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October 2019 Newsletter

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Vol. 47 No.10

Our speaker is Susana Ramirez, Founder of Save The Sharks

Susana Ramirez (Navajas) grew up around the water, and always had a deep passion for the ocean and its' inhabitants. While doing her undergraduate studies, Susana helped graduate students with shark research in the everglades. It was during that time that she fell in love with sharks, and she vowed to do all that she could to help the animals out. She has since volunteered for many non-profit organizations and has gained valuable knowledge about grassroots campaigning. In 2014, she officially ran Save The Sharks full time, and has had a great deal of success. Susana has been a part of CITES implementations, she has led local and international rallies, school presentations, she has written for magazines and much more. Her hope is that Save The Sharks can inspire anyone to do something; because together, we can make a difference. [http://www.savethesharksorg.com/]

SFUPS November Presentation
Special Invitation
November 12

Coconut Creek Courtyard Marriott. Arrive around 6:00 meeting starts promptly at 7:20PM

More people have walked on the moon than have been to some of the places Jill Heinerth has explored right here on earth. She is a veteran of over thirty years of filming, photography and exploration on projects in submerged caves around the world with National Geographic, NOAA, various educational institutions and television networks worldwide. She is the inaugural Explorer in Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, recipient of Canada’s prestigious Polar Medal and the diving world’s highest award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences.

We have secured a very special guest speaker for our November meeting, Ms. Jill Heinerth. She will only be in town for the one day, then will be heading up to DEMA. Since her appearance is so rare, I thought it would be very nice to invite your members to come and enjoy this once in a lifetime National Geographic speaker.

-Due to limited space, I must ask that any of your members planning to join us, to please email me, so that I can make sure we have proper seating available for the number of guests. We will also be inviting members from South Florida Divers.


Suzan Meldonian – President - http://www.sfups.org - 561-859-1797 c.

Presidents Waves

The Board of Directors has decided to hold the annual election at our General Meeting in November.

Club Bylaws require that the Board’s proposed slate of officers be presented to you in the two newsletters before the election.  Presented for your consideration are the following:

 President:  Roger Cooper
 VP Programs:  Ken Glaser
 VP Overseas Diving:  Nils Jacobsen
 VP Local Diving:  Ryan Goheen
 VP Social:  
 Secretary:  Amy Wellman
 Treasurer:  Ronnie Farr

Anyone interested in running for a position on the Board should notify me, either at a General Meeting or by email (president@usadiveclub.org).

Our Club needs volunteers to help with several important jobs. If you can spare even a bit of time, please get involved. We would like to form committees to spread the workload, so you don't have to commit large amounts of time. But we won't know you are interested unless you let us know.
  • Several people have ideas for things to do, but we need someone to volunteer to be Vice President for Social Events.
  • Ken Glaser is looking for help with Programs and Promotions. If we could put together some small committees to help with these jobs, that would be ideal. Please contact Ken if you can help.
  • We need help with Audio/Video equipment for monthly meetings. Roman Boszko has resigned so he and Ewa can travel more, and John Ficarra has notified us that he and Kathy will also be traveling quite a bit. Please contact John if you can help out.
  • We still need a Photographer for Club events, or a few people who are willing to share the duty. Please contact me if you could help us by taking pictures at club events.

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 mini-trips

Social events

  • November 10, 2019 3:00 PM
    Bill & Beverly Watts' house in Coconut Creek

Hospitality Hut

Clare Florio Anthon

Greetings From The Hospitality Hut!

Unfortunately, the September general meeting was cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian.  Thankfully we were saved! Our neighbors in the Bahamas were not. 

Hope to see you all at the October 3rd general meeting.

In the meantime, I hope you are all safe and well.

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


Hello October Divers,

As you know our September meeting was cancelled for the devastating hurricane "Dorian".  South Florida came very close to experiencing the disaster now seen in the northern Bahama Islands.  

More reason to come to our October meeting and bring a guest.  We are always looking for new folks to join our activities. Caribbean trips, mini-trips, social events etc.  Of course our general meeting speakers are always interesting AND educational.

