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January 2012



LAKE DIVING In Northern California

BONAIRE The Second Time’s a Charm

DOWNTOWN aQUARIUM Diving in Denver, CO

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◄ Cover by Doug Sloss

Photo taken of Shane Taylor, co-owner of A-1 Scuba in Englewood, Colorado and dive photographer Doug Sloss while divers were doing a “shark dive” in the Downtown Denver Aquarium. The Aquarium features the adventure of a lifetime dive in the Sunken Shipwreck exhibit where divers swim with Sand Tiger sharks, Brown sharks, Zebra sharks, Barracudas, Guitar Fish and Saw Fish or hang out underwater with Pacific Green Sea Turtles. For more information see our story on page 16

Southwest Dive News

The complete resource for diving in the Southwest.

Publisher / Editor-in-Chief Rick Stratton Production Manager IJ James Graphic Designer TJ Pierzchala Expo Coordinator Selene Muldowney Accounts Manager Tove Chatham Advertising Sales Manager Julie Holley (360) 240-1874 x111 Circulation/subscriptions


Dive News Magazine is committed to promoting the sport of scuba diving in the Southwest. We will present a practical, unbiased point of view regarding all aspects of the sport of scuba diving. We encourage 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. Send us your stories and photos! IMPORTANT NOTICE The Dive News Magazine reserves the right to refuse service to anyone. The contents of Southwest Dive News are opinions of individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, editor or 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 containing inherent risks. Improper use of diving equipment or diving techniques may result in serious injury or death. Readers are advised to use their best judgment in each individual situation. MOVING? In order to continue receiving your magazine uninterrupted, please notify Southwest Dive News when you change your mailing address. To ensure uninterrupted service, please contact us six to eight weeks before the change of address occurs. You can call us at 360-240-1874 PST or email us at or mail at: Bedrock Publications P.O. Box 1494 Oak Harbor, WA 98277


Monthly Columns Publisher’s Note.................................4 Incoming Mail.....................................5 Southwest Hot News.........................6 Southwest Activities............................7

Regional News................................8-9 Gear Box.....................................22-23 Tropical Dive Directory................22-23 Local Dive Directory....................22-23

Northern California Expo 10 Stay & Dive Package: May 10-11

Divers who visit the Northern California Dive & Travel Expo held May 12-13, 2012 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA will receive a deal well worth bragging about. The Northern California Dive & Travel Expo hosted by the Dive News Network Media Group has partnered with the Hyatt Hotel, located adjacent to the Santa Clara Convention Center, to offer FREE admission for every hotel guest to the Dive Expo.

LOCAL DIVE DESTINATION 12 California Lake Diving: Part 1

California divers are among the luckiest in the country with plentiful access to fantastic, coastal dive sites. However, there are also dozens of lakes throughout California overlooked by divers that can bring a lot of joy. These lakes are great for salvage dives, sometimes dinner, but always lots of fun. Best news is most Californians live close to a lake and they can enjoy a dive after work, during a long lunch break, when the ocean is rough, or on the weekend without making a big production out of driving to the coast. By Bruce Watkins

SOUTHWEst DESTINATION 16 Denver Aquarium – Diving Downtown

Some dive businesses believe absolutely everyone should be able to dive and while the thought is great, wouldn’t it be even better to put that concept into action? You know…like A-1 Scuba and the Denver Aquarium have? That’s right the Denver Aquarium along with a dive shop, an icon in their community of Englwood, Colorado, are putting action behind the concept and it is turning out lots of new divers.

