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SAN JUANS Northwest Paradise




Dive For A Cure Saturday, Oct. 10 Woahink Lake, Florence, OR

Events will feature: a diving poker run event, above water games, a family BBQ, Dr. Zena Monji, MD as a keynote speaker and a sweepstakes drawing (with many GREAT prizes).

We wanted to thank you in advance for supporting Eugene Skin Divers Supply and Dive for a Cure in the quest to raise monies and awareness for Breast Cancer programs in our area. Sincerely, Michael & Diana Hollingshead

Eugene Skin Divers Supply 1090 W. 6th Ave. Eugene, OR 97402

for more information: or

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Northwest Dive News

The complete resource for what’s happening in diving in the Pacific Northwest. P.O. Box 1494 Oak Harbor, WA 98277 Phone (360) 240-1874 Fax (360) 279-1814

Publisher and Editor Rick Stratton/Kathy Stratton Production Manager Sarah Wilson Art Director IJ James Writer Jamie Farris Copy Editor Katherine Meyers

◄Cover Art by Jan Kocian

Jan Kocian lives in Freeland, WA on Whidbey Island. Diving has been his passion since an early age. He was certified in 1963 while living in what used to be Czechoslovakia now the Czech Republic. Jan learned to dive in a flooded quarry. He escaped the communist “workers paradise” in 1968 and since then he has been diving in many places, warm and cold. However, Pacific Northwest is certainly his favorite. To see more of Jan’s photos visit his photo galleries at

Monthly Columns

Travel Editor Jett Britnell Travel Editor Barb Roy

Editor’s Note.......................................4

Mystery Critter..................................34

Incoming Mail.....................................5

DAN/Medical Column.......................35

Accounts Manager Vicky Block

Hot News.........................................6-7

Gear Check......................................36

Boating Regulation...........................32

Book Log..........................................37

Kid’s Corner......................................33

Dive Directory..............................38-39

Advertising Sales Roosevelt Rumble (360) 240-1874 Northwest Dive News (NWDN) is committed to promoting the sport of scuba diving in the Pacific Northwest. We will present a practical, unbiased point of view regarding all aspects of the sport of scuba diving. Topics covered will include information on current events, dive sites, dive training, dive safety, boat diving, dive buddy network and the personal experiences of our readers, Northwest scuba divers. NWDN believes in honesty and integrity in business and will support all efforts related to this. We encourage our readers to participate in determining the content of this publication by giving us their opinions on the types of articles they would like to see. We invite letters to the editor, manuscripts and photographs related to diving or diving related business. IMPORTANT NOTICE NWDN reserves the right to refuse service to anyone it chooses. The contents of NWDN are opinions of individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, editor or any of its staff. The publishers and contributors assume no responsibility for any mishap claimed to be a result of use of this material. Diving is an adventure sport and contains inherent risks. Improper use of diving equipment or improper diving techniques OCTOBER result in serious injury or death. Readers are advised to use their own best judgment in each individual situation. Subscription Rates: U.S. one year $20.00 (3rd Class) Canadian $30 USF EARN A FREE 1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION NWDN wants your diving related stories, cartoons, articles and pictures, and we’ll reward you by sending you a one (1) year subscription in return for the right to publish your original work. In order to win you must be published. This will apply for one article, photo or cartoon per six month period. Stories should be a maximum of 1,200 words and we strongly suggest you include pictures or artwork with your story submissions to increase the likelihood that you will be published. Email submissions to nwdiver or mail to P.O. Box 1494 Oak Harbor, WA 98277. Any material accepted OCTOBER be printed by any means and is subject to revision as required. We are not responsible for returning such without a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009

NORTHWEST UNITED STATES DIVES 14 The San Juans The Northwest Paradise What’s more amazing is that at one dive site an unlimited number of rockfish species will swim around you; at the next dive site there may be only a handful of rockfish but several wolf eels or octopus. You never know who is at home or where they may be in the marine neighborhood of the San Juan Islands. Kurt and Peggy give you some insider views on these amazing islands. By: Kurt and Peggy Long


20 Powell River’s Diving Pleasures

“One of my first dive trips to Powell River was over nine years ago when I was introducing my youngest daughter to scuba diving. She was finishing up with her certification dives in Mermaid Cove, located on the upper (northern) part of the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.” Barb Roy tells more on her daughters scuba experience and about the wondrous wildlife they encountered. By Barb Roy, Travel Editor


This diver’s haven is considered one of the world’s best dive destinations by most diving enthusiast. The island sits between the islands of Utila and Guanaja and is the biggest in the Honduras’ Bay Islands. Roatan is approximately 37 miles long and less than 5 miles wide at its widest point. Rick Stratton tells about his incredible experience while in Roatan and why every diver should add it to their log book..By Rick Stratton.





feel like a squirrel who spent the entire summer gathering nuts for winter and as the leaves turn, wonders - hey, where did summer go? It was busy, fun and Rick Stratton unfortunately, now just a memory. I hope yours was like mine; filled with many dive adventures. As fall comes, its short days, chilly winds and rain cause most people to head indoors. Local divers know that now is the time to head out. October thru March is often the best visibility of the year. It is not uncommon to see 100-200’ of vis, depending on the weather, time and tide. Not every day is a dive day but with proper planning, the right gear and an intrepid spirit – you can have a blast diving this fall. If you feel adventurous, get drysuit qualified. I admit that it can be miserable here in the PNW in the fall. You would have to hold a gun on me to get me to dive wet in the winter. Do you ski? Do you get cold when you ski? Probably not – you dress for it. So do I. I dive dry year round. Right now, I’m pulling out my fluffy undergarments and putting away the thinner summer ones.

During your drysuit course your instructor will teach you to dress warmly, control your buoyancy and find great diving right here in our own backyard. They will show you the joys and rewards of diving dry. For some, it is like opening a door to adventure. Some divers are heading to dive resorts that have been full with tourists all summer. Campbell River, Barkley Sound and the Hood Canal all beckon. This is the shoulder season; time for diving and discounts for locals seeking adventures! Yipee! So embrace the fall. Get a pumpkin and go carve it underwater. There is no challenge like wrestling a buoyant uncooperative

gourd underwater. Controlling it, your own buoyancy and your dive knife, it is like a James Bond movie down there… Go on a night dive at 5pm instead of 10pm. See the incredible life that comes out after sundown. Or warm up over a beer or cup of coffee at a dive club meeting. Find some new dive buddies or new adventures that await you. I will be out there too. Diving, writing and telling stories at a dive club meeting. Too much work is not good for me. I need to get out there with you and go diving,


ProEar Masks Difficulty in equalising and potential ear infection are problems that can happen to any diver regardless of their experience. It can become serious enough to stop one from diving. Solution? The IST ProEar Mask is manufactured to the highest standard and only the best available materials are used. It is designed to counter the most of the unavoidable effects pressure and water have on the ears so you can have more enjoyment underwater.


• Pressure equalization can be very easily achieved with IST ProEar mask. • Prevents pressure induced ear ache. • Enhanced underwater hearing and sense of direction. • Stops dirty / polluted water from entering the ear causing infection. • Increased warmth around the ear in cold water condition (a specially designed ProEar hood is available separately) 4

Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009



dear rick,

I recently led a group of intrepid divers to Hood Canal for our annual “Hood Canal Crab Dive & Beach Boil”. The morning of the dive I so overloaded my small jeep with such things as coolers full of food and drinks, the necessary equipment to boil the crab, crack the crab, eat the crab, dive gear of course and a pile of firewood for our beach fire. Confident that I had everything that I needed for a great day at the beach I hurried to Edmonds to catch the ferry. While relaxing on the ferry and sipping my morning coffee I thumbed through a copy of my favorite dive magazine “Northwest Dive News”. We only had a small window of opportunity to dive this day so once at the beach everyone worked feverishly to get in the water. My buddy Ian and I with our limit of crabs were the first out and so we started preparing everything for the boil. With the saltwater bubbling away in the pot I turned my attention to starting our beach fire but lo and behold there was no paper around with which to light the fire! We had kindling, firewood but no paper except... my copy of Northwest Dive News. Saddened by the thought of such fate for this wonderful publication I resolved myself to do it and I crumpled up the magazine and started the fire with it. The afternoon turned out wonderfully and with the sun setting in the west our group of divers were sitting around a roaring fire on a rocky northwest beach feasting on the bounty of the sea while watching the sun sparkled water of Hood Canal glistening. So while I would normally never suggest burning Northwest Dive News to anyone I have to say that in this instance it was a key contributor in adding warmth to our day and the sport we all love so much. Thanks Rick for such a great magazine. Kevin Parkhurst Pacific Northwest Scuba Club.

dear keVin,

Thanks for your letter and for using the magazine so effectively. While we encourage people to READ the magazine, we want readers to use it to improve their dives. I’m glad that you were able to use it so effectively. I hesitate to think what would happen if you were in the “reading room,” but I have to admit I am laughing to myself that you were able to roast your weiner with my magazine! Yours truly,


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Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009


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seaTTLe’s WaTerFronT ceLebraTinG WiLd and heaLThY oceans

The Seattle waterfront will be celebrating the oceans with The First Annual Blue Festival to be held on Sat., Oct. 3rd from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Maritime Events Center on Pier 66. This event is open to the public and will feature interactive maritime exhibits, films, panel discussions, musicians, fisher/poets, authors, nautical vendors and informational booths. For more info call 206-784-0965.

