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September 2020 Newsletter

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Vol. 48 No.09


The Great White Sharks of Guadelupe Island

By Gary Rose, MD

We all grew up watching Jaws and if you are a scuba diver you have realized that diving with Great Whites is nothing like we see in the movies. Gary Rose,MD will bring you, virtually, to Guadelupe, Mexico, to dive with him and the Great White Sharks. You will learn about their behavior and what makes them tick. As you view his photo presentation you will feel like you are right there with him ........ and the Great White Sharks.

Gary Rose MD has been a certified diver for over 45 years and is a PADI Open Water Instructor. As a Plastic Surgeon and Associate Professor of Microbiology and Surgery at the College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, he has fulfilled his life passion as a marine biologist with his research on marine microorganisms, as well as large ocean apex predators. Dr. Rose lectures all over the world in an interactive and entertaining style. His years of experience are evident in the many stories and anecdotes he relates. Dr. Rose is a member of the Divers Alert Network and The Undersea And Hyperbaric Medical Society. You can find him on weekends diving our local waters and photographing our plentiful and diverse sharks.



Presidents Waves


I have good news to announce. The Bylaws Committee has completed their work creating a proposed set of bylaws for the USA Dive Club. Over 75% of the Club's Board of Directors approved the proposed bylaws and the Board has scheduled an online vote by the membership beginning September 4. We will have a question and answer session with the Bylaws Committee at the September 3rd meeting after the speaker's presentation.

We have created a summary of the changes. Click here to view the summary.

Click here to view the complete proposed bylaws.

The biggest change in these proposed bylaws is that members of the Hall of Fame will no longer have lifetime memberships on the Board of Directors. A majority of the Board of Directors, including many members of the Hall of Fame, support this change as the best way to help the Club get and keep volunteers into the future.

Under the proposed bylaws, members of the Hall of Fame can still be elected and appointed Board members. Currently a number of members of the Hall of Fame hold Board positions, including Clare Anthon, Ronnie Farr, John Ficarra, Ryan Goheen, Nils Jacobsen, Julie Manhold, and Robert Shearer. Therefore, the Hall of Fame will continue to be represented on the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors recommends that members vote "Yes" to support the proposed bylaws.

And, here are two other news items from the Board of Directors.

  • The date of the annual election has been set as December 3. We are not planning to have a Christmas party this year due to the pandemic. Therefore, we will conduct the annual election during a Zoom meeting on December 3.
  • The Board voted to eliminate the $10 initiation fee for new members. This will remove a small barrier to new member applications and has no financial impact on the Club.


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 Howard is posting. https://www.facebook.com/usadiveclub

Happy diving,

Roger Cooper
President

Overseas Dive Trips

Local Diving

  • No upcoming local dives

Mini-Trips

  • No upcoming mini-trips

Social events

  • No upcoming social events

Hospitality Hut

Clare Florio Anthon

Greetings To All My Friends From The Hospitality Hut,

I hope you are enjoying the Zoom meetings as much as I am!  During this hard time, Zoom is a great way to stay in touch with our loved ones and friends.

We had 2 guests attend the August general meeting of the Under Sea Adventurers Dive Club on Zoom. Wendy Humphrey returned for her second visit and Fran Hare was a first-time guest. 

Until we are able to meet again, in person, 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. Julie continues to update the photo gallery to keep us all "in the loop."

Hope to see you all soon,

Clare Anthon

Hospitality Coordinator

Membership

Dear Members and Want to be Members,

We would like to congratulate and welcome our newest member Wendy Humphrey to USA Divers.  We look forward to getting to know you.  We would like to thank Charles Malefant for his new membership application.  We hope to see both of you “in person” soon.  Dive boats seem the only in person  venue lately.

Speaking of dive boats...It is lobster season and our fellow divers are busy chasing these spiny critters on our local seabed.   Boats are still restricted at half capacity so get you reservation in early.

We look forward to seeing you at the next general meeting via Zoom.  Stay safe, wear your masks!