TROPICAL DESTINATIONS 18 Bonaire – The Second Time’s a Charm

With its pristine reefs and diverse marine life Bonaire gives the diver an opportunity to see an environment untouched and unspoiled. I couldn’t wait to get back after my first trip last November so when my daughter, Amanda, and I were invited back to take part in the Kids Sea Camp I jumped at the chance. Join me as I show you that some things are definitely better the second time around. By Rick Stratton

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elcome to the January edition of Southwest Dive News. As always, we have slaved over this edition filling it up with news and information designed to help you become more active in the sport – locally where it really matters. I’m very excited to bring you this edition. It represents, in a way, all the things we’re hoping for our business and our industry for 2012. Like all small businesses, we have been affected by the recession and it has had an effect on our business and occasionally even our attitude. New Year’s is about new beginnings and we are hopeful and optimistic about what 2012 will bring. I am expecting good things and good fortunes this year. We are working hard to create everincreasing value for our readership and supporters this year. It has been a lot of hard work. But our hard work is beginning to pay off. This year we are doing a lot of new things. Our online edition is growing fast. By offering ALL of our content online each month, we offer instant access to the dive information and update it almost instantly. We are also expanding our E-reader with a larger and more comprehensive software upgrade. The new magazine online will incorporate embedded video and better links to other businesses for our readers and supporters. Our physical edition will have all this content link with QR codes and Smart Tags so those readers can get the digital content on their phones – creating a true hybrid product. In all –it will be a better magazine and better reading experience – coming soon to a magazine near you. Realizing we are not the only innovative ones, we looked around for similar minded business owners. People who are working hard, have a positive attitude and are proactively dealing with today’s economy to go out and find business wherever and whenever opportunity presents itself. Dan King, owner of Diver Dan’s Wet Pleasures Inc, in Santa Clara, California – one of California’s most successful dive stores with a large retail and online presence, has been in business for 17

years serving customers in the Bay Area. One of the positive and proactive programs they are doing in 2012 is a program they first used 17 years ago when he first opened. “Sometimes in business you need to hit the reset button and go back to the basics. We are focusing on old fashioned customer service. This is especially important when competing against the Internet – because the Internet cannot provide this kind of personal service.” “We are doing a program this year we call – no diver left behind. That means we will run our classes no matter how many are signed up, even if there is just one diver. This way, they get what they expect and we do not get a reputation for canceling classes when they are not full. We want a reputation for running classes no matter what – that comes back to us in the form of sales eventually.” We applaud the efforts of Dan King and similar minded business owners and managers who are coming up with creative and innovative ways to stay strong and customer friendly in this economy. We know with these people in our industry we are in good company. Have we’ll see you out diving in 2012.

“We are focusing on old fashioned customer service. This is especially important when competing against the Internet – because the Internet cannot provide this kind of personal service. .” Dan King Diver Dan’s Wet Pleasures

Santa Clara, CA

a happy new year and

Rick Stratton,

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Dear Rick,

I love your hot news, it’s phenomenal! Every month is something relevant. And not to keep complimenting here, but your activities listing provides me with plenty of ideas to help me stay active. There’s a problem here though, I’m in charge of a local dive group (we are not a club), and I need to know how to get our event listed? Do I have to pay to be included in your hot news section? What if I want to submit a dive site review, will I get it printed even though I’m an amateur? Thanks for all your hard work compiling this info for us! Curious George

Dear George,

Thank you for the kudos! We work hard and we appreciate you noticing! It’s all free! We love sharing events, news, parties, dive site reviews and anything else you have to say with our readers. To get your event listed, you can email us (editor@ or you can give us a call (360) 240-1874. A few things to mention, the sooner you get us your information the better. We ask for a minimum of 6 weeks advance notice. For example, if your event is April 5, we would want to know details at the beginning of February so we can get you in both the March and April editions with our events page. If you have hot news to share, send it to us. You don’t have to pay to be included, just have something newsworthy to share! Send us a press release, send us something you read, or call us to share info about your latest dive. Also, you don’t have to be a writer to be published. We are happy to print your news or dive site review. Our team of writers is available to help you put together your thoughts. We will take your draft versions and edit them with your approval. I keep a recorder on my desk and can take an interview over the phone about a dive you feel was particularly cool. While we don’t always have space in the printed edition of the magazine, we always have space online to share what’s coming up. Our mission is to promote diving locally, and any news/event which can help fulfill this mission can be shared, and we will find a way to share it! Thanks again for the kudos, and let us know when your next dive group dive happens!