Yakima diVe cLubs To hoLd GaraGe saLe

The Yakima Dive Club is holding a yard sale on Sat., October 3rd to raise funds for the Washington Scuba Alliance Mooring Buoy Project. An anonymous donor has offered to match half the cost of a buoy ($1600) if the club can raise the other half. So far YDC has $400 from member donations and $400 from the club’s treasury. Their goal is to raise $800 more. Central Valley Bank has graciously agreed to let YDC use the parking lot of their branch office on Yakima Avenue. Yakima Dive Center will also be the collection point for donated sale items. For more info contact

2nd annuaL diVe For a cure breasT cancer aWareness

On Oct. 10th local divers will take to the water to Dive for a Cure. The event is sponsored by Eugene Skin Divers Supply (ESDS), an award-winning local dive shop in Eugene, Oregon. Local SCUBA divers will be raising awareness for breast cancer, as well raising money for OHSU Cancer Institute in Portland. SCUBA divers are registering with ESDS for $100.00 donation and then going out into the community to talk about breast cancer and/or gather donations. The dive will be at Woahink Lake in Florence, Oregon. There will be food donated from Burgers on the Run, games, guest speakers and underwater activities for all those who have registered/gathered monies for DIVE FOR A CURE. Prizes are also available for those who raise the most money, winners of the games and a promotional sweepstakes for those purchasing tickets. If you want to make a donation, they are accepted at Eugene Skin Divers Supply, 1090 W. 6th Ave, Eugene, 97402. For more info call Diane at 541-342-2351.

caLiFornia shiPs To reeFs announces 1sT annuaL aWards

California Ships to Reefs (CSTR) is pleased to announce the recipients of its first annual awards, to recognize individuals inside and outside of CSTR who have performed “above and beyond” the call of duty. The Awards Banquet was held on Sept. 26th in Monterey, California. Kim and Dale Sheckler received the California Ships to Reefs Reef Builder Award which recognizes Californians, who have worked to make ships to reefs a reality in California. Jay Straith received the California Ships to Reefs Flagship Award which recognizes individuals outside the State, who have worked over the years to make ships to reefs a reality in California. Milt Beard, Harvey Schmiedeke, Dick Long, and Harry (Doc) Wong were the first inductees to The California Ships to Reefs Hall of Fame. This award recognizes individuals who have worked over the years to make ships to reefs a reality in California. For further information, please visit the organization’s website at www.californiashipstoreefs. org, or contact state Public Relations committee chairman Kevin Sullivan at (805) 551-8940.-DW 6

sTeVe and krisTine barskY receiVe The e.r. cross aWard

The Board of Directors of the Historical Diving Society (HDS) USA announced that Steve and Kristine Barsky are the recipients of the 2008 HDS E.R. Cross Award. E.R. Cross was an influential commercial diver and an instrumental part of the forming of the HDS in America. His service to diving has been recognized by every major industry award and the HDS keeps his memory alive through the annual presentation of the E.R. Cross Award. He was an active member of the HDS Advisory Board, and passed away in 2000. The Barskys’ long association with the Society and their lengthy record of volunteer support, in addition to their volunteer work is the reason that Kristine, a former Recording Secretary for the Society and Steve, a two-term Director and also an editor have been chosen. For more information on the Historical Diving Society USA, visit their web site at

caLiFornia diVinG neWs WiLL PubLish 25Th anniVersarY ediTion

California Diving News known for being the only publication dedicated to California scuba divers will be marking its 25th anniversary issue in October. California Diving News is the longest published scuba magazine in the United States and began in October 1984.The October issue of CDN is one the most popular editions because it marks the beginning of lobster season. California Diving News re-launched its website, www.cadivingnews. com, in January of this year. The site has over 300 previously published articles, as well as a searchable boat trip calendar, dive store directory, and dive club listings. For more information about advertising in California Diving News please contact -DW

Women diVers haLL oF Fame announces 2010 schoLarshiPs and GranTs

The Women Divers Hall of Fame is proud to offer 2010 Scholarships & Training Grants. WDHOF is offering four scholarships and nine training grants in 2010 and the deadline for applications is November 15, 2009. WDHOF offers scholarships and training grants in diverse fields such as marine science, marine archeology, technical diving, hyperbaric medicine, handicapped diving, etc. The scholarships are available to women as well as men of all ages who wish to pursue higher education and training, further their career goals, and seek out opportunities in the aquatic and divingrelated industries. Applications for all scholarships and training grants can be downloaded from the WDHOF website at All applications must be completed in full and submitted electronically. Applicants may apply for only one scholarship or one training grant. Recipients will be notified by January 15, 2010 and they will receive their awards at the WDHOF Annual Scholarship Presentation Ceremony at the 2010 Beneath the Sea Expo in Secaucus, New Jersey in March.

Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009



droP Zone TahiTi rides media WaVe inTo 33 miLLion househoLds

On August 20th more than 33 million households watched perfect waves meet ideal dive conditions as Drop Zone Tahiti debuted throughout the US on action sports channel, Fuel TV. Produced by PADI, Body Glove and Sport Diver magazine to attract Generation Y members to diving and PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, the film captures the adventures of three pro surfers and friends – Alex Gray, Holly Beck and Cheyne Magnusson – as they catch the best waves and explore Tahiti’s breathtaking reefs. “The film’s prominent positioning in the action sports arena represents a major coup for diving,” says PADI Americas’ Vice President of Marketing and Communications Kristin Valette. “All divers know a great dive is a huge adrenaline rush; but it’s often difficult to convey the action behind the rush on film: This is why diving is not frequently aired in the company of other action sports. But Drop Zone captures it all -- the adventure, the rush and the lifestyle of diving – and shares the adventure with action sports cultures around the world.” For more info visit

us masTer FreediVers dominaTe WiTh Three neW naTionaL records aT FreediVe Paradise comPeTiTion

At Freedive Paradise, a freediving competition 2008 US Women’s Freediving Team held in Kona, Hawaii from July 30th to August 2nd, national records fell and the athletes breaking the records were competing with athletes half their age and more. Annabel Edwards, Bill Graham, and Leo Muraoka are diving deeper, longer and further than anyone else in the US. Annabel set two new US national records in the disciplines of Constant No Fins, CNF, with a dive to 48 meters/157 feet and Dynamic No Fins, DNF, by swimming a distance of 116 meters/380 feet in the pool during the four day competition. She broke Julie “Jewels” Russell’s record of 44 meters in CNF and Tanya Streeter’s DNF record of 113 meters which was one of the longest standing US records. Bill Graham at seventy can hold his breath longer than any other US athlete at any age. He managed to complete a performance of seven minutes and thirty-nine seconds breaking Deron Verbeck’s record of seven minutes and twenty-eight seconds by eleven seconds. Bill also dives to depth as well. Leo Muraoka set a new master’s record in dynamic apnea with a swim in his mono fin of 136 meters / 446 feet. Leo has held multiple US national records as well, only recently losing his Free Immersion record to Robert King. For more information about the USAA, the U.S. National Freediving Team, and membership please visit


We know you have lots going on with your dive shops & clubs, and we’d love to give you a chance to share these events with the dive community. Being listed in our activities calendar is a FREE service we offer to our dive shops and clubs in the Northwest! If you want to be listed here, please contact our editor via email:

Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009

October/November 2009 Oct. 1: GSNDAMBAA Club Meeting, 6:00p.m., Edmonds Underwater Sports, Oct. 2: Friday Night Shop Dives, 7:00p.m., Tacoma Scuba, Tacoma, Wash., (253) 238 1754. Oct. 5: Eugene Dive Club Meeting, 5:00p.m., Izzy’s Pizza, Eugene, Ore., Oct. 6: Election Night for Moss Bay Dive Club, 6:30p.m., Kirkland, Wash., Oct. 6: Atomic Ducks Social Meeting, 6:00p.m., Kimo’s Restaurant, Richland, Wash., Oct. 7: Wednesday Night Shop Dives, 7:00p.m., Tacoma Scuba, Tacoma, Wash., (253) 238 1754. Oct. 7: Emerald Sea Dive Club Meeting, 7:00p.m., Shawn O’Donnell’s Irish Pub, Everett, Wash., Oct. 10: GSNDAMBAA Club Dive, 10:00a.m., Saltwater Park, Oct. 10: Dive Seacrest – Cove 3, 10:00a.m., Bubbles Below, Woodinville, Wash., Oct. 10: Lopez Island Dive and Campout, 9:00a.m., Moss Bay Dive Club, Oct. 10: Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest, Mountain Sharks Dive Club, Dayton Bay, 406-244-4622. Oct. 13: Mountain Sharks Dive Club Meeting, 6:30p.m., Jaker’s Pizza, Missoula, Mont., Oct. 20: Night Dive at Edmonds Underwater Park, 9:30a.m., Bubbles Below, Woodinville, Wash., Oct. 22: Boeing Seahorses Club Meeting, 5:00-9:00p.m.,Kent Activity Center Room A, Kent, Wash., Oct. 24: Kelp Krawlers Club Dive, 9:00a.m., Edmonds Underwater Park, Edmonds, Wash., Oct. 25: Mukilteo T-Dock, 8:00a.m., Bubbles Below, Woodinville, Wash., Oct. 26: Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest, Boeing Seahorses and Marker Buoy Dive Clubs, Alki shelter house, Seattle, Wash., Nov. 10: Mountain Sharks Dive Club Meeting, 6:30p.m., Jaker’s Pizza, Missoula, Mont., Look for more on our online calendar: 7



