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Vol. 49 No. 06

June 2021 Program

Under Sea Adventurers Overseas Diving - Nils Jacobsen

For most of you a detailed introduction of Nils should not be required – anyway, if you are a relatively new member – or you are an older member – that might have missed some of the earlier details – here is a “short” recap:

Nils had a dormant subconscious desire for diving – just like many other kids at that time having watched years of Jacques Cousteau on black and white TV in Europe. Nils was on a corporate work trip – a 9 ½ weeks world tour in 1992 – doing worldwide software training – back in the heights of the industrial production and design outsourcing. Key stops: S Florida: where HR sent him to Pennekamp Park to snorkel; Singapore: Penang Malaysia, where HR invited him to join a trip to a marine sanctuary – Pulau Payar (in those days – you needed a permit from Malaysia Ministry of Interior to be allowed to go there).  The host company went there to certify scuba divers that had worked 6 months towards their graduation. Nils snorkeled in Azure blue water close to 3 feet potato cods and soft coral – and he was sold - committed to get a scuba certification. (Only one small negative – he slept on the beach – with no formal camping gear – and the hotel towels were 4-6” short of protecting his feet from mosquitos; He took a PADI class in Sept 2002 (he was the only one – changing from shirt and tie – to speedos… before jumping in the pool – a professional travel agent – nailed it – “you are either gay or European” [#2=TRUE]; back in 1993 Denmark he pursed a CMAS certification – (incomplete due to excessive travel in 1993).

During 1993 Nils got to dive Indonesia, Malaysia, Red Sea, Bahamas and Florida. Nils got his second PADI certification – Advanced - in Johnson State Park in Hollywood. Nils got an offer to move to US late in 1993 on a corporate relocation – the choices were Arizona, Chicago or S Florida – and the rest is history.

Nils met USA dive club in the spring of 1994 during a reef clean-up dive on “Lady Go Diver” (the first boat) - joined USA dive club for lunch – and was invited to a club meeting. Nils joined the club later in 1994 – was Newsletter editor for a few years (PageMaker on a PC – in slow motion – real stamps – and delivered by US Postal Service) before becoming VP of overseas diving late 2002 – and his first assignment was to go to DEMA in Miami, Nov 2002 and book the Ocean Rover for the Thailand trip.

 More Recently

On land Nils is always easy to find/easy to follow – as he is “always under the hat” – so he is never lost!

In non-diving settings – there is a wide range of formality levels and dress-codes:


 

Underwater Nils is most often dressed Ninja-black, looks like he is carrying a small dive shop and most of the time hidden behind a large camera:

The presentation will cover pictures from our past 3 Fiji trips:

  • 2008:
    • Nai’a
    • Kadavu
  • 2015:
    • Aggressor
    • Waidroka
  • 2020:
    • Nai’a –only Truncated by Covid-19 evacuation

The rescheduled trip to Volivoli: Now: May 10-17, 2022 - We still have spots available.

It is time to go diving again

At this time all our 4 advertised trips - this year and next - are all very likely to take place as currently scheduled. All 4 trips are advertised in detail on the travel pages:

      https://usadiveclub.org/Overseas

If you are part of the growing number of divers anxious to get out diving again please act fast. Because all the trips are on their second or third date the club do not hold any spots – so you can chose to buy later – before a cutoff deadline. That deadline is already in the past. We add spots only after we sell them. Our operators have suffered a lot of lost business and are eager to ensure that when activities open up their boats and resorts are as full as possible. Hence they do not wait for us – all spot are open for sale to anybody who wants to buy on a first come basis.

Questions – please reach out to me or the trip leads

VP Overseas Diving, Nils

  • Belize Aggressor, July 24-31, 2021  - Sold out - wait list only  
  • Little Cayman Beach Resort, Sep 11-18, 2021 (Trip Lead: Ronnie) - see details below*
  • Fiji, Volivoli, May 10-17, 2022 – Fiji – is the topic of the presentation for June 3!
    • Fiji’s newest land based resort –– There are spots available at different prices
  • Solomon Islands: Bilikiki live aboard, May 17-27, 2022 – please act fast – there might be one last (male) spot left…

Little Cayman Beach Resort, Sep 11-18:

At this time we are holding three Ocean View rooms with King beds – good for couples or close friends - or it could be a Single Supplement (a little pricey, though).