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Rebreather Event Planned to Raise Money for The Spectre Dive Boat Crew Announces Trips to Schools and At Risk Teens Northern Channel Islands

Oceanic Ventures of Houston, Texas and InnerSpace Systems are hosting a weekend of rebreather events March 29 – April 3 to raise funds for schools and at-risk teens. The program will include lectures, pool demos of the Path-finder, a new recreational rebreather, and a benefit dinner with keynote speaker Leon Scamahorn, CEO and founder of Inner Space Systems. The benefit will include dinner, a raffle, door prizes, and a photo program of rebreather diving around the world. All proceeds of the event will benefit Oceanic Ventures Foundation a 501(c)(3) corporation focusing on helping the Bonaventure Boys home in Grand Cayman. For more info visit

REI, C.I. Outfitters and Truth Aquatics Collaborating on a Series of Epic Island Adventures

In a collaborative effort between REI, Channel Islands Outfitters, and Truth Aquatics they are introducing a new Island Adventure trip series for 2012. Starting in the new year, REI is sponsoring four excursions to the Northern Islands aboard Truth Aquatics vessels. Each 3-day trip includes kayak guide services by Channel Island Outfitters and is fully staffed with naturalist guides. For more info visit

Project AWARE Foundation Board of Directors Launch a Challenge for the Ocean

In a special Project AWARE Foundation event held at PADI headquarters, California, the Project AWARE Foundation board announced the Challenge for the Ocean Grant will be used to address two major ocean issues – sharks in peril and marine debris. The Project AWARE event was held Nov. 12 and was titled Artisans of the Sea. It featured the support and donated artwork by three world-renowned marine artists, Wyland, Rogest and Blu Rivard. Silent auction proceeds went to support AWARE’s two major ocean initiatives. To participate in the Challenge Grant contact Project AWARE Foundation. To sign the shark petition and join the movement to protect our ocean planet visit

Calboat Diving, located in Ventura Harbor, is announcing daily trips to the Northern Channel Islands with the Spectre. Owner Ted Cumming has spent most of his life on and under the waters of the Channel Islands and he has operated the Spectre for over twentyfive years.  At eightyfive feet, the Spectre is one of the largest dive vessels in California with individual dive stations for forty divers. The Spectre specializes in single-day dives to Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands. Weekday trips include three dives departing at 8 a.m. and returning at 4:30 p.m.  Weekend trips are typically four dives departing at 7 a.m.  All trips include air fills, meals, snacks and drinks. For more info visit .

Club Aquarius to Host Special Guest Speakers

Club Aquarius will host Underwater Photography with Oceanic VenturesJan. 17 at 11 a.m. at the OVI Facility. Join Ed Erwin, Professional Photographer, for an introduction to the world of underwater photography. Bring your own underwater camera. Jan 22, Club Aquarius will meet at 7 p.m. to hear special guest speaker Andrew Trent for “Too Deep to See, the Development of Deep Water Technology”. RSVP for details and location at or

Scuba Exercises Help Stroke Survivor Recover

Local diver Mark Wager is using scuba diving as a form of physical therapy after having a stroke on Feb. 6, 2009. Wager’s rehabilitation from his stroke includes twice weekly attending

Long Beach To Host Southern California Travel Show

The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show will take place on Jan. 14-15 at the Long Beach Convention Center. This is the 7th year for the annual Travel and Adventure show. This year visitors will hear travel tips from the experts including travel legends Andrew Zimmern, Samantha Brown, Pauline Frommer, Patricia Schultz and more. For more info visit 6