We look forward to seeing you Thursday October 3rd at the Marriott Courtyard.  Welcome desk is just inside the door.

Best wishes, Eunice Hamblen & Stephanie Voris,
USA Dive Club Membership

Come join the fun. 

Eunice Hamblen                                Stephanie Voris
Membership Coordinators


thanks to Diver Training Magazine


Keeping It Real: The Scuba Skills Refresher

By Barry & Ruth Guimbellot

HOW MANY TIMES have you thought about going on an exciting dive vacation, only to have something come up that pushes your plans farther into the future? Whatever the reason, your trip gets postponed and before you know it, you’ve been “dry” for a while. If you’ve been away from diving for several months or longer, we highly recommend visiting your local dive center to schedule a scuba refresher course prior to going on a dive trip. Fine-tuning your skills after a hiatus from diving is a wise decision that will help make your return to diving safer and more enjoyable.

Scuba Refresher: Dust the Rust Off

The first step to dusting the rust from your skills is to schedule a scuba refresher course with an instructor at a dive center near you. Your reviewing instructor will help you assess your current status and determine the level of review you’ll need in order to bring your skills up to par. The work needed to fine-tune your skills will depend on a few factors, including your experience level before the hiatus and the length of time you have been away from diving.

A typical scuba diving refresher course has two main sections. One section consists of reviewing the basic safety information you learned when studying for your certification. The second section involves performing basic scuba skills in a confined water setting. With the assistance of your instructor, you will be able to identify and practice the skills necessary for your level of certification. In general, the skills you’ll review in the skill circuit include underwater communication using hand signals, mask clearing, regulator removal, replacement and clearing, buoyancy control and swimming. Your instructor may also encourage you to practice air-sharing techniques often used when handling out-of-air emergencies with a dive buddy.

Underwater Communications

Good communication is essential for an enjoyable, safe dive. Learning appropriate hand signals makes communication with your buddy much easier, avoiding a great deal of frustration. If your memory on basic hand signals is a bit rusty, review them with an instructor or refer to your training materials. Basic hand signals include the OK sign, up/down signal and the out-of-air sign.

Mask Clearing

Nothing is more frustrating than struggling with a leaky mask — even if the reason the mask leaks is that you’re smiling a lot while diving. The skill circuit is the perfect time to practice clearing your mask. To begin, you will need to add water to your mask so you can practice getting it out. Do this by tilting your head slightly down and gently lifting a portion of the skirt away from your face. Allow a small amount of water to enter the mask. With the palm of one hand, push in and down on the top frame to hold it in place as you tilt your head back and exhale through your nose into the mask. The added air displaces the water, forcing it out the bottom of the skirt. When the water is gone, press in on the mask to seal it to your face.

Note: your instructor might show you a couple variations of the mask clearing skill. Use whichever method works best for you.

Regulator Removal/Replacement

If you have not dived in a year or more, how proficient and comfortable will you be at removing and recovering your regulator? This is an important part of any scuba refresher. Many of us are not at ease if our primary air source is unexpectedly dislodged from our mouth. To overcome this fear, practice this skill with your buddy or instructor by your side. First inhale a normal breath, then remove the primary second stage regulator from your mouth and hold in front of you with the mouthpiece facing downward. Immediately begin blowing a small, steady stream of bubbles. Developing the habit of exhaling a tiny stream of bubbles helps remind you not to hold your breath while on scuba, as doing so puts you at risk of injury. Clear the water from the primary second stage by exhaling through the regulator. You can also press the purge button on the front of the regulator to expel water.

The regulator recovery skill is a continuation of the removal/replacement skill. Performing this skill demonstrates that you know how to locate and replace the regulator. Remove the second stage from your mouth and let go of it while continuously exhaling a stream of small bubbles. Begin the sweep by leaning with the right shoulder downward. Allow the regulator hose to swing and hang away from your body. While continuing to slowly exhale, begin a downward sweep with the right arm, fully extending the arm behind you. Next, swing your extended arm out to the side and in front of you. The regulator hose should now be lying across your arm. The second stage should be close to your right hand. With either hand, grasp the regulator, put the mouthpiece in your mouth and immediately clear the regulator of water using either the blast or purge method. Resume breathing normally.

