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December 2019 Newsletter

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Vol. 47 No.12

Christmas Party

  •                      December 07, 2019    6:00 PM
  •                Courtyard by Marriott, Cypress Creek Rd., Fort Lauderdale

Presidents Waves

We held our annual election during the November meeting. Here are our elected officers for 2020.

 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

Appointed officers will be selected during the first Board meeting in January.

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

Hospitality Hut

Clare Florio Anthon

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From The Hospitality Hut, 

I wish my fellow club members and their families all the best this Holiday Season. I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

At the November general meeting of the USA Dive Club, I am pleased to report 1 first-time guest and 1 blast from the past were in attendance.

Marianne Radwan visited our club many years ago, too many to remember. Marianne was certified in 1984 and is a Rescue diver. She has logged "thousands" of dives.  As the evening progressed, she did recognize a few familiar faces.  Welcome back Marianne, hope to see you again.

Merlin Walberg found our club online. She was certified in 2011 and is an Instructor. After being certified in North Carolin, Merlin has logged 450 dives.

Be sure to greet our guests and introduce yourself. We should always make our guests feel welcome!! They are future members.

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


Happy Holidays from your membership chairs.  Hoping you had a fulfilling Thanksgiving holiday and that you are looking forward to the Christmas season.  We will not have a December general meeting but we will have the annual Christmas party on December 7th at 6:30 pm at the Marriott Courtyard.  The price is $35 for members and $40 for guests.  This is an excellent event to bring guests so please consider doing so. 

Remember many members' dues are due the first of January,  Please save at least $50 of your Christmas money for your club dues. We all would appreciate it.  Thank you all for making our club a great success.  Life is so much more fun with friends.  Happy New Year!

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

Come join the fun. 

Eunice Hamblen                                Stephanie Voris
Membership Coordinators



    • Attended his first USA General Meeting on January 3, 2013 as the guest of member, Kim Whaley.  Ryan immediately applied for membership.
    • Application approved at the Board of Directors meeting on January 10, 2013
    • VP of Local Diving from January 2014 to the present
    • Mini-trip Coordinator from January 2016 to the present
    • Will achieve Hall of Fame status effective December 2019

    Upcoming events

      • December 14, 2019
      • 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
      • Home of Roger Cooper and Amy Wellman

      Board of Directors Holiday Party

      Saturday, December 14th
      5 pm - 8 pm

      At the home of Roger Cooper and Amy Wellman

      Catered Turkey and Ham provided
      BYOB and a covered dish to share


      Optional: Bring a wrapped gift valued around $25.00 for the gift exchange game.

      RSVP to secretary@usadiveclub.org
      Let Amy know what covered dish you plan to bring.

      • March 12, 2020
      • March 28, 2020
      • Fiji - Nai'a live aboard and Volivoli


      Nai’a Live aboard – Mar 14-21, 2020; Volivoli 21-28(+), 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 – Nai'a is the oldest and most experienced live aboard in Fiji with the most experienced sailors.

      • Seven nights on the boat
      • Six 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 – beachside
      • Welcome drink on arrival
      • Full meal plan – three meals daily with juice, milk, rain water, coffee, and tea at breakfast
      • Beach BBQ (Tuesdays)
      • Three days of two-tank boat diving & two days of three-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 between FLL and LAX

      Signup Window - The primary signup period ended 8/31. If you signed up by that date the club will cover any potential “single supplement” – and we are extending that offer until we sell four more boat spots or until we can no longer add Fiji Airways seats. Note: unsold spots on Naia will be cancelled by Sept 10 - though we may get a "hurricane extension" from the boat. 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 at overseasdiving@usadiveclub.com. You can ask about – Business class, Single Supplement, xtension at Volivoli, etc.

      Click here to download the signup form.
      If you are looking at this as an email, the signup form is attached.

      Click here to see the trip announcement PDF file.

