Scuba Shack Radio was created in support of Scuba Shack's mission to empower individuals with the knowledge, ability and experience to venture underwater in pursuit of their aspirations and to advocate for ocean health and sustainability. By providing news, interesting information related to scuba diving, the underwater world and how to protect our ocean environment, I hope to provide a service that helps make a difference.
Boston Sea Rovers Special Edition
This is a special edition of Scuba Shack Radio. We took the podcast on the road to the Boston Sea Rovers 66th International Ocean Symposium and Film Festival where we had the opportunity to connect with some old friends and meet new folks across the dive industry.
I want to thank my guests – Rob Kohl - PADI Northeast Regional Manager, Les Corkhill - Atlantis Dive Resort, Patrick Flannigan – Ocean Learning Laboratory and Immersive Experience (Ollie), and Faith Ortin – Blue Green Expedition.
The show was recorded just prior to the dramatic events that have unfolded related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
My hope is that this episode will give you a little reminder of what normal is like.
Please stay safe.
67. Wet Notes updates PADI AWARE Week, another photo contest, and new products from Aqualung plus Your Next Dive takes us to the wreck of the Chester Poling
If you want to dive with a purpose, check out an opportunity next year to spend a week at the Atlantis Dive Resort in Dumaguete in the Philippines participating in a program led by the Coral Restoration Foundation.
This year the PADI AWARE Foundation's AWARE Week is set for September 18 to 26, 2021. AWARE Week's goal is to empower the global dive community to lead or take part in conservation activities and courses focused on local action for global impact.
The 2022 Aqualung buyers guide was recently released and they a lot of new products and colors coming out next year. First there is a new regulator - the Helix Pro and the Helix. Additionally they have reworked their Aquaflex wetsuits and now have Aquaflex Mens and Aquaflex Womans along with the FreeFlex 2 mm suit. New colors include Sand, and Petrol along with Red and Orange on some different equipment. Apeks also has a new regulator - the XL4 Ocea - billed as a totally sustainable regulator made with post consumer waste. Also, Apeks is releasing its first dive computer - the DSX - capable of programming 6 gases and can monitor 6 transmitters.
Your Next Dive takes us to Gloucester, MA where we will dive the wreck of the Chester A. Poling. The Poling was a coastal tanker that sank on January 10, 1977. The ship split in half with the stern section coming to rest just off Eastern Point, Gloucester in 75 feet of water while the bow section went down about 4 miles from Eastern Point in 190 feet of water. Subsequent winter storms moved the stern about 800 yards off of Eastern Point in about 90 feet of water. The stern section is upright. Summer bottom temperatures range from the upper 40 degrees F to the lower 50s. Visibility can be up to 30 feet. You can book a charter with Cape Ann Diver 2 out of Gloucester. Just remember you need all of your own gear.
66. Wet Notes updates the fate of the Gulf Stream, Dutch Springs and more plus we review the book Descent Into Darkness
A study published by Niklas Boers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research indicates that the Gulf Stream is on the verge of collapse. This would dramatically change the weather in North America and Europe - making it colder. Additionally there would be sea level rise, disruption of the monsoon patterns and impacts to the Amazon rainforest and Antarctic ice sheet.
Do you miss Dive Training Magazine? Word from Catherine Castle Garcia is that they are hoping to be publishing again in the fourth quarter of 2021. Looking forward to a new edition coming soon.
The Boston Sea Rovers annual show is still on track for October 2 and 3, 2021.
Here is the latest update on Dutch Springs. Last week the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission reviewed the plans. They were not supportive of the plan but there may be little that can be done to stop the proposed warehouse development. PADI also has developed a white paper outlining the economic benefit that Dutch Springs generates as a diving venue. The developer is working with local officials to "offload" the quarry but not sure exactly how this would work.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, a team of Navy divers was tasked with the salvage efforts for the US Pacific Fleet. The book Descent Into Darkness by Commander Edward C. Raymer is a memoir of one of these divers who spent most of the war working on the salvage efforts on all of the battleships damaged at Pearl Harbor. Commander Raymer also spent about eight months in the South Pacific doing salvage operations in the Solomon Islands. This book provides a great insight into the courage and stamina that these men exhibited doing a very difficult task.