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two-hour scuba sessions in the pool of the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Wager said the sessions are beginning to strengthen the muscles in his left arm, left leg and left side of his body, which he described as being “useless” at one time after the stroke. Wager, a former Hill Air Force Base aircraft mechanic who took medical leave from his job in May 2011, said his therapy regimen will, over time, allow him to regain full use of his left arm and leg. “I’m using muscle I haven’t used before,” said Wager, who since September has regularly participated in the therapy sessions with veterans who are amputees as a result of war. Tonua Hamilton, a physical therapist at the VA hospital, recommended Wager enroll in the scuba program offered at the pool on the hospital campus after running into him in the hall of the hospital. Wager’s scuba therapy has given him more freedom of movement. For more info on how scuba helps the injured visit

Oceanic Ventures Welcomes New Divers

Oceanic Ventures recently welcomed some really “new” divers into the world when one of their staff, David Morris and his wife Marissa brought Morgan Morris into the world. David even laughed that she was already becoming a nitrox diver because she was on elevated oxygen (i.e. nitrox) while in the incubator after her delivery. Another “new diver” comes to Ocean Ventures from one of their diving clients, Giles Adam. His beautiful baby girl, Genevieve, was born on October 25. OV owners Ann and Eric were also privileged to serve as God Parents for Anna Coussirat, the daughter of longtime customers and friends Dan and Angie Coussirat. Congrats to all.


Jan 2: Houston Underwater Scuba Club Holiday Party. Members only, St. Arnolds Brewery, Houston, TX. Jan 3: Bay Area Divers Board of Director Meeting, 7 p.m., La Brisa Mexican Bar & Grill, League City, TX. Public and BAD members welcome. Jan 4: Diving Rebels Scuba Club 6:30 p.m., Humperdink’s, Arlington, TX. Jan 5: Sea Ventures Dive Club Meeting, 7 p.m., Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant, Fullerton, CA. Jan 9: Antelope Valley Desert Divers, 7 p.m., Primrose Room of the Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale, CA. Jan 10: Bottom Dive Dive Club Meeting, 7 p.m. Elite Circle Grill, Waco, TX. Jan 11: Burbank Dive Club 7 p.m., The Buchanan Arms in Burbank, CA. www. Jan 11: Lunarfins Dive Club, 7 p.m. Clear Lake Park, 5000 NASA Parkway, TX Jan 11: Pacific Explorers 6:30 p.m., Denny’s Restaurant in Canoga Park, CA. Jan. 14-15: Adventures in Travel Expo, Long Beach Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA. Jan 18: Channel Islands Divers 6:00 p.m., Pirates Grub N’ Grog in Oxnard, CA. Jan 25: Aquatic Image Makers, 7 p.m., Round Table Pizza, Folsom, CA. Jan 25: Diving Rebels Scuba Club Christmas Party, Lake Arlington, Arlington, TX. Jan 25: Bay Area Divers General Club Meeting 7 p.m. Mario’s Flying Pizza, Webster, TX. Jan 26: University SCUBA Club at UT Austin, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., SSB 4.212, Austin, TX. Jan 26: San Diego UW Photographic Society 7 p.m., Scripps Inst. of Oceanography Auditorium, San Diego, CA. Jan 28-29: San Marcos River Dive and Clean Up with Diving Rebels, Texas. See site for details.


Feb. 1: Diving Rebels Scuba Club 6:30 p.m., Humperdink’s, Arlington, TX. Feb 6: Houston Underwater Scuba Club Holiday Party. Members only, St. Arnolds Brewery, Houston, TX.

