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April 2020 Newsletter

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Vol. 48 No.04

Stay at Home

In order to help keep members safe from the COVID-19 virus, all April Club events have been canceled. As I write this on March 26, 2020, all non-essential businesses, including dive charters and dive stores have been shut down by government decree. It is possible that these conditions may extend into May, or even longer. We will let you know if this affects future Club events.

Presidents Waves

Fiji - A Truncated Trip

First, let me say that the Nai'a is a top-notch liveaboard. The cabins are great. The crew is great. The food is great. And the service is great. They wrote a blog entry describing the days we were diving with them. Click here to read their blog.

The first time I went to Fiji, the water was clear and cold, giving amazing visibility. The days were sunny, making the pinnacle tops bright fairylands of beautiful marine life. We scheduled this trip for warmer water, but along with that we got clouds and rainy days. The rain washed silt into the ocean, so visibility was sometimes quite bad. Fortunately, pinnacle tops are still fairylands of beautiful marine life, and the underwater world of Fiji is still stunning. I have a picture of a seahorse that was smaller than a pencil eraser. I also have lots of pictures of colorful soft corals and teaming sea life. I hope to go back soon, but hopefully not during a pandemic.

One thing about liveaboard trips, you are out of touch with the rest of the world. We did not know how bad things were getting. Therefore, we were surprised on Thursday to learn that Americans had been called home. We found that the only flight we could get out of Fiji was the one we had originally booked at the end of our two-week stay. All the other flights were over booked by 100 people. Nai'a was going to pass close to Volivoli Beach Resort on Friday, so they dropped us off there Friday afternoon. That saved us from making a long bus ride back to Volivoli, because the short route was closed due to a lock-down caused by two Fiji COVID-19 cases.

When we landed on Friday afternoon, we thought we were going to have a week of diving at the resort. That plan didn't last very long. We found out almost immediately that an American Airlines flight had been added on Monday morning, all other flights after that had been canceled, and our travel agent (MaryAnne Hines - Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!) had changed our booking so we could get out on the Monday morning flight. So all we had to do was get to the Nadi airport before Monday morning, and the resort already had a group of 20 people they planned to send to the airport on Sunday afternoon, taking the short route with police escort. We could join that group.

Yes, we could join that group, but on Saturday we learned that the short route was out of the question. We had to make an eight-hour bus ride starting Sunday morning by 7:00 AM because we couldn't get permission to pass through the lock-down area. So we spent Saturday drying gear and catching up with the rest of the world. The bus ride on Sunday was long but uneventful, getting us to our hotel next to the Nadi airport on Sunday afternoon. We got a few hours sleep, but got up at 1:00 AM to get in line to check-in for our flight. We knew it would be a full flight and we needed to be on that plane.

The flight left Fiji at 7:00 Monday morning. Thanks to the magic of the International Dateline, it arrived at LAX at 11:00 PM Sunday night. For some reason it took an hour for them to get us to a gate, so we got off the plane at midnight. Everything was closed, and we had to sit on stone window sills in the airport waiting to check-in at 3:20 AM for our flight to Miami. After that check-in, things improved. We moved to a nice waiting area inside security. Also, we had been able to upgrade our seats on the Miami flight to First Class for a small fee, so that four-hour flight was comfortable and we had a good meal. We got home Monday afternoon, tired but happy to be back.

We weren't at Volivoli Beach Resort very long, but clearly it is a beautiful resort. The rooms were large and well equipped. The food in the restaurant was excellent. The staff was extremely helpful. I hope to go back soon and spend that week of diving that I missed. Both the resort and Nai'a closed up after we left because they had no other bookings. Hopefully they won't be closed too long and their owners can restart business soon.

Don't forget to keep checking our Facebook page for the interesting articles Howard is posting. https://www.facebook.com/usadiveclub

Happy diving,

Roger Cooper

Overseas Dive Trips

Local Diving

  • No upcoming local dives


  • No upcoming mini-trips

Social events

  • No upcoming social events

Hospitality Hut

Clare Florio Anthon

Greetings From The Hospitality Hut,

At the March general meeting of the Under Sea Adventurers Dive Club, I am pleased to report three first-time guests and two returning guests were in attendence.

Mark Ficarra, son of members John and Kathy attended. Mark is not a diver, however he enjoys snorkeling with his Mom.  They are often spotted at the Hillsboro Inlet.

It was a treat to see member Carol Schurtz accompanied by friend and diver John Beals.  John was certified in 1991 in Ft. Lauderdale and he now lives in North Carolina.

Jessica Moses attended to promote a photography nature event.  These images can be taken underwater or in your back yard. Nature is all around us! Details to follow.

It is a treat to see old friends too.  Pat Schwab joined the group for a great presentation!

Be sure to greet new guests and new members when you see them and please introduce yourself.

I encourage you to visit our home page www.usadiveclub.org.  Please click on the calendar and keep up to date on all the diving and non-diving scheduled activities. You may also take a look at the photo gallery and take a peek at past events.I wish you all Happy Diving,

Clare Anthon

Hospitality Coordinator


Dear Members and Want to be Members,

The best things about being in a dive club or any club at this time are the friends that you can connect with and support as they can for you.  Nothing brings people closer than a crisis of global proportion.  There are several wonderful concerts on line that demonstrate this.  Try this one to lift your spirits:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph1GU1qQ1z It is called "Playing for Change".  Other concerts and museums are doing the same.  

Please stay tuned to this website to learn when we will meet again.  Stay safe and well. 


Yours truly,  Stephanie & Eunice

USA Dive Club Membership

Come join the fun. 