    Past events

    December 07, 2019 Christmas Party
    November 21, 2019 November Board of Directors meeting
    November 10, 2019 Potluck Picnic/BBQ
    November 07, 2019 November General Meeting
    October 26, 2019 Sat Oct 26th - Blue Heron Bridge 6:33 PM to 8:33 PM
    October 17, 2019 October Board of Directors meeting
    October 06, 2019 Oct 6th w/ Scuba Tyme
    October 03, 2019 October General Meeting
    September 28, 2019 Flagler Museum Tour and Lunch - New Date and Time
    September 27, 2019 September 28-29th In Islamorada
    September 15, 2019 Sept 8th - GOLIATH GROUPERS! with Jim Abernanthy!
    September 14, 2019 Sept 14th - Loggerhead
    September 12, 2019 September Board of Directors meeting - Canceled
    September 05, 2019 September General Meeting - Canceled
    August 24, 2019 August 24-25th With Sea Dwellers in Key Largo
    August 17, 2019 August 17th w/ Starfish
    August 14, 2019 August Board of Directors meeting
    August 11, 2019 August 11th w/ Parrot Island - LOBSTER!
    August 01, 2019 August General Meeting
    July 21, 2019 Scuba Tyme, July 21st
    July 20, 2019 Scuba Tyme, July 20th
    July 17, 2019 July Board of Directors meeting
    July 13, 2019 Loggerhead, July 13th
    July 06, 2019 Cuba – Garden of Queens – July 6-13
    June 30, 2019 June 30th, Odyssey Divers
    June 22, 2019 June 22nd, Parrot Island
    June 19, 2019 June Board of Directors meeting
    June 09, 2019 June 9th, ScubaTyme
    June 06, 2019 June General Meeting
    May 25, 2019 Little Cayman, May 25 - June 1st
    May 19, 2019 Silverball Museum followed by Lunch at Bru's Room
    May 18, 2019 May 18th, Dive Boat Diversity
    May 09, 2019 May Board of Directors meeting
    May 04, 2019 May 4th with Loggerhead
    May 02, 2019 May General Meeting
    April 27, 2019 Water Taxi Tour & Lunch in Fort Lauderdale
    April 20, 2019 April 20th with Splashdown, 7:30 A.M.
    April 11, 2019 April Board of Directors meeting
    April 06, 2019 April 6th with Scuba Tyme, 7:30 A.M.
    April 04, 2019 April General Meeting
    March 29, 2019 Bowling for Turtles with Force-E
    March 14, 2019 March Board of Directors meeting
    March 09, 2019 Potluck Dinner & House/Pool Party at Kathi's
    March 07, 2019 March General Meeting
    February 07, 2019 February General Meeting
    January 31, 2019 Yap - Palau, Feb. 2019
    January 27, 2019 Lunch at Shooters followed by Intercoastal Boat Tour
    January 10, 2019 Board of Directors meeting
    January 03, 2019 January General Meeting
    December 16, 2018 Board of Directors meeting
    December 08, 2018 USA Dive Club Holiday Party
    December 06, 2018 December General Meeting and Elections
    November 10, 2018 Lion Country Safari
    November 08, 2018 November Board of Directors meeting
    November 01, 2018 November General Meeting
    October 18, 2018 Board of Directors meeting
    October 14, 2018 Oct 14th with Diversity
    October 13, 2018 October 13th with Scuba Tyme
    October 07, 2018 Coral Reef Day at Museum of Discovery & Science
    October 06, 2018 October 6th with Parrot Island
    October 04, 2018 October General Meeting
    September 29, 2018 Key Dives in Islamorada
    September 23, 2018 September 23rd with Scuba Tyme
    September 22, 2018 Funky Buddha Brewery
    September 15, 2018 September 15th with Diversity
    September 13, 2018 Board of Directors meeting
    September 06, 2018 September General Meeting
    August 19, 2018 August 19th with Scuba Tyme
    August 11, 2018 Bonaire - Divi Flamingo Resort - August 11-18, 2018
    August 09, 2018 Board of Directors meeting
    August 05, 2018 August 5th with Loggerhead
    August 02, 2018 August General Meeting
    July 28, 2018 Tour of Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse & Lunch at Two Georges at the Cove
    July 21, 2018 July 21st with Diversity
    July 12, 2018 July Board of Directors meeting
    July 08, 2018 July 8th with South Florida
    July 05, 2018 July General Meeting
    July 01, 2018 Wine tasting and Dinner at CoopersHawk Restaurant
    June 30, 2018 June 30th with Odyssey Divers
    June 24, 2018 June 24th with Scuba Tyme
    June 16, 2018 Cozumel - Iberostar June 16 - 23, 2018
    June 14, 2018 Board of Directors meeting
    June 09, 2018 June 9th with Loggerhead Divers
    June 07, 2018 June General Meeting
    May 26, 2018 May 26th with Odyssey Divers
    May 16, 2018 Mini-Trip to Bimini
    May 12, 2018 Kayaking event - Winton Manners Loop
    May 10, 2018 Board of Directors meeting
    May 05, 2018 CANCELLED - May 5th with Parrot Island Scuba
    May 03, 2018 May General Meeting
    April 29, 2018 iFly Experience and Lunch
    April 23, 2018 April 22nd with Logerhead
    April 14, 2018 BAHAMAS AGGRESSOR - April 14-21, 2018
    April 10, 2018 Board of Directors Meeting
    April 07, 2018 April 7th with Diversity
    April 05, 2018 April General Meeting
    March 31, 2018 Kayaking in the Keys!
    March 17, 2018 March 17th with Scuba Tyme
    March 10, 2018 Potluck Dinner with Fireworks
    March 08, 2018 Board of Directors meeting
    March 01, 2018 March General Meeting
    February 03, 2018 Manatee Festival 2018 at Manatee Lagoon
    February 01, 2018 February General Meeting
    January 27, 2018 Kayaking - Jonathan Dickinson State Park
    January 21, 2018 Monster Miniature Golf & Lunch at Casa Tequila
    January 17, 2018 Tommy Younger - Celebration of Life
    January 11, 2018 Board of Directors meeting
    January 04, 2018 January General Meeting
    December 07, 2017 2017 Holiday Party
    November 09, 2017 Board of Directors meeting
    November 02, 2017 November General Meeting
    October 22, 2017 Eat, Drink and Play
    October 14, 2017 Diving with Starfish
    October 07, 2017 Diving with Diversity
    October 05, 2017 October General Meeting
    September 29, 2017 Black Fin Resort in Marathon ** CANCELED **
    September 23, 2017 Diving with Scuba Tyme
    September 17, 2017 Diving with Dixie Divers
    September 10, 2017 Diving with Kyalami ** CANCELED **
    September 07, 2017 September General Meeting ** CANCELED **
    August 26, 2017 Diving with Odyssey
    August 12, 2017 Diving with Loggerhead
    August 12, 2017 Cozumel - August 12-19, 2017
    August 05, 2017 Diving with Starfish
    August 03, 2017 August General Meeting
    July 22, 2017 Mini-Trip to Islamorada
    July 11, 2017 South Florida Underwater Photography Society meeting
    July 08, 2017 Diving with Parrot Island Scuba
    July 06, 2017 July General Meeting

