the 523-foot USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg as an artificial reef seven miles off Key West, Florida. The ship, originally a WW II transport, sits at about 140 feet of water, and the superstructure will be accessible to divers at 40 or 50 feet.

-- Posted Thursday, May 28, 2009 by chb

Earthquake hits Roatan
A strong earthquake hit about 30 miles north of the Honduran island of Roatan (epicenter = 16.729N, 86.212W) at 3:24AM local time on May 28, 2009. The original quake was said to be magnitude 7.1, with a 4.8 magnitude aftershock half an hour later. Roatan got rattled with some damage to homes. Our friends from Cocoview resort report broken pipes and pilings, everything knocked off tables and shelves, damage to coral and even a big crack in the wreck of the Prince Albert (follow Cocoview chat; USGS detail). -- Posted Thursday, May 28, 2009 by chb

Dive shops struggle, but DEMA optimistic
Local dive shops - relying on retail sales, training and dive trips - are struggling in tough economic times where many people are cutting back on leisure activities and vacations. However, Tom Ingram, executive director of DEMA, the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association, said that many dive shops nationwide have full classes and busy schedules and the industry will turn around. [See article in the Sun Sentinel] -- Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2009 by chb

Diving at Bonne Terre Mine, Missouri
Pop culture travel guide reports on the Bonne Terre Mine outside of St. Louis, Missouri. This now flooded former lead mine offers two dozen dive trails at average debts of 40 to 60 feet in crystal-clear water and full illumination. Bonne Terre Mine, a national historic site, is the world's largest fresh water dive resort and listed as one of America's 10 greatest adventures by National Geographic. [Read report at, also watch video of diving at Bonne terre] -- Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009 by chb

Diving a parking lot

Who says you need to spend thousands to dive in some fancy location when lots of diving fun can be had close to many divers' homes? With the Folsom Lake reservoir near Sacramento, Calif., almost full, the boat ramp we'd parked on last December was now under 75 feet of water! And diving over a parking lot is certainly an unusual experience. [Read Diving th Folsom Lake parking lot]
-- Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2009 by chb

Become a "citizen scientist" and build a reef
With coral reefs in trouble everywhere, reef-conscious divers can work side by side with marine scientists to assist in reef building during a coral restoration workshop set for Tuesday through Friday, June 23-26, with Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo, Florida. Scuba divers learn from and work with coral restoration experts from the Coral Restoration Foundation, and lead education and dive trips as part of the nonprofit organization's mission. The classes focus on coral health, corals' function in marine ecosystems, identification of natural and manmade threats to coral and the means to protect the resource in the Florida Keys. For information about Florida Keys coral restoration efforts, visit
-- Posted Friday, May 15, 2009 by chb gets a nasty letter from PADI
Much to our surprise, we got a nasty letter from PADI, demanding that we immediately remove the picture of a PADI dive table in our dive table tutorial. Don't these guys realize diving, and PADI, needs all the help it can get? Ticking people and divers off certainly won't work in PADI's favor. (Also see Blog entry on nasty letter from PADI's lawyers) -- Posted Friday, May 1, 2009 by chb