65. Wet Notes updates Dutch Springs developments, Shearwater SWIFT and more plus Sea Hunt It’s Still Alive – Proof of Guilt
The owner and operator of Dutch Springs since 1980, Stuart Schooley has decided to retire and I congratulate him on this well deserved milestone. Stu is selling Dutch Springs to a Texas developer who plans to create a 300,000 square foot warehouse facility on the property. This development will restrict access to the quarry and with that it looks like Dutch Springs will close at the end of the 2021 season. This is extremely sad news for the northeast diving community. So many dive shops like Scuba Shack have made Dutch Springs an integral part of their diving culture. Very sad and disappointing news.
Shearwater just announced a new wireless pressure transmitter. It is called SWIFT. The SWIFT is said to maintain a highly reliable connection to the dive computer and it apparently listens for other transmitters and only communicates when the channel is clear. The SWIFT is backward compatible with all existing Shearwater air integrated enabled computers. You just have to do a firmware upgrade. With this firmware upgrade you will be able to monitor up to 4 SWIFT transmitters on your Shearwater. It looks like it will retail for $395 US.
On this installment of Sea Hunt It's Still Alive, we go back to season 2 episode 33 - Proof of Guilt. This episode premiered 62 years ago on August 16, 1959. In this episode Mike is in the Hawaiian Islands testing underwater film and television cameras. His underwater cameras are needed by the owner of a private island, Sandy who grows cultured pearls. It seems that thieves are stealing the pearls but Sandy needs proof. That is where Mike's cameras come in. Mike agrees to help Sandy and as you can guess there's trouble ahead. It's three against one during these underwater fight scenes. Mike and the Honolulu police prevail and Mike gets a well deserved vacation with Sandy on this mythical Hawaiian Island.
64. Wet Notes update on Alert Diver, the Cayman’s opening plan and more plus Your Next Dive takes us to St. Thomas
The 2nd quarter 2021 edition of Alert Diver Magazine from Divers Alert Network (DAN) is out. A great publication packed with so much great information. You can learn about shallow water arterial gas embolism, and travel to Roatan. You can also read about the Flower Garden Banks and Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuaries. It is a cover-to-cover read.
The Cayman Islands are still not open to tourists at this time but they have put forth a five phase plan for reopening. The next milestone is September 9, 2021 when they will open for vaccinated tourists to enter with some restrictions but only if 80% of the island's population is vaccinated. If that is achieved then by October 14, 2021 the plan is to admit vaccinated visitors without quarantine restrictions.
Great news out of Washington, D.C. - the US Senate passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2021 with a vote of 68 to 34. With bi-partisan support and sponsorship the bill is now with the US House of Representatives where hopefully it will make its way to President Biden for his signature protecting these apex predators.
On this installment of Your Next Dive we will be heading to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands - no passport necessary. You can get in some great diving. If you like wrecks there is the Wit Shoal, Miss Opportunity or the Kennedy Barge. For reefs you can experience Sprat Point or Amando's Paradise. With water temperatures in the mid 80s and visibility between 60 to 100 feet you won't be disappointed. As for dive shops you might check out Admiralty Dive Center.
Take a tour of the island and head to Mountaintop for a fantastic view and the world famous banana daiquiri. Some good places to eat include the Green House, Glady's Cafe or Coco Beach Club.
63. Wet Notes updates Boston Sea Rovers, Washed Ashore, Deep Pools and more plus a look at Farallon Industries
The Boston Sea Rovers clinic is set for October 1-2, 2021. This is a new date for the show which normally was held in the March timeframe. Tickets are on sale now for the Saturday and Sunday clinic along with the Saturday night film festival. Check out the Boston Sea Rovers Site.
Need help identifying fish - check out namethatfish.com
Reef Divers who run the dive operations at the Clearly Cayman Resorts (Cobalt Coast, Little Cayman Beach Resort and Brac Beach Resort) is expanding their operations to Turks and Caicos. They are partnering with East Bay Resort on South Caicos starting in August 2021.
Washed Ashore is a non-profit organization that creates marine related sculptures from plastic debris that has washed up on the beach. With over 14,000 volunteers they are doing some incredible work.
Deep Dive Dubai is now the world's deepest pool. It is an amazing 60 meters or 197 feet deep with 14 million liters (3.7 million gallons) of water. It is themed as an abandoned sunken city.
Farallon Industries is another company that produced some innovative scuba equipment. Started by Ralph Osterhout who build a diver propulsion vehicle that was purchased by the US Navy. Farallon developed the Fara-Fin, the Fara-Lite along with some of the most accurate instrumentation for the time. Farallon was ultimately purchased and folded into Oceanic by Bob Hollis.