president's waves

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  • October 27, 2018 8:45 AM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    USA Dive Club Members:  Club Bylaws require that the Board’s proposed slate of officers be presented to you in both the November and December newsletters.  Presented for your consideration are the following:

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

    Elections will be conducted at the General Membership meeting held in December. This year the General Membership meeting will be held at the Township Community Clubhouse (the corner of Copans Road and Lyons Road) on Thursday, December 6. The Holiday party is at the Courtyard by Marriot the following weekend. Note that the election is at the free General Membership meeting on Thursday at the Township Community Clubhouse, not the Holiday Party for which we have to pay. The Board of Directors did not want members to have to pay to come to the election.

    The results of the opinion polls were as follows.

    Should the membership continue to approve Rules changes or should Board of Directors approval be enough to approve Rules changes?

    • Membership should continue to vote on Rules changes = 25
    • Board of Directors approval should be enough to make Rules changes = 8

    How would you like to see the Club use this polling mechanism in the future? (Please check all that apply.)

    • Allow the membership to vote on things like Rules changes = 26
    • Allow the membership to vote in Club elections = 24
    • Collect opinions from the membership = 22

    Would you like to participate in local diving year-round?

    • Yes. Let's go diving all year = 12
    • No. Just warm-water diving for me = 6
    • Other: Year round, but less often off season. (1 write-in)
  • September 25, 2018 5:32 PM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    At the general meeting in September, we voted to approve changes to the Club Rules, as described in the September newsletter. The updated Rules are now available on the Home page of our website.

    In my experience, changes to policies like the ones we have in our Club Rules have been handled by Boards of Directors alone. I have been told that the membership wants to vote on such changes, but after watching the vote in September I wondered if that is correct. Therefore, I decided to try out a polling feature of our website to find out what the membership really wants.

    Please click here to participate in a two question poll. The poll is only for members, so you must login to participate. If you haven't created a password yet, just click the Forgot Password link on the login screen.

    This is just an opinion poll. The results will simply inform conversations of the Board of Directors. Please participate.

    The polling feature itself opens up the interesting possibility of having members vote electronically. The feature has been implemented in a way that would even allow elections to be conducted online. If you are interested, documentation on the feature is located here. Of course, any such changes to our processes would require changes to our Bylaws using the current process.

  • August 29, 2018 10:46 PM | Anonymous

    This month we have the opportunity to vote on Rules changes which are presented in the newsletter. There are some minor clarifications in Article II. The change in Article III is to remove the phrase that says dues are payable on January 1st each year. The purpose of removing that phrase is to give the Board of Directors the ability to decide when and how dues are to be paid.

    I would like to see this change approved because it would give the Board an option to have new members start 12 months of membership from when they become members. That means we would no longer prorate dues, and the club would always receive the same amount of dues for each new member.

    Why is this important? Well, when the Board was considering ways to raise money, we discussed having a membership drive. However, it quickly became apparent that a mid-year membership drive would not be a money making endeavor when we prorate dues. In fact, since we give away discounts for local dives to new members, we could lose money on each new member.

    That is why I am asking you to approve these Rules changes. Note that for current members, dues will continue to be due on January 1st. The change would only affect new members.

  • July 31, 2018 5:36 PM | Anonymous

    The air is hot, the water is warm and we have lots of diving planned for August. We have three local dives coming up on August 5th, 12th, and 19th. We also have a mini-trip going to Key Largo the weekend of August 25th, staying in the Holiday Inn and diving with Sea Dwellers Dive Center. The mini-trip cost includes two nights in the hotel, full breakfast each morning, tips, and 2 dives each day. The boat picks up divers at the hotel marina, eliminating the transportation necessary at many other locations. Local diving is filling up, but there are still spaces available on the mini-trip.

    Howard is always adding interesting articles on the club Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/usadiveclub).  Today I learned that Ray Woolley is officially the World's oldest scuba diver at 93 years old. Wow!

    We visited the Hillsboro Lighthouse this past weekend. We had about thirty people at the lighthouse and more than that for lunch at Two Georges in the Cove. Several members just joined us for lunch, skipping the hot climb up the lighthouse but missing the great view from the top.

    Florida offers a "Protect Our Reefs" license plate that supports Mote Marine Laboratory. At Mote, scientists are leading groundbreaking studies of ocean acidification, coral disease and have developed innovative methods to restore the coral reef ecosystem. Florida's reef system is the third-largest on Earth, one of the most important marine ecosystems on the planet, and a great source of enjoyment for divers like us. Please help protect it. The next time you renew your license plate, consider purchasing a "Protect Our Reefs" tag.

  • July 02, 2018 8:35 PM | Anonymous

    Check out Howard's local dive reports on our Facebook page. He reported conditions on Sunday just like the conditions we had for the club dive on Saturday. The water was warm, around 85 degrees, and the sea was flat. Visibility was good, in the 60 to 70 foot range. We dove on two wrecks and were enchanted by large schools of fish swimming all around us. My wife came back with some great videos shot from the middle of swarms of fish.

    We also attended the wonderful social event on Sunday at CoopersHawk Restaurant and Winery. We started with tasting eight different wines made for the restaurant's private label. They have a large variety of wines and there was something for everyone. Then we sat down to dinner. The food was excellent and the company was great. Thanks for putting together another great social event, Alan.

