president's waves

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  • May 29, 2019 8:53 PM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    Let's take a brief look at our website, usadiveclub.org. Over on the far right of the main menu you will find Web Links. If you look at that page, you will find links to our sponsors as well as useful links for divers. There are several links for weather, including a link to the NOAA local marine forecast.

    There are several links for webcams around South Florida, in case you want to check how the beaches look from the comfort of your home.  We have links to safety information, and to South Florida diving information. We have links to scuba organization like NAUI and PADI, and we have links to other scuba clubs. We also have links to internationally known web resources related to scuba diving.

    The most recent addition to our Web Links page is a link to a shop (One World - Zero Waste) that sells reusable items (e.g., metal drinking straws, bamboo eating utensils) which replace single use plastic items. If you know of any other web links that might be of general interest, please let me know.

  • April 29, 2019 2:58 PM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    In order to help our bookkeeping for events, please send all payments to our club Treasurer. Please allow time for checks to arrive in the Treasurer's hands before an event. We have to reserve spots on dive boats ahead of time, therefore we need to collect the money ahead so we know how many are coming. Please do not plan on paying for local diving on the day of the event. Since we cannot hold spots without payment, you may show up to find the boat is full.

    There are multiple ways you can get payments to our Treasurer.

    • You could set up USA Dive Club as a payee in your bank's payment system and have event payments sent from your bank. Then you don't have to keep writing and mailing checks. Use Ronnie Farr's address (get it from the directory). However, keep in mind that the Club needs event payments ahead of time and you have to allow five days for the bank's check to arrive.
    • A much faster method is available if your financial institution allows you to send money using Zelle. You can send payments to treasurer@usadiveclub.org. Just be sure to say what the payment is for in the memo.
    • You can make out a personal check to "USA Dive Club" and mail it to Ronnie Farr, our club Treasurer (get address from directory). Or you can bring your check to a meeting and hand it to Ronnie.

    The Treasurer would prefer that you use Zelle. If you bank with Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, US Bank, Citibank, or Wells Fargo, you should have access to Zelle. If you financial institution is not part of the Zelle network, you can join using an iOS or Android Zelle app.

    If you are a club member and you need Ronnie Farr's address, you can get it right here on this website. Once you login, go to the Directory page and you have access to contact information provided by other club members. Also, you can update your own contact information as needed. If you have not already set a password for this site, use the Forgot Password link on the login page.

  • March 25, 2019 4:58 PM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    Our local diving season has begun. We have three local dive events scheduled, with more to come. Read about Local Diving events on this site, or you can find events and local dive reports on our Facebook page. The Facebook page is also a good place to find articles like the "Top 10 Scuba Diving Movies Ever Made" or "Incredible moment a diver is spat out by a WHALE."

    Our trip to Little Cayman in May is almost full. As of this writing we only have one spot open for a male diver. Clink here to read about the trip.

    Get the Club Logo on Your Clothing

    Nils Jacobsen has a new way for us to get the club logo on our clothing. He has found a local embroidery shop that has scanned our logo and will embroider it on pieces of new clothing for $20 + sales tax. Nils drives by the embroidery shop on his way to work. If you get clothing to Nils at one meeting, he can return it by the next meeting with the embroidery done. For clothes made of an atypical material, please check with Nils before sending them off to be embroidered.


  • February 25, 2019 5:10 PM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    We are back from Yap and Palau, and sorting through pictures. The results of our sorting will appear on the club Facebook page and on this site. We already have some pictures and videos on our Facebook page.

    The first week of diving was three dives per day from the Manta Ray Bay Resort in Yap. We were there to see manta rays, so we spent time waiting at cleaning stations hoping that manta rays would come. Those of us who were patient and lucky did get to see manta rays up close. Here is a video I shot at a cleaning station. In all, we got to see manta rays on three dives, and they swam right over my head twice. I'm available for work as a manta ray lucky charm on any future dive trip, if you pay my way.

