Archive for the ‘scuba diving news’ Category

Space Invaders

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
siphonophores night diving

Kevin Raskoff

Nanomia bijuga belongs to a group of colonial animals called physonect siphonophores that are related to jellyfish, anemones and corals.

If you’ve dived the open ocean off Hawaii or Tahiti at night, you’ve probably seen it: a glowing, segmented line that appears to be a single animal but really is many animals working together, collectively known as siphonophores. Now scientists are going beyond the startling beauty of these “multi-engine organizations” and investigating whether their unique method of propulsion could change how we design undersea craft for future generations.

“We can perhaps peer into our own future in the sea,” says marine biologist Jack Costello of Providence College, one of the researchers, “by studying how this seemingly simple animal jets from one part of the ocean to another, relying on its youngest crew members.” (Star Trek fans, score one for Mr. Chekov.)

Lots of marine animals move by jet propulsion — squid and jellyfish spring to mind— but siphonophores are uncommon in that they represent an entire colony that is coordinating individual jets to move the collective as a whole, something like the way each crew member aboard the Starship Enterprise has a specific role in guiding the ship.

siphonophore night divng

Kevin Raskoff

A nectophore budding zone is where a siphonophore’s swimming areas are made.

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, Costello and colleagues from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, the University of South Florida, Stanford University and the University of Oregon examined a siphonophore known as Nanomia bijuga. The group of researchers found that younger and older colony members fulfill distinctly different functions.

Costello explains that younger, weaker members, located at the front of the organism, are responsible for turning and steering. Older — and larger — members at the rear provide more thrust. “It’s a sophisticated design in what would initially seem like a simple organism,” Costello says.

The findings suggest it might be possible to design an undersea vehicle that, like N. bijuga, twirls as it moves, propelled by front-to-back thrusters, “a natural solution to multi-engine organization that might contribute to the expanding field of underwater-distributed propulsion-vehicle design,” the study concludes.

Our Florida Reefs 2016 Community Meetings

Monday, January 25th, 2016

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The Our Florida Reefs community representatives invite all southeast Florida community members and visitors alike to participate in the Our Florida Reefs community meetings, coming up later this month and in February. 12 meetings will be held in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties to discuss proposed management recommendations for the northernmost section of the Florida Reef Tract. The community members driving this process are eager to share information about these recommendations and are seeking feedback about them.

Our Florida Reefs is a community-based planning process for the future of southeast Florida’s coral reefs. Community representatives have been meeting for a year and a half to learn about southeast Florida’s local reef ecosystem, its threats, and come up with management strategies to better balance the use and protection of this resource.

Now, it’s time to learn more about these draft recommendations and give feedback. You can give feedback by going online to to view, read, and comment on the draft recommendations, or attend one of 12 upcoming community meetings at a location nearest you. The meetings will take place:

Tuesday, January 26-Martin County

Wednesday, January 27-North Palm Beach County

Friday, January 29-South Palm Beach County

Tuesday, February 16-Broward County

Wednesday, February 17-South Miami-Dade County

Thursday, February 18-North Miami-Dade County

Two identical sessions will be held at each location, one from 12-2 p.m. and another from 6-8 p.m. Community Meetings are free and open to the public, all are welcome! For the full list of locations, see the attached flyer or visit . In order for comments to be reviewed or considered, they must be submitted in writing via hard copy forms (available at the meetings) or electronically 24/7 through the website. The website will be open for comment until March 1, 2016.

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Crazy Underwater Video of Diver with 10 Bull Sharks

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Give Respect, Get Respect

Filmed by Thomaz Monteiro in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, this amazing video documents a team of divers dedicated to shark protection in the water with 10 bull sharks.

“Sharks have increasingly been victims of illegal fishing and bad publicity from the press. The idea of the film is to show that bull sharks are not killers, but majestic animals that respond well to the presence of humans — we just need respect them,” Monteiro says of this piece.

To see more videos from Monteiro, check out his YouTube channel here!

25 New Year’s Resolutions Only Scuba Divers Make

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

It’s that time of the year again, folks. The time where we all vow to improve ourselves — one way or another — and get a fresh start with the onset of a new year! You’ve heard the repeat offenders (and probably made them yourself, be honest): lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthier, save money, drink less… the list goes on. So here at Scuba Diving magazine, we decided to come up with a list of our own! You know you’re a diver when…

A Diver’s List of New Year’s Resolutions

  1. I will stop taking so many underwater selfies.
  2. I will stop calling freedivers “snorkelers” behind their back.
  3. I will visit a new local dive site.
  4. I will dive more often to help manage stress.
  5. I will stop exaggerating the size of that whale shark I saw that one time (EVEN THOUGH IT WAS HUGE).
  6. I’ll stop referring to the beginners on the boat as “chum.”
  7. I will find a new dive buddy — but forever love my old one.
  8. I will not have any drinks the night before a dive.
  9. I will get another certification: Advanced, Nitrox, Cave Diving, Wreck Diving….
  10. I will ACTUALLY take that refresher course this year.
  11. I will finally edit all of my underwater video footage.
  12. I will learn a new skill. Maybe underwater photography….
  13. I’ll exchange my mother-in-law’s gift certificate for a shark-feeder program.
  14. I will take part in a Dive Against Debris.
  15. I will stop peeing in my wetsuit when my buddy is swimming under me.
  16. I will not laugh every time somebody on a dive boat uses the words “safety sausage” or “offgas”.
  17. I will finally start saving for my dream dive destination.
  18. I will subscribe to Scuba Diving magazine. 😉
  19. I will attend a diving-related function.
  20. I will stop tugging on sharks’ fins with my one good hand.
  21. I will join a local diving club.
  22. I will update my equipment.
  23. I will encourage my family to dive.
  24. I will come back in the same dive boat I left in.
  25. I will practice my emergency skills at least twice this year.

