Page 1

MAY 2011



Barkley Sound

The Emerald Paradise

Whidbey & Camano Island

Wickedly Captivating Dives

S9 Saintly t. Somewhere Destinations

Volume 15 Issue 5 $1.95 US/$2.25 Canada


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MAY 2011IN THIS ISSUE ◄ Cover by Jan Kocian

A group of divers from Whidbey Island and Bellingham, WA got together for a trip to the fabled Browning Pass Hideaway in British Columbia, Canada. Pictured is Jan’s friend, Paul Senness, who is also an instructor for Whidbey Island Dive Center. They were diving the wreck of the Themis which sank in 1916 near the Crocker Rock off Balaklava Island. Paul is positioning to capture a photo of China Rockfish, a species not seen in Whidbey Island water. Jan is an avid diver and photographer who lives in Freeland, WA (on Whidbey Island). Diving has been his passion since an early age. Certified in 1964, and he has since been diving many places, warm and cold. Through his photos he shares his love of the rich underwater world the PNW has to offer. To see more of Jan’s photos visit his photo galleries at

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 IJ James Writer/Editor Jamie Farris Graphic Designers Brian Merculief TJ Pierzchala Expo Coordinator Selene Peterson Accounts Manager Tove Chatham Advertising Sales Roosevelt Rumble (360) 240-1874 ext103 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 may 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 may 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.

Monthly Columns Editor’s Note.......................................4 Incoming Mail.....................................5 Hot News............................................6 DAN/Medical Column..................24-25 Mystery Critter..................................26

BoatingRegulations.......................... 27 Gear Box..........................................28 Dive Industry Profile......................... 29 Dive Directory..............................30-31


12 Whidbey and Camano Island – Wickedly Captivating Dives At the end of a wall just off Whidbey Island the current picks up as if telling you that it’s time to return to shallower depths. At night dive the bioluminescent organisms are lit up enjoying a lack of city light glowing with incredible intensity. Just wave your hands through Keystone’s waters at night and you will agree, an advanced drift dive from the jetty will present to you a world that is almost space like. Join diver Mike Hughes as he shows us just what it’s like to haunt the waters of Whidbey and Camano Islands. By Mike Hughes


16 Barkley Sound - The Emerald Paradise The Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Island in particular, have a magnetism that is hard to resist as a foreigner. Vancouver has earned its place among the most vibrant cities in the world and is a larger-than-life island; it is unique in the world. Vancouver is just a stepping stone however to the real gems of the island, like the Barkley Sound. Join Dutch visitor Rutger Geerling as he experiences Barkley Sound with fresh eyes and an adventurous heart. By Rutger Geerling


20 Saint Somewhere -9 Saintly Dive Destinations

Divers who visit the Caribbean on a regular basis may have told you about reef sharks, barracuda, snapper, grunts, porgies, chubs, tangs, parrot fish, puffer fish and file fish but it’s an eye opening experience when you come face to face with painted animals such as the orange and white spotted Gaudy Clown Crab. The neon blue azure vase sponge looks surreal, squids radiate seemingly electrified colors and the whale shark with thousands of small teeth inside a massive 10 ft. wide mouth is ominous and awesome all at the same time. Join diver Mike Hughes as he takes us on a whirlwind tour of the Saints of the Caribbean. By Mike Hughes

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Success is about team work T

he fact that you are reading this means we have yet again finished working hard on an edition of Dive News. Full of information to assist you in becoming more active in the sport locally as well as throughout the world. It has been a crazy couple of months. We started another dive magazine, Southeast Dive News and after attending two major industry trade shows (Our World Underwater show in Chicago and Beneath the Sea show in Secaucus, NJ) we hosted our own trade show here in Tacoma for the 4th year. BTS didn’t let us down; it was packed with divers and vendors. I believe it was their best show yet. My hat is off to the event founders Zig and Joanne Zigahn, for this incredible event. Our own Dive Expo in Tacoma is modeling their incredible example. Spring is a time of new beginnings and at Beneath the Sea it was the spirit of renewal that was apparent. Since many of you here on the west coast may not have had the chance to attend - the energy was amazing and contagious. One compelling part of the show this year was the reuniting of the Cousteau family. The family has experienced a lot of strife in the years since the death of Jacques Cousteau but reunited at the show for the common purpose of the preservation and reconstitutions of the world’s oceans. In my mind, the name Cousteau is synonymous with love of the oceans. They certainly lived up to their name and Jacques Cousteau’s legacy by continuing his work. Part of their message at Beneath the Sea, and globally through their various nonprofit organizations, is connecting with the dive community for the future of the world’s oceans. I appreciate their efforts both as a diver and as a part of the human race. We all live here after all.

I believe divers care for the ocean more than any other group since we have an intense connection with the environment. We feel it physically, connect with it visually and invest in it emotionally. We are passionate advocates for its protection; as we should be. For me, I saw the Cousteau family set a tremendous example we should all follow. They set aside their differences and united for a common purpose, something greater than themselves, a purpose we all seem to share in these turbulent economic times. I keep returning to the similarities between BTS and our Expo. They too have a local dive industry that is fragmented and struggling against the economy as well as the changes in new technologies, dealing with the competition of the Internet, customers changing their buying trends and general apathy towards outdoor sports. In this turmoil, they had one of their most successful consumer shows ever – wow! Our success as a show is due largely in part to mirroring some of the methods of BTS. This year’s Expo hosted over 5000 diving consumers. We learned that growth, while extremely difficult, is possible – even in today’s economy. The success of this year’s show was also due to the team work of the Dive News Network, combined with the support of the rest of the industry. Local dive retailers supported the show in large numbers. Dive training agencies like PADI and Diver’s Alert Network put out massive emails to their members encouraging them to attend the show. Finally, our other exhibitors put their email and social networks to work to encourage their friends to attend the show. We appreciate the efforts of all of them. Spring is a time of renewal; of reconnection; of reassessing our connective bound to each other and the earth - so those are our battle cry this month…reassess, Rick Stratton reconnect and renew!

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My Husband and I did the treasure hunt dive. We did not worry about not finding the $1000, because we knew we would be getting outstanding prizes at the expo. We even found an extra ball and gave it to a diver who did not get one. One of the volunteers on the beach said “you don’t have to rush out to get the chest, just take your time and get a ball”. So our expectations were every diver who found a ball would get a prize. When we got to the exhibition hall and they stopped calling out numbers we were a bit confused. We approached the desk and I overheard you say last year there were more prizes than divers, but that was not the case this year. A volunteer said they were done giving out prizes. I also asked the blond woman at the desk if she could check to see if my husband or I was assigned a prize. She said it would be 20 minutes before she was done with the certificates. My husband and I saw quite a few chips in the bin and realized we probably weren’t called. We left VERY disappointed and we agreed you should know how we felt. We did have the expectation everyone would get a prize and we spent quite a bit of money in gas, air, time, $70 entrance fee, attend and participate in this event. Looking at your website and being a small business owner myself, I realized why

I thought I was going to get a prize - your website stated the following: “Another important change is the way the prizes are given away. This year every diver token represents a prize. If a diver finds a token stamped Treasure Hunt 2011, they will win a prize,” Stratton said. We have improved the process of how prizes are awarded and while based on diver skills, the actual prize awarded is random.” My Husband and I were disappointed to find this statement was not true on the day of the dive. We skipped entering any vendor drawings (as we hate to give out our private info) because we “knew” we were sure to win a couple great prizes. We went home empty handed and disappointed. Disappointed Diver, Seattle, WA


Thanks for your note. It did get to the correct person and I have come up with a winwin-win solution to this problem. I am sorry you feel jipped by the results from the Treasure Hunt and want to assure you we certainly did not want to make you feel that way on purpose. We thought that we were doing EVERYTHING correctly and this is an unfortunate result of my own making. I did promise everyone would get a prize and we are going to do that.  I am sending everyone who participated in the 2011