Feb 7: Bay Area Divers Board of Director Meeting, 7 p.m., La Brisa Mexican Bar & Grill, League City, TX. Public and BAD members welcome. Feb 8: Burbank Dive Club 7 p.m., The Buchanan Arms in Burbank, CA. Feb 8: Lunarfins Dive Club, 7 p.m. Clear Lake Park, 5000 NASA Parkway, TX Feb 8: Pacific Explorers 6:30 p.m., Denny’s Restaurant in Canoga Park, CA. Feb 9: University SCUBA Club at UT Austin, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., SSB 4.212, Austin, TX. Feb 13: Antelope Valley Desert Divers, 7 p.m., Primrose Room of the Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale, CA. Feb 14: Bottom Dive Dive Club Meeting, 7 p.m. Elite Circle Grill, Waco, TX. Feb 15: Channel Islands Divers 6:00 p.m., Pirates Grub N’ Grog in Oxnard, CA. Feb 22: Aquatic Image Makers, 7 p.m., Round Table Pizza, Folsom, CA. Feb 23: San Diego UW Photographic Society 7 p.m., Scripps Inst. of Oceanography Auditorium, San Diego, CA. Feb 23: University SCUBA Club at UT Austin, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., SSB 4.212, Austin, TX. Feb 25: The Sea Divers Club Dive with Wreck: Star of Scotland. Max of 6 divers. Feb 25-26: Arctic Dive/Wine & Cheese Festival at Lake Murray, OK with Diving Rebels Texas. See site for details

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Dogs attack in Terrill Texas

Southwest Dive News photos


iving Unlimited International ( DUI) the 10th annual divers party and drysuit demonstration event called a DOG Rally at Clear Springs SCUBA Park in Terrill Texas Nov. 19 and 20. Popular and well attended with over 160 DOG’s (DUI Owners Group) and several DUI dive retailers participating. As a relative newcomer to the Southwest I did not know what to expect arriving in Texas. Flying to Dallas Fort Worth, a suburb of Grapevine, Texas, I met up with Susan Long, president of DUI and Jessica, public safety diving coordinator and head of customer service. Susan and Jessica were hungry from their long flight from San Diego, so we immediately made our way to a local restaurant called Dough, owned by a friend of Susan’s. The food was fantastic. It was simple, first rate Italian cuisine and pizza, delivered with a strong Texas accent - so began my weekend in Texas. The DUI event began on Friday with a Public Safety Diving workshop and demonstration. The public safety divers were from a variety of public safety departments including FBI, police, and other fire rescue teams. The Grapevine dive team showed up in this incredibly tricked out truck – way to go guys! The public safety day went well preparing us for a very basic busy weekend . Saturday’s weather was great. Clear skies and warm temperatures allowed a crowd of divers to show up - our little staff was swamped. I was there to take pictures and promote our new magazine Southwest Dive News but was quickly called in to help. I pitched in to help divers go through the stages of the dry suit demo event. According to Susan Long, President of DUI, “The purpose of the event is to support local DUI dealers by helping them introduce their divers to drysuit diving specifically in a DUI drysuit. The divers appeared to love the experience and treated the event more like a divers party. On Sunday the weather was mostly clear. The DOGs showed up a bit later and the pace was more relaxed. We had many repeat divers on Sunday who had tested the suits on Saturday. Many of them loved getting measured for future suit purchases or stocking stuffers. Overall, the event was fantastic lots of fun and a great learning environment for new divers. I can’t wait to go back. ■

A public safety diver from Grapevine Fire Rescue Team 8

Dive Locally - Where It Really Matters


News and events

National Park Service Divers The Old Guard Trains the New I

n a forward thinking move the National Park Service has moved towards ensuring they will be able to continue their National Park Service Diving Safety Officer program by taking the steps to train a new guard. The National Parks Service has had an active dive program for many decades. Park divers participate in diving for a wide number of reasons, including maintenance of facilities, resource, cultural management, recovery, law enforcement and interpretation. Dive service teams play a major role in inventory, mapping and assessment of underwater cultural resources in the National Park System. They also aid in the development of plans for management, preservation and recreational use of submerged cultural resources. The dive teams are trained to also take part in the coordination with other agencies on submerged resources throughout U.S. Territories and the development of resource models designed to meet requirements of agency managers. It isn’t all work however because the National Parks Service dive teams also work with professional and sport diving organizations regarding submerged cultural resources in national park areas. In Dec. 2010 the National Parks Service decided the dive teams needed a National Diving Safety Officer and the position was immediately filled by Steve Sellers. Sellers has been leading the charge ever since his appointment to create and train a team of new park safety divers so when the old guard retires, the National Parks Dive Team programs will continue unabated. Aid and Navigation Dive Leader Pat Horning says this was necessary because many of the