Dick Bonin, Co-Founder of Scubapro, Dies

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

Helped propel Scubapro’s reputation for making quality dive gear, a member of the Diving Hall of Fame and one of the original founders of the Underwater Manufacturers Association (now called DEMA).

March 24, 1930 – December 8, 2015

Dick Bonin, at left

Courtesy Jim Prusa

This past Tuesday, December 8th, the dive world, our oceans and humanity lost a very dear and good friend with the passing away of Dick Bonin. A resident of Huntington Beach, California, for over four decades, it can be said most fundamentally that Dick was a good man who truly cared about others. Dick was one of those rare people who everyone just immediately knew was a kind soul who treated everyone as an equal. His accomplishments in and out of diving are really too many to write about short of penning a voluminous book. He was responsible for some of the most technically advanced equipment lines the industry has ever seen.

Those who were truly blessed by crossing Dick’s path in life would unanimously agree that he was a man who never had an unkind or unfair word to say about anyone. His early training as an altar boy server surely nurtured his personality for life. Service to others was embedded early on in his nature, and even as a scuba equipment manufacturer he lead the industry in providing new services to his retail dealers. However, he was also a good man who could defend himself and others with a stern look or an effective right hook if ever required — someone whom you would definitely want on your side in any scrap.

A Chicagoan who retained his subtle accent all his life, in high school and college he was an accomplished academic, swimmer and boxer who graduated with honors. Receiving an athletic scholarship to college, he went on to graduate cum laude and then entered the United States Navy. He was an accomplished and respected Naval officer and gentleman who served his country as a line officer in the 1950s during and after the Korean War. Dick was a protégé of the renowned Commander Douglas Fane who had moved from the British Navy to the US Navy in order to start up the famed UDT teams – and the later expansion christened the US Navy SEALs. Dick had an abiding love for the Navy and all of those who selflessly risk their lives in protecting freedom and serving others.

After his honorable naval service, Dick continued his love of the seas and entered into the scuba industry at its infancy in 1956. As a smart and likable fellow he advanced quickly to build an amazing network of friends who each realized that he had a quiet, quick wit and savvy business acumen. His rise and eventual teaming up as a co-founder of the Scubapro brand along with fellow dive pioneer Gustav Dalla Valle are truly legend and helped birth the modern sport of recreational scuba. A humble guy with a self-deprecating humor, Dick routinely joked to his friends that “Gustav got both Scubapro and me for the sum of one-dollar — and he always said he overpaid!”

Under his management of the Scubapro brand, the company manufactured and improved many innovations for scuba and recreational diving including a single hose regulator; the Mark 5 flow-through piston regulator; the first buoyancy compensator back vest (BCD); the first pilot-valve second stage regulator; and his ever-popular “Jet Fins,” to name but a few.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Dick observed that the scuba manufacturers were lost in the crowd at the annual Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association trade show and took action to establish the Underwater Manufacturers Association that later became DEMA. After retiring from Scubapro, he was called on to serve as a visionary interim executive director of DEMA in the mid-1990s at a critical time when the association began the process of opening its membership to all the various business segments of diving in order to grow scuba.

Dick’s diving industry awards were many and reputably earned, including the Reaching Out Award, NOGI Distinguished Service, and he was popularly inducted into the Diving Hall of Fame. A pragmatic ocean environmentalist, he was the founder of Ocean Futures Society that is now operated by Jean Michel Cousteau — and he was an early advocate and promoter of using retired aircraft and ships for placement as artificial reefs is USA coastal waters. Dick also lead the dive industry efforts to ban long-line gill net fishing in California and secured the legislation naming the garibaldi as the state’s official marine fish. He was an avid free diver who held the US Navy free diving record for many years and enjoyed ribbing his fellow scuba divers by calling them “tankers” — a very successful spear hunter who seemed to have “30-minute lungs” and always came up with his fish.

Yet with all of his many accomplishments, his friends knew well that Dick was most happy and proud of his large family and wonderful wife — he is survived by his wife Celeste, four children, and six grandchildren. In keeping with Dick’s unpretentious style, rather than holding a public funeral, a private Catholic mass will be held for the immediate family. In lieu of donations in his memory, the family simply asks that everyone dedicate their next dive to Dick Bonin in the deep blue seas he loved so much. The dive industry mourns the passing of a great pioneer of diving and expresses heartfelt gratitude for all he gave to each of us who love diving. Surely there will now be growth of diving amongst the Saints in heaven with his presence as a good and faithful servant.