Treasure Hunt and who did not already win a prize, a 2011 Dive & Travel Crew T-shirt. These T-shirts were worn by our volunteers and were donated to the Dive Expo’s NEW charity (a Washington State 501c) Oceans of Possibilities Foundation (OPF) by Kamala Shaddock of  Kamala purchased the shirts and donated them to the OPF as a fundraiser for the OPF.  We sold the shirts at the Dive Expo and 100 percent of the proceeds go to support the local diving community through OPF efforts. We have nearly 50 shirts remaining so we are going to donate $10 per shirt in each person’s name to OPF when we send them the shirts.  Giving you a prize for your efforts and giving OPF the funds too – a good win-win solution.  I am sorry this unfortunate event occurred.  Although I spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of my and others time designing the event, some things, as they always do, slipped through the cracks. Unfortunately I promised what we could not logically deliver and I discovered the problem too late to fix it due to a lack of prizes for all the competitors.  Next year, we are correcting the issue by realigning the contest.  Again, my apologies for the issue and I hope you do enjoy the t-shirt. Thanks so much for being a part of our Expo this year. Respectfully,    


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HOT NEWS Get your business noticed by sending us your NEWS/EVENTS: Vancouver Aquarium Presents Night at the Aquarium

On Friday, June 10, the Vancouver Aquarium presents Night at the Aquarium from 7 p.m. to midnight. For more than 50 years, the Vancouver Aquarium has been one of the community’s most unique special-event venues, providing guests with an entertaining and informative look at the often mysterious world beneath the waves. Night at the Aquarium is their signature gala fundraiser. One hundred percent of all proceeds will go to the Aquarium’s education and conservation activities. For more info visit

Local Scuba and Kayak Store Celebrates 20 Years in Business

Local scuba and kayak shop, Exotic Aquatics Ltd., celebrated 20 years in business April 1. Exotic Aquatics Scuba and Kayaking has been operating on Bainbridge Island making it a cornerstone of the local community and the go to place for watersports needs. Congrats Exotic Aquatics. For more info email

Help Destroy the HMCS Annapolis

After 3 years of effort, the ARSBC has been officially advised that the former HMCS Annapolis has been accepted as a gift to the province parks branch. With this confirmation, the Annapolis now has a new mission to become a long term stable marine habitat in Halkett Bay Provincial Marine Park, Gambier Island and will provide the bay with an opportunity for habitat restoration and needed bio-diversity. There is a need for volunteers on weekends and midweek to put the final touches on recycling and environmental readiness. Become a part of BC history, and do your part to help restore the life in the waters of Howe Sound, as well as creating a new tourist and recreational attraction. For further info visit

The Surfrider Foundation’s 10th Annual Clean Water Classic

The 10th annual Clean Water Classic surfing competition is scheduled for May 13 - 15. This event, the largest continuously run Pro/Am competition in the Pacific Northwest will take place in Westport, Washington. The Clean Water Classic weekend includes not only great surfing, but also live music, movie showings, a vendor village, silent auction and raffle. The event is a fundraiser for the Pacific Northwest Chapters of the Surfrider Foundation. A grassroots environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches. To learn more about the Surfrider foundation or find a chapter in your area please visit

Puget Sound Partnership Board meeting in Olympia

The Puget Sound Partnership’s Ecosystem Coordination Board met on April 1 in Olympia. The agenda included discussions on EPA Lead Organization work plan development, 2011 target setting, and

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The DivEncounters Alliance has arrived

Peter A. Hughes, one of the diving world’s foremost live-aboard operators has now founded the DivEncounters Alliance. The DivEncounters Alliance is a worldwide alliance of like-minded individuals who own and operate luxury live-aboard dive vessels in the world’s most highly sought after dive destinations. The DivEncounters Alliance mission statement is to provide a reliable, professional and safe live-aboard scuba experiences. All Alliance partners are carefully vetted and selected before inclusion. For more info and to meet the DivEncounters Alliance visit

Smart Gear Competition

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced the launch of the 2011 International Smart Gear Competition. The competition is designed to find innovative ways to reduce the amount of fisheries by-catch. Open to anyone from fisherman, backyard inventors and students, the competition will be open from now to Aug. 31, 2011. This competition identifies real-world fishing solutions allowing fishermen to fish smarter while helping to maintain ocean health.” The 2011 International Smart Gear Competition is offering a grand prize of $30,000 and two $10,000 runner-up prizes. Additionally, in partnership with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, the competition is offering a $7,500 special tuna prize that will be awarded to the idea that will reduce the amount of by-catch found in tuna fisheries. For more info

Kalakala May Be ‘disaster waiting to happen’ on Tacoma’s Water

The MV Kalakala, the old 1935 ferryboat, famous for its streamlined, art-deco design and tied up in Tacoma’s Hylebos Waterway for the past 6 1/2 years, is taking on water. It has begun to list precariously and is raising concerns that it’s about to sink. Jeff Barney, Bay Patrol director at the environmental watchdog group, Citizens for a Healthy Bay is concerned and says at low tides, the 276-foot ferry has been listing more than 25 degrees – enough to put openings in its hull below the water line. The ferry was bought in 2003 and has been the target of several creative ideas for restoring and marketing it – including restaurants. The concern now is that the ferry will sink and cost Puget Sound thousands to clean up. For more info on the concerns and how you can become active in combating the problem visit

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May 2: Eugene Dive Club meeting, 7 p . m . , I z z y ’s P i z z a , E u g e n e , O R May 3: Adventures Down Under Dive Club meeting, 6:30 p.m., Adventures D o w n U n d e r , B e l l i n g h a m , WA . May 3: Wet & Wild Diving Society, 7:30 p.m., Bob Lamb Training Center, F t . M c M u r r a y, A l b e r t a , C a n a d a . May 4: Emerald Sea Dive Club meeting, 7 p.m., Shawn O’Donnell’s Irish Pub & Grille, Everett, WA. May 4: Marker Buoy Dive Club meeting, 7 p.m., Sunset Hill Community Center, Seattle, WA. May 4: Puget Sound Depth Charges Dive Club meeting, 6 p.m., Louie G’s Pizza and Pasta, Fife, WA., May 5: GSNDAMBAA Dive Club meeting, 6 p.m., Edmonds Underwater Sports, Edmonds, WA. May 5: Northwest Divers Club meeting, 6:30 p.m., Various Locations, Salem, OR. May 5: Oregon Scuba Club meeting, 7 p.m., Max’s Fanno Creek, Tigard, OR. May 9: Napa Valley Divers meeting, 7 p.m., Fillippi’s Pizza Grotto, Napa, CA. May 10: Portland Sea Searchers meeting, 7 p.m., Portland, OR. 503-709-9306 May 10: Yakima Dive Club meeting, 6:30 p.m., El Porton, Yakima, WA. May 14-15: 10th Annual Clean Water Classic Pro AM Surf Contest/Fundraiser, Surfrider Foundation, Westport, WA. May 17: Atomic Ducks Dive Club meeting, 6 p.m., Bank Reale, Pasco, WA. May 17: Kelp Krawlers Dive Club meeting, 7 p.m., River’s Edge Bar & Grille, Tumwater, WA. May 26: Northwest Adventure Divers

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meeting, 7 p.m., Golden Steer Restaurant, Kent, WA. May 26: Sea Horses Scuba Club meeting, 6 p.m., Round Table Pizza, Redmond, WA.