Buoyancy Control

Perfecting buoyancy control takes time and, if you’ve been away from diving for a while, this skill can get rusty. Two tips for better buoyancy include being properly weighted and having good breath control. After practicing this skill, test your ability by hovering in one position. In our example, the diver has lifted his legs and grasps each leg below the knee. If you are correctly weighted and using good breath/buoyancy control, you will be able to hover upright without falling forward or backward.


If you haven’t worn fins in a while, it’s a good idea to do some practice laps in a pool. You can do this with just your snorkel gear. It’s also a good idea to do some surface and underwater laps while wearing a full set of scuba gear. You might want to practice managing a leg cramp, too, just in case.

As a reminder, if you experience a “Charley Horse”-type leg cramp of the calf muscle, grasp the fin tip and extend the leg while pulling the toes toward you.

Air Sharing

Being able to share your air supply with another diver could prove to be an important skill in an out-of-air situation. First, get the attention of your buddy by signaling you are out of air. Your buddy will either give you his or her octopus regulator or their primary second stage. If your buddy gives you their primary second stage, they will either start breathing off their octopus or the integrated BC second stage. Practice this skill as both the out-of-air diver and the air donor. In a real-life situation, once you and your buddy each have a supply of air you’ll hold onto each other and slowly start for the surface.

Even if you dive several times a year, a scuba refresher such as practicing this circuit before your trip is a great way to keep your skills sharp. Having proficient skills will make your dive experience safer and a great deal more fun.

For a more in-depth review of these and other skills, visit the Dive Training YouTube channel.

Story and photos by Barry and Ruth Guimbellot


USA's Lobster Pot drawings Include CASH prize winners, 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 winners. Be sure to visit our Local dive shops who support us and say 'Thanks'.

Cash prize of $26.00 donated by USA Dive Club
Seafood cookbook donated by Clare Anthon
Mask and snorkel donated by Roger Cooper
Bistro flatbread coupon donated by Courtyard by Marriott
Bistro flatbread coupon donated by Courtyard by Marriott
One free tank rental for air or for Nitrox donated by Force-E
One (1) free Nitrox fill from Force-E
$5.00 off of all dive charters for 2 years from Force E
One (1) boat trip for two (2) tank dive from Dixie Divers
10% off from Scuba Network
Wine opener
Replacement straps for fins

DEMA Regulatory Alert

Biscayne National Park: Spearfishing and Lobster Mini-Season

You may be aware that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is holding a Public Meeting in Cape Canaveral, Florida on October 2nd and 3rd to present their final recommendations on diving activities in Biscayne National Park (BNP). The recommendations for BNP are currently scheduled for presentation on October 2.

To date, FWC’s recommendations for Biscayne National Park have included prohibiting spear fishing on scuba or prohibiting trigger devices, and eliminating the two-day mini-lobster season in the Park.  FWC introduced these two diving-related regulations as part of their Fisheries Management Plan for BNP. 


UNLIKE FOR DIVING, FWC HAS NO SPECIAL PLANS TO RESTRICT HOOK AND LINE FISHING ACTIVITIES. DEMA believes FWC sees this as an opportunity to target and restrict diving activities, while placing the burden on divers for reaching FWC’s goal of increasing the size and abundance of fishery species in the Park by 20%. Within their own presentation, FWC clearly states that the issues of management of the Park are related to (a) the Park’s proximity to urban areas, (b) reduced water quality, (c) marine debris, (d) vessel groundings and (e) fishing pressure. Fish size and species abundance in Biscayne National Park are not related to diving activities, and certainly not to selective activities such as spear fishing. 

This week FWC released its Summary Memo on their final Biscayne National Park recommendations. While the Commission is under no obligation to accept these staff recommendations, it is important to note that among them is an open-ended suggestion to “Establish Coral Reef Protection Areas inside BNP where traps and lobstering would be prohibited.” Such open-ended recommendations could easily lead to unwarranted restrictions on diving in general, and the two-day lobster mini-season specifically.