Steve Sellers

current dive safety teams are ready to retire. “These younger folks needed to be trained, not only as a NAUI diver but also so they would be certified as park dive officers,” Horning says. We need a new crop of leaders.” The training of this new crop of officers recently took place at Glen Canyon on Lake Powell in Utah. Kim Johns, an Oregon diver and CEO of USIA, a company who creates and sells drysuits, underwent the training and was very pleased to have the opportunity to serve. “The workshop was interesting and it gave us a chance to network with divers from all over the world as well as learn exactly what we needed to do to take part in the program.” ■

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The Northern California Dive & Travel Expo



ivers who visit the Northern California Dive & Travel Expo held May 12-13, 2012 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA will receive a deal well worth bragging about. The Northern California Dive & Travel Expo hosted by the Dive News Network Media Group has partnered with the Hyatt Hotel, located adjacent to the Santa Clara Convention Center, to offer FREE admission for every hotel guest to the Dive Expo.

According to event director, Rick Stratton, the premise for the partnership is about providing added value to the attendees of the show. “We are offering free admission to the dive show to every guest (four free passes per day /per room/per night). That is a value of $20 per dive show pass, up to $80 for four people – a terrific discount and great reason to stay at the “host” Hotel. The Hyatt is a magnificent hotel and perfectly located. The hotel management has stepped forth and offered our exhibitors and dive show guests a great rate on rooms for the divers who will be travelling from out of town. They are offering rooms at an incredible value of $119 per night for luxury accommodations.” “This is the very first partnership of its kind and we are really excited about it,” Stratton says. As part of the free admission package the hotel guests will also have the opportunity to try Scuba Diving as part of the Expo experience. “We are offering a FREE Try Scuba experience to every hotel guest at the Hyatt (510 rooms). Often these programs sell for $25-$50 depending on the store and instructor. We are putting together a coalition of local dive stores, lead by Bamboo Reef Enterprises, in the Bay area to introduce and manage ‘try scuba’ in the Hotel’s beautiful pool,” Stratton further explains. “It should be a lot of fun and an incredible opportunity offered free to hotel guests who otherwise may never experience scuba.


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& Hyatt Regency Santa Clara Team Up

The Hyatt has offered their pool for the experience, allowing hotel guests an unprecedented opportunity to experience breathing underwater. Combine the Try Scuba experience with a diving expo across the street, and we have a whole new way to grow the sport!” Stratton understands the current economy makes it challenging for people, especially families, to spend their hard-earned money on fun activities and is hoping visitors to the hotel will appreciate the $80 savings they will receive with the free passes and the Try Scuba experience. “We want to invite everyone headed to the dive expo to take advantage of this amazing opportunity with the Hyatt,” says Stratton. “A good value and a lot of fun…what more can you ask for?” For more info on the Expo visit ■

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Lake Diving Part 1

by Bruce Watkins


alifornia divers are among the luckiest in the country with plentiful access to fantastic, coastal dive sites. However, there are also dozens of lakes throughout California overlooked by divers that can bring a lot of joy. These lakes are great for salvage dives, sometimes dinner, but always lots of fun. Best news is most Californians live close to a lake and they can enjoy a dive after work, during a long lunch break, when the ocean is rough, or on the weekend without making a big production out of driving to the coast. So why dive in a lake? Many dive for treasure. Years of boating activity have left the bottom littered with junk—some valuable, some not. Fishing lures are easily found on sunken logs, and anchors on rocky bottoms. Places were boats congregate are great to find wallets, jewelry, and other valuables. In fresh water metal corrodes very slowly, so what you find is often in very good shape. Others dive for community service and clean up the trash left behind by others. Local lakes always provide an easy venue to get wet and socialize. Here are three lakes to wet your appetite:

Folsom Lake

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area is located in the Sierra-Nevada foothills, and is a short, 25-mile drive east of Sacramento. Folsom is not really a lake but a reservoir since it was created with the construction of Folsom Dam in 1955. The lake covers some 10,000 acres when full and has 75 miles of shoreline. It extends about 15 miles up the north fork, and about 10 1/2 miles up the south fork of the American River. There are three common beach entries at Folsom: the Hobie Cat Boat Ramp at Brown’s Ravine on the east side of the lake, the boat ramp at Granite Bay on the west side, and Rattlesnake Bar to the north. Due to security concerns diving is not permitted near the dam. Rattlesnake Bar will get you 30 to 50 feet deep with a bit better visibility. Those with boats may launch at any of the marinas around the lake. The bottom is mostly rock with sunken logs, and divers can find fishing lures and other treasure among the logs. Curtis Williams, General Manager at Scuba World Sacramento likes to use the lake to keep people diving, believing if you don’t dive locally you will only dive once or twice a year. Scuba World organizes cleanup dives each year, an annual Polar Bear Dive January 1, and social dives with potluck feasts afterwards. Folsom Lake is a great spot for training dives that are intermediate between the pool and ocean. Curtis recalls one student that was having difficulty dealing with the ocean waves and need a calming dive or two before returning to Monterey. Rather than dropping out she was able to get her confidence up in the lake before venturing to Monterey. She now enjoys Monterey diving.

Shadow Cliffs Lake

Shadow Cliffs Regional Park is one of the many East Bay Regional Parks, and is located on Stanley Boulevard in Livermore. This former gravel quarry is now a great local getaway minutes from any of the (San Francisco) East Bay Cities. This 80-acre lake reaches a maximum depth of 45 feet, but most of 12

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Nate Seifer and student at Shadow Cliffs. Photo by Bruce Watkins

LAKES AND RESERVOIRS the lake is around 25 feet. The calm, shallow water is great spot for beginner diving classes, warm up dives and treasure hunting. Divers can enter the water at the swimming beach at the boat ramp at the far end of the parking lot. The boat ramp is a great place for classes, while the more interesting bottom—drop offs and an old pier-like structure—is located along the shore to the left of the beach. The Regional Parks require a permit to dive in any of their lakes, and any dive master or instructor can easily get a permit and add the park to their insurance policy. For this reason most of the diving here is for instruction or shop-sponsored activities. Dive N Trips sponsors social dives on weekends and midweek, evening, barbeque dives during the summer. Their underwater pumpkin carving contest is a lot of fun. Divers are not permitted to begin carving until they are underwater and it hilarious to watch them deal with the buoyant pumpkins. One never knows what will happen here. Last year Gene Battaglia, owner of Dive N Trips had just finished a training dive and was heading for shore. As they neared the beach the Department of Fish and Game truck pulled up and began stocking the lake. Gene and his student found themselves in a torrent of 1200 pounds of newly freed trout, swimming for their lives. His student

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Dive Locally - Where It Really Matters

squealed with delight as hundreds of frantic fish shot by and bounced off her gear.

Lake Tahoe

Located in the heart of the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is really big—some 22 miles long and 12 miles across—and really deep—over1600 feet. Tahoe’s waters are split by two states and about 2/3 of the lake is in California, and 1/3 in Nevada; and unlike the other lakes described here the visibility is awesome—70 to 100 feet. Good shore diving may be found at Sand Harbor on the north side of the lake and at Sugar Pine Point State Park. If you have a boat try diving at the State Line Wall (at the border of California and Nevada on the North Shore), Rubicon Point, or Emerald Bay; where you can find sunken trees a paddle wheel steamer. In these places the bottom drops off steeply into the deep blue lake and is covered with gigantic boulders and sunken logs. While it is illegal to spearfish in Tahoe, there are millions of crayfish here just waiting for the pot. Look where boulders meet the sand bottom, under small rocks or manmade debris, anywhere a crayfish may hide. They do pinch, so grab the carapace while avoiding the claws. Think Louisiana and try tossing them into a jambalaya or as Cajun popcorn.