                                                       SAFETY BLOG

    Health for Diving: A Primer on Diabetes

     By Robert N. Rossier      Dive Training Magazine


    Health for Diving: A Primer on Diabetes

    We all know there are medical factors that can prevent people from diving. Epilepsy, various heart conditions, loss of consciousness, pneumothorax, some chronic diseases and even some forms of anxiety can spell trouble that may be incompatible with diving. But over the years, the list of contraindications has narrowed, allowing more to enjoy exploration of the underwater world.

    One condition that has prevented some people from becoming divers is diabetes. Diabetes affects the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin — a hormone controlling the metabolism of carbohydrates. The result is abnormal carbohydrate metabolism leading to elevated glucose levels in the blood and urine.

    While this might sound innocuous, the long-term effects of diabetes are dead serious. Diabetes takes more lives than AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and breast cancer combined, claiming one American life every three minutes. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart failure and stroke. What’s more, the incidence of diabetes is growing. According to diabetesresearch.org, the number of reported cases of people living with diabetes has jumped nearly 50 percent in the past decade and it now affects more than 29 million Americans. On a global scale, diabetes afflicts more than 380 million people, and the World Health Organization estimates that by 2030, the number of people living with diabetes will more than double. Clearly, diabetes is a growing health risk and one that could affect our ability to dive safely. But, at least for some, the door has been opened for scuba diving with diabetes — that is, if the proper conditions are met and the proper protocols are followed.

