December 2006

Swimming with the Manatees gallery added
Swimming with Manatees is one of the all-time great experiences. They are large, gentle, friendly sea mammals that often actively seek human contact. Even when they are busy grazing, the don't seem to mind a bit of company. Charlie Slider has compiled a large number of terrific Manatee pictures, and we present them now in his new gallery here at Check Charlie Slider's Gallery. -- Posted Thursday, December 28, 2006 by chb

Public Safety Divers Resources
PSDiver Monthly is a FREE monthly newsletter for Public Safety Divers and Water Rescue Technicians. News articles and information from around the world as well as independent articles are shared in each issue.

Public Safety Diving - Discussion Group: This discussion group provides online source of information for Fire Department, Law Enforcement, EMS and Independent Public Safety Divers. The group will offer opinions, perspectives, information and news relative to water rescue and PSDiving. This forum is open to anyone involved with or interested in Public Safety Diving. Any and all Public Safety Dive Teams or team members are encouraged to participate and share information.

Public Safety Diving Association (PSDA): One of the largest training agencies in the US for Public Safety Diving and Water Rescue.
-- Posted Wednesday, December 27, 2006 by chb

We added maps to almost 100 cool dive locations worldwide has added a sophisticated mapping system to its "Places" page that lists almost a hundred of Carol's favorite dive sites. We've been adding "Map" buttons to the sites. You click them and are shown the location on the world map. You can then zoom in until you can literally see the cars parked. We're also adding video so you can see what a location looks like, above and under water. Check the ones on Loch Low Minn in Tennessee, swimming with the Manatees in Crystal Rivver, Florida, and an introduction to Devil's Den. [View ScubaDiverInfo dive site mapping system.] -- Posted Friday, December 22, 2006 by chb

The permit controversy
Seems like more diving places are not just asking for a fee, but also an actual permit. Those in favor, usually municipalities or agencies, argue that protected areas must be regulated in order to preserve them and prevent theft and damage. Those against feel the hassle and bureaucracy involved in getting a permit would keep divers away, especially when penalties are steep (arrest, loss of diving equipment). For an example of the pros and cons, read this report. -- Posted Friday, December 15, 2006 by chb

Cozumel coming back from Wilma!
The LA Times reports on how Cozumel is fighting back from the devastating impact of Hurricane Wilma in late October of 2005 that had rocked piers and damaged reefs. However, two of the three cruise piers are now open again, and while the shallow reefs close to shore suffered and there is dead coral perhaps 100 yards out, the famous Palancar reef at 70 feet managed to avoid major damage. The Santa Rosa Wall with its caves and overhangs made it okay, and shifting sands even opened up some tunnels. [Check the Cozumel webcam and Cozumel reef maps!] -- Posted Sunday, December 10, 2006 by chb

August 2007 Komodo Indonesia Manta Expedition
Join Dr. Heidi Dewar and the researchers from the Manta Network on a 10-day voyage to Komodo Marine Reserve. On board the classic schooner, Seven Seas, we will conduct manta research in this remote area of Indonesia. Space for this expedition is very limited. A deposit is required before the end of the year to secure your participation. The Manta Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and therefore the cost of the trip is IRS tax-deductible. -- Posted Saturday, December 9, 2006 by chb

Not sure what to give your diver for Christmas?
Have a diver frend in your life, or several, and don't know what to give for the holidays? Well, Carol has a whole bunch of suggestions! Read her "Tis the Season..." blog where she lists thoughtful gifts for all budgets. -- Posted Tuesday, December 5, 2006 by chb

Dive 115 feet in a pool!
Swimming pools are okay for learning scuba diving basics, but 12 to 15 feet just isn't very deep. Well, that is one problem visitors to the NEMO33 facility in Brussels, Belgium don't have. NEMO33 has the world's deepest pool with a pit that goes down to 115 feet. There's almost no chlorine smell, complete visibility all the way down to 115 feet, year-round termperature of 86 degrees, and different depth levels where students can train. There are also caverns and caves at 33 feet, and even pressurized air bells at 25 and 30 feet. NEMO33 even offers night dives, and the facility is also routinely used by professional and commercial divers for training sessions. Prices range between 12 and 18 Euros per hour. Check out the NEMO33 photo gallery! -- Posted Friday, December 1, 2006 by chb