diVescaPes 2009 a ceLebraTion oF eVerYThinG underWaTer

In Canada diving is big. How big? Just take the time to attend Western Canada’s biggest Underwater Exhibition and Conference - Divescapes 2009 and be amazed at what is happening up north. The conference runs from Oct. 23-24 at the Royal Executive Inn Hotel. This year’s show is shaping up to be the best show ever. According to organizers, Divescapes is organized to offer the safe promotion of underwater sports, scuba diving and dive travel industries. This year there will be prizes generously donated from industry suppliers, manufacturers and dive tour operators as well as some of the dive industries most celebrated folks. This year Jill Heinerth, Woman Diver Hall of Fame member will be the keynote speaker and film show host. Heinerth is an award-winning filmmaker, who produced and appeared in Water’s Journey, the PBS documentary series. She is also often called on by Hollywood directors to produce difficult underwater scenes. Also on hand this year will be guest speakers Jeffrey Gallant, Mandy-Rae Cruickshank and Kirk Krack, just to name a few. The event schedule is packed this year. Fri., October 23rd (6 to 11 p.m.) Silver and Gold Pass holders enjoy a variety of speaker seminars followed by a VIP Reception. Sat., October 24th (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) Scuba Trade & Travel Show Seminars, included with silver/gold pass and/or available as Seminar Pass only or at the door.

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Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009



sPeakers aT The 2009 diVescaPes incLude:

Jill Heinerth: Canadian, Women Hall of Fame Explorer, Cave/Rebreather Instructor & awarding winning Underwater Photographer. Best known as a pioneering technical diver, Jill combines a mastery of underwater technology with a formal Fine Arts degree to produce artistic documentation of the national environment, above, below & inside our planet. An award-winning filmmaker, Jill wrote, produced & appeared in “Water’s Journey”, the PBS documentary series that takes viewers on visceral travels thru the world’s greatest water systems Jeffrey Gallant: A Canadian award-winning underwater photographer, videographer & author, he is also the co-director of “GEERG” Greenland Shark & Elasmobranch Education & Research Group in

Quebec. In addition to his university prep level teaching he is the author of the annual DIVING ALMANAC—Book of Records published yearly establishing all the records & interest to the world diving community. Mandy-Rae Cruickshank & Kirk Krack: this dynamic team travels the world as Free Diving Coaches, competitors & World record holders. Their special skills were used in the production of the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) first documentary film, The Cove, assisting the team in stealthily filming an annual dolphin massacre in a secret cove in Taiji, Japan, helping to make it a SUNDANCE Film Festival award winner!

7 to 8:30 p.m. Dinner (to be booked in advance with registration) where participants can join in and socialize with other divers. 8:30 to 10 p.m. Underwater Adventure Films Divescapes is a joint effort between Canada’s dive community and the Alberta Underwater Council. The Alberta Underwater Council is the non-profit representative body for underwater activities in the Province of Alberta. The AUC is determined to promote diving as a safe and fun activity in the Alberta area. This year’s event will offer divers a chance to learn what is new and exciting in the world of scuba diving from new equipment to new dive destination packages. For more info on this event or to sign up visit www. albertaunderwatercouncil. com. Come on up and dive right in to Canada’s largest diving exhibition and conference.■

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Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009




undersea & hYPerbaric medicaL socieTY To educaTe LocaL diVers


iving and medicine are not two things that you would normally find in the same room of a conference yet on October 9th they will share the stage as Virginia Mason University hosts the 2009 Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Conference. The Pacific Chapter of the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) is holding its annual scientific conference in Seattle combining new research presentations and reviews in both diving and clinical hyperbaric medicine. The topics to be presented can be of interest to all types of professionals in the hyperbaric field as well as divers in general. On Sat., October 10th the presentations will be especially geared towards divers with a “Diver Day” Seminar. These presentations will be of interest to recreational, commercial and scientific divers. The traditional type of hyperbaric chamber is a hard cased pressure chamber. These chambers can be run at absolute pressures up to 600 kilopascals or 85 PSI. They can simulate nearly six atmospheres. The Navy, diving organizations and hospitals typically operate these in order to level a person’s oxygen levels. There are many new applications for the chambers and more are being discovered all the time. As a diver, knowing how hyperbaric chambers work can be a life or death lesson. Often divers who are forced to the surface sooner than their bodies can decompress are put into a hyperbaric chamber in order to slow down the pressure balance and in effect save the divers life. For Diver Day, divers will be treated to a diver specific lecture on underwater safety and the care of the injured diver. Doug Backous, MD will also make a presentation on “Marine Life Injuries”, “HP Cylinder Safety”, and “Dive Computers”. Some of the other scheduled events are, “Fitness to Dive” by Richard Moon, MD, “Fatalities in Recreational Diving” by Richard Dunford, MS, “Who is in the Chamber when a Diver is Not” by James Holm, MD, “Marine Life Injuries” by Stewart Miller, MD and “Rebreathers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” by Jeff Bozanic, PhD. The day will also include a tour of a chamber and a lunch time photo contest open to all the participants. The day promises to be filled with information that divers can use and also take back to their dive clubs. “I think that this will be a great day to go out to Virginia Mason and learn about something that saves lives all the time,” says Thomas Cray, a local scuba diver. “Often times I think that although we (divers) all know about hyperbolic chambers and the applications of them, we never really take the time to understand the science. I would like to understand before I need a chamber not while I am in one. You hear stories all the time about how these things save lives. If I can get more information and possibly be instrumental in helping someone else just because I took the time to learn, that will make the day worth it.”

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The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society organization has over 2,500 members from more than 50 countries. Most UHMS members are diving or hyperbaric scientists as well as physicians. The Associate members are nurses, technicians, respiratory therapists and others who work in the field of diving and hyperbaric medicine. UHMS is the primary source of information for diving and hyperbaric medicine worldwide. It was orginally founded as the Undersea Medical Society in 1967 but in 1986 changed the name to Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. According to UHMS, their purpose is to provide scientific information to protect the health of sport, military and commercial divers and to improve the scientific basis of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, promote sound treatment protocols and standards of practice and provide CME accreditation. The UHMS works closely with the National Board of Diving and Hyperbolic Medical Technology, a non-profit certifying organization designed to meet the clinical, technical and safety needs of the discipline of undersea and hyperbaric medicine. Through this organization divers can receive certification as a Diver Medic (DMT). Whether a diver is taking the time to become a DMT or is just a recreational diver, it is important to be aware of hyperbolic medicine as it applies to divers. UHMS is also open to membership and information on how to become a member is also located on the website. For more information or to register for the conference visit â– .

Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009




Time to Grab Your Pumpkin and Jump into the Water in Edmonds Matt Stratton demonstrates how to appropriately wrestle a pumpkin.


t is that time of the year again when local divers will take to the water to wrestle pumpkins underwater and turn them into Jack-O-Lanterns. The Annual Edmonds Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest will take place October 24 th. This year there is no pre-registration for the contest. Registration will take place between 11:1512:00p.m. at the park. The contest has a small fee to enter which will go towards the Edmonds Underwater Park. The entire event is sponsored by Edmonds Underwater Sports Store and the Edmonds Underwater Park. Pumpkins will be provided. According to Bruce Higgins, the volunteer organizer, there will be a noon briefing the day of the event. Divers should be parked and equipment ready before the briefing. There will be a committee of little kids who will be

this year’s judges since they are the experts on what makes a good jack-o-lantern. The carving site is at the Cinclant. This is just west of the end of the jetty on Jetty Way. The challenge is carving the mildly floating pumpkins and wielding your dive knife underwater. The depth will be about 30 feet and the carving time limit is about 45 minutes. There is material on the bottom to orient to and hold onto so you can stay in place during carving. Divers will dive as a buddy team; either bring a buddy or team up with another carver at the Park. Any knife can be used but must travel safely to and from the beach. The Edmonds Underwater Park is a group whose focus is on the Park. Their goal is to have a great underwater park. The EUP budget for the typical year is about $1,500. This

money is mostly for buoys and cement blocks to enhance the water park. Money made at the underwater pumpkin contest will be added to the EUP budget for maintenance and further enhancement of the underwater park. This is year 27 for the EUP and the annual pumpkin carving contest. It originally began as the celebration of the placement of the Fossil in Oct. 1982. Each year divers come out and enjoy a day of fun. According to Higgins the event typically sees about 20 carvers and about six judges. There will be two divisions for the event; scariest and funniest. This year prizes will be provided by the Edmonds Underwater Sports Store. You do keep your pumpkin at the event’s end. For more information about this event call the Edmonds Underwater Sports Store for details: at 425-771-6322. ■