    Defining Diabetes

    Diabetes is categorized into two primary types, referred to as Type 1 and Type 2. In those with Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin or it produces insufficient insulin to meet the body’s needs. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes must receive insulin injections regularly in order to metabolize blood glucose (blood sugar). In the more common Type 2 diabetes, the body may not produce enough insulin or the insulin does not trigger the cells to allow proper metabolism of glucose.

    Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the most common forms of the disease but other forms exist. Many individuals are also diagnosed with pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood sugar is high but not significantly enough to warrant treatment. Unless changes are made to diet and exercise, those with pre-diabetes are likely to join the ranks of individuals diagnosed with diabetes.

    Physiology of Diabetes

    To understand the effects of diabetes, we need to have an understanding of some basic human biology. In a normally functioning body, a number of metabolic reactions occur in response to eating. First, the digestion process in the stomach breaks the food down into glucose (a form of sugar), which enters the blood stream and is transported to cells throughout the body. The hormone insulin is secreted by the pancreas, which triggers the cells to allow glucose to enter. Through a process called glycolysis, the glucose is broken down in the production of a molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the source of energy in the cell. Also in response to eating, the cells also synthesize and story fatty acids and proteins. These are all critical functions for a normal, healthy body.

    For the person with diabetes, this process simply does not work properly. Type I diabetes is actually an autoimmune condition. The immune system destroys the beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for the production of insulin. And without that insulin, glucose does not enter the cells and they run out of energy.

    For Type I diabetes, those affected must receive injections of insulin at the appropriate times to control blood glucose levels and allow cells to receive the needed glucose. Eating the right foods at the right time can also help control blood sugar by controlling how much glucose is produced through digestion. Other factors including exercise, stress and general health also affect the body’s need for insulin, so getting the correct timing and dosage for insulin injections can be a challenge.

    In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas has a deficiency of beta cells that create insulin, making it unable to supply enough insulin to the body. In addition, insulin receptors at the cellular level may not respond properly to insulin, limiting the amount of glucose entering the cells and allowing blood glucose to remain elevated. Controlling diet is also important for those with Type 2 diabetes to prevent spikes in blood glucose. Medications are available to help maintain an appropriate low level of blood glucose. For some, additional medications may be available to increase insulin production by the pancreas.

    A Balancing Act

    The factors that determine blood glucose levels fluctuate greatly throughout every day, so for a Type 1 diabetic, determining the proper dose of insulin to take can be a complex and sometimes delicate balancing act. Too much insulin means the body consumes too much glucose, which can drive blood glucose to a dangerously low level. This low blood glucose condition, referred to as hypoglycemia, can sometimes be fatal if prompt corrective action is not taken.

    With too little insulin, blood glucose can soar to dangerous levels while at the cellular level the body is starved of energy. This condition is referred to as hyperglycemia and it poses a risk of long-term complications.

    The goal, then, is to take the necessary steps to maintain a relatively constant blood glucose level as we eat and perform various activities throughout the day. One way that those challenged with diabetes can help avoid the spikes that can come, is to pay attention to what they eat and when they eat it. If such an individual doesn’t eat at the right time or eats too much of the wrong thing (or right thing) at the wrong time, the system can easily be thrown out of balance. In addition to proper eating and dietary habits, other natural remedies have also been widely used to help keep blood sugar levels in check. For example, Gymnema sylvestre is an herb used for centuries in India to help control blood glucose by stimulating pancreatic function.

    Contributing Factors

    Numerous factors affect blood glucose levels, as well as overall health for all of us. These are of particular importance to those with pre-diabetes or diabetes. One factor that contributes to elevated blood glucose is stress. The stress hormone adrenaline increases blood glucose, releasing it into the blood to provide a needed boost of energy to meet the fight or flight needs. In a situation such as being chased by a shark, we would react physically by fighting or fleeing and that glucose would soon be used up. But what if instead we remain stationary? Many of us deal with stress on a daily basis, but we don’t deal with that stress by engaging in physical activity. Instead, we are forced to sit and deal with it. One result of that inaction can be elevated blood glucose levels.

