August 2006

Smelly wetsuit no more
Tired of slow drying that can result in a stinky wetsuit? A young inventor has created the Hangair Drying System, a uniquely designed, durable nylon hanger that uses a two-speed, high-powered waterproof fan to cut drying time and prevent unpleasant odors. The Hangair will debut at the ASR Expo, a west coast tradeshow for the surf, skate, swim and youth culture market, followed by an east coast debut in Orlando, Florida on September 15 at the Surf Expo. -- Posted Wednesday, August 30, 2006 by chb

Michigan seeks to arrest underwater artifact thieves
Adding to the increasing controversy over recovering "artifacts" from shipwrecks, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the removal of the ship's bell from the "City of Detroit," a wooden steamer that went down 1873 in Lake Huron. Taking artifacts from the "bottomlands of the state" without permit is a violation of Michigan state law. [See full release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 30, 2006 by chb

Lady of the Ring
AP reports that an Illinois woman was scuba diving at The Cathedral, a submerged cave on Lanai. She found a round, encrusted object, had it cleaned and the cleaning revealed a high school graduation ring with the name of its owner who had lost it 18 years ago. So after all this time, the ring found its way back to its owner! -- Posted Monday, August 28, 2006 by chb

And more hot-spring diving!
Utah has a couple of hot-spring-fed bodies of water that have been built up and made available for scuba diving! Typically owned and run by scuba diving experts who also own and run dive shops, these diving places offer an interesting and different type of entertainment to the locals. The picture shows submerged sign in Blue Lake, a large spring-fed pond out in the wilderness of the Utah-Nevada borde. See a good overview of Utah's year-round open-water diving facilities.] -- Posted Monday, August 28, 2006 by chb

Dive in the Texas desert!
Deserts don't seem a good place for diving, but that's not the case in very dry West Texas, not if you visit the Balmorhea State Park, a 50 acre facility in the Davis Mountain foothills of Reeves County. It includes a 77,000 sq.ft. artesian spring pool with all sorts of aquatic wildlife, 72-76 degree constant temperature, and a depth up to 25 feet. San Solomon Springs has provided water for travelers for thousands of years. Artifacts indicate Indians used the spring extensively before white men came to the area. In 1849, the springs were called Mescalero Springs for the Mescalero Apache Indians who watered their horses along its banks. -- Posted Monday, August 28, 2006 by chb

Sound familiar?
The Joplin Globe ran a feature on Kansas hardware store manager who was seeking a new hobby, so he and his daughter took a scuba diving class three years ago. Well, as for so many, the new hobby soon became a passion. He is now a Dive Master and in the process of becoming a certified scuba instructor. The feature cites other, similar, examples. [read whole feature] -- Posted Monday, August 28, 2006 by chb

Divers claim world record for longest scuba dive
According to a report in UK-based Dive Magazine, two divers from Cyprus spent a total of 24 hours underwater to raise money for charity, claiming the record for the world's longest scuba dive without any surface breaks. The two divers used regular scuba diving gear rather than opting for the full-face masks or surface air supply used in previous record attempts. They raised money for the Syncope Trust and Reflex Anoxic Seizures (STARS) charity, which provides support to sufferers of syncopes and reflex anoxic seizures where oxygenated blood cannot reach the brain, often causing suffers to convulse. -- Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006 by chb

Olympus releases new underwater-suitable digicams
Olympus released two new 7.1 megapixel "All-Weather" digital cameras, the Stylus 740 (US$349) and Stylus 750 (US$399) designed in part for diving use with three special underwater scene modes. The large 2.5-inch LCD, 5x Optical Zoom, compact body size and three underwater scene modes make the Stylus 740 and 750 the perfect cameras to take along diving. The new PT-034 underwater housing (US$249) is constructed of transparent polycarbonate with safety-locked O-ring seals, enabling the Stylus 740/750 to safely travel down to 133 feet, offering neutral buoyancy. Large red grips, a responsive shutter button and a precision zoom lever make it easy to operate even through diving gloves. Plus, with Bright Capture Technology, images can be easily previewed on the LCD even in the darkest waters. [see Olympus underwater housings] (Note that picture shown is of an older Stylus with a PT-032 case). -- Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2006 by chb

12-year-old Master Diver writes book!
When Cody Brown became Idaho's youngest-ever Master Scuba Diver last September, he decided to, literally, write the book on the subject: "Scuba For Kids." Twelve-year-old Cody's reasons for writing the book were twofold. He wanted to make other youth and children aware that scuba diving can be safe, fun, and even educational. And he wanted to inspire and excite other kids about diving by sharing his own adventures as he pursued his goal of becoming one of the youngest-ever Master-certified divers in the world. "Scuba For Kids" is available from or call Dive Magic to order a copy at 208-319-3483. The book retails for $18.95, with part of the proceeds going to Project Aware to help protect the underwater world. -- Posted Monday, August 21, 2006 by chb

PADI releases improved self study guide
PADI has released a revised version of its venerable DVD study guide, Open Water Diver Course Multimedia. The new format includes a Recreational Dive Planner (RDP) tutorial that converts the dreaded RDP Instructions for Use booklet into an interactive multimedia tutorial complete with 3-D effects and animations, making it easier to teach the RDP Table; interactive quick quizzes that inform users if the correct answer is selected; if not, the program links to the section that describes and explains the material; icons throughout the program guide students to video clips; and printer-friendly knowledge reviews are ready for completion to bring to class; and it works on both PCs and Macs. -- Posted Saturday, August 19, 2006 by chb

