September 2006

Cayman divers witness coral spawn
Corals aren't lifeless rocks, they are flow-like polyps. Once a year there is a mass coral spawning that lasts about 15 minutes. No wonder few divers ever get to witness, let alone photograph, this rare occasion. Off the Cayman's, the spawning happens about a week after full moon in the beginning of September, and the Grand Cayman diver operation Ocean Frontiers has been there to observe and document it. According to an article in caymannetnews, "bright orange or red eggs are brought up and "glued" to the individual sperm bundles, until the sperm is completely surrounded. In simple terms the water becomes filled with what looks like coloured snow floating upwards." -- Posted Friday, September 29, 2006 by chb

Lobster season opens September 30th
September 30 marks the beginning of the seven months "lobster season" and southern Californians will descend in droves to capture the legal maximum of seven. It can be a challenge to catch a lobster and some get hurt during the chase. Personally, I wish we'd just leave them alone. [see Bloomberg report on lobster season] -- Posted Thursday, September 28, 2006 by chb

Taxing scuba?
Australian Milton Ulladulla Times complains about an impending tax on scuba divers. It's just 30 Australian dollars a year, but that's still no fun for those who just want to try it once. The tax money would supposdly be used to fund research into the grey nurse shark. [see article. -- Posted Wednesday, September 27, 2006 by chb

Where to dive on and off East Coast
In the Frederick News-Post Online, Terry Brady, who is the president of the Ocean Rovers Scuba Club, presents a great listing of diving locations accessible to those living on the East Coast, including a listing of what is available and desirable in and off a variety of East Coast states. [see article] -- Posted Tuesday, September 26, 2006 by chb

New York Times highlights diving in the Northeast
Kevin Murray's September 23, 2006 article in the New York Times, "Divers Plumb the Depths of Hidden Graveyards," highlights the lure of wreckdiving in the Northeastern part of the US. He describes the long history of navigation off the East Coast and also in the sounds, rives and lakes, and the wealth of shipwrecks they contain, including some of the oldest intact wrecks in the Western Hemisphere. Murray also mentions that The Thousand Islands region of New York and Canada on the St. Lawrence Seaway is one of the best-kept secrets in diving. -- Posted Saturday, September 23, 2006 by chb

International Coastal and Underwater Clean-up Day
Saturday, September 16, was International Coastal and Underwater Clean-up Day. Last year it attracted 450,000 volunteers who in a single day removed 8.2 million pounds of debris from 18,000 miles of coasts in 74 different nations, according to a final report on the 2005 Cleanup released by the Ocean Conservancy, organizer of the annual event. A laudable project for sure, and we hope this year's event was at least as successful! -- Posted Monday, September 18, 2006 by chb

ScubaPro/Uwatec launches small Tec 2G 2-gas computer
ScubaPro launched the Aladin TEC 2G, an easy-to-use two-gas dive computer that plans ahead with a predictive multigas algorithm (PMG). This feature is available in ScubaPro's Smart TEC, a larger and more complex device. The Buehlman algorithm computes the decompression schedule according to the dive plan and displays ascent times based on that. However, in also keeps ready a decompression plan should the diver fail to switch and continue to use the current gas. The 2G suggests a gas change at the planned depth, but it needs to be confirmed by the diver, and can always be changed. The 2G also shows average depth, the ability to enter bookmarks while diving, and can be had wristwatch-style or in consoles. Drawbacks are a small display and a lack of air integration. Seen at around US$450. -- Posted Thursday, September 14, 2006 by chb

Stingrays being killed since Irwin's death
Associated Press reports that at least ten Singrays have been killed since Steve Irwin's fatal injury by one. Singray bodies were discovered in beaches on Queensland, Australia. Michael Hornby, the executive director of Irwin's Wildlife Warriors conservation group said he was concerned that Stingrays are now being hunted and killed in retaliation for Irwin's death. [Diving with large animals] [Giant rays of Socorro] -- Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 by chb

ScubaTour's next stop: Lobster festival in San Pedro, CA
Using the latest specialized scuba masks and an underwater videocam, TV personalities will be broadcasting live -- with a lobster's point of view -- from the bottom of the huge 17,000 gallon heated Scuba Pool at the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival September 15,16, 17, 2006. The Scuba Tour is a Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) program that travels North America introducing people to the exhilarating sport of scuba diving. Last year, over 14,000 people took the plunge to experience the sport firsthand. Gold sponsors for The Scuba Tour 2006 are PADI and The Bonaire Tourist Office. [Check out the ScubaTour!] -- Posted Tuesday, September 12, 2006 by chb

Blog entries: Diving with large animals, and altitude diving
After Steve Irwin's tragic death, the world may now see Stingrays as dangerous, deadly creatures. They are not. What happened to Irwin was a freak accident. Read about diving with all sorts of large sea creatures in Carol's "My take on diving with critters". Conrad, meanwhile, spent a day diving Lake Tahoe at 6,300 feet, having a great time and earning his second PADI certification! Read his "High altitude diving certified!" -- Posted Monday, September 11, 2006 by chb

Underwater Tourism in Northern Michigan reports a newly formed group thinks Northern Michigan may just be scratching the surface of the area's tourist potential. The Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve and the Power Squadron say the key to bringing in more tourist dollars lies below the surface of the Great Lakes. Both groups seeks to educate and let scuba divers enjoy the waters of Northern Michigan. They're teaming up to see if it would be possible to sink a vessel with the hopes of bringing more tourism into the area. The Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve is hosting underwater tourism summits and diving excursions to spread the word. -- Posted Sunday, September 10, 2006 by chb

Scuba Solitaire
Bored during those long surface intervals between dives? Non-communicative buddy? What's a scuba diver to do? Well, play Scuba Solitaire 3D of course. It's a wonderfully illustrated Solitaire game utilizing 3d techniques. It combines the universal appeal of solitaire with unparalleled 3D graphics. Scuba Solitaire 3D uses the familiar Klondike Solitaire rules set in an underwater world that gives the impression of playing on a glass bottom boat. Watch as you float through the magnificent scenery while the creatures from the sea world swim past! Downloadable for most cellphones. -- Posted Friday, September 8, 2006 by chb

Croc hunter Steve Irwin killed by stingray barb
In a freak accident, effervescent Steve Irwin, 44, was diving off Port Douglas while filming off the Great Barrier reef when a stingray's tail punctured the left side of his chest and likely killed him instantly. Stingrays are not aggressive animals and sting only out of fear and when threatened, and wildlife experts and doctors say it is extremely unusual for a stingray injury to be fatal. Australians are stunned by Irwin's death, with national leaders remembering him as a tireless ambassador for the country. One of Australia's best-known celebrities internationally, Irwin shot to fame with his irrepressible attitude, broad accent, khaki shorts and daredevil antics with animals. Known as the Crocodile Hunter, his enthusiasm for wildlife and his catchcry of "Crikey!" endeared him to TV viewers across the world. [read blog entry] -- Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 by chb

Added Charley Carpenter scuba photography
We're adding image galleries to! The first set was taken by Charley Carpenter mostly at the CoCoView resort in Roatan, Honduras and contains a stunning collection of unerwater pictures, including several from night dives. [View Charley Carpenter scuba photography gallery] -- Posted Friday, September 1, 2006 by chb