    Cortisol is a hormone generated by the adrenal glands that can elevate blood glucose. Under conditions of high stress, cortisol provides the body with glucose by tapping into protein stored in the liver. This energy can help an individual in a fight or flight situation. However, if we’re constantly subjected to stress, the resulting chronic elevated cortisol can lead to increased blood glucose levels. To help reduce the effects of stress, we need to find ways to prevent or cope with it. Strategies include everything from exercise to nutrition, hydration, music and meditation.

    Sleep is not a luxury — it is a necessity that also has an impact on blood glucose. In fact, a chronic lack of sleep is another form of stress that can result in elevated blood glucose, according to an article in the December 2015 issue of Diabetes Therapy. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep every night to enjoy its restorative health effects.

    Another factor that can predispose individuals to Type 2 diabetes is a chronically low level of Vitamin D. A study reported in Scientific American in 2009, found that 45 percent of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D and more recent studies corroborate a rising trend in Vitamin D deficiencies. But here is the kicker: a Tufts-New England Medical Center study found that those who are chronically low on Vitamin D had a 46 percent increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. While the mechanism of Vitamin D with regards to diabetes is not crystal clear, researchers suspect that Vitamin D enhances the cells’ response to insulin.

    As it turns out, precautions against skin cancer may actually be depressing our levels of Vitamin D. In a 2009 Article in Scientific American, co-author Adit Ginde, an assistant professor at the University Of Colorado Denver School Of Medicine, reveals that using a sunscreen with as little as an SPF 15 reduces the skin’s Vitamin D production by 99 percent.

    As divers, we understand that hydration is a factor in decompression illness but it is also a factor when it comes to blood glucose levels. As fluid in our circulatory system is decreased due to dehydration, blood glucose becomes more concentrated. This causes an increase in urine production, which worsens the dehydration. The key message here is the importance of maintaining a healthy hydration level through consumption of water and other non-sugary beverages. Drinking water can reduce blood glucose, reduce insulin resistance and reduce hunger. If plain water isn’t enticing enough, try garnishing it with a citrus wedge, cucumber slice or fresh mint leaves.

    Exercise is a double-edged sword when it comes to those with diabetes. In general, exercise is an important ingredient in maintaining health for those with diabetes. But for those with Type 1 diabetes, some precautions are in order. Vigorous physical activity should be avoided when blood glucose level is too high (hyperglycemia) and insulin level is too low. Not surprisingly, this precaution is reflected in the diabetic diving protocols.

    Diving with Diabetes

    While the long term effects of diabetes are daunting, the short term effects for a person with Type 1 diabetes can be downright frightening, especially if that individual should be underwater. The effects of hypoglycemia include confusion, blurred vision, impaired judgment, physical impairment, seizures and loss of consciousness. Such conditions are dangerous not only to a diver, but also the diver’s buddy. What’s more, if the symptoms aren’t recognized and properly treated, the diver could be in grave danger.

    Steve Prosterman is a Dive Safety Officer at the University of the Virgin Islands and a Hyperbaric Chamber Operator at the St. Thomas Hospital. Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1967, he became a dive instructor in 1982 and has made well over 10,000 dives with no complications. As he points out, “The main risk of diving and diabetes is the sudden loss of consciousness or altered state of consciousness due to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Hypoglycemia generally begins to develop symptoms when the blood sugar falls to 60-70 mg/dl and lower and can also lead to impaired judgment, physical impairment and seizures. For this reason, anyone with a history of reactions with these symptoms should not dive.”

    At first blush, we might think that diabetes is an absolute contraindication to diving due to the risk of losing consciousness underwater. But according to the Divers Alert Network (DAN), individuals with diabetes who wish to dive, can dive safely in many cases. In fact, protocols for diving with diabetes have been around for more than a decade now. The caveat is that medical screening and safety protocols must be observed.

    According to DAN, the first step for the prospective diabetic diver is to undergo the same medical fitness evaluation as other candidates to ensure no other disqualifying conditions exist. These include such conditions as epilepsy, pulmonary disease, heart disease and others. A person who has advanced diabetes and suffers from secondary complications may also be excluded.