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sTrain seTs Free diVinG record in denmark


old your breath and count to 30. It’s hard isn’t it? Well for most people it’s a difficult task but not for champion free diver Jana Strain. Strain has proven once more that she is the world’s top free diver by taking another record, this time in Denmark. Strain was among the star performers at the International Association for the Development of Apnea Individual Indoor Freediving World Championships at Aarhus, Denmark. While in Aarhus Strain, a Canadian, set a new Pan American Women’s Freediving Record. Stain logged in a dive that was marked at 594 feet and she did it on just one breath. The dive lasted 2 minutes, 20 seconds and broke her existing record of 561 feet. Strain is only the fifth woman to dive more than 175 meters on one breath. According to Strain’s bio she has always loved the water. She began swimming at a young age and although she trained early on in dance and acting Strain kept her love for the water. Her free diving adventures began when she got her PADI Open Water scuba certification. Bitten by the diving bug, Strain traveled the world to dive. She obtained her instructor certification soon after and then began to learn to dive without gear. After a free diving course in early 2008 Stain went to the 2008 AIDA Team World Competition. It

was at the competition that she realized that she had a natural ability in dynamic apnea. Once she took the North American Continental Women’s Dynamic Apnea Record swimming 171M (561ft) on a single breath, she couldn’t stop. Now she is known the world over as the International Freediving female champion. The International Association for the Development of Apnea Individual Indoor Freediving World Championships is held biannually and Stain has stated that next year she hopes to go even deeper. Of this year’s competition Strain writes on her blog, “Wow, what an amazing competition. Everything was wonderful, the camaraderie, the organization, the steady flow of healthy and yummy food, multiple national and world records being set, laughter, CMAS, friends, and the after party.” She added, “Of course there is also my personal achievement of setting a new Pan American record in dynamic at 181M, but to share in that with me was the legend Carlos Costa from Venezuela setting a new Pan American record in dynamic with a swim to 215M.” The next competition for Stain will take place in the Bahamas at Dean’s Blue Hole on November 25th. For more info on Stain and future competitions visit her website at ■ - DW


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The San Juans: The Northwest Paradise

▲ Beautiful crimson anemone flowing in the waves. Photo by: David Hicks


s a person who dives the San Juan Islands, you may think that I am biased when I say that diving here is some of the best coldwater diving I have ever done. You may

be right. However, Jacque Cousteau called these waters some of the best diving in the world. With 170 named rocks and islands at high tide, the San Juan Islands offer many

colorful and life-filled dive sites. Add to that the possibilities of spotting orcas, harbor seals, porpoises and stellar sea lions, the experience doesn’t get much better. Tons of marine

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SAN JUANS life both above and below the water line such as seals by the hundreds, swimming scallops by the thousands, and strawberry anemones by the millions can be toured during a single day of diving. What’s more amazing is that at one dive site an unlimited number of rockfish species will swim around you; at the next dive site there may be only a handful of rockfish but several wolf eels or octopus. You never know who is at home or where they may be in the marine neighborhood of the San Juan Islands. There are several ways to explore the San Juan Islands. You can ask the people at a local dive shop if they have a trip lined up in the near future, look in the activities section of Northwest Dive News and see who is putting together a San Juan adventure or you can contact one of the commercial dive operations that work in the San Juan Islands. The town of Friday Harbor is in the heart of the San Juans and is home to the islands only

▲ A crab hiding out in a sponge. Photo by: David Hicks

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▲ A Dall’s Dendronotid. Photo by: David Hicks

dive shop. Naknek Charters, part of Bandito Charters, operates a dive shop at the bottom floor of the building at the corner of Spring Street and Front Street. The charter operation takes its name from the 43ft boat Naknek. The

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▲ Longfin Sculpin taking a dive. Photo by: David Hicks

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prearranged itineraries. Lu-Jacs Quest’s holds up to 14 divers plus a divemaster and has a heated cabin. The Deep Sea has a heated cabin, outer sheltered area with large view windows, and a spacious upper deck viewing area. The boat holds up to 18 divers. Diving the San Juans, generally means diving from a boat and the best way is to have a “live boat” that can pick you up wherever you come up. There just aren’t a lot of accessible shore dives. Most of the dive sites in the San Juans don’t have good places to anchor and most are very current sensitive. Just remember that the current predictions are just that, predictions. They are often off. Show up early and watch the water. Some of the things you might see include several types of Rockfish including Puget Sound, Copper, Quillback, Yellow Tail, and Yellow Eye. Lingcod, Warbonnets, Greenlings, Gobys, Puget Sound King Crabs, several types of Anemones including Strawberry and Plumose, cup corals, Wolf Eels and Giant Pacific Octopus are just some of what you may see. The list is long. One thing to remember and I’m sure all Captains will

▲ These sponges add some color to the cold Northwest waters. Photo by: David Hicks.

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NORTHWEST DIVE NEWS                                    agree, is to make every diver aware of the “rain shadow effect” around the San Juan Islands; this means that it’s typical for moisture bearing clouds to diverge as they pass around the Olympic mountain range and let down their rain north and south of the Islands. So, while it may be raining or drizzling around Seattle, Frequently, it’s only overcast or possibly even clear skies around the San Juan Islands. Now if you go to the San Juan Islands during the summer months, you had better make reservations as early as possible, as accommodations and activities fill up fast. The islands are quite popular with repeat visitors and the dive operations fill up fast with repeat business too. You’ll know why, once you dive the islands. That said, space is often available in the spring, fall and winter seasons and often the visibility is better then. Oh, and before I forget, anytime someone says that the diving is better up in Canada, I’d just like you to point out to them that although


the San Juan Islands are south east of Bellingham, WA, the San Juan Islands are actually above and to the north east of Victoria, British Columbia, and almost directly across from Sydney, BC. The Canadian Gulf Islands and the San Juans are all part of the same archipelago and share much of the same marine life – and you don’t need a passport or cross the border to get there. Personally, I find the diving great anywhere along these latitudes and I think you will too.■

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By: Barb Roy ne of my first dive trips to Powell River was over nine years ago when I was introducing Tallen, my youngest daughter, to scuba diving. She was actually finishing up with her certification dives in Mermaid Cove, located on the upper (northern) part of the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada. We had joined a dive club out of Washington State who were camping and enjoying Powell River’s great shore diving opportunities. At that time Tallen was maybe 13 years old and becoming an expert in remora techniques! The nine-foot tall mermaid statue made of bronze, sculpted by Simon Morris, was clean and not covered in barnacles, as she is today. Her front parts were quite shinny from rubs of good luck and we even saw an octopus at her base, which my remora buddy intensely watched from above and behind me. Not far from the statue in deeper water was a small wall full of huge gray boot sponges with colorful crimson anemones and orange stalked tunicates. The wall is pretty much the same today as it was them, but with a variety of anemones now speckling the scene. Not far from the statue is also a small boat Tallen really enjoyed. Her curiosity caused her to brave the lure of marine life, moving closer to investigate nudibranchs, burrowing sea cucumbers, gunnels, shrimp and all kinds of decorator crabs! Over the years Tallen has thankfully relaxed her remora routine allowing me the use of my arms when we dive together. The accumulated dives and several return visits to Mermaid Cove has left Tallen with a confidence in her skills and a respect for the wide assortment of critters found in this area.“Mermaid Cove is one of easiest dives on the coast, Mom,” explains Tallen, now a young lady of 22. “I still like checking out the mermaid, but l


Divers shining some light on Boot Sponges. Photo by: Barb Roy


Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009


UPPER BC SUNSHINE COAST ike it even more when I find a wolf eel or a giant lingcod hanging around that little boat wreck!” Mermaid Cove is also a great place to camp, especially with a group of dive friends because many of the campsites are close enough to socialize with potluck meals and campfire stories. For us, it was who had the best underwater animal encounter or the scariest story to tell! Betty Pratt-Johnson lists three great shore dives and seven boat dives in her recently revised book, 151 Dives. Throughout the years Tallen and I have explored many of these sites and also a few from dive kayaks and a few additional shore dives, including the wooden boats sunk in Powell Lake! It seems each site was a bit different. Visiting divers can also contact Alpha Dive and Kayak, a dive store located in Powell River, for advice on where to explore, air and Nitrox fills, rentals, repairs, equipment sales and boat diving charters. The store is operated by Kathy and Scott Friesen, who took over the business in 2006. They have recently added kayaks for rent and sale and can assist in arranging packages with lodging. “My most memorable dive in the area took place at Octopus City at Saltery Bay Provincial Park.” recalls Scott, a veteran diver for over 23 years. “We completed the

▲ Divers floating above Dinner Rock. Photo by: Barb Roy

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dive and were swimming back on a compass bearing. In approximately 30 feet of water I saw what I though initially was a dogfish in the distance. As we got closer, I noticed that it wasn’t a dogfish. We got to within 15 feet and I began noting all the features. This creature was approx. 5-6 feet in length and had very distinctive features. It watched us for about a minute and a half then swam away very slowly. We knew this was a shark encounter, but didn’t know what kind until I returned to the shop and looked it up in a book about Sharks of the Pacific Northwest. It turned out to be a blue shark. What a special dive! I had an encounter a year before that at Ball Point with a salmon shark.” The dive charters are handled and arranged through Alpha Dive and Kayak with a flexible range of sites to choose from. The boat has an onboard compressor and they can accommodate six technical divers or 8 recreational. During the summer months the store is open seven days per week. “We have had a really busy summer,” adds Scott, “We certified many new students and our Scuba Ranger camps have been popular with kids 8-12 years old. We ran a total of four one-week camps for kids, which will continue into the fall. We’ve also expanded our equipment lines and now offer Faber steel cylinders, and Seal Line dry-bags. This season we added a sea kayak certification through Paddle Canada, a nationally recognized program to develop a paddler’s skill set.” One of my favorite boat dives in the area was actually made by departing on a dive charter boat out of Comox with Bill Coltart from Pacific Pro Dive, to the deep wreck of