DEMA strongly urges divers and diving professionals to attend the FWC Public Meeting scheduled for October 2nd in Cape Canaveral and voice that diving restrictions are not warranted, and restrictions to spearfishing and the lobster mini-season should only be enacted if similar restrictions are placed on hook and line fishing. IF DIVERS DO NOT ATTEND THIS MEETING FWC WILL ASSUME THAT THERE ARE NO OBJECTIONS TO THESE RESTRICTIONS.  PLEASE ENCOURAGE ALL DIVERS AND YOUR DIVING CUSTOMERS TO ATTEND!

If you are unable to attend the October 2nd FWC meeting, write directly to the Fish and Wildlife Commission BEFORE OCTOBER 2nd and ask them to remove these unnecessary restrictions on vital diving activities in the Park. Send your written comments directly to: Marine@MyFWC.com and Commissioners@MyFWC.com.

DEMA has already provided a letter to FWC outlining our concerns. Please feel free to use DEMA's comments to assist in writing your own to the Commission.

DEMA, the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association, is an international organization dedicated to the sustained growth of the recreational scuba diving and snorkeling industry. For more information on DEMA, call 858-616-6408 or visit www.dema.org.  

Under Sea Adventurers-dive club: Overseas Diving program


 Nai’a Live aboard – Mar 14-21, 2020; Volivoli 21-28(+), 2020

2020: We start from Home on Thursday 3/12 from FLL to Los Angeles (LAX) and continue later the same day to Nadi, Fiji. Airfare LAX-NAD is included at group rates. Business upgrade is available – but expensive. We spend the morning in Raffles airport hotel. We get picked up by Nai’a by van at 1 pm and board the boat mid afternoon. After a week of live aboard diving – Saturday 3/21 - we will go by van to Volivoli. That resort is completely rebuilt. We have all ground rooms – no hikes up the hill to get to your room. Next Saturday 3/28 – we will stay at the resort until it is time to take a van to the airport for our flight home; back in US early afternoon Saturday 3/28. When all transfers are by van there is no domestic luggage surcharge. We are traveling a little earlier in the season to get warmer waters than the last two times (2008 and 2015)

Details – Nai’a

Same boat as in 2008 – The oldest and most experienced live aboard in Fiji with the most experienced sailors

  • 7 nights on the boat
  • 6 full days of diving – night dives when conditions allow
  • House wine with dinner

 Details – Volivoli

Resort on the north shore of main Island Viti Levu – recently remodeled

  • Premium Ocean View Villas – ground level
  • Welcome drink on arrival
  • Full meal plan – 3 meals daily with juice, milk, rain water, coffee, and tea at breakfast
  • Beach BBQ (Tuesdays)
  • 3 days of 2 tank boat diving & 2 days of 3 tank boat diving
  • Unlimited shore diving (reserve tanks 24 hours prior)
  • Traditional Meke performance (Thursdays)
  • Free use of kayaks and participation in a variety of complimentary resort activities

Other details - Both

  • Double occupancy
  • All taxes and tip included
  • Raffles day room included – 2-4 per room
  • All ground transfers

 Not Included:

  • Nitrox
  • Fuel surcharge Nai’a (none at the moments)
  • Airfare FLL<->LAX

Signup window – a little shorter than normal – sorry for any inconvenience – the primary signup period from today until 8/31. When you sign up by that date the club will cover any potential “single supplement” – Note: unsold spots on Naia will be cancelled by Sept 10. So if you are interested please act fast. We are holding 12 seats from LAX to Fiji – also only until 9/10

As always, when you sign up for a trip, please consider trip insurance, especially since we do a boat payment on Sept 10 – that becomes non-refundable after that …


Questions? Contact VP of Overseas Diving Nils by e-mail. overseasdiving@usadiveclub.com

Ask about – Business class, Single Supplement, extension at Volivoli, etc …


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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.

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