June 1: Emerald Sea Dive Club meeting, 7 p.m., Shawn O’Donnell’s Irish Pub & Grille, Everett, WA. June 1: Marker Buoy Dive Club meeting, 7 p.m., Sunset Hill Community Center, Seattle, WA. June 2: GSNDAMBAA Dive Club meeting, 6 p.m., Edmonds Underwater Sports, Edmonds, WA. June 2: Northwest Divers Club meeting, 6:30 p.m., Various Locations, Salem, OR. June 2: Oregon Scuba Club meeting, 7 p.m., Max’s Fanno Creek, Tigard, OR. June 6: Eugene Dive Club meeting, 7 p . m . , I z z y ’s P i z z a , E u g e n e , O R June 7: Adventures Down Under Dive Club meeting, 6:30 p.m., Adventures D o w n U n d e r , B e l l i n g h a m , WA . J u n e 7 : We t & W i l d D i v i n g Society, 7:30 p.m., Bob Lamb Training Center, Ft. McMurray, Alberta, Canada. June 10: Night at the Aquarium Fundraiser, 7 p.m. – Midnight, Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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First Annual WSA & Ocean of Possibilities

Silent Auction a Success


his year’s WSA/Ocean of Possibilities Silent Auction, co-sponsored by the Washington Scuba Alliance and Dive News Network, was a huge success. Jim Trask, President of WSA and Rick Stratton, publisher of Dive News Network, are proud of what the silent auction accomplished this year. “Our first ever attempt to use this method of raising funds for Washington Scuba Alliance and Ocean of Possibilities was a great first effort,” said Trask. “In fact, it went so well we are already planning for next year when Amy Rhodes will be heading the project.” Trask says the auction had 26 prizes to bid on this year. “We had everything from a pair of gloves to a trip to the Maldives given by Ultimate Dive Travel,” Trask said. “Some of the higher end items had a minimum bid required but some of the items sold were bid over the real price. There were some who just wanted to donate too by bidding high.” Trask adds the proceeds from the auction are being split between WSA and the Foundation. “We decided to split our earnings with the

Ocean of Possibilities Foundation because it is such a good cause,” Trask said. “We received $2,759.99 for this year’s auction; that’s a lot of support from our fellow divers and dive businesses.” WSA had the silent auction booth right next to their booth this year and realized it increased traffic to their booth. “We were interviewed and videoed and had a great upsurge in membership applications,” Trask says. “We ran the auction on both days and next year we will do some things better than this year. We are still in the process of sending out the prizes to the winners but I think everyone enjoyed it.” WSA is using their share of money to put in another buoy. Kelp Krawlers donated $1,000 last year for Rosie’s Ravine and they are going to match that and get buoy in soon. The remainder will be used for other things. “The Expo was great for us and we will be back again next year for another round,” Trask said. “We were able to raise money for ourselves and help the Ocean of Possibilities Foundation; it was a satisfying outcome for both.” ■


WSA is committed to working with officials of State, County, City, and Local Departments, and volunteer divers to establish a series of underwater parks that divers and snorkelers may enjoy. Underwater preserves will help prevent the loss of marine biodiversity by creating “safe havens” for all marine life. WSA strives to create a unified group of divers, as dive clubs, dive stores, and charter operators who work together on projects. These projects make our waters a better place for its inhabitants to live and for divers to visit. WSA’s work is funded by memberships and contributions. WSA is a 501c(3) corporation. Contributions are tax deductible. ■


The Dive & Travel non-profit organization (WA501) that opens a world of possibilities to children who are interested in learning the sport and industry of diving. Our goal is to provide financial support, education and assistance to children and their families who lack the financial means to become involved in diving as well as support to members of our current dive community who have lost their family member/s to dive accidents. Each year OPF will raise funds through a variety of means, silent auctions etc to help generate funds. These funds will be initially used to fund a scholarship program (2011-2012) to encourage youth to participate in diving or diving careers. This year’s scholarship will provide financial assistance to those individuals attending an accredited middle school, high school and college with an emphasis on “any field of study related to scuba diving, marine science or oceanography” applications and studies. The OPF scholarship will be awarded to a student pursuing a certificate/degree in “any field of study related to scuba diving, marine science or oceanography” applications and studies. For More Information Rick Stratton, Publisher and Scholarship Fund Administrator or 360.240.1874 ■ 8 Dive Locally - Where It Really Matters

Northwest Dive News DECEMBER 2010

SATURDAY NIGHT FILM FESTIVAL†REGIONAL NEWS Sure Just a qu ! I'm and ick w o T ha nk yo u R h k S r c omplete note to tell you th o a ic W t k m an s f o d ly 1 o c te am a t putting on a gr y the dinn enjoyed the E at I and my dive eat show and fo r the T s Amoun t was m and e n x b o to , pe a u t th ople of Washi i e h o ob treasure r night Saturday po. We also att uddy off. T norm oyed AT J ended ally night, an hunt. I h out and supp ngton for coming h GRE as an E pull that uch enj . (especi to ave part d we do unt befo or w m v ic another great ting it - we had that ation to . I very be happy k forward od about it. re, and I know ipated in the tr e the ye ar an c y easure In o o i d d o always look u m y o forward to retu ft o e p Ded to atten emed to nce). I lo up the G n get so inion, it w get peop rn m a le --Cheryl Patte ing! year endors se Attenda ar. Keep Every ev to the expo, and s a blast, a nice d e flak rs on 's e v ent has it raw to o rg a n the aturday Next Y e iza be expec s n S ted. I thin issues that pop tion was good. with ding agai Linda Su Thank you for putting on u a k p, b nd eve f o r a --G I congratulate yo rything was a gre ut that is to atten ! Smile! another great Dive Expo. It eorge D h a n k s end. u T a k n r d o y our help at success, uncan W ek was amazing that we found the ! great we derson n treasure chest again this year. --Mark A More money to buy dive gear! Having a great time at the Expo --David Morey Film Festival! --Jack Bayliss

The Saturday Night Film Festival was also a success. Photo by Dan White

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Dive and Travel Expo 2011

an Incredible Success

Vendors helped divers try on some cool new gear! Photo by Dan White

The line to get into the Expo was long, but worth the wait. Photo by Dan White


Rick Stratton hands out the grand prize for the Treasure Hunt. Photo by Dan White

George helps a potential new diver in the TryScuba Pool. Photo by Dan White

t was a year in the making and it was countless hours making connections and setting up but in the end the 2011 Dive and Travel Expo was an incredible success and an fine example of what can happen when the dive community comes together. DTE coordinator Rick Stratton can’t say enough about how this year’s Dive and Travel Expo went. “I am still glowing,” Stratton said. “Not only was the 2011 Dive Expo our most successful ever - it was for our Exhibitor’s

too! They shook my hand and told me what a great, well run and well attended Expo it was. It was a real team effort. Everyone pitched in for the success of the group and it showed.” Stratton says that although he expected nothing but the best from his staff, they gave him even more. “Our staff worked extremely hard and deserves praise for their outstanding efforts. Our volunteers were incredible - we had nearly 100 volunteers and while I hesitate to name names for failing to

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REGIONAL NEWS   mention deserving people - I must recognize Ron Church, our head volunteer, who spent the entire weekend shepherding his flock. We also thank the Washburn Family. Once again, they took charge of our Volunteer Central and Show Front Office as well as prizes. They were absolutely incredible!” There were many dive retailers who supported the show doing everything from handing out entrance coupons to customers to promoting the show. Stratton says he believes this is the most supported show in terms of his exhibitors and retailers he has ever seen. “Our exhibitors traveled hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles to attend, sent mailers out to their customers supporting the show and their excitement was contagious,” Stratton said. “And not only did we have vendors, retailers and such but the big guns came out to support us as well, like DAN - Diver’s Alert Network and PADI who sent out over 50,000 emails to their members, promoting the show. It is a real testament for me to have this kind of support for something I personally work so hard to put together.” Stratton is so overwhelmingly excited he is already working on next year’s Dive and Travel Expo. “I know we always say that this year was the biggest and best,” Stratton says, “but believe it or not NEXT year will be even bigger.” For more info on this year’s show, results of the contests, photos and info on next year’s event visit the Dive and Travel Expo at■


Thank you to the volunteers who made the Treasure Hunt work! Photo by Dan White

Raise your hand if you liked the Expo. Photo by Dan White

Grab the chest and run! Photo by Dan White

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Whidbey and Camano Island Wickedly Captivating Dives


Map courtesy GoogleMaps ©2007

In Trouble! By Jan Kocian

By Mike Hughes Travel Editor, Dive News Network


hen I lived in Edmonds, Washington, it seemed that every two months or so, we were headed across the Mukilteo Ferry on a dive trip over to Whidbey Island. Sometimes we went representing the local dive shop with training dives as our goal and sometimes we went with a local dive club. Other times we went just for fun in groups of two and three or by charter boat and dove next to the island without ever touching shore. No matter what the draw, there was always some reason to head to the Whidbey or Camano Island area. Every diver with advanced training or some threshold number of dives under