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▲ Diving the walls of Powell River. Photo by: Barb Roy

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POWELL RIVER the MV Gulf Stream. The wreck went down in 1947 after hitting Dinner Rock. This technical wreck dive starts in about 110 feet of water and when the visibility is good, like it was for us (over 70 feet), the wreckage can easily be seen from the descent line, on a buoy marking the location. Divers usually like to go check out the wreck, varying their depth to their skill level, and check out the ship’s resident cloud sponge, lingcod and several species of rockfish. Once finished, you can head up the slope for a real treat of marine critters. If recreational divers are along on the trip, they can spend their dive mainly on this slope. More crimson anemones and giant swimming nudibranchs can be seen on a sandy, gravely terrain. Large white plumose anemones are perched on most protruding rocks like sentries. Many of the red algae covered boulders are covered with small tunicates and a few even have abalone on them! When my husband Wayne Grant and I were diving with Bill, we found a huge female lingcod on the slope. We assumed it was a female because of its size and attitude! The immense fish didn’t budge when Wayne moved closer. As she raised her massive body up for a quick escape if needed, I thought she might charge him! Wayne can be a bit mischievous at times: he once reached out and touched the tail of a six-gill shark! But

▲ Tallen poses for her mom. Photo by: Barb Roy

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this fish was not one to be messed with and eventually swam off very slowly, still keeping an eye on Wayne. Bill commonly frequents several wrecks in the area, including another of my favorites, the SS Capilano, sinking in 1915. The ship rests upright in 90 feet of water on the south side of Grant Reef. During these excursions to the Powell River side, Bill usually stops in Lund for lunch between dives. The upper Sunshine Coast and Powell River can be reached via Highway 101, accessed on a ferry out of Horseshoe Bay in BC, to Langdale. Driving north through Sechelt to catch another ferry at Earls Cove to Saltery Bay. The town of Powell River is located another 22 miles (34km) north. If you are on Vancouver Island, Powell River can be reached by taking the ferry from Comox to downtown Powell River. So if you have not visited Powell River yet or in a while, be sure to add it to your dive schedule for a fun shore or boat dive. An FYI for you; During one of my many trips to this area, I was boat diving on a charter near Texada Island at the cloud sponge gardens. It was a bright sunny day with excellent visibility and I remember turning off my strobes for a shot of descending divers with fish, anemones and sponges in the emerald-green background. Some of you have already seen this image, on the cover of 151 Dives.■ Travel Information: Dive Industry Association of British Columbia Tourism Powell River 1-604-485-4000 BC Ferries 1-888-BC FERRY (223-3779) Alpha Dive and Kayak 1-604-485-6939 Pacific Pro Dive 1-877-800-DIVE or 250-338-6829

▲ Getting some Kayaking in on Powell River. Photo by: Barb Roy

▲ A ling cod coming in for a closer look. Photo by: Barb Roy

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NORTHWEST DIVE NEWS                             


Future Reef Project

The Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC) is currently in preliminary discussions with Catalyst Paper of Powell River, exploring the idea of turning their reinforced concrete breakwater ships into future artificial reefs. Nine of the ten ships were constructed during World War II, but the tenth, SS Peralta (420 feet), is believed to be the last remaining and oldest American-built, WW I concrete ship afloat. As with all projects over the past 20 years, the ARSBC will be consulting with Environment Canada, Transport Canada and Fisheries & Oceans for all projects considered.

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▲ Daniel Hirsh gives the a-okay for diving in Roatan. Photo by Rick Stratton.


he Island of Roatan is located about 30 miles off the coast of Honduras. This diver’s haven is considered one of the world’s best dive destinations by most diving enthusiasts. The island sits between the islands of Utila and Guanaja and is the biggest in the Honduras’ Bay Islands. Roatan is approximately 37 miles long and less than 5 miles wide at its widest point. Although there has been some political strife in the past, the island is safe for divers and in fact, there are many dive shops that cater to visitors from all over the world. Americans are not only

welcomed but encouraged to dive Roatan. The Water Water visibility around Roatan is consistently a hundred ft all year long. During the rainy season the vis can drop to 80 ft but it is rare. The water temperatures average in the 80’s and can drop to the high 70’s in January and February. Those are temperatures that no diver can really complain about. The Landscape The Island actually sits on the top of an underwater mountain range called the Bonacca Ridge. The ridge includes the

other islands many smaller keys but the area around Roatan itself offers a diverse range of sea life and landscape to explore. One look at the crystal blue waters and the different hues everywhere speaks loudly of the many different depths a diver can explore. The Dive Areas Roatan is surrounded by a coral reef that contains nearly every species of coral that can be found in Caribbean Sea. Species of rare black coral and sponges of all colors and shapes will astound even the most seasoned diver.

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▲It is coral, not a brain. Photo by Rick Stratton.

The West The west side of the island is where most people dive. Places such as the West End Wall which is an area that borders a deep blue abyss full of pillar corals, Azure Vase Sponges and barrel sponges, is sure to wow divers. This dive runs the gambit in depth with shallow divers enjoying the sea life on the upper wall and deeper water divers enjoying schools of pelagics. The Enchanted Forest and Insidious Reef located just on the west side also provides adventure like you’ve never seen. Both dives are part of a larger reef associated with an offshore bank and the drop-off begins from a series of reef steps that drop to 70 – 80 ft. These are just a couple of the west side site in an array of vastly different terrains. The Northeast The northeast side of Roatan gets the brunt of the weather so it tends to be less of a dive destination when the currents are strong however, once in a while the weather shifts and what divers will discover is that when it does, the Northeast offers some incredible diving. There are even some barrel sponges located off the east end of the island that are as big as refrigerators. Divers will not be disappointed if given the chance to explore this side of Roatan.


▲Dave says Peace out!. Photo by Rick Stratton.

The Reef Roatan is most famous throughout the world dive community for its reef. Seahorses, queen angel fish, stoplight parrot fish, blue tangs and much more all call the Roatan reef home and are welcoming to diving visitors. The reef rolls gently from shore offering both snorkeling and diving from anywhere on the island. It is a virtual undersea roller coaster that reaches out to sea with wild twists and turns only to suddenly drop off. Incredible wall dives with crevices, chimneys, and caves create a metropolis for sea life in the area. The Trench The reef’s walls which tides and ebbs with the sandy bottom does ultimately lead to a real adventure for advanced divers. The reef drops off dramatically into the Cayman Trench. Roatan is posed on the edge of the Cayman Trench which plunges thousands of feet into the earth and offers clear water from the deep as well as diversity in sea life found nowhere else in the world. So if you are looking for adventure and always thought about visiting Roatan; put it off no more. The water is incredible, warm and clear while the locals beckon divers to come down and experience the best in world class diving.■

iT’s curacao noW!


he new “Curacao Now!” program is bringing island dive shops and businesses together to invite the world to visit the island of Curacao. This special “Curacao Now” season promises the island experience of a lifetime and will undoubtedly be a vacation like no other! Curacao is truly a melting pot of diversity with a rich history and colorful culture as well as some of the world’s best diving. Thirty-five beaches, top dive sites as well as the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage city thanks to its authentic 17th century Dutch architecture, this is a trip that begs visitors to have a great time. Added to this season’s excitement, Curacao and its Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009

dive shops are inviting divers to visit and find their own treasure by booking their trip to the Caribbean’s Hidden Treasure through this great new program. Anne-Marie from Easy Divers & Habitat Curacao is excited about the new promotion and what it will bring to local businesses. “Even American Airlines and Air Jamacia are getting into the promotion by offering special deals for people booking for the period of the Curacao Now event”, Anne-Marie said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun and affordable to boot. We invite everyone to come down and celebrate Curacao with us!” For more info visit