Stay safe,  Eunice & Stephanie.

 

Yours truly,  Stephanie & Eunice

(your volunteer membership chairs)
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.

Upcoming events

    • October 01, 2020
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (EDT)
    • Zoom

    USA Dive Club members and their guests are invited to attend a virtual meeting using Zoom.

    You must register in advance for this meeting. Click on the link below to register. Members bringing a guest should send the guest's name and email address to president@usadiveclub.org so the guest's registration will be approved. Members and guests must register using this link.

    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUsfuGoqjosHtH4EcnpUcBTvh6uDJ-KtPtW

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to click when it is time to join the meeting. You must register before 5:00 PM on the day of the meeting.

    Please join the meeting a little early to allow time to admit people from the waiting room before the meeting starts.

    We will start the meeting with 15 minutes of social time so we can catch up with our friends. Then we will turn the meeting over to our speaker.

    Program:

    Loggerhead Marinelife Center

    By Casey Palmer

    The presentation will be about the work done at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Florida’s sea turtles, sea turtle biology, sea turtle nesting, and ways that everyone can aid in sea turtle conservation.  Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation and educational institution that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach Pier, which hosts world-class angling and sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center (https://marinelife.org/) is open daily and hosts over 350,000 guests free-of-charge each year. The Center’s conservation team works with 90 local and international organizations across six continents to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean conservation. The Center is expanding and has launched its Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. When complete, the facility will offer one of the world’s most advanced and unique experiences for guests and scientific partners.

    Casey Palmer is the Community Outreach Coordinator at Loggerhead Marinelife Center. She is originally from Bowie, Maryland and studied Biological Sciences at Towson University. In her career, her primary focus has been conservation and education in both inland, coastal, and marine environments. Before her current position, Casey worked with The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, National Park Service, and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. She shares her passion for marine conservation and sea turtles through the summer camp and outreach programs she facilitates at the center.

    • October 08, 2020
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (EDT)
    • Zoom

    Agenda - More details available later

    1. Call to Order
    2. Roll Call -- Secretary
    3. Motions to approve Minutes as distributed by Secretary
    4. Distribute new member applications (if any)
    5. Old Business
    6. New Business
      1. Vote on new membership applications (if any)
    7. Reports
      1. President (Roger Cooper)
      2. VP of Programs (Ken Glaser)
      3. Promotions (Ken Glaser)
      4. VP of Overseas Diving (Nils Jacobsen)
      5. VP of Local Diving (Ryan Goheen)
      6. Mini-Trips (Ryan Goheen)
      7. Secretary (Amy Wellman)
      8. Treasurer (Ronnie Farr)
      9. Hospitality (Clare Anthon)
      10. Membership (Eunice Hamblen and Stephanie Voris)
      11. Audio/Video (John Ficarra)
      12. Newsletter (Chris Hardham)
      13. Education Coordinator (Howard Ratsch)
      14. Historian (Robert Shearer)
    8. Adjournment

    All members are welcome to attend Board of Directors meetings as observers.

    • November 05, 2020
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (EST)
    • Zoom

    USA Dive Club members and their guests are invited to attend a virtual meeting using Zoom.

    You must register in advance for this meeting. Click on the link below to register. Members bringing a guest should send the guest's name and email address to president@usadiveclub.org so the guest's registration will be approved. Members and guests must register using this link.

    ***** Link to be provided later *****

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to click when it is time to join the meeting. You must register before 5:00 PM on the day of the meeting.

    Please join the meeting a little early to allow time to admit people from the waiting room before the meeting starts.

    We will start the meeting with 15 minutes of social time so we can catch up with our friends. Then we will turn the meeting over to our speaker.