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his/her belt should take a dive or two at Keystone Park along Keystone Jetty wall. This boulder built jetty wall dive doesn’t get much deeper than 60 ft. depending on tides, and should only be dove at slack tide unless you plan on carrying a passport and a Capitol One visa card because the current could whisk you off to Canada easily. The folks at Whidbey Island Dive Center, right behind Taco Bell in Oak Harbor, can help you with the tide tables, air fills, and last minutes dive equipment adjustments or purchases for the Keystone Park area; they know this dive site inside out. To see all that’s on this dive site, you’ll have to carry a dive light even on a bright sunny day to see

every inhabitant. You see, the nudibranchs, wolf eels, lingcod, and crabs are visible resting right on the rocks, but the giant pacific octopus prefers to hide back in the holes and crevices between meals. Shine a light back in the recesses, and you may get a glimpse of tentacles, a funnel, or a horizontal cat-like eye peering out back at you. The size of the tentacle rings will give you a good clue as to how big the octopus is. Some of the octopus here I believe are more than 12 ft. long. Although octopuses are around all during the year, it is always a special treat when you see them here. At the end of the wall the current picks up as if telling you it’s time to return to shallower

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Deceptions Color. By Jan Kocian

depths. On a night dive expect to see an entirely different cast of fish. Bioluminescent organisms are really lit up here because there is no city light glow to diminish the intensity. Just wave your hands through Keystone’s waters at night and I’m sure you will agree. An advanced drift dive from the jetty will take you to the old pilings just down the shore side. A line now runs from the southwest corner of the pilings over to the jetty and you can find it at around 42 ft. of depth. The line is not officially registered, but I think as long as it promotes dive safety and positional awareness, the rangers will let it retain its unofficial status and duties. Some dive clubs really enjoy nearby Fort Casey State Park for spending a weekend diving Keystone. Some divers prefer to stay up in nearby Oak Harbor at places like The Coachman Inn, but wherever you stay the dive trip is worth it. Some will dive here, then hop the Keystone Ferry over to Port Townsend and dive along the shores there too. We used to dive Keystone at slack, then do a second dive south at the Langley

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Tire Reef. The Langley tire reef is home to fish and crab alike. It is an easy dive with not much current. Last year, during the Langley Marina sponsored Easter egg hunt, they attached yellow polypropylene rope around the tire reef so divers would know the boundaries of the Easter egg “colored golf balls” hunt. The rope also acts as a safety barrier rope. From personal experience, I can tell you that beyond the ropes there is nothing but sand and fish bones. Inside the tire reef there is lots of invertebrate life wedged in between the tires; including succulent mouthwatering Dungeness crab for those who are lucky and carry the right permits. Over the years, the fishermen, crabbers, and divers have developed a good relationship here. Local divers are respectful of immersed fishing lines and baited crab rings, and keep a respectful distance from the stockade walls where fishermen fish from. Divers have also retrieved escaped crab rings and lost fishing poles for local fishermen. This relationship with divers has led to the building of an outdoor shower to rinse off, and three new benches to stage dive gear. I heard that an outdoor hose might soon also be added to the bench stations. Langley is also the site of a historic and romantic getaway town with good eats and plenty of unique shopping establishments. You need a day or a weekend just to explore all the landside attractions here. Don’t forget

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there are many Bed & Breakfast Inns nestled in secluded or private settings; some with phenomenal seaside views. One of my favorite dives off Whidbey Island is a boat dive at Possession Point Fingers. This wall dive has a set of finger like projections with many crevices and ledges for sea creatures of all sizes to call home. It’s one of those “bring your camera dives”. For wreck divers, the remnants of the Possession Point Ferry are the place to jump overboard. Strong wicked currents and ship traffic restrict the monthly viewing times of this site or the adjacent site of piled timbers and other random cast off structures. Other boat dives include: Deception Pass, Pass Island, and


Strawberry Island, and just about anywhere a boat crew can follow your bubbles on a slack tide. On a footnote, for some reason, boats and divers left unattended inexplicably drift in opposite directions. Just another reason to dive these sites with a knowledgeable local charter boat operation. There are several boat charter operations that frequent this area from the San Juan’s, Anacortes, and even from down south. Other shore dives include Ebey’s Landing, Admiralty Beach, and Tire Reef. On Camano Island, Pat Beach, the owner of Whidbey Island Dive Center, recommends Onomac Point. It’s a good artificial reef site with lots of sea life including plumose anemones, small invertebrates, and lingcod

large and abundant enough to hunt by spear fishermen and women. On the other side of Camano Island are the waters of Port Susan. My buddies and I like to park at Kayak State Park on the mainland to dive these waters. At certain times of the year it is a great place to catch Dungeness crab. Near the pier I have recovered countless crab rings and once even a gold wedding ring. It just goes to show - you never know what you may find on a dive. Whidbey and Camino Islands have a mystique that is popular with local divers in the PNW. You may not always find enchanted gold rings, but you will find a great time diving these captivating waters. ■

Northwest Dive News DECEMBER 2010divers - Local We support local divers support the industry.




Barkley Sound The Emerald Paradise

Map courtesy GoogleMaps ©2007

Whale at Broken Island Near Barkley Sound by Stef van Gasteren

By Rutger Geerling Guest Writer, Dive News Network


reen. I’ve always loved that color, it’s calming, warm, inviting and up here in the Pacific Northwest it is an open invitation to dive right in. Despite cold hands and frozen feet afterwards, diving green water has something that no colorful coral system can compete with; mystique. Not being able see what’s around every corner makes for underwater surprises making the PNW an incredibly fun place to dive. No wonder diving the emerald green waters of the Barkley Sound

is to me what the local ice cream shop is to my three year old daughter…paradise! Coming from the low lying Netherlands across the ocean, the mountains are like a breath of fresh air in Canada. While nature is something most of us see in the garden or the few potted plants in our house that somehow manage to survive the constant lack of water, it is so abundant in Canada that it makes it hard not to run to the first immigration officer and apply for permanent residence. The Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Island in particular, have a magnetism that is hard to resist as a

foreigner. Vancouver has earned its place among the most vibrant cities in the world and is a larger-than-life island; it is unique in the world. Vancouver is just a stepping stone however to the real gems of the island, like the Barkley Sound. Barkley Sound is home to my favorite dive lodge, Peter and Kathy’s Rendezvous Dive Adventures. This wooden, self-built three story house is situated on the still waters of Barkley Sound with incredible life such as hummingbirds, bald eagles, sea lions, black bear and the occasional whale. No worries

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Polycera Tricolor on house reef. Photo courtesy Rendezvous Dive Adventures & Peter Meiras

BARKLEY SOUND about bears; Riley, the friendly housedog loves chasing after them. As expected, the welcome is warm-hearted and Peter almost immediately starts talking away about a whale visit they had a few weeks earlier. It’s difficult to listen to his story though since we are still in awe of the surroundings and the fantastic lodge. Moments later Kathy arrived with some freshly baked cookies and we completely forgot about the tale. We are shown our room where a blow-up of the whale from Peter’s story is hanging on the wall. In the photo the gentle giant is sticking its head out of the water just meters away from the dock so now we ask Peter to finish the story and he does. How much more in awe can you be of such a place? No matter how good Kathy’s cooking is, and trust me it is really, really good, it is time to hit the water. (We were told however the the coastguard nowadays regularly “checks” the lodge’s owners “wellbeing” after discovering Kathy’s cooking….who could blame them?) The first thing we noticed in the water was just how many fish were there. The first of many sunflower starfish, with its many arms, we encountered greeted us. It looked like it had a gazillion. Even trying to count them with the help of my lamp didn’t work; not even halfway through the gigantic creature’s appendages and I’ve lost it already. Let’s just agree that it had so many arms, it was almost spooky!