Kid’s Sea Camp: Great Family Fun

By Rick Stratton Publisher, Dive News


or those who know me personally, you know that my life centers around my family and my job. The two overlap in many ways. My wife Kathy is co-publisher, best friend and my right hand. She takes care of the details and without her I would be nothing. My son Matt is one of our test divers and my daughter Amanda is our newest diver and the business mascot. It is truly a family affair in many ways. Recently we were invited to attend Kid’s Sea Camp, held at Anthony’s Key Resort on the island of Roatan, Honduras. It was a great opportunity and an amazing experience. The camp is exceptionally well run; it was easily the best family adventure that we have ever had. Kids Sea Camp is a vacation destination for families who love the ocean and all aspects of it. There are an amazingly full week schedule of events and educational programs that make for great times and learning experiences for families. The camps focus is on kids age 4-15. Seven nights’ accommodations, diving, meals, excursions, activities for both adults and kids including, diving, snorkeling and many PADI Specialty courses all make for a time that families can reconnect both with each other and the planets’ ocean waters. Kids Sea Camp, created in 2001, has been a vehicle for hundreds of kids each year to become PADI certified divers. Their Ocean Discovery  Certified Kids Diver programs include many new courses this year which we were able to explore. Programs such as, Advanced Open Water, Junior Open Water, Digital Photo, Deep Diver, Boat Diver, Adventure diver, Fish Id, Sea Scooter, Rescue and many more courses are age and depth appropriate PADI courses that are held at PADI 5 star facilities. Not only are the programs certified but they are safe so parents can take heart in that the kids will be just fine. Kids Sea Camp is coming up on its 10 th anniversary

this year. Founder Margo Peyton says that Kid’s Sea Camp was born of inspiration to connect both emotionally and physically with young people. “We offer eight different locations and have more than 1600 participants in 2009. Last year we had more than 800 certifications,” explained Peyton. Peyton’s amazing success was hard earned. She says that at first the idea was scoffed at by a lot of people. “Resorts generally are not kid friendly and are real skeptics when it comes to having kids get certified as divers. There are also the issues of liability,” said Peyton. Peyton kept on however and what grew from that moment of inspiration despite obstacles such as not offending other non-family guests is a family oriented adventure that offers so much more than just a vacation. In fact, Kids Sea Camp is so committed to the kids and families who come to enjoy the adventure that they book the entire resort in order to prevent conflicts with other groups and ensure that families have a good time. Peyton adds that initially dive resorts had to be educated about the opportunities available with the program. A property had to be just right in order to appeal to both kids and adults. Peyton says that a resort must have a real commitment to the Kids Sea Camp program and love kids. Peyton has discovered some incredible partners including Anthony’s Key Resort, which is the one we attended at Roatan. Anthony’s Key Resort has been a Roatan diving

Amanda Stratton models for the camera on one of her first open water dives with Kids Sea Camp at Anthony’s Key Resort in Roatan.


Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009


ROATAN destination resort for over 40 years. Divers from all over the world have taken the plunge in the Honduras’ Bay Islands via Anthony’s Key Resort. Anthony’s has always offered diving among the spectacular reefs, interaction with dolphins and even hiking the lush tropical gardens of the area, however being able to take part in the Kids Sea Camp at Anthony’s has added yet another aspect to an otherwise already great dive destination. Home to the world’s second longest barrier reef system divers can experience some of the best diving in the Caribbean and now families of divers can experience it as well through the Kids Sea Camp program. With a diverse mix of activities for every member of the family and every age level already it is no wonder why Anthony’s Key Resort was a good fit. General Manager, Samier Galindo, who is also the son of the founder, says the resort is very family focused and even has a kid’s dolphin camp each week as part of their normal summer packages already. Peyton has a long standing relationship with the Galindo family and in 1997 she chose Anthony’s for its diverse activities and incredible facilities. “They have the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences ( RIMS), the Roatan Museum, Maya Key and much more that allows for incredible diversity and appeal,” said Peyton. “It was a natural fit.” The fit is good for Anthony’s as well, according to Galindo; the Kids Sea Camp

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KID’S SEA CAMP brings the concept of kid friendly to a whole new level for the resort. “We must bring in extra staff for KSC,” Galindo adds. “We work hard to support the instructional programs and extra programs that Margo brings.” Peyton has also teamed with entertaining marine artist Ron “Rogest” Steven since 2003 to bring even more to the Kids Sea Camp program. Rogest is enjoyed by kids of all ages as he acts as Master of Ceremonies at most of the Kids Sea Camp events and is the official clown and artist in residents. He offers art classes and experiences with the kids that help them express what they are experiencing at the camp. His irrepressible and fun loving nature cannot be contained and is fun to watch in action. “Ronnie is an incredible entertainer,” says Galindo, “He really knows his business. The adults as well as the kids all enjoy him.” Perhaps the most important part of the Kids Sea Camp experience in the sharing that goes on within the families who attend. There is a mix of activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, beach combing, dolphin camp, horseback riding, night dives, zip lining at Gumbalinba Park, picnicking on the beach, fish ID classes, family dolphin encounters and a beach Piñata Party. All of these activities are enjoyed by the families as a whole. Everyone has their favorite activity. Peyton has her favorite activities too. Her

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TROPICAL DESTINATIONS most favorite is diving with the teens. “The energy from the kids is incredible,” Peyton says. “It is like diving in the middle of a bait ball.” My own experience with Kids Sea Camp was truly exceptional. I would say that it was the perfect dive vacation for the family. While I admit I do get to “live the dream” and go to resorts as part of my job, my one regret is that I rarely get to share the experience with my family. This experience was different because I was able to experience Anthony’s Key Resort and Kids Sea Camp with my family. Although it was a kid focused family trip it also offered the perfect balance of both adult time and family time. Our daughter Amanda would wake up at 7 a.m. and run off to a Kids Sea Camp event. She would be instructed, entertained and occupied all day often ignoring us at lunch in the restaurant. (Parents, you understand, are very un-cool to hang out with on vacation) But while Amanda was preoccupied with her dive experiences Kathy and I would be able to dive, read a book, tour the island or just lounge in a hammock until 4:30 p.m. when we would meet at the pool for “happy hour”. Afterwards we would pick up Amanda and catch up on the day’s activities. I have to say that I have never seen my daughter have so much fun. At the end of the night, Amanda would lie on the bed and share her day in detail. It was

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incredible listening to her excitement as she described diving as “awesome!” What more could a dad whose day life is surrounded by diving want? Amanda said that she loved the trip. “The trip was amazing. All the sea life and vivid colors under the water were incredible,” says Amanda. “I had a blast scuba diving, making new friends with kids from all over the world and hanging out with them. The dolphins were very fun. I got kissed by a dolphin. We did a hand shake and I even got to ride one by hanging on to its dorsal fin – that was really cool!” Amanda added that even the educational part of the trip was fun. “Learning to dive was really fun; except

▲ AKR Boat pulling into harbor. After an amazing dive! Photo by Rick Stratton


▲ Amanda shows her certificate from Kid’s Sea Camp.

for the classroom work,” Amada said. “The food was awesome! It tasted wonderful and there was desert with every meal!” Of all the experiences Amanda had however the chance to hit the water was by far her favorite. “One of my favorite parts was that I got to swim all day. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a fish.” So if you love diving and want to get your family involved or if you just need some family re-connect time, you must look up a Kid’s Sea Camp event – it is truly incredible and this time around you got not only my word for it but also my daughter’s word. So parents, take it from me and kids, take it from Amanda…it was a blast. ■

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ll good things must come to an end, and summer is no exception. Fall has arrived. Boaters are exchanging swimsuits for fleece, and the cooler weather calls something to mind – hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Your normal core body temperature is around 98.6º F (37º C). Anytime your body temperature drops below 95º F (37º C), you are considered hypothermic. Hypothermia causes your internal organs and nervous system to malfunction, and can cause respiratory and heart failure and even death. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, clumsiness, slurred speech, confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, weak pulse and shallow breathing. People with hypothermia may also demonstrate unusual behaviors, such as not caring about their conditions. If someone is hypothermic, seek immediate medical attention. There are some things you should (and shouldn’t) do to keep the person stable until help arrives. Do • Limit movement to only those necessary • Move the person to a warm and dry location. If that isn’t possible, shield the person from the cold and wind • Remove wet clothing, cutting it away if necessary to avoid unnecessary movement • Insulate the person from cold surfaces and cover the person with blankets, leaving the face exposed • Monitor breathing, administering CPR if necessary • Share body heat • Provide warm, nonalcoholic, noncaffeinated beverages to an alert person who is able to swallow • Use a first-aid warm compress to apply heat to the neck, chest wall or groin only

Don’t • Don’t apply direct heat (hot water or heating pad) to warm the person. Extreme heat can induce cardiac arrest or damage skin. • Don’t apply a warm compress to extremities as this forces cold blood back to the heart, lungs and brain. This causes core body temperature to drop which may be fatal. • Do not massage or rub the person, as vigorous movements may cause cardiac arrest Cold Water Safety • Always wear a life jacket • If you fall in the water, try and get out as quickly as possible, whether it is on top of a capsized boat or onto a floating object • Don’t swim unless there is a boat, shore or life jacket close by. • Use the HELP (heat escape lessening position) position to minimize heat loss. Hold your knees to your chest to protect your core. • Huddle with others in the water • Do not take off your clothes until you reach safety, and cover your head if possible.■




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KID’S CORNER By Cody Brown Contributing Writer, Dive News Network


hat started out as finding a few things in the waters of Lucky Peak turned out to be a hobby for my Dad as he began finding more and more fish lures hooked onto rocks and other debris while diving. He was bitten by the seek-and-find bug. On average, he finds maybe 2-5 lures per dive, especially in one particular area that is frequently used for fishing. Ironically, the most commonly fished area where almost all the lures are found normally has little to no fish in it. Someone should probably tell all those fishermen that. Now that we have started our fish lure hunting hobby, we don’t really ever have to buy our own lures when we want to go fishing. One guy’s loss is our gain thanks to our diving skills. Finding so many lures in one place also will tell us where popular fishing areas are, so we can plan on where to go if we want to go fishing; again another perk to knowing how to dive. Lucky Peak Reservoir is a located outside Boise, Idaho and is one of the most popular bodies of water in the area. What makes this reservoir a hotbed for lurehunting is the fact that the bottom is covered in jagged, misshapen rocks that makes it very easy for lures to get snagged. You can almost guarantee finding at least one hook or fishing tool of some sort on each dive. We normally find things from rock to rock with little effort. Before going on each lure-finding dive, my dad brings along a piece of a rubber hose that he uses to attach the fishing lures to so they don’t poke holes in his hoses or suit. Along with that we also carry scissors to cut the fishing line so we