    • November 12, 2020
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (EST)
    • Zoom

    Agenda - More details available later

    1. Call to Order
    2. Roll Call -- Secretary
    3. Motions to approve Minutes as distributed by Secretary
    4. Distribute new member applications (if any)
    5. Old Business
    6. New Business
      1. Vote on new membership applications (if any)
    7. Reports
      1. President (Roger Cooper)
      2. VP of Programs (Ken Glaser)
      3. Promotions (Ken Glaser)
      4. VP of Overseas Diving (Nils Jacobsen)
      5. VP of Local Diving (Ryan Goheen)
      6. Mini-Trips (Ryan Goheen)
      7. Secretary (Amy Wellman)
      8. Treasurer (Ronnie Farr)
      9. Hospitality (Clare Anthon)
      10. Membership (Eunice Hamblen and Stephanie Voris)
      11. Audio/Video (John Ficarra)
      12. Newsletter (Chris Hardham)
      13. Education Coordinator (Howard Ratsch)
      14. Historian (Robert Shearer)
    8. Adjournment

    All members are welcome to attend Board of Directors meetings as observers.

    • December 03, 2020
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (EST)
    • Zoom meeting

    USA Dive Club members and their guests are invited to attend a virtual meeting using Zoom.

    You must register in advance for this meeting. Click on the link below to register. Members bringing a guest should send the guest's name and email address to president@usadiveclub.org so the guest's registration will be approved. Members and guests must register using this link.

    ***** Link to be provided later *****

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to click when it is time to join the meeting. You must register before 5:00 PM on the day of the meeting.

    Please join the meeting a little early to allow time to admit people from the waiting room before the meeting starts.

    We will start the meeting with 15 minutes of social time so we can catch up with our friends. Then we will turn the meeting over to our speaker.

    • December 10, 2020
    • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (EST)
    • Zoom

    Agenda - More details available later

    1. Call to Order
    2. Roll Call -- Secretary
    3. Motions to approve Minutes as distributed by Secretary
    4. Distribute new member applications (if any)
    5. Old Business
    6. New Business
      1. Vote on new membership applications (if any)
    7. Reports
      1. President (Roger Cooper)
      2. VP of Programs (Ken Glaser)
      3. Promotions (Ken Glaser)
      4. VP of Overseas Diving (Nils Jacobsen)
      5. VP of Local Diving (Ryan Goheen)
      6. Mini-Trips (Ryan Goheen)
      7. Secretary (Amy Wellman)
      8. Treasurer (Ronnie Farr)
      9. Hospitality (Clare Anthon)
      10. Membership (Eunice Hamblen and Stephanie Voris)
      11. Audio/Video (John Ficarra)
      12. Newsletter (Chris Hardham)
      13. Education Coordinator (Howard Ratsch)
      14. Historian (Robert Shearer)
    8. Adjournment

    All members are welcome to attend Board of Directors meetings as observers.

    • April 03, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • April 10, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • Little Cayman Beach Resort

    IT’s Back! It’s Bigger! It’s Better!

    And we have a new date!

    April 3 – 10, 2021!

    DEMA special = free Nitrox

    Price is based on a $100 repeat customer discount

    UPDATE – May – due to Corona – the trip got rescheduled.
    Same price as before (even better deal than before as we are now in high season). We have room for more divers – on a first come basis. We also have airline tickets for more divers. We will add rooms, only as they sell. Some uncertainty about the price of airfare. We have Ocean View upgrades available. Ronnie has an email with the latest Security and cleanliness protocol from LCBR. (Their website seems to be a week behind.)

    Spend a relaxing week at the premier, deluxe, full service resort on Little Cayman Island. We have been there multiple years running, and we’re going back again – because it’s just that good! Rated as the number one destination in the Caribbean for wall diving, number two for favorite reef diving, the sea life and underwater photography, the dive sites, water temps and visibility are outstanding, never to be forgotten by those who have experienced them. For those of you who have not experienced the diving at Little Cayman, it’s everything you can dream about, dramatic vistas, amazing photo opportunities/views, wildlife that must be seen to be believed - like the friendly groupers that follow you like a puppy everywhere!