Photography: Barb Roy


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NORTHWEST DESTINATION We searched for the illusive Six Gill Shark, an animal almost unchanged over the course of 150 million years. They are said to be a dark scary looking, easygoing shark that can grow up to 4 meters in length and is seen quite regularly in this area. Neither shy nor dangerous it is supposed to be the most impressive encounters you can have in these green waters. Sadly enough, no matter how hard we hope to see one, we had no such luck this time. Fortunately, that is not the case with so many of the other underwater locals we seem to encounter on every other dive. While on the wreckage of the Vanlene we are literally surrounded by seals that pop in and out of sight and despite the plankton rich waters making for low vis in the surface layer, it is still quite a treat. Their agility is amazing but makes it really tough to shoot a decent picture. Even when one is nibbling my fins I’m not even halfway turning around before it’s off again. The snake-like Wolf-Eel is also hard to photograph. Divers that encounter this scary looking dog-faced-Moray-Eel-like creature for the first time usually think of only one thing…back off! They are totally harmless but scary looking. Before I realize that it has already moved on, I also realize, once again, no picture, darn it! Perhaps it got scared by seeing its own reflection in my dive mask? Last but not least is the almost mythical Ratfish, a prehistoric little shark that seems to be made out of chromed plates. It has a kind of “pimp my fish” look. This fantastic animal is normally only found in very deep waters but seem to also enjoy the shallow at around 20-30 meters in the Barkley Sound area. They’re not that rare and the occasional one likes to pose a bit. For a shark they are on the small side


Purple ring topsnail on house reef Photo courtesy Rendezvous Dive Adventures & Peter Meiras

Opalescent nudibrach on house reef Photo courtesy Rendezvous Dive Adventures & Peter Meiras

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Photo by John Rawlings

but they are stunning to watch and photograph with all that silver bodywork. It’s hard not to make a good picture! Peter saves the best for last, a couple of years ago the coastguard seized a number of ships in very poor condition, with illegal immigrants from Asia. Instead of putting them in the scrap yard, the ships end up as artificial reefs. Somewhere along the line though calculations were missed, currents were doing something other than they were supposed to and one ship landed 140 meters deeper than planned and one disappeared but the third, the Hong Kong Xpress, was a bulls eye with a dive depth of 55 – 95 feet making it a great dive. When we see the bow appear from the green, our hearts miss a beat. What an unbelievable sight. The closer we get the more detailed everything becomes and thousands of fish are circling the wreckage. Every square inch seems to have growth of some kind. White Anemones, crabs of all forms and shapes, brightly colored nudibranchs and every other crawling or walking thing you can imagine. Using our dive lamps we can’t stop looking at everything and the green water only adds to the excitement. This is a dive trip we will not soon forget. So if you find yourself heading up to Canada, be sure to make a stop at Barkley Sound. The hospitality at Rendezvous Dive Adventures is incredible and the diving…well the diving…is unique in every way. ■

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TRAVEL DESTINATIONST. SOMEWHERE By Mike Hughes Travel Editor, Dive News Network


f you’ve never been to the Caribbean, then I highly recommend setting this article aside and leaving on the next flight out for the crystal blue waters of a place like you’ve never been before. Divers who visit the Caribbean on a regular basis may have told you about reef sharks, barracuda, snapper, grunts, porgies, chubs, tangs, parrot fish, puffer fish and file fish but it’s an eye opening experience when you come face to face with painted animals such as the orange and white spotted Gaudy Clown Crab. The neon blue azure vase sponge looks surreal, squids radiate seemingly electrified colors and the whale shark with thousands of small teeth inside a massive 10 ft. wide mouth is ominous and awesome all at the same time. Caribbean diving encompasses more than the incredible creatures and sometimes you need a quick peek, a small sample, a face to face introduction before you can select which island may best suit you. The thing is, no matter what type of diving will meet your particular needs and desires, the Caribbean has it all. Whether your favorite dive fetish is wall dives, wreck dives, photography, boat dives, or pristine shore dives, one of the islands that make up the Caribbean should not only satisfy your diving needs, but it’s probably calling out to you right now. There is undersea life in the Caribbean that rivals anywhere else in the world; from the blue spotted peacock flounder to tongue cowry shells with their leopard spotted mantles clinging to purple gorgonian sea fans the marine life here consists of huge splashes of color throughout the green and blue hues of the ocean depths. You’ll see seahorses

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and frog fish clinging to corals and rocks. Local dive masters will point these creatures out to you but as you become familiar with the fish species, you’ll find that some fish look like different species, but in fact, they are the same species, just the same fish at different stages in life. Drum fish only have a few stripes across their body as juveniles, but have spots and extra faded brown-black lines as adults. French angle fish as adults are gray oval shaped fish with tiny yellow spots, while juveniles are triangular gray fish with yellow stripes. The possibilities are seemingly endless and there are just as many diving possibilities; let’s take a look at some…

Off shore and great for snorkeling, is the Buck Island Reef National Monument. For those that want to relax, you can’t beat a bar on the Cane Bay beachfront that literally is called “Off the Wall”. I should add that liveaboards such as the Nekton vessel “Rorqual” travel around St Croix too.

Called the “American Paradise” of the United States Virgin Islands, St. Croix is 28 miles long and 7 miles wide. It is home to a spectacular 7-mile long wall dive. Off of Cane Bay depths run from 20 ft. and descend down to some 3200 ft. Columbus discovered this island in 1493, which must have been quite a surprise to the local Carib natives. The United States bought it from the Danish in 1917 for $25 million and a promise to keep the waters safe from Axis maritime aggression. When you are not diving the wall, or the town pier in Frederiksted, visit the old Whim Plantation or the dungeon at the 1794 fort above Christiansted. The steeple building has a good exhibit on Carib and Arawak Indians.

St. John

Saint Croix

St. Thomas

St. Thomas is for wreck divers. Its home to the Miss Opportunity, a 350 ft. long Hospital ship, the W.I.T Shoal, a 400 ft. freighter sunk in 80 ft. of water and a dozen other last century wrecks. It’s amazing how fast coral and sea life can take over a sunken ship. St. Thomas and St. John are both just 40 miles north of St Croix. St. John, 3 miles east of St. Thomas is national park area. There are plenty of offshore rocks, shoals, and cays. You’ll find 30-70 ft. deep dive locations everywhere. Cow and Calf Rocks are both notable as a swim through. The main attraction out here is not even in the USVI, but over in the British Virgin Islands. You can take an all day boat trip over to Salt Island. This is the home of the 1867 wreck RMS Rhone. This iron hull royal mail steamer ship is not famous just because it tried to out run a storm that turned out to be a late season hurricane, nor is it only famous because only 23 of the 146 onboard survived the event, the main reason it is so popular is

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that the wreck was the setting for the movie “The Deep.” If you look towards the bow, 75 ft. deep, you will see the hatch that Jacqueline Bisset swam thru wearing not much more than a scuba tank and a wet tee shirt. The Rhone originally broke into two pieces, but the Royal Navy decided the stern section at 20 ft. of depth was a maritime hazard so they blew it up in the late 1950’s…so much for historical preservation. The 15 ft. wide brass propeller sits on the bottom and there are checkerboard pattern tiles where once stood a galley. Wrenches are still encrusted in their original secured compartment.

St. Kitts

St Martin boasts some amazing beauty! Photo courtesy Jules Bloemen

Around St. Kitts over 400 years of European ships fighting in the bays and surrounding offshore waters has left this island with some of the oldest wrecks in the Caribbean. Coconut Tree Reef is 40-200 ft., Black Coral Reef is at 40-70 ft., and The Caves of Nevis Island are at 40 ft. with swim thru’s and grottos. Depending on the time of year you may see 6 ft. long 1300 lb. leatherback turtles come ashore at Barry’s Beach to lay clutches of oversized white ping-pong ball like eggs in the sand, but you’ll have to walk the beach at night with the turtle conservation society. Contact Steve at Dive St. Kitts for information on how to get ahold of them. Steve also told me that St Kitt’s has “some of the best Macro with frog fish, sea horses and stone fish for example, Spotted drums and their cousins are quite common. We do see plenty of green turtles and eagle rays.” ( for their information)