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don’t have miles upon miles of line to get caught up in. Just recently we took a drive up to dive in Lucky Peak over Labor Day weekend and were surprised to find only one lure during the entire dive. Because the bottom is normally nearly littered with lures and other tools my Dad thinks that a few divers had the same idea that we had, and they simply beat us to it. What started out as just searching around for things for me and my dad has now become

a favorite past time during our regular dives. We have found that this is an activity that can make a dive just that much more fun and interesting. You may be out to search for gold or other real treasure or you may just be looking for whatever you can find on the sea or lake bottom worth keeping. Either way, you just never know what you might actually find and it will always end up worth it even if what you end up with is just a great time with your Dad. ■

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MYSTERY CRITTER By Andy Lamb Contributing Writer, Northwest Dive News

a besT Guess usinG aLL The inFormaTion


hen attempting to identify a marine creature from a single photograph, the exact answer is not always possible. A ‘best guess’ becomes the remaining choice. In such a situation, background information about the encounter between the observer and the organism becomes more important. Corrine Sayler of Anacortes, Washington, took the accompanying photograph while diving with her husband Kevin, on August 22nd. They had travelled to Redondo Beach (just south of Seattle) to explore this popular Puget Sound dive site. They found this fish resting under the “big pipe” at about 50ft and the visibility was about 30ft. For an exact reference, check out Chris Finley’s map at jpg. Unfortunately, the single photograph is a direct ‘head on’ shot and does not show the critical evidence that would allow and exact identification. Enough clues –particularly the speckling on each eye -- exist to determine that this fish is an Irish lord (sculpin). However, based upon what is visible in the image, it could be either a brown Irish lord or

a red Irish lord. To select the correct option, one would have to see at least some portion of the fish’s side. Such a vantage point would make the scale rows that appear above the lateral line on each species visible. The red Irish lord has a scale band that is four or five scales wide whereas that of the brown Irish lord is six to eight. As is the general rule with most sculpins, colour is not a reliable indicator. However, other factors strongly suggest that this fish is a red Irish lord Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus. The red Irish lord is by far the most commonly observed of the two

Pacific Northwest species (three or four other Hemilepdotus species have been documented in Alaska). In addition, the brown Irish lord appears to be restricted to outer coast habitats. The few definitive sightings by the author have occurred along the west coast of Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands, B.C. To date, he has seen no Irish lords that could be definitively identified as a brown in the waters of Puget Sound or the Strait of Georgia. Incidentally, careful observation shows a fish leech attached to the top of the specimen’s head, arching across the dorsal fin. ■

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HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS Article Courtesy of Divers Alert Network


alloween is without a doubt a highlight of fall, and among its many tricks and treats are some annual dive traditions such as underwater celebrations and pumpkin carving. They are a lot of fun, to be sure, but they also create special challenges for divers. As with any dive, they require proper planning and attentive execution, so in honor of the holiday, we offer these tips to help you celebrate your Halloween in safe style. Reconsider the Costume Without a doubt, costumes are one of the best parts of Halloween. They allow each of us to turn our imaginations loose and enjoy being a kid again. But when it comes to diving in costume underwater, it’s a good idea to avoid it. No matter how simple they are, costumes can create serious safety risks. The added weight of material can affect your buoyancy, which if drastic enough, can quickly get out of control. Costume items can interfere with the function of your equipment, inhibiting your inability to use it properly, or because parts of the costume simply get in the way. Finally, costumes can quickly become entangled amid your dive gear, creating a case of entanglement, even when you’re in an open area. Yes, costumes are one of the best parts of Halloween, but save yours for the post-dive party. Preparing for Pumpkins Each year, event calendars become more and more populated with announcements of underwater pumpkin carving contests. There’s a reason for their increasing popularity; they’re fun! But as with everything else, they do present a set of challenges each diver must conquer not only to win, but to complete the dive safely. So before you grab your pumpkin and head out, keep a few things in mind:

Scoop out the pumpkin ahead of time. Not only will you save additional time for the carving portion of the dive, but you won’t have to exert yourself with the task underwater. Not to mention the fact that you won’t have to dive in water filled with pumpkin guts! Use weight to counteract buoyancy. When hollow, pumpkins can actually be positively buoyant. When carving them underwater, you’ll want them to be neutrally, if not negatively, buoyant. Drop a light weight or two into your hollow gourd, but before you descend, make sure you’ve incorporated that extra weight into your dive plan and run appropriate pre-dive buoyancy checks. Be careful with your carving knife. Use as small a knife as you can, and make sure it’s in your control at all times. Knives used to carve pumpkins can easily slip and slice air hoses, BCDs, wetsuits and other necessary parts. Be aware. Even though many pumpkin carving contests are held in shallow water, it’s still important to stay aware of where you are, both in the water and in the dive. Your pumpkin dive should be planned as thoroughly as any other dive, if not more so due to the extra task, and that dive plan should be followed. Monitor your depth and air supply regularly, and be sure to adhere to any limits set. Halloween is known for being spooky, but save the scares for the ghosts and goblins on the surface. If you’re planning to do any celebrating underwater, make safety the day’s main treat. There’s no better way to celebrate any holiday than to stay healthy, safe and sound. ■

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Travel divers facing ever tougher baggage requirements at airports have a lighter-weight option in Aqua Lung’s new Zuma buoyancy compensator. The BC weighs less than 5 pounds, and can be rolled up and put in a carryon bag. Yet has a SureLock II ditchable integrated weight system capable of holding up to 20 pounds. Back-mounted air cells made with durable 200 D nylon can provide from 22 to 34 pounds of lift, depending on the size. Three dump valves ease emptying air from the bladder from any position. Aqua Lung trimmed the weight by eliminating the hard backpack common to many BCs. Instead, it has a support system that Aqua Lung says distributes the tank weight evenly on the sculpted shoulder, spine and lumbar pads while keeping the tank close to the body. Grommets to accommodate a knife sheath and four D-rings are provided to attach accessories. Vests are available in two colors: palm green / charcoal and ocean blue / charcoal and in four sizes from XXS to XXL.


Owners of Whites Fusion Tech drysuits have more options to customize their appearance. The suit is designed to be covered with a skin, but the initial color palette was less than flashy when the suit was introduced last year. Whites is remedying that with the launch of four new graphic colors: yellow, red, pink and midnight blue. The skins combine 1-millimeter neoprene with Lycra stretch panels to streamline and protect the suit in the water while allowing for stretch and mobility. The skin attaches to the bi-laminate membrane Fusion Tech suit with touch fasteners. Skins can be washed or replaced if they become damaged or soiled. They provide a smoother outer covering intended to reduce the chances of snags. And they provide additional thermal protection. The self-donning Fusion suit has latex wrist and neck seals and Si-Tech inflation and deflation valves.


With only three buttons and a big easy-toread backlit display, Tusa’s new IQ-750 Element II computer looks very simple. Yet it’s packed with handy and technical features, like water activation and the capability of switching between two gas mixes. Visible and audible alarms alert users to possible problems in ascending or exceeding bottom times. The Buhlmann ZHL-16c algorithm can be customized with personal settings, and it has a deep-stop function for added safety. It automatically adjusts for altitude dives up to 14,000 feet. Dives can be reviewed with a one-touch log access, and data can be uploaded to a personal computer using the Tusa Datalog Interface. After dives, it displays a no-fly icon along with the residual nitrogen time.


Adventurers traveling to remote waters might feel a little easier about diving if they pack an SOS Hyperlite portable hyperbaric chamber. At 191 pounds, the latest model is one-third lighter than earlier models and packs into one case rather than two. The improvement was made possible by a material braiding technology developed by Joint Venture and Beaufort Ltd. The companies say the chamber can be fully operational within 10 minutes to treat decompression sickness on-site or to transfer the victim to a medical facility. Its maximum working pressure is the equivalent of 75 feet seawater. Patients can be monitored via fixed-wire connections or Bluetooth, and pure oxygen can be administered via a mask or hood. Owners of earlier models can contact the company about upgrading they gear. Suggest products to review and read earlier Gear Check items by product categories at

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Great Lakes historians and authors Cris Kohl and Joan Forsberg ventured into the video medium with “The Shipwrecked Whalebacks”. Being regular presenters at dive shows prepared them to narrate the 28-minute DVD available through Seawolf Communications. Although packed with facts, it is far from a dry recitation of history and fate of the uniquely streamlined vessels that were created in late 1800s in Duluth, Minn., by Alexander McDougall. The steamers and barges caught the eye of public wherever they went, some as far as England and the Pacific Northwest after rounding Cape Horn. The narrative is so glowing about the each of vessels and their fates that they seem to have true personalities as unique as their design. Anecdotes of the sailors and passengers, though, are what give warmth to the story. Historic shots of the vessels in their heyday and still and video images underwater fill the screen while Kohl and Forsberg take turns telling the story. Larger freighters replaced whalebacks early in the 20th century, so now the only way to see one is to go diving in the Great Lakes or along the Eastern Seaboard with one exception. The Meteor is preserved as a maritime museum at Superior, Wis.