    Next, it must be determined that no complications of diabetes exist that may increase the risk of injury while diving. DAN’s guidelines also note that candidates should be 18 years or older (≥16 years if in special training program), with a well-established treatment history and the ability to maintain blood glucose levels efficiently throughout the course of changing demands of daily activities. Those who do not have the ability to control their diabetes (read more here) can be at risk and may not be good candidates for diving. Candidates and divers with diabetes should undergo a mandatory annual medical examination and, if over age 40, should be regularly evaluated for silent cardiovascular disease.

    General precautions for diving with diabetes include limiting depth to 100 feet (30.5 m), limiting bottom time to one hour and not diving beyond the no-stop limits. It’s also recommended that diabetic divers buddy up with non-diabetic divers and that their buddy be aware of both their condition and the proper procedures to recognize and deal with a hypoglycemic episode.

    Since the primary risk comes when a diabetic diver experiences a low blood glucose condition, one key to safe diving is ensuring the blood glucose is at minimum safe level — and stable — at the beginning of a dive (see sidebar). The blood glucose must be high enough prior to starting a dive that the dive can be completed without experiencing an unsafe drop in blood glucose. Measuring blood glucose is quick and easy using one of the many blood glucose monitors available on the market today. Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are also available to help monitor blood glucose levels and trends.

    Food Sense for All

    Good nutrition is important to everyone’s health and can help prevent the onset of such diseases as Diabetes. For those who suffer with Diabetes or pre-diabetes, staying healthy is, in part, a matter of making the right choices when it comes to dietary intake.

    Sugars and other carbohydrates are readily converted to glucose, but the rate at which that occurs is measured by something called glycemic index. A high glycemic index indicates a food will rapidly be converted to glucose, causing a rapid spike in blood sugar. A low glycemic index means that the digestive process for that food is slower, meaning a slow production of glucose and a slower rise in blood sugar. For example, white rice rapidly converts to glucose and has a glycemic index of 72, whereas an apple, which converts much more slowly, has a glycemic index of only 36. However, the glycemic load, which includes the effect of typical portion size, may be an even better measure of a particular food’s effect on blood glucose. (See sidebar.)

    Another factor that contributes to the rise in blood sugar is the quantity of food eaten. Eating smaller portions results in lower spikes in blood sugar. For those with pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, simply eating smaller portions more frequently can improve the body’s ability to maintain blood sugars in the proper range. Choosing foods with a lower glycemic index and eating healthy portions, can help keep blood glucose in the normal range.

    One area of conflicting research centers on the effects of caffeine on blood glucose. A study published in the June 2016 issue of the European Journal of Nutrition found that the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes was reduced for healthy, regular coffee drinkers consuming three to four cups of coffee per day. However, previous evidence suggests that high doses of caffeine can cause blood glucose to spike. The Mayo Clinic suggests that consuming up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine (about four 8-ounce cups of coffee) is safe for most people, but it can cause trouble (spikes or lows) for those with diabetes. Limiting caffeine intake is a likely a good strategy for improved health.

    Considering the health effects of Vitamin D, all divers should strive to maintain healthy levels of this vitamin. Many foods are Vitamin D-enhanced and may have a naturally high dose of Vitamin D. These include salmon, tuna, mackerel and vitamin D-fortified dairy products. Taking Vitamin D supplements is another health-wise strategy that could help maintain pancreatic function and help control blood glucose. The advice of nutritionists is to take Vitamin D3 with a meal that contains fat, since Vitamin D is fat-soluble and this enhances uptake. Foods rich in healthy fat include fish, nuts, avocado and olive oil.

    The more we learn about human physiology, health and the effects of the underwater environment, the better prepared we are to make safe adaptations to explore the underwater world. Unfortunately, not everyone can safely enjoy scuba diving, but for many of those with diabetes, the door has been opened with safe diving protocols based on solid scientific research.

    Considerations for Candidates

    While the criteria for diving with diabetes may vary from one certification agency to another, some of the basic criteria for safe diabetic diving include good control of blood glucose levels and freedom from severe secondary complications of diabetes. As University of the Virgin Islands Dive Safety Officer and Instructor Steve Prosterman points out, “A candidate for diving should have an understanding of the relationship between the disease and exercise, be able to recognize early and handle low blood sugars on their own and not have had a serious hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episode within the last 12 months.”

