February 2009

Ever since we've had a chat with her at the '08 DEMA, we've been impressed with what Cindy Ross is doing with her girldiver.com website where she provides a woman's perspective of diving and is dedicated to promoting the scuba lifestyle for women of all ages worldwide. Girldiver.com also has a very helpful email newsletter you can sign up for here. -- Posted Thursday, February 26, 2009 by chb

Greek treasures at risk from Scuba divers?
Archaeologists think hundreds of ancient wrecks beneath the eastern Mediterranean may contain treasures, but a new law opening Greece's coastline to scuba diving has experts worried that priceless artifacts could disappear into the hands of treasure hunters. The issue is a 2007 law designed to promote tourism that opens most of Greece's coastline to scuba divers, except for about 100 known archaeological sites. [Read Reuters report] -- Posted Tuesday, February 24, 2009 by chb

Clams threatening clarity of Lake Tahoe
Scientists in Reno are preparing to examine and hopefully eliminate a threat that could taint Lake Tahoe's clear-blue waters. The problem is Asian clams that spread algae, and have turned up in several locations along Tahoe's southeast shore. Scuba divers will be used in a $400,000 dollar project designed to test ways to remove the clams. The project is funded by the Federal Government, Nevada and California -- Posted Tuesday, February 24, 2009 by chb

Fuji, too, launches a waterproof point-and-shooter
Everyone seems to be getting into waterproof cameras! The very small 10-megapixel FinePix Z33WP, available in four bright colors, is Fujifilm's entry, joining Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, Canon and a number of specialty manufacturers. The camera's maximum depth rating of ten feet makes it suitable only for very shallow dives, but it's great for snorkeling and other activities in and around the water. The Z33PW has a large and bright 2.7-inch LCD display, a 3x optical zoom, digital anti blur, and some fun features and functions. If the 10-foot depth limit or lack of ruggedness doesn't cramp your style, the list price of US$199 makes this new Fuji a fun and very affordable choice among waterproof cameras. [See description and specs of the Fujifilm Z33WP] -- Posted Saturday, February 21, 2009 by chb

PowerShot D10: Canon's first waterproof (33 feet), freeze proof and shockproof camera
The 12-megapixel PowerShot D10 is Canon's first entry into the waterproof/rugged space. The camera is fairly large and heavy, but well equipped to handle most of the abuse it may encounter outdoors. It is dust and waterproof, and it can handle being dropped from up to four feet. Divers can take it down to 33 feet of depth, enough for many scuba adventures. The camera's controls are large and arranged so you can operate it with a glove. Optical lens stabilization reduces blur. Thanks to Canon's DIGIC 4 processor, the camera offers speedy operation, onboard image correction, and advanced face recognition modes. The list price is US$329. [See description and specs of the Canon PowerShot D10] -- Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2009 by chb

Project AWARE needs divers' help!
Project AWARE Foundation, in partnership with divers around the world, took 2000 new reef conservation actions for International Year of the Reef 2008. But recent reports state that coral reefs are still in trouble and have just eight to 10 years left to be rescued. Project AWARE’s corporate partner PADI is supporting environmental protection and has put cash on the table, challenging divers to commit more for conservation. PADI Americas will match – dollar for dollar – every individual contribution to Project AWARE’s conservation initiatives up to US$30,000 until 15 March. Don’t miss the chance to double your conservation gift – a critical time for your participation. -- Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2009 by chb

Vandenberg moves to shipyard for final cleanup work
After an almost nine-month stall, a Key West artificial reef project is back on course, after tugboats shifted the 524-foot Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg 1/8-mile from Colonna's Shipyard to W3 Marine. The former missile tracking ship will be evaluated and final cleanup will commence so it can be towed to Key West for a planned scuttling in the late spring of this 2009, according to Key West City Commissioner Bill Verge, the designated project manager. Following necessary inspections and contingent on weather conditions, the ship is to be towed to Key West where further work is to be accomplished to prepare it for sinking and recreational diving. A federal judge seized the vessel in April and subsequently ordered the auction of the ship after a contractor failed to complete payments to Colonna's Shipyard in Norfolk, Va., for cleanup of the vessel. In December, First State Bank of the Florida Keys was the ship's top bidder at $1.35 million. -- Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 by chb