Option – Early June – is commitment time – holding unsold rooms or airfare after that date will now trigger cancellation fees. We will drop the two rooms if not sold, as well as any excess airfare. Anyway when other groups drop their excess inventory there is a chance that we can get other rooms that are a better fit for what you want… If you are interested, please talk to Ronnie about getting on a waitlist. If you use Zelle-pay, no action required. If you rely on paper checks please mail Ronnie a $400 retainer. We promise we will not cash the checks unless you get something you want

VP Overseas Diving
Nils

 

Presidents Waves


It is very encouraging to hear how many of our member's have received vaccinations It is equally impressive to see how many local dives are now on the calendar and that they are full almost as fast as they are posted.

Your Board of Directors are looking hard for a new location for member meetings since the Marriott has new ownership and they have booked the room we have been using in recent years. Nils and Ronnie have been working hard to try and negotiate with the Marriott but they either want too much or have rooms already booked. Now we are looking at other options for our future meetings.

Please keep an eye out for upcoming polls to get your feedback on when you want to start back with live in person membership meetings. I know I miss meeting with people before the meeting over a snack or cocktail and hearing about their recent adventures.

If you would like to view free Zoom tutorials, you can find them here. Or you can take a free Zoom class from Geeks On Tour here.

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

Happy diving,
Chris Hardham
President


Club Announcements

Membership Coordinator Needed

We need a volunteer to help Stephanie as Membership Coordinator. Please contact president@usadiveclub.org or membereship@usadiveclub.org if you are willing to help out.

Missing Club Emails?

Please check your spam folder for club emails that are 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.

Overseas Dive Trips

Local Diving

Hospitality Hut

Clare Florio Anthon

Greetings From The Hospitality Hut,

We are getting closer and closer to returning to our new "normal". Now we are facing moving forward with or without masks. That is the question!! Fans of The Karate Kid can hear Sensei Miyagi utter to Daniel-san..."Mask on, mask off".  Choose wisely.

Trips are filing up and divers are getting ready to embark on the first trips since we returned from FIJI in March 2020.  These are exciting times.

When we will be able to meet again is still uncertain, but rest assured that day will come. 

Until we meet again, please get the vaccination when you are eligible and encourage your loved ones to do the same.  Most of all, please stay safe. 

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

Membership

Hello Fellow Members:

I'd like to introduce our newest member, Will Schrier. He hails from Pittsburgh, PA but will be spending an extended time in West Palm Beach and was looking for people to dive with. He happened upon our website and the rest is history. He is not wasting any time in getting involved with the Club and has already signed up for the next two local dives. I, and I'm sure all those signed up, are looking forward to meeting and diving with him. I can't wait to have in person meetings again and meet the members that signed up during the pandemic.

Editor's Note: View Will's photography blog at https://www.ktuli.com/photography/

Happy Bubbling,

Stephanie Voris

Membership Coordinator

Come join the fun. 

 

Mini-Trips

  • No upcoming mini-trips

Social events

  • No upcoming social events



LOBSTER POT

(Suspended until live meetings are allowed to resume)

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'.



















Educational Blog

DOES SCUBA DIVING AFFECT MENTAL HEALTH

By Oyegoke Motolani Oluwakemi

This article represents the views of the author.  The article has not been fact checked by myself, the Board of Directors or any member of the USA Dive Club.

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.

Presently, the concept of mental health is under investigation. What we know for sure, regardless of your age, size, or societal status — it can affect anyone. Therefore, it’s tasking for medical professionals to give concise advice on this issue. The ideal mental health involves a natural ability to live out individual potential; this includes facing the usual stress associated with being human, productivity, and daily work. The ideal mental health is not limited to being productive; it involves being socially balanced, professional, and socially engaged, etc. 

Mental health levels can be described based on a spectrum ranging from healthy to adverse or ill. Hence, there’s usually a variation — short-term and long-term mental illnesses. Still, the effects may vary in individuals such that a person with a poor mental health condition like anxiety disorder could be fully functional in their daily lives. To cushion the effects of adverse mental health, professionals advise socializing. In adherence to such opinions, people embrace physical interactions with the environment, and other individuals, thus embracing scuba diving. 

Scuba diving does not take place in a natural human environment, so taking precautions is necessary. While the thrill of diving into the water brings out people’s adventurous side, divers usually overlook their mental health. However, due to the impact outdoor activities have on an individual’s overall well-being, people with mental health concerns naturally embrace the activity. 