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TRAVEL DESTINATIONST. SOMEWHERE back to 500 BC. The Arawaks were culturally thriving until the Caribs St. Martin is home of the 1800’s British Man-O-War wreck HMS discovered them and the Caribs met a similar fate when discovered Proselyte in 50 ft. of water sporting 13 encrusted cannons. Other dives by the Europeans. include The Maze, a swim thru, Moon Hole which is a crater 20 ft. St. Barts/St. Barths/Barthelmy below the surface that opens up to 60 ft. with walls, open corridors Supposedly named in honor of Columbus’s brother, this area and caves. One Step Beyond are 2 pinnacles at 70 ft. Wrecks include has a lot of history. I’m not a history buff, but I believe that the the Gregory at 55 ft. and the Fu French exchanged this island Shen at 120 ft. and there are with Sweden in 1784 for also many other reefs as well trading rights and a free day as the artificial reef created by pass to Sam’s Club. France the remnants of the old Simpson repurchased the island in Bridge. One of the popular dives 1877 so on the surface you’ll is the Shark Awareness Dive at see Swedish names on signs, Big Mamas Reef. Here you can but the island is French in sit at 55 ft. of depth and watch almost every other way. The trained professionals feed big affluent come here, but don’t Mama and her sharp-toothed expect to see them out by cartilaginous cousins. a hot dog stand. With so On the surface this island many excellent French chefs has been co-habited and coconcentrated on one patch governed by the Dutch and of land, many visitors prefer French for the past 350 yrs. They to have meals catered in literally drew a line through the their private villas. To save a island and one side is Dutch little money on airfare, you with the capital of Phillipsburg might want to bring your own and uses Netherlands Antilles yacht. The local marina is a The Pitons of St. Lucia rise over the village of Soufriere. Florins as well as US dollars favored transit station while Photo courtesy Gregory Runyan as monetary currency. On the island hoping and can hold other side we have streets right up to 500 yachts at one time out of Paris with the capital of Marigot and Euros. Everyone should although 50 or so are typically in port. visit Fort Lois built in 1767 and the Marigot Museum with some native The island itself is formed by ancient coral reefs and boasts more Arawak artifacts dating back to 1800 BC and ceramic artifacts dating white sand beaches than any other Caribbean get away. Diving is by

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boat around surrounding rocks and shoals. The marine reserve is set up into 6 zones and marine life has made a major comeback because of concerted efforts. There are over 15 noted dive sites, 4 wrecks, caves, and reefs to choose from. Remember to bring bagfuls of dollars to exchange for a few fistfuls of Euros. This is the place to enjoy champagne boat dreams and caviar dive wishes.

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St. Lucia

St. Lucia is 27 miles long and 14 miles wide this island is home of the Soufriere Marine Management Area as well as the famous Chastnet Reef. Shore diving goes from 20-140 ft. Superman’s Flight is an awesome drift dive in front of the Petit Piton. The Key Hole is actually a set of 4 pinnacles or seamounts. You can already guess what you’ll see at Turtle Reef - Hawksbill and Green turtles. On the east side you’ll find Piton Walls and Coral Gardens, plus they have the wreck Daini Koyomaru at depth of 108 ft. and under 300 ft. long. As diving goes, this island has a lot of bang for the buck. Above ground Mt Gemie is 3,117 ft. high and there are rain forests everywhere. You can visit dormant sulfur springs, waterfalls, forts, and former pirate sites. Leatherbacks go ashore at Grande Anse Beach.

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St. Vincent

St Vincent is 18 miles long and 11 miles wide. Mount Soufriere, an active volcano, ascends 4048 ft. This is a land of black sand beaches, drift dives, wall dives and it’s an underwater photographer’s haven. It called the critter capital of the Caribbean but it’s really not fair to compare it to other single island since St. Vincent includes 32 islands; the Grenadines. Some famous dives include Coral Castle and Bat Caves. There are 30 other sites and wrecks that make this an ideal dive destination. Above the water line there is Fort Charlotte on Berkshire Hill, rain forests, and Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary.

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Broken Rules, No Definitive Symptoms

Oxygen or No Oxygen?

Chris broke the rules: his computer alerted him that he had a decompression obligation he hadn’t planned on, but he forgot to make his stop. Back on the boat, he stows his kit and sits down; he’s concerned. He and his buddy keenly evaluate Chris for symptoms of decompression sickness, but everything seems to be alright. The rules were broken; his computer confirms that, but he feels okay.

Should his buddy still administer oxygen first aid?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question; it is a topic experts have long debated. Oxygen first aid is the first line of treatment for both decompression sickness (DCS) and arterial gas embolism (AGE). The general recommendation is all divers displaying symptoms that could indicate decompression illness be given first aid oxygen on the surface; breathing pure oxygen may help alleviate and even resolve symptoms of DCS. But if it isn’t clear whether a diver is showing symptoms of DCS or if they’re not displaying symptoms

when you think they should be, what then? If the rules are broken, but a diver is not showing any symptoms of DCS, it may not be necessary to administer oxygen first aid. Look at what is there, not what should or should not be. Carefully monitor for symptoms, stay out of the water for a while and if necessary (or even desired) seek a medical evaluation. If you are uncertain, call the DAN Emergency Hotline at +1-919-684-9111; DAN can help you assess a diver’s risk of DCS. If you think a diver may be showing signs of DCS or if a diver is showing definitive symptoms, administer oxygen and activate emergency medical services. As part of your emergency action planning, you should have enough oxygen on site to administer first aid to one or more divers throughout the course of transport to medical assistance; you should have established guidelines to follow for situations that require oxygen administration. It is important to note

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“ I use DiveAlert on every dive I make. ”

If you experience symptoms for any reason following any dive, administer oxygen first aid, monitor symptoms and seek medical assistance. If rules are broken but there are no symptoms, consider administering oxygen first aid; defer to the diver’s preference. Carefully monitor the diver for symptoms and seek medical help if necessary or desired. Postpone diving and determine why the rules were broken. Make a plan so that the same rules won’t be broken on future dives. If you are not trained in administering oxygen, consider taking the DAN Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries course. DAN pioneered the use of emergency oxygen to treat diving injuries and developed the first oxygen training program for divers 20 years ago. Enhance your knowledge of oxygen first aid and equip yourself with the tools necessary to manage a diving emergency. ■


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sound insurance

that oxygen first aid may prevent or delay onset of symptoms and may also appear to resolve them. If you choose to administer oxygen first aid, continue doing so until medical professionals assume care, all the while monitoring the diver for symptoms of DCS. If in doubt, administer oxygen first aid, activate local emergency medical services or take the diver to the nearest medical facility and call the DAN Emergency Hotline, available 24 hours a day, every day. DAN can help assess a diver’s risk for DCS, provide advice on first aid and communicate with the receiving facility to coordinate care. If you have nonemergency medical questions, call the DAN Medical Information Line at +1-919-684-2948.



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Northwest Dive News DECEMBER 2010



andylamb@telus.netMYSTERY CRITTER


n March 4, 1911 the converted sailing ship Robert Kerr, laden with a full load of 1,800 tons of coal had left Ladysmith. Under the tow of the steamship Coulti, she headed toward Vancouver to supply the Empress of India with the load of fuel. As the 191 ft. (58 m.) converted wooden barque was rounding the northern tip of Thetis Island, the tug wandered off course. Subsequently, the Robert Kerr slammed into a shallow reef and sank. Fortunately, no lives were lost. The superintendent of Canadian Pacific liners declared a total loss and the hulk was sold for salvage. Over the next 50 years, number of salvours removed coal and brass. Eventually, this historic ship was abandoned and forgotten. It was not until the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that the Underwater Archaeological Society of British Columbia (UASBC) studied and documented the wreck. The Kerr was officially recognized under the B.C. Heritage Conservation Act. In 1983, a commemorative plaque was placed on the wreck. Over the years, this site has been visited and enjoyed by many wreck diving enthusiasts whom delight in seeing the significant remains and most visible structure. On March 4, 2011, the anniversary of the Robert Kerr’s sinking was marked by a special visit to the site. Chris Fenton, Holger Heitland and Jacques Marc (society president and member of the original investigation team) represented the UASBC. Peter Luckham the owner of 49th Parallel Dive Charters vessel Red Urchin hosted the event and I tagged along to help. The two primary reasons for the dive were to “replaque” the Kerr and create a video record of the event. We picked up the UASBC dive team in Chemainus on the morning of March 4 and headed for the wreck site. Storm winds were building as the morning progressed which made the exercise an increasing challenge. Nevertheless, perseverance paid off and the dive team completed their tasks which culminated with a successful plaque placement. Videographer Chris ably documented the historical event. A second event planed for the day was to place a 2nd plaque on the nearby wreck of the Miami. This effort had to be abandoned due to very heavy seas and limited ability to anchor on the sandy bottom. No one wanted to risk damaging the wreck further by dragging anchor in the storm force winds. Peter has retained the plaque and plans its placement upon the 320 ft (97m) collier’s remains later in the year – ideally on a calm 26



and pleasant day. The Red Urchin and dive team returned to Chemainus happy to have been at the site

of the Robert Kerr exactly 100 years after her loss at sea. A memory to share with our grandchildren.■

Vancouver Island 49th Parallel Dive Charters

Custodians of the Boeing 737 Artificial Reef Day trips &

Historic shipwrecks


Porlier Pass



Onboard air

37 ft boat

Giant stride with us!