    While in Yap, we did a night dive to see mandarinfish (a small, brightly colored member of the dragonet family). The fish were beautiful and fun to watch. I'd do that again, but if I were to return to Yap I would ask them when the seas are calm. We asked them when we could see manta rays, but forgot to ask about sea conditions. The return trips around the island were long through rough seas. Also, the water was colder than expected. We heard that an undersea landslide had brought up cold water in that whole area of the Pacific. Going between Yap and Palau, we took advantage of a day in Guam to shop for extra shorties and vests to help us keep warm.

    In Palau, we stayed on the Ocean Hunter III liveaboard. With up to five dives a day, there was plenty of diving to keep us busy. One of the noteworthy moments for me was seeing a shark going through a cleaning station. I had no idea a shark would do such a thing. Apparently this shark had to keep swimming to breath, so it looped around several times. I caught this short video of one pass. We also visited Blue Corner, where we hooked in, twice.  This video is my attempt to battle a strong current to record a 360 view. The current won.

    Our last day of diving in Palau included an option to go snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake. The lake had recently opened again after being closed due to drought conditions. I have been told that the population of jellyfish is in the process of building back to pre-drought levels. Even so, I found swimming with the jellyfish to be a magical experience and I hope this video captures some of that magic.

  • January 22, 2019 5:05 PM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    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  
     Membership Coordinator  Eunice Hamblen
     Stephanie Voris
     Hospitality Coordinator  Clare Anthon
     Social Media Coordinator  Howard Ratsch
     Promotions Coordinator  Alan Feuerman
     Ken Glaser
     Newsletter  Chris Hardham
     Webmaster  Roger Cooper
     Historian  Robert Shearer
     Mini Trip Coordinator  Ryan Goheen
     Safety Coordinator
     Tom Stenger

    We are still looking for a volunteer to be club photographer. If you like taking pictures at events, then please volunteer to help. You do not have to attend every event or attend Board meetings. If we could find multiple people to switch off taking pictures at events, that would be great too. Please contact me or any Board member if you would be willing to help us record the history of our club.

    While we have no official photographer, the Board asks every event organizer to find someone willing to take pictures at the event, and send the pictures to Julie Manhold. If the event organizer is not too busy during the event, they can take the pictures. Thanks for helping us keep a record of the fun we have.

    In the January meeting, I asked how many people like to see sharks while diving. Quite a few hands went up. Therefore, in an effort to show what you are missing if you don't go to Cuba, here are some links to short videos I shot while in Cuba.   Facebook Video 1  Facebook Video 2  And a photo album.

  • December 25, 2018 9:11 AM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)
    Thanks to everyone who attended the December meeting. I heard it was a wonderful presentation, and that the Christmas party was lots of fun. My wife and I were on a cruise and unfortunately missed the fun here. The election results for 2019 are as follows.
     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

    Volunteers Needed for 2019 Board Positions

    • Photographer - Takes pictures at club meetings and other events. Contact Ewa Tomas (awards@usadiveclub.org) for more details.
    • Promotions Coordinator - Runs the Lobster Pot drawings at meetings and collects prizes for the drawings. Contact Russ and Julie Manhold (promotions@usadiveclub.org) for more details.

    I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

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

  • November 22, 2018 8:14 AM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    REMINDER: The December 6th meeting is in a different location.

    Elections will be conducted at the General Membership meeting on December 6th at the Township Community Clubhouse, 2424 Lyons Rd., Coconut Creek, FL  33063 (the corner of Copans Road and Lyons Road).

    The Holiday party is at the Courtyard by Marriot on December 8th. Note that the election is at the free General Membership meeting on Thursday, 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.

    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


    Volunteers Needed for 2019 Board Positions

    • Photographer - Takes pictures at club meetings and other events. Contact Ewa Tomas (awards@usadiveclub.org) for more details.
    • Promotions Coordinator - Runs the Lobster Pot drawings at meetings and collects prizes for the drawings. Contact Russ and Julie Manhold (promotions@usadiveclub.org) for more details.


  • 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.

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