    Divers don’t have to lug gear every day from their rooms or even onto the boat. Your gear will be collected once you arrive and stored at the shop next to the dock. You set up your gear the first day on the boat and after that, the Reef Diver crew set up your gear and change your tanks for you. You need only to stroll down the dock, jump on a boat - large, comfortable, covered boats! - And go diving. The four boats are 42 to 46 ft long and 16 ft. wide and have freshwater showers and restrooms. Rinse tanks and a drying room are on the dock for mask, fins and wet suits.

    Ronnie will be your trip leader. The trip starts at Miami airport, then to Little Cayman. Little Cayman Airways is instituting a $25 fee for luggage. Here is the link to the Cayman Airways new baggage fee structure as well, so as always, pack light, but the good news is that they have reduced their extra baggage fees:

    https://www.caymanairways.com/NewBaggageFeeStructure

    Interested in cutting down on your luggage fees – Ronnie does have a price list for rental gear …

    Once there, we dive, eat, relax, and just generally have a fantastic time for the whole week! There is a pool, Wi-Fi, beach chairs and hammocks, and you can rent kayaks, sailboats, and paddleboards as well. All diving and dining will be done at the Little Cayman Resort. Nitrox is included! And you can also purchase extra afternoon dives either as a package or as individual add-ons. Doing 2-3 afternoon dives: it is a bargain to book from home.

    It’s always wise to purchase travel insurance for any trip. Here are a few links you can use if interested:

    To see some photos from prior trips – go to:

    Trip Prices / payment schedule:

    Click here for the signup form.

    Airfare is estimated high – there is an 80-90% chance that airfare will be dropped by $45. Your passport must be valid until at least 10/11/2021.

    If you attended the 2019 – and lost one/two dives due to weather – you are entitled to a discount $25/$50: Please check w/ Ronnie/Nils – it will be added to you final refund post-trip.

    Trip Lead: Ronnie: treasurer@usadiveclub.org

    • May 15, 2021
    • (UTC+11:00)
    • May 22, 2021
    • (UTC+11:00)
    • Volivoli Resort, Fiji

    Volivoli Resort, Fiji

    May 15-22, 2021

    Rescheduled from March, 2020

    2021: We start from home on Thursday 5/13 from MIA(FLL) to Los Angeles (LAX) and continue later the same day to Nadi, Fiji. Airfare LAX-NAD-Solomon is quoted in the Solomon/Bilikiki trip – or check out the Brisbane option. Business upgrade is available – but expensive. Volivoli will pick us up on arrival – no need for Raffles this time, and drive us back to the airport for the departure to Solomon. At present we are 5-8 people travelling on the vouchers from 2020. This is to allow for new signups – either just Fiji or as an add-on to Solomon.

    DetailsVolivoli - Resort on the north shore of main Island Viti Levu – recently remodeled – it looks great - we spent 2 days there as part of the March 2020 evacuation:

    • Premium Ocean View Villas – ground level
    • Welcome drink on arrival
    • Beach BBQ (Tuesdays)
    • Traditional Meke performance (Thursdays)
    • Double occupancy
    • All taxes and tip included
    • All ground transfers
    • Free use of kayaks and participation in a variety of complimentary resort activities
    • Unlimited shore diving (reserve tanks 24 hours prior) – they have about 5 resident seahorses
    • Full meal plan – 3 meals daily with juice, milk, rain water, coffee, and tea at breakfast
    • 3 days of 2 tank boat diving & 2 days of 3 tank boat diving

    Not Included:

    • Nitrox
    • Airfare MIA(FLL)<->LAX

    Signup is first come first serve – Nils will request to add the rooms only as they sell. If you sign up by 7/23 the club will cover any potential “single supplement”.

    Please click here to see the full trip details, including costs.

    Please click here to download the signup form.