    One way that diabetics can measure their ability to control the disease is with a hemoglobin A1C test, which provides a 90-day lookback at blood glucose levels and is a good indicator of how well blood glucose is being controlled. Most doctors will recommend that this test be performed at least twice a year. For diving, it may be suggested that the test results be within 30 percent of the normal range. Results that fall outside that range may indicate that better control of blood glucose is needed before a person undertakes underwater activities such as scuba diving.

    Also important to safety is the person’s ability to recognize the early warning signs of hypoglycemia. Divers with diabetes must have a clear insight into the relationship between diabetes and exercise and be able to recognize and respond properly when a low blood glucose situation is developing.

    Glucose Management: Procedures for Diabetic Divers

    Safe diving for diabetic divers requires strict protocols, as well as the development and use of good practices and habits. DAN recommends that divers make a general self-assessment of their fitness for diving on the day of the dive, as well as maintaining good hydration throughout the days of diving. Specific protocols* for glucose management on the day of diving include the following:

    • Before entering the water, blood glucose (BG) must be stable or rising with a value greater than or equal to 150 mg dL-1 (8.3 mmol L-1). Divers should complete a minimum of three pre-dive BG tests — performed at 60 minutes, 30 minutes and immediately prior to diving — to evaluate BG trends. It is noted that alterations in the dosage of oral hypoglycemic agents (OHA) or insulin on the evening prior or day of diving may help.
    • Divers should delay the dive if BG is less than 150 mg dL-1 (8.3 mmol L-1) or greater than 300 mg dL-1 (16.7 mmol L-1).
    • Divers must carry readily accessible oral glucose during all dives and have parenteral glucagon available at the surface.
    • If hypoglycemia is noticed underwater, the diver should surface (with buddy), establish positive buoyancy, ingest glucose and leave the water.
    • Check blood sugar frequently for 12-15 hours after diving to ensure safe levels.
    • In order to establish best practices for future diving, diabetic divers should log all dives and include BG test results and all information pertinent to diabetes management.
    • For more information, contact DAN and consult your physician.

    * Divers Alert Network, Guidelines for Diabetes and Recreational Diving, Proceedings Summary | DAN/UHMS Diabetes and Recreational Diving Workshop.

    Also available from DAN: Pollock NW, Uguccioni DM, Dear GdeL, eds. Diabetes and recreational diving: guidelines for the future. Proceedings of the UHMS/DAN 2005 June 19 Workshop. Durham, NC: Divers Alert Network; 2005.

    Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

    Hypoglycemia is a condition where blood glucose (blood sugar) is low. When levels fall to 60 to 70 mg/dl or less, a dangerous condition exists. Some signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia of which diabetic divers, their buddies and instructors should be aware include:

    • Excessive hunger
    • Weakness or dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Unresponsiveness or inappropriate responsiveness
    • Blurred vision
    • Glazed eyes
    • Sudden mood changes
    • Irritability
    • Loss of consciousness or altered state of consciousness
    • Seizures

    Diabetic divers who display these symptoms should follow established protocols. This includes exchanging hand signals to identify the problem, ascending and stabilizing at the surface (both the affected diver and the buddy) and ingestion of carbohydrates by the affected diver. The divers terminate the dive and return to the boat or beach where a blood test is performed. Such events, along with blood glucose results and other details of the event, should be recorded for future reference.

    Glycemic Index and Load

    The glycemic index is a measure of how rapidly a food is converted into glucose through digestion. A high glycemic index means a food converts quickly. The glycemic load is a measure of the impact of a typical portion of the food on blood glucose, taking into account the typical portion size. The values shown in the table below are just a few examples to give you an idea of how foods affect blood glucose and some are quite surprising. As the data suggests, even minor adjustments to diet can have a large impact on blood glucose control. Numerous online sources are available to provide values for a broad spectrum of foods


    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 $21.00 donated by USA Dive Club
    Book “Man in the Sea”
    $20 off coupons for local dives from USA Dive Club
    $20 off coupons for local dives from USA Dive Club
    Bistro flatbread coupon donated by Courtyard by Marriott
    Nitrox Fill and T-shirt from Force-E
    $5.00 off of all dive charters for 2 years from Force E
    One (1) boat trip for two (2) divers from Dixie Divers
    One (1) T-shirt from Dixie Divers

    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


    For SALE:

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

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