A study conducted by the University of Sheffield’s Medical School supports the claim that diving impacts levels of anxiety, depression, and social functioning. The report also claims that scuba diving can provide several therapeutic benefits to improve social dysfunction and depression. The study sheds light on scuba diving as a potential therapeutic aid, while demonstrating the positive impacts it poses. How does it work? 

Physical activity

Anyone who recognizes that they have mental health challenges must have spoken to a professional and counselor. It is, therefore, not uncommon to receive recommendations of participating in physical activities. 

However, for many people, running and other kinds of physical activity turn out boring. It doesn’t take too long for discouragement to set in, and so, physical activity comes to an abrupt end. Local sports or Zumba classes make nice alternatives, but you tend to expend more energy. 

Scuba diving is essentially moving slowly underwater. As you begin to dive, you put your muscles into work by swimming and slight body adjustments. But, in the end, you’re doing something that improves your mental health. 

Mindfulness

Breathing is the core of diving, just as it is for living. It happens instinctively, so that movement in water is seamless. What you’re doing in the real sense is focusing on your breath and its rhythm. Diving has more merits than demerits. All divers actively engage their minds in the activity while underwater. They make clear decisions and effectively manage events. None of this is possible without involving the mind. 

Since breathing is the biggest part of diving, you learn to focus your breathing by inhaling and exhaling in a meditative way. Meditation is a fundamental aspect of yoga which comes in handy and helps your mind retain calm. When underwater, you’re surrounded by a peaceful kind of calm and silence that allows you to flow with the current environment. Your mind presently drifts away from external concerns so that you can enjoy your space and sport.

Easy Socialization

A major symptom of adverse mental health conditions is the affected person’s inability to talk to people or maintain social interaction. Networking for such people is almost impossible because they tend to hide and isolate themselves. Sometimes, changing environments is tough since it equals a potential association with new people.

Scuba diving is an easy way to come out of this state. It brings people of different races, classes, and calibers together without fear or judgment. Regardless of where you’re from or when you’re diving, you speak one language — the language of the sea. The amazing part is that you don’t have to say a word. There is a common ground and an avenue for people to bond and enjoy the sport.

Socializing while underwater is easier with the various diving hand signals people use to communicate. Furthermore, it excludes the anxiety that often comes with speaking to people because you only need to communicate with a partner. Generally, diving is done with someone else, so you find yourself with them. Since you only need to ease into the conversation, you soon find yourself talking about other stuff and sharing without any pressure. Additionally, as these interactions grow, you begin to trust people more

The Marine life encounter

If you have ever watched fishes in an aquarium, you will agree that there’s a feeling of satisfaction with that simple act. Life underwater brings a calming effect to the heart and brain. The burst of colors and different species of aquatic life brings you delight and calm. Colors naturally lift the human mood by increasing serotonin and dopamine levels produced in the brain. Both neurotransmitters stimulate happy chemicals in the brain, hence improving the mood.

A kind of therapy

Scientists like Dr. J.C. Lilly, a neuro-physiologist, agree that water therapy is both relaxing and rejuvenating. The flotation therapy proves that weightlessness is a way to put the body in a state of total relaxation. Since scuba diving is akin to submerging the body in water, it helps clear the mind and release stress.

The human body comprises 70% water, the same percentage of water covering the earth’s surface. Saltwater opens the pores on the skin and enhances the absorption of essential water minerals. So, in addition to aiding mental health, scuba diving looks great on the skin too.

Fitness

Although the weather conditions of the location you use for your diving activity may be subject to peculiar changes, the struggle against any water body improves your strength. Often, divers move through currents and avoid collision against water reefs. These build physical fitness and improve endurance. The water workout helps your mind stay sharp and ready. Also, it helps the muscle and joints. 

Conclusion

Scuba diving is relaxing and encompassing. It fosters self-reliance and therefore, it is good for individuals with mental health challenges. So, does scuba diving affect mental health? Yes, and positively too. It’s time to explore the numerous advantages of scuba diving. If you intend to go all out and embrace something new, scuba diving is a great idea. I recommend you try the waters of Miami and have all preparations taken care of beforehand. Here’s a chance to sharpen your senses and retain your vitality while having fun too. Enjoy! Happy Diving!

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