1-250-252-0758 or Dive Locally - Where It Really Matters

Northwest Dive News DECEMBER 2010



Understanding Marine Weather

Sea Breeze

By Captain Bob Figular


he ability for the ocean to absorb and store energy from the sun is huge. This is due to the transparency of the water that allows the sun’s rays to penetrate deep into the ocean. In clear, tropical water, light can reach a depth of 500-650 ft., meaning that it takes a great amount of heat to raise the temperature over such a large volume of water. In addition the constant turbulence from wind and weather continually mix the water distributing heat over large volumes requiring even more heat to raise the temperature. In contrast to the ocean, the sun’s rays do not penetrate deep into dry ground but are confined typically to just a few inches at the top.


Consequently, the land on a daily basis, while it heats up many times more rapidly than the ocean it can also loose that heat just as rapidly at night. For coastal areas, this difference on heating can have a large impact on the weather by the formation of the sea and land breezes and is in fact the basic reason we observe wind in the first place. While the sea breeze is generally associated with the ocean, they can occur along the shore of any large body of water such as the Great Lakes. The sea breeze circulation is comprised of two opposing flows; one at the surface (called the sea breeze) and one aloft (which is a return flow). These two flows are a result of the difference in air pressure between the land and sea generated by the sun’s heating. At the surface, the sun warms both the ground and ocean at the same rate. However, since the heat in the ground is not absorbed well it returns its heat to warm the air. The warmed air, with its decreased density, begins to rise. The rising air creates a weak low-pressure area (called a thermal low) due to a decrease in air mass at the surface. Typically, from 3,000 to 5,000 feet above this low pressure, as the air cools, it begins to collect resulting in an increase in pressure, creating a “high”. These differences in pressures over land, both at the surface and aloft are greater than the differences in pressures over water at the same elevations. Therefore, as the atmosphere seeks to reestablish equal pressure both onshore and offshore, two high-pressure to low pressure airflows develop; the offshore flow aloft and surface onshore flow, called the sea breeze. ■

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Northwest Dive News DECEMBER 2010


GEAR BOX Want to submit a review? Email us: diving at the North Pole, tropical Sherwood Magnum Regulator waters, or where no frog has ever

A compact, precision-crafted dive light, the Sherwood Magnum is the regulator of choice for many professional and recreational divers. Two primary-flow ports boost outlet pressure to the second stage for easier breathing making this regulator a favorite. It also has a balanced piston design providing easy breathing as tank pressure decreases. For more info visit

Frog Spit

Look out amphibious mask users, there’s a new awesome and fascinating defogger in town and it goes by the sensuous and sophisticated name of “Frog Spit”. This formidable fog free focus formula is not really extracted from friendly fearless frogs; it really is a secret concentrated formula that once applied to your mask can last up to 3-4 dives. Developed for cold waters, it is used to provide long lasting lens protection whether

TROPICAL DIVE DIRECTORY aUStralia Blue Ocean Marine Pty.Ltd. 415.830.3846


Calypso Beach Retreat 303.264.8333 Hugh Parkeys 888.223.5403 Sun Breeze Hotel 1.800.688.0191


Buddy Dive Resort 599.717.5080.518 Deep Blue Adventures 888.266.2209 Divi Resorts 954.545.0269 Quest Dive Adventures 770.992.8414 Villa Makoshi Lower Level 780.483.0044

BritiSh Virgin iSland

NV Yacht Charters 443.829.8576

CaYMan iSlandS Deep Blue Adventures 888.266.2209 28

gone before. Place a small amount on mask, rub vigorously, rinse, and go diving. This is an easy to use fast track mask defogger. For more info visit

Maxspect Dive Lights –DIVMAX01  

Maxspect Dive Lights provide a temperature monitor so the torch will automatically adjust the intensity of the light to maintain an internal temperature within safety limits. This To get the Tag Reader is one of the safer dive lights made visit today. It provides on your mobile phone protection against browser. over-discharge on the Lithium Battery and is driven by a constant current bias circuit. The DIVMAX 01 has two modes of light intensity adjustment, a Step adjustment and Continuous adjustment with multiple flash modes. As an added incentive the Maxspect Dive Light also sports a remaining battery life indicator: Green (75%), Red (15%), Flashing Red (10%) For more info visit

An alphabetical listing of participating dive shops, charters, live aboards and resorts in tropical locations around the world.

CaYMan iSlandS Cont... Divetech@Cobal Coast Dive Resort 888.946.5656 Southern Cross Club 800.899.2582 Sunset House 800.854.4767

CoSta riCa Quest Dive Adventures 770.992.8414

CoZUMEl Albatros Charters 888.333.4643 BlueBubbleScuba 987.872.4240 Deep Blue Adventures 888.266.2209 Island DreamsTravel 713.973.9300 Scuba Du 310.684.5556


Ocean Encounters 800.932.6237


Beqa Lagoon Resort 800.542.3454 Dancer Fleet 305.669.9391 Deep Blue Adventures 888.266.2209 Dive Away Fiji 888.266.2209 Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat 679.992.4001 Koro Sun 970.209.4265 Lalati 877.750.0233 Matava 679.333.6222 Qamea Resort & Spa 649.360.0217 Quest Dive Adventures 770.992.8414 Wananavu 679.669.4433

florida Conch Republic Divers 800.274.3483 Northwest News DECEMBER 2010 GET YOUR BUSINESS LISTED HERE - JUST $20! Call US Dive 360.240.1874



Local Artist Uses Ocean Inspiration to Touch Lives


lot of artists draw on the world’s oceans for inspiration. The abundance of life, the colors of the entire spectrum of the world and the very heartbeat of the planet flowing constantly on the tides begs the artist…write about me, draw me…paint me…sculpt me. Local artist Jennifer Umphress hears the call and rises to it every day. Umphress is a Whidbey Island resident who works with glass. She uses an interesting method called, “lampworking”. Lampworking is a type of glasswork where the artist uses a gas fueled torch to melt rods and tubes of clear and colored glass. The glass is formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. The art form was practiced in ancient Syrian and later in Italy in the 14th century. Lampworking is different from glassblowing and is used to create intricate detailed work. Umphress has been working in the medium for over 10 years now and is well known for her work in the dive world. “Glass to me is the ideal medium because it has it all; color, dimension, clarity and reflection,” Umphress says. “This medium enables me to express my thoughts and or feelings in the moment.” Umphress recently saw her art help her with another lifelong calling, parenthood. Her son Izaiah was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma and underwent 5 months of intense chemotherapy. The

TROPICAL DIVE DIRECTORY florida Cont... Horizon Divers 305.453.3535 Off The Wall Adventures 863.709-9253 SpruceCreekScuba 386.767.1727 The Dive Station (407) 843-3483


Divencounters 877.323.DIVE

hondUraS Deep Blue Resort 011.504. Utila Tours 800.668.8452 337.893.0013

indonESia Deep Blue Adventures 888.266.2209 Island DreamsTravel 713.973.9300 Kungkungan Bay Resort & Spa 530.347.2300 Lembeh Hills Resort 62.812.441.18.000

bills were high but Umphress’s art and the art community stepped up to help pay for Izaiah’s medical bills through online auctions and raffles being held. She caught the heart and eye of local diver Donna Melton recently who was in awe of Umphress’s work and of her plight with her son. “I wanted to share with the diving community an amazing artist who works in glass,” Melton said. “All of her artwork is amazing, but what really caught my attention was her gift in capturing sea life in glass. When I saw that the local art community was also holding raffles to help raise money for her son’s medical expenses. I was really touched. It is so good to see both the art and the dive community reach out to this artist and her son.” Izaiah is continuing treatments and the auctions are ongoing. Other local artists are also getting involved with their art work and now, the dive community is also stepping up to help by spreading the word. “Jennifer’s artwork is amazing,” says Dive News Publisher Rick Stratton. “The sea life she creates out of glass is so detailed and intricate; it looks like something just came out of the water. We want to help spread the word that this wonderful local artist has a need and by obtaining some of her work, we can all help.” Born and raised in California, in 1991 after visiting Hawaii and falling in love with its beauty Umphress moved there. Hawaii is where she began her career in glass in 2000 working and apprenticing in a small studio retail shop in the islands. She soon attended the Sundance Art Center in Santa Cruz, California and then spent one month in Murano, Italy studying under Cesare Toffolo, a world class glass master. In 2006 she relocated to Kingston, Washington where she now works. This year she and her family have battled Izaiah’s illness but Umphress also continues to work. For a chance to see Umphress’s work or to take part in one of the online auctions email her at or visit: ■