What do you do when your dive shop tanks?
There you are, supporting your local dive shop, the place where you learned and got certified.... and then, days after you get certified and buy all your scuba gear, they go under. Ouch. Nasty hit, but it can happen. So what do you do? [read blog entry] -- Posted Wednesday, August 16, 2006 by chb

Shreveport firefighters, police take scuba classes reports how a group of about a dozen area firefighters, police officers and nursing students have been strapping on scuba tanks and receiving training by instructors at Scuba Ventures in Shreveport to become certified dive rescue team members. Laudable! [read full story] -- Posted Monday, August 14, 2006 by chb

Scuba Clown
The Detroit Free Press ran a charming story about Carol Ann Owens, who ran a dance studio before she discovered a passion for being a clown. However, Carol also loves scuba diving, and at times combines her passions! She says it took some trial and error to get the clown suit adapted for underwater use. [Read story] -- Posted Sunday, August 13, 2006 by chb

How one writer got into scuba
AP Writer William Kates describes how he got into diving and what it means to him in a article entitled A single adventure under the water turning into a brewing passion. -- Posted Saturday, August 12, 2006 by chb

September 27 to October 6 Galapagos Dive Trip!
Optiquatics is doing it again, a trip to the Galapagos Islands where you can see whale sharks and hammerheads and all things big and exciting - high intensity diving! If you want a great vacation but don't want to worry about details - you go to the Galapagos Islands with DUI, Optiquatics and Reef Photo and Video! The trip will be September 27 to October 6, 2006 and start at Guayaquil, Ecuador, and will take place on one of the best boats going to the islands, the Galapagos Aggressor II. [Galapagos trip details] -- Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 by chb

Portage Quarry, OH, seeks to set record
Portage Quarry will attempt to beat a record dive recently set in the Maldives when a group of 979 divers descended together. The event will be held in conjunction with a "dive with the legends" weekend that includes discussions with some of the best known names in diving including Sam Lecocq, Dr. Sam Miller, and Alec Peirce. Also check Portage Quarry's terrific vintage diving article library. -- Posted Monday, August 7, 2006 by chb

How it feels to be PADI certified!
Read how our little group did their final two open water dives in Folsom Lake, California, and emerged as PADI certified Open Water Divers. It's an experience none of us will ever forget. [Read how we got certified][Read NAUI instructor Carol Walker's commentary] -- Posted Sunday, August 6, 2006 by chb

Report from PADI class Open Water Checkout Dives
If you've ever wondered what it's like to do your very first ever open water dive, read Conrad's blog on his first two PADI certification open water dives at Folsom Lake, California. Visibility was, well, close to zero, but that didn't make it any less of a thrill. Everyone did well, and no one will likely ever forget their first dives outside of a pool. [Read "First open water dives!"] -- Posted Saturday, August 5, 2006 by chb

ScubaDiverInfo Blogs: Teacher and Student
Read what it's like to go for the initial PADI Open Water Scuba Diver Certification. Conrad records his impressions in the Beginning Scuba blog. Carol relates what things look like from a NAUI instructor's point of view in her Expert Scuba blog. -- Posted Friday, August 4, 2006 by chb

Mask with integrated computer display coming soon
Imagine no longer needing a dive computer dangling off a hose or sitting on your wrist ... because you'll see all the data floating right in front of you. A scene from a scifi movie? No, it's a conceptual mask design from Oceanic that's using a HUD (Heads-up Display), the kind you find in fighter planes. The HUD uses a small LCD panel, the necessary optics to make the display appear in front of your eyes, and all the sensors and electronics needed to displays the depth, bottom time, and tank pressure. Oceanic says the consumer version will feature all the information currently displayed in their line of hand-held and wireless Personal Dive Computers. [Read HUD mask development story] -- Posted Friday, August 4, 2006 by chb

Yummy Dive Bar with ginger helps with seasickness
If you have a sweettooth, why not get something that is good for you and helps you, such as the Dive Bar? It's a delicious and nutritious sport bar made just for divers and a great source of natural carbohydrates including dates, apples, walnuts, and raisins. But what makes it different from other sport bars is the addition of Papaya and Pineapple with enzymes that aid in digestion, and 500 mg of ginger to help settle the stomach, enough for those with a tendency towards seasickness. The company recommends one or two bars 30 minutes before diving. But Dive Bar isn't just made for those with sensitive stomachs. It's a well-balanced, highly nutritious snack that can help divers increase their energy needed for the sport. Best of all, it tastes great! Check -- Posted Wednesday, August 2, 2006 by chb

Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Underwater Photographers
Novice and pro photographers alike may just improve their techniques and protect fragile dive sites at the same time. Get familiar with Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Underwater Photographers and inspire your customers, students and dive buddies to do the same. Getting that perfect shot and preserving underwater memories is exhilarating. But protecting fragile environments is key to conserving the adventure. Download and print free copies from the Education & Awareness section (pdf).. -- Posted Tuesday, August 1, 2006 by chb