    Speaking of social events, I have heard that a follow-up to this month's presentation will be an event that includes a lighthouse tour. Please plan to attend the meeting so you will know before you go.

  • June 02, 2018 6:54 AM | Anonymous

    If you come to the June meeting and see pictures from previous trips to Yap and Palau, I expect you will start to wonder why you haven't signed up for the trip next year. Howard has been there and can tell you why you should go, too.

    If you haven't checked out our Facebook page recently, scroll down through the posts and you will find one of the most interesting articles I have seen. It is called "The Weird, Dangerous, Isolated Life of the Saturation Diver." It explains how people can live and work underwater at depths of a thousand feet or more. And if you have ever worried about being left behind by a dive boat, check out the most recent post about technology to scan handprints to make sure everyone is back aboard.

    When you get a chance, thank Ryan for all the work he is doing scheduling local dives and mini-trips. Then check the calendar and sign up for some dives.

  • April 30, 2018 9:17 PM | Anonymous

    We have been back from the Bahamas Aggressor for a week. It was difficult to get back into the routine of normal life without the wonderful snacks, the excellent meals, and the diving we enjoyed in the Bahamas. Nils and I did every dive, including the last night dive at the Blue Hole (yes, there is a Blue Hole in the Bahamas), which was spectacular. We did a tour around the top of the hole, finding turtles coming right up to us, stingrays, lobsters, barracudas feeding, and sharks chasing barracuda away to steal their meal. (!!) Exciting!

    Please remember to check the Photos page to see pictures from recent social events and local diving. So far this year, we have added albums for the following events.

    And don't forget to keep checking the club Facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/usadiveclub) Howard has posted a few pictures of the Bahamas Aggressor visit with the swimming pigs, and has provided some local diving reports that should make you want to jump in.

  • April 02, 2018 4:34 PM | Anonymous

    Here we are in April and it is almost time for the club's first 2018 overseas dive trip, which is going to the Bahamas on April 14. We have also started local diving, with the next one coming up on April 7. Don't wait for summer. Sign up and start diving now.

    I am looking for volunteers to join a committee to search for a new meeting place for our monthly meetings. The meeting room cost represents the dues of 5.5 members per month, or 60.5 members over the 11 months we have meetings there each year. Currently, we have 105 active members but 38 of them are Hall of Fame members. Some Hall of Fame members pay dues even though that is not required, which gives us about 70 dues paying members.

    The Courtyard is a good hotel, but the meeting room costs are such a huge chunk of our budget that it is time to see what else is available. Please contact me at president@usadiveclub.org if you are available to join the committee, or if you know of a place we should check.

    Howard has been busy posting interesting articles and local diving reports on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pg/usadiveclub/posts/). One recent post answers the question of whether urinating in your wetsuit makes you warmer. Another post is about a GPS unit for divers. Check it out.

  • February 24, 2018 12:50 PM | Anonymous

    My wife and I won four of the eight items in the February Lobster Pot drawings. The money the club receives selling Lobster Pot tickets is an important source of income to help offset our biggest expense - our hotel meeting room. I would like everyone to purchase more tickets, so in February I decided it was time to set a good example. Hopefully, in the coming months members will purchase more tickets, the winnings will be more evenly distributed, and the club will be the big winner thanks to your donations.

    There is still one open spot for a female diver on the Bahamas Aggressor, April 14-21. Check it out. https://www.aggressor.com/bahamas.php

    Also, I am surprised we have not yet filled the Bonaire trip, August 11-18. If you wonder why I am surprised, just check out these sites.

    • http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/diving-bonaire
    • http://www.feelbonaire.com/listings/underwater-photo/
    • http://www.tourismbonaire.com/image-gallery

    And check out the posts on our Facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/usadiveclub) Howard just posted a link to an article about how some of the underwater photography was done for the movie The Shape of Water. I might have to watch the movie again just to see if I can pick out the scenes they are talking about.

  • January 29, 2018 11:38 AM | Anonymous

    At the Board of Directors meeting in January, the following people were appointed to positions on the Board of Directors. Thanks to everyone who has volunteered time and effort to work for our club.

    Appointed Position Name
     Audio/Video Coordinator  Roman Boszko
     John Ficarra
     Photographer  Ewa Tomas
     Membership Coordinator  Eunice Hamblen
     Hospitality Coordinator  Clare Anthon
     Social Media Coordinator  Howard Ratsch
     Promotions Coordinator  Russ Manhold
     Julie Manhold
     Webmasters/Newsletter  Roger Cooper
     Historian  Robert Shearer
     Mini Trip Coordinators  Ryan Goheen
     Jay Gillespie
     Safety Coordinator
     Tom Stenger

    There has been a lot of interest in our overseas diving trips this year. There is one spot open for a female diver on the Bahamas Aggressor in April. Our Grand Cayman trip in June is taking names for the wait-list. They managed to add spots so we have 27 divers going on that trip. There are still spots available for Cozumel in June, Bonaire in August, and Yap-Palau in February 2019.

    It is time to get your gear serviced before our local dive season starts. Yes, it is true that some of us dive all year. Check out Howard's Facebook posts (https://www.facebook.com/pg/usadiveclub/posts/) to get his local diving reports and see interesting articles he has found.

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