Eunice Hamblen                                Stephanie Voris
Membership Coordinators

USA Club Announcements Alert

Please check your spam folder for club emails that coming from our Google Groups email system. Several members have commented that they are not receiving certain announcements that have been sent out. Spam filters are triggered by emails that are sent to numerous email addresses with the same content.

This may be where your club communications are.

Month: April 2020

Apr 1
May 1

                                                   SAFETY BLOG

For Some Divers, Waiting Only 24 Hours before Flying Is Not Enough Time

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

from the August, 2019 issue of Undercurrent

Minhaj Qidwai from Frisco, TX, had gone diving while on a Bali vacation in May but failed to follow the standard rule about allowing 24 hours before flying. It was during the second, 13-hour leg of the flight, from South Korea to Dallas, when the symptoms of decompression illness (DCI) began to set in.

"My joints started hurting," Qidwai says. "My elbows, my knees -- everything started aching." He ended up crumpled on the floor at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport (DFW) before being diagnosed and rushed to the hyperbaric center. Fortunately, he made a successful recovery after five hours of recompression.

A few days later, another case of the bends caused a ruckus at DFW when a Denver-bound airplane had to make an emergency landing because diver Mike Altoos was experiencing DCI symptoms. Altoos, 26, was returning from a honeymoon in Cancun, but, as he told CBS Dallas/Fort Worth, "we were only about 20 minutes into the flight when my hands started tingling. I felt nauseous, dizzy, and had trouble breathing. I told the flight attendant, 'I need oxygen right away.'"

Altoos said he had made only three shallow dives, all between 15 and 30 feet deep, and took a 19-hour surface interval before getting on the plane. That he suffered DCI after such benign dives throws into disarray the famous research done by John S. Haldane in 1905, on which decompression theory is still based. Haldane found the body can withstand the pressure at 33 feet almost indefinitely without ill effect -- but he did his empirical research on goats at approximately sea level.

Another possibility is that Altoos suffered from an embolism or emphysema due to a fast breath-holding ascent, which caused air bubbles that then expanded in the reduced pressure of the aircraft cabin. Some on social media hypothesize that he might have misread a rented computer with depth-gauge calibrated in meters rather than feet and gone three times deeper than he believed.

DCI symptoms can be wide-ranging, from fatigue, skin rash, and joint aches to numbness and even complete paralysis. Unusual symptoms occurring within 48 hours after diving should be presumed to be DCI until proven otherwise. The onset of symptoms after 48 hours is unusual, unless an ascent to altitude provokes it. The pressure differences between being at depth and being at the 8,000-foot-altitude equivalent of a pressurized cabin can definitely exacerbate symptoms.

Qidwai and Altoos are not alone in underestimating the effects of flying after diving. Divers Alert Network recommends a minimum of 24 hours between your last dive and a flight. But Marguerite St. Leger-Dowse, a researcher at Diving Diseases Research Healthcare in Plymouth, England, wanted to answer this question: Is a 24-hour interval between diving and flying enough for the consecutive multi-dive diving days that many people typically do on a dive trip? So she and her colleagues conducted a study on the frequency and nature of symptoms in divers who had flown after consecutive multidive days.

Through an anonymous online survey, St. Leger- Dowse's team collected data including diver and diving demographics; signs and symptoms of DCI before, during, and after the flight home; details of the person's last two dives, and the length of his or her surface interval before diving. The 316 divers, with a male-female ratio of 69/31 percent and an age range from 17 to 75, recorded a total of 4,356 dives in the weeks preceding their flights. Fifty-four, or 17 percent of them, reported surface intervals of less than 24 hours.

Fifteen of the divers boarded their planes despite feeling DCI-related symptoms beforehand. Another 18 developed DCI-related symptoms -- nine of them during the flight, nine of them afterward. Of those 18 divers, 14 had waited more than 24 hours before flying. And of the 33 total divers who experienced symptoms before, during or after their flights, 11 subsequently sought help and were diagnosed and treated for DCI.

The divers' written comments in the online survey revealed a "lack of understanding of the consequences of altered pressure and gas environments during flight" by divers who had just finished an intense period of consecutive multi-dive days. St. Leger-Dowse's conclusion: Waiting only 24 hours after your last dive to fly home may not be enough time for some divers, particularly in the context of consecutive, multi-dive, multi-day diving.

The problem, of course, is that you don't know whether that applies to you until it's too late. So next time you make one of those types of dive trips, consider adding at least a day, even two, of sightseeing or relaxing on the ground before you board the plane home. Besides having some enjoyment, you'll have a decreased risk of experiencing DCS on that hours-long flight.

-- John Bantin


USA's Lobster Pot drawings Include CASH prizes, and a variety of PRIZES donated by South Florida Dive Shops,
other Sponsors or Club Members.

Funds from ticket donations help to support our many club activities. Congratulations to all our Lobster Pot participants. Be sure to visit our Local dive shops who support us and say 'Thanks'.

Lobster Pot cash prize of $30
$20-off dive coupons donated by USA dive club
$20-off dive coupons donated by USA dive club
Flatbread donated by the Courtyard Marriott
Flatbread donated by the Courtyard Marriott

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Place an ad to buy or sell gear, or promote a dive related event that will be of general interest to club membership. Email your ad to newsletter@usadiveclub.com



Dell 2400mp projector.  Includes manual, remote, power cord, new spare lamp.  $100. Contact avguy@usadiveclub.com.

WANTED: A console that will hold an Oceanic computer and already has a pressure gauge in it.

Gary Sharp



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