Just in time for anyone considering a winter dive trip to the Bahamas, Gary Knapp has released a video sampler “Nassau Bahamas, New Providence Island”. As with other videos in his Dive Travel Series, the 30-minute DVD from GRK Productions was filmed in one week to show what tourists, especially divers, can pack into a one-week visit. The topside footage covers history of the island and flashes vignettes of the museums, shops, zoos, forts and other highlights that could keep

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non-diving travelers busy while their friends go diving. Stuart Cove takes viewers on a tour of his famed resort, and specialists in the sea lion and dolphin encounters areas provide briefings on the aquatic animals in their charge. Widely varied sea life seen in the diving footage visually shows why the island is known as the underwater Hollywood. Sharks, reef fish, eels, turtles, groupers, even, unfortunately, non-native lionfish abound on walls and colorful shallow reefs. Quite a number of airplane and ship wrecks will be familiar to movie buffs, including the sets for “Thunderball”, “Into The Blue”, “Jaws Four”, “Flipper” and many other films dating back to “Creature From The Black Lagoon” and the 1917 silent flick “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea”. The challenge for any viewer is to pack more into one week than Knapp and his film crew packed into this video.


You don’t even have to go to the bookstore or spend a penny for the most comprehensive study on diving safety and incidents. Divers Alert Network has its “DAN Annual Diving Report – 2008” posted online, and it’s accessible to all who want to read it, even non-members. The 140-page report is based largely on 2006 and 2007 data on diving injuries, fatalities and breath-hold incidents. The lag time allows time for the data to get reported and analyzed by the organization. There also is a chapter on information g l e a n e d f r o m D A N ’s Project Dive Exploration, which allows divers with compatible computers to upload dive data to DAN. This provides a growing base of data on the 99 percent of typical dives that do not result in an injury or fatality. In appendices individual injuries, fatalities and breath-hold incidents are described and analyzed in further detail. This is a handy reference for those interested in diving safety, and what diver shouldn’t be. Printed versions of the report can still be purchased, but the PDF version is available free of charge by clicking to Read earlier Book Log reviews by genre or call attention to books and videos to review at

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(360) 293-2070


Diver's Platform


Smokey Point Diving




Scuba Center of Spokane


Washington Divers


(360) 676-8029


Bandito Charter


(253) 973-0370


Gone Diving


(360) 738-2042


Tacoma Scuba Center


(253) 238-1754


Adventures Down Under


(360) 676-4177


Aquatic Camera

Pacific Adventure



Fort Lewis Scuba

Fort Lewis

(253) 967-3405


Nakenk Charters

Friday Harbor

(360) 378-9297


Guemes Island Resort

Guemes Island

(360) 293-6643

Dive Resort

Hoodsport ‘N Dive


(360) 877-6818


Northwest Sports Divers


(425) 487-0624


Diver's Dream Charters


(360) 202-0076


Seven Seas Scuba Bubbles Below


(503) 708-0242



(360) 260-9969



(425) 424-3483

Dive Center

BRITISH COLUMBIA Broken Island Adventures Dive Safe International


(888) 728-6200


Campbell River



49th Parallel Dive Charters


(250) 252-0758


Cedar Beach Resort


(250) 252-0758

Dive Resort


(425) 493-2550


Pacific Pro Dive & Surf


(250) 338-6829


Whidbey Island Dive

Oak Harbor

(360) 675-1112


Hornby Island Diving

Hornby Is.

(250) 335-2807

Dive Resort

Coachman Inn

Oak Harbor

Dolphin Charters

Scuba Supplies

Ocean Pacific Watersports


(250) 828-0188


Port Angeles

(360) 457-3190


Langley Diving


(604) 514-8190



(253) 840-3483


Divers Choice Charters


(866) 716-8867


Port Townsend

(360) 379-3483


Sink or Swim Scuba & Watersports


(250) 758-7946


Divers Institute of Tech.


(800) 634-8377

Training Agency Sundown Diving


(888) 773-3483


Dive Commercial Int’l


(206) 784-5050

Commercial Shop


(206) 571-3273


Rendezvous Dive Adventures

Mamro Adventures

A-2-Z Scuba LLC Admiralty Dive Center

Aluminator Water Taxi Seattle Scuba Schools


(206) 374-2937


Porthole Charter


(253) 405-3462


Nanaimo Dive Outfitters

Browning Pass Hideaway


(250) 756-1863


Port Alberni

(877) 777-9994


Port Hardy

(250) 756-8872


Port Hardy



One Year Subscription To NW Dive News 12 INCREDIBLE ISSUES FOR JUST $20.00* *$30 for Canada. U.S. Dollars only.

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News & Events | Local Focus | Dive Site Profiles | Experienced Reporters | Fantastic Photography | Travel Advice | Gear Reviews & More! 38

Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009

NORTHWEST Catala Charters


God's Pocket Resort

Port Hardy

Alpha Dive Services

Powell River

(800) 515-5511 (604) 485-6939

Emerald Dive Charters

Powell River

(604) 483-1706

Abyssal Diving

Quadra Island

(800) 499-2297

Copper Island Diving Ocean Alive Adventures

Charter Shop/Charter Charter

North Bend

(541) 756-3483


(503) 245-4991


Oregon Underwater


(503) 761-8526



(541) 673-3710



(503) 588-3483



(503) 620-6993


(250) 832-5737


(250) 537-0099


Under Water Works

(800) 665-DIVE



(250) 934-6365




Salmon Arm Sechelt

(541) 867-4944

Aquatic Sports

Salt Spring Island

Tahtsa Dive Charters


Sunset Sports

Charter/Resort Diver's Den

South Beach Scuba

ALASKA Dive Alaska


(907) 770-1778



(250) 725-3251


Test the Waters Adventure Sports



Union Bay

(250) 335-2342

Dive Resort

Snorkel Alaska


(907) 247-7783


Union Bay Dive

Union Bay

(877) 883-3483


Scuba Do, Inc


(907) 486-2960

Shop (Sea Dragon)


(604) 329-3486


Island Fever Diving


(907) 747-7871


UBC Scuba Aqua Society




(250) 474-6543


Aqua Zone




Beyond Deep Diving Ogden Point Dive



(250) 217-4488


Honolulu Scuba Co.




(888) 701-1177


Kona Honu Divers


(808) 324-4668


Aaron's Dive Shop


(808) 262-2333


Adventures in Scuba


(403) 299-7751


Big Island Divers


(808) 329-6068


Aqua Sport Scuba Centre


(403) 686-6166


Jack's Diving Locker


(808) 329-7585



(780) 438-1218


Konaquatica Dive Center


(888) 331-4386


Grand Prairie

(780) 832-7209


Pacific Rim Divers


(808) 334-1750



Northwest Scuba Just for You

Sandwich Isle Divers

MONTANA Helena Scuba


(406) 442-4334


Torpedo Tours

Bighorn Divers


(406) 752-4970


Wanna Dive

Glacier Divers


(406) 253-4016


Dive & Sea Maui

The Salty Dog Dive Shop


(406) 755-2559


Maui Dreams Dive Co. SeaSport Divers




(808) 938-0405



(808) 937-1175




(808) 874-5332


Koloa, Kauai

(800) 685-5889



(503) 642-3483


Hawaiian Rafting Adventures


(808) 661-7333

Dive Shop

Astoria Scuba



Lahaina Divers


(800) 998-3483


Rogue Scuba Inc.

Mike Severns Diving



Scuba Shack



Central Point

(888) 806-1690


Eugene Skin Divers


(541) 342-2351


Grants Pass

(800) 482-1599



(503) 491-0107



(503) 304-5383


Adventure Sports, Inc. Hydrosports Dive and Travel

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Katy Meyers this summer, and a truly amazing woman, I loved when she shared this amazing dish with us. Less is more applies to this delicious dish! Katherine Meyers has been making this recipe for her family for as long as any of them can remember. She and her family eat this religiously every year on South Padre Island, TX. Usually made with gulf shrimp, we found that the shrimp’s origin doesn’t affect the taste. So I bring you:

Grammy’s Famous Shrimp 1/2 lb. large shrimp PER PERSON 1 package “shrimp and crab boil” 1 lemon salt

Bring large pot of water to rolling boil with shrimp boil, quartered lemon and tablespoon of salt. Northwest Dive News OCTOBER 2009


(206) 396-9221

FROM KATHY’S KITCHEN Add shrimp, bring back to boil, boil 2 minutes and remove from heat. Leave shrimp in water for 15 minutes, drain, bring to room temperature, cover and chill. Serve cold, peel and eat with French bread, cole slaw and red sauce or remoulade sauce. Katherine ‘Katy’ Meyers and husband John reside in Arlington, TX. During the hot Texas summers and unpredictable winters they love to travel to their house on South Padre Island with their family, friends and Teddy, the adored ‘lap’ dog. Kathy Stratton is one of the co-publishers of Northwest Dive News, as well as in charge of Human Resources for the office. We assure you that both jobs are time consuming enough, but she still manages to fit in time to occassionally cook for our office, and we thank her for that! Kathy can be reached at


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Northwest Dive News October, 2009  

Northwest Dive News October, 2009 Volume 13 Issue 10

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