    • May 22, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • June 01, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • Solomon Islands

    Solomon Islands

    Bilikiki Live aboard – May 22 June 1, 2021

    The Solomon Islands is an interesting tropical destination inside the Triangle of Diversity. Biodiversity example – they have 50 species of seahorses. Solomon is located south of Equator, closer to PNG than to Fiji. The latitude is very similar to Micronesia. This is in more ways than one a “trip of a lifetime” Our club in our 49 year history has never been there. And if you look at a list of places that might not be here in another 100 years due to sea level raising Solomon is on top of that list! Solomon Islands are the third largest group of islands in the Pacific. We are going there in the dry season – for visibility.

    Click here to see full details of the trip.

    Click here to download the signup form.

    • July 24, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • July 31, 2021
    • (EDT)
    • Belize Aggressor IV

    DEMA Special

    July 24 - 31, 2021


    Belize Aggressor 4 picture

    $2850 without air

    Includes:

    • Accommodations aboard the yacht
    • Diving - up to 5 dives a day – 5.5 days
    • Tanks, weights, belts
    • Airport and/or Hotel transfers on day of charter
    • All meals and snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, local beer and wine
    • Tips

    Does not include:

    • Nitrox $100
    • Port Fee $110
    • Airfare: FLL-BZE - Please book your own flights when they become available
      • Southwest (#629 [10:55] / #1027) when available for July 24 - 31
      • Starting mid-January, check Southwest site daily to book ticket early
      • Flights in early August were recently selling for $308
    • Friday Night Dinner - We are on our own in town.

    We can board on arrival at the dock, after 3 pm.

    Your passport must be valid until at least 2/1/2022.

    This is a trip that the club has done several times – but not as often as we would have liked due to high airfare cost. Now with Southwest as the second carrier the prices for air have dropped 60% or more. Together with the DEMA special pricing ($600 rebate) we are able to offer this trip at a very attractive price point. We are likely to be greeted by a known face - Captain Dennis Gautreau – who was our captain in Bahamas in 2014.

    Belize mapMost of the diving will be off Lighthouse Reef, but we will occasionally also do Turnefe. Expect to see both large and small animals: Tarpon, Grouper, Eagle Rays, Squid, Octopi, Seahorses, Frogfish, etc.

    Boat-site: https://www.aggressor.com/belize-iv.php

    It’s always wise to purchase travel insurance for any trip. Here are a few links you can use if interested:

    To see some photos from prior trips - BZE AGG III - 2015
    https://usadiveclub.org/Photos - and check out 2015

    Trip Prices / payment schedule:

    Click here for the signup form.

    Trip Lead: Nils: overseasdiving@usadiveclub.org

Past events

September 14, 2020 September Board of Directors meeting
September 03, 2020 September General Meeting
August 20, 2020 Board of Directors meeting - Discuss new bylaws
August 13, 2020 August Board of Directors meeting
August 06, 2020 August General Meeting
July 16, 2020 July Board of Directors meeting
July 09, 2020 July General Meeting
June 11, 2020 June Board of Directors meeting
June 04, 2020 June General Meeting
May 07, 2020 May General Meeting
March 28, 2020 March 28th, Loggerhead, 10 spots at 7am - $60
March 20, 2020 Bowling for Turtles
March 14, 2020 Founder's Day Party at Kathi's House
March 12, 2020 Fiji - March 2020
March 05, 2020 March General Meeting
February 19, 2020 Bimini Mini Trip - Dive with Hammerheads!
February 16, 2020 Feb 16th with Scuba Tyme, 7:30 AM, $55, 5 spots
February 15, 2020 Visit the Bonnet House
February 13, 2020 February Board of Directors meeting
February 08, 2020 Manatee Swim in Crystal River
February 06, 2020 February General Meeting
January 16, 2020 Board of Directors meeting
January 09, 2020 January General Meeting
December 14, 2019 December Board of Directors Holiday Party
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
June 02, 2018 COBALT COAST DIVE RESORT, GRAND CAYMAN
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

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

Health for Diving: A Primer on Diabetes

By Robert N. Rossier
February 13, 2018

https://dtmag.com/thelibrary/health-diving-diabetes/

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.   Numerous online sources are available to provide values for a broad spectrum of foods.

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