To be listed in our Tropical Dive Directory call 360.240.1874 or email us at

indonESia Cont... Pindito Liveaboard 831.818.8594 Quest Dive Adventures 770.992.8414 Tasik Ria Resort Spa & Diving 62.431 -.824.445 Worldwide Dive and Sail 866.258.6398

MExiCo Abyss Dive Center 52.984.873.2164 Aquanauts Dive Adv. 52.998.206.9365

PhiliPPinES Atlantis Dive Resort 775.588.0500 Deep Blue Adventures 888.266.2209 Island DreamsTravel 713.973.9300

rEd SEa - EgYPt Fly & Sea Dive Adventures 888.995.DIVE(3483) Learning Through Travel 516.781.5556


CoCo View Resort Roatan 800.282.8932

SEa of CortEZ/SoCorro iSlandS Rocio Del Mar 602.558.9580

St. Croix (U.S. Virgin iSlandS) BVI Scuba 284.540.2222 Cane Bay Dive Shop 340.773.9913 Jost Van Dyke 800.778.8066

St. kittS Dive St. Kitts 869.564.8914

St. VinCEnt Bequia Dive Adventures 784.458.3826

tUrkS & CaiCoS Oasis Divers 649.946.1128 Dive Provo 649.946.5040

Northwest Dive News DECEMBER 2010 GET YOUR BUSINESS LISTED HERE - JUST $20! Call US 360.240.1874



A listing of participating dive shops, charters, resorts, and independent instructors


Dive Commercial Int’l

Anacortes Diving & Supply


(360) 293-2070


Aluminator Water Taxi

Washington Divers


(360) 676-8029


Lighthouse Diving Center

Seattle Seattle

(206) 524-1633


(206) 374-2937



(206) 362-3310


Gone Diving


(360) 738-2042



(360) 676-4177


Underwater Sports


(509) 751-1095


Scuba Center of Spokane



(425) 512-8811


Bandito Charter


Naknek Charters Hoodsport N Dive Undersea Adventures

Friday Harbor

(360) 378-9297


Lighthouse Diving Center

Hood Canal

(360) 877-6818


Bubbles Below



Adventures Down Under Odyssey Diving

(206) 571-3273


Seattle Scuba Schools

Evergreen Dive Service

(206) 784-5050 Commercial Store (253) 973-0370



(253) 627-7617



(425) 424-3483

Dive Center



(509) 735-0735



(253) 854-3294


Diver’s Dream Charters

La Conner

(360) 202-0076


Ocean Quest Water Sports

Mike’s Beach Resort


(360) 877-5324


Abyssal Diving Charters 49th Parallel Dive Charters


(250) 252-0758


Cedar Beach Resort


(250) 252-0758

Dive Resort

Scuba Sports

Lighthouse Diving Center


(425) 771-2679


Dolphin Charters


(425) 493-2550


Oak Harbor

(360) 675-1112


Whidbey Island Dive Coachman Inn

Oak Harbor

Broken Island Adventures

UB Diving Hornby Island Diving

Capital Divers


(360) 866-3684


Ocean Pacific Watersports

Northwest Dive Charter


(253) 370-5144


Scuba Sports


(888) 728-6200


(604) 436-1157

Campbell River (800) 499-2297

Resort/Charter Store Charter


(877) 883-3483


Hornby Is.

(250) 335-2807

Dive Resort


(250) 828-0188



(253) 854-3294


Scuba Supplies

Port Angeles

(360) 457-3190


Divers Choice Charters


(866) 716-8867


Admiralty Dive Center

Port Townsend

(360) 379-3483


Sink or Swim Scuba & Watersports


(250) 758-7946


Townsend Bay Dive

Port Townsend

(360) 385-2353


Sundown Diving


(888) 773-3483


Nanaimo Dive Outfitters


(250) 756-1863


Rendezvous Dive Adventures

Port Alberni

(877) 777-9994


Browning Pass Hideaway

Port Hardy

(877) 725-2835 Resort/Charter

A-2-Z Scuba Instruction ScubaSET Adventure Center


(253) 840-3483



(253) 841-5666


Catala Charters

Port Hardy

(800) 515-5511


God’s Pocket Resort

Port Hardy

Mamro Adventures

Port Hardy Liveaboard

Alpha Dive Services

Powell River

(604) 485-6939


Copper Island Diving

Salmon Arm

(250) 832-5737



(800) 665-DIVE


Tahtsa Dive Charters


(250) 934-6365



(250) 725-3251


Ocean Planet Adventures


(250) 725-2221


Union Bay

(250) 335-2342

Dive Resort


(604) 329-3486

Charter Beyond Deep Diving Ogden Point Dive Wilson Diving Services


(250) 475-2202



(888) 701-1177



(250) 478-4488


ALBERTA Adventures in Scuba


(403) 299-7751


Aqua Sport Scuba Centre


(403) 686-6166



(403) 243-4616


Northwest Scuba

The Dive Shop


(780) 438-1218


Sub Sea Experience


(780) 434-1433


The Dive Outfitters


( 888) 483-0049


Grand Prairie

(780) 832-7209


(208) 319-3483


Just for You Crew & Dive Services

IDAHO Dive Magic 30


GET YOUR BUSINESS LISTED HERE - JUST $12.50! Call US 360.240.1874


DIVE DIRECTORY Island Fever Diving

MONTANA Sports Cove


(907) 747-7871




(406) 585-9926


Helena Scuba


(406) 442-4334


Aqua Zone


(808) 923-3483


Glacier Divers


(406) 253-4016


Dive Oahu


(808) 922-3483



(808) 589-2177



(503) 642-3483


Honolulu Scuba Company


(808) 220-0577


Astoria Scuba



Rogue Scuba, Inc.

Central Point

(541) 830-5551


Eugene Skin Divers Supply


(541) 342-2351


Grants Pass

(800) 482-1599


Pearl Harbor Divers

OREGON Aaron’s Dive Shop


(808) 262-2333


Big Island Divers


(808) 329-6068


Jack’s Diving Locker


(808) 329-7585


Adventure Sports, Inc.


(503) 491-0107


Kona Honu Divers


(808) 324-4668


South Beach Scuba


(541) 867-4944


Pacific Rim Divers


(808) 334-1750


Aquatic Sports


(503) 245-4991


Torpedo Tours


(808) 938-0405


Oregon Underwater


(503) 761-8526


Wanna Dive


(808) 937-1175


Diver’s Den


(541) 673-3710


Dive & Sea Maui


(503) 588-3483


Mauna Lani Sea Adventures

Under Water Works


(503) 620-6993


SeaSport Divers


Capt. Charley Scuba Shack



(808) 885-7883


Koloa, Kauai

(800) 685-5889



(877) 213-4488




(907) 770-1778


Lahaina Divers


(800) 998-3483


Scuba Do, Inc


(907) 486-2960


Mike Severns Diving



Test the Waters

North Pole


get your business listed here

Call roosevelt at 360-240-1874 or

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Just go to your local dive store and pick up a complimentary copy. our mission is: bringing the local dive shop more customers and helping you be more active in the sport. of course—if you want a printed edition mailed to your home that isn’t free. cost $20/yr=12 months. call us at (360) 240-1874 GET YOUR BUSINESS LISTED HERE - JUST $12.50! Call US 360.240.1874


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May 2011 Vol 15. Issue 5  

Northwest Dive News May 2011