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Shadow Cliffs Lake is a great place for a midweek dive. Photo by Bruce Watkins

The rocky bottom and logs are flypaper for fishing lures boat anchors. About two miles south of Sand Harbor is a remote area with hidden beaches and spectacular scenery. Due to the privacy locals use this area to work on an “all over tan”, and this is a popular spot for boaters to gawk and loose anchors. One day I was freediving along this beach looking for lost lures when I stumbled upon a large, brand-new anchor. It was lodged way back into a wedged-shaped crack and could only be recovered by a diver. I dove down, pulled it out, found the end of the anchor rode, and headed for the surface. About three feet from the surface, wham, I came to an abrupt stop as I ran out of line. Recovery involved free diving to the anchor, bouncing it towards shore, surfacing and repeating. About an hour later I had my prize ashore, only to haul it a couple hundred of feet up to the parking area.

Safety Note

Divers should carry a knife to deal with all that discarded fishing

Hawaii Seasport Divers 800.685.5889

line and be mindful of water skiers. Some lakes require you to tow a dive flag on a float, but it is always a good idea to do so if you venture away from the beach or boat. The surface of Lake Tahoe is at 6,229 feet, so Tahoe divers should receive altitude training. Considering that many of the passes to the lake are over 8000 feet you should consider not diving the day you arrive or depart. Water temperature varies greatly through the season in all these lakes. The surface temperature may reach the mid seventies in summer or drop to the 50s in winter (30s at Tahoe). Visibility is often only 5 to 20 feet in most lakes, except Tahoe. A lot of fun can be to be found within the dozens of underexplored, underappreciated, underrated lakes throughout California. Try participating in a lake cleanup dive, or use the excuse of hunting for treasure to get you out of the house and underwater. For most of us being underwater is enough of an incentive, but many have paid for a trip and some gear with the salvaged treasure. ■

Land of Aloha Kaui

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We support our local dive shopS - without them we will not have a dive industry.




dENVER aQUARIUM Diving Downtown

Photo courtesy A1 Scuba


ome dive businesses believe absolutely everyone should be able to dive and while the thought is great, wouldn’t it be even better to put that concept into action? You know…like A-1 Scuba and the Denver Aquarium have? That’s right the Denver Aquarium along with a dive shop, an icon in their community of Englwood, Colarado, are putting action behind the concept and it is turning out lots of new divers. Shane Taylor, son of Scott Taylor who is the owner of A-1 Scuba is pretty proud of the program his third generation dive shop has with the local aquarium. The two dive industry leaders have developed a program offering different types of diving to the

landlocked community. “A lot of people here have never even seen the ocean,” says Taylor. “With the Dive Downtown program folks can not only dive in an ocean-like atmosphere but they can also see a great number of ocean animals they would never see in one place at the same time.” The Dive Downtown program was developed in 2006 and Todd Hall, the Corporate Dive Safety Officer for the Denver Aquarium says that A-1 Scuba was the perfect choice as a partner for the program. “Our relationship with A-1 Scuba has been great,” says Hall. “As a partner for this program A-1 Scuba has been the best choice. They have over 50 years of history in the dive commu-

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nity in Denver and they are very professional in the way that they operate. They support everything we do here. They believe in a solid foundation and that has helped the program develop over the years.” Hall and Taylor agree that the programs offered at the aquarium are unique to the dive industry. “The program has evolved a lot from it’s beginnings and it is very successful today,” says Hall. “Our programs bring both divers and regular folks who maybe are just getting into diving the opportunity to get up close to animals that you would normally have to travel far and wide to see.” Taylor adds that there are many different programs and that divers of all experience levels will find something here. “It is a truly unique experience,” Taylor says. The Dive Downtown offers a variety of programs. There are a number of public programs within the Divedowntown program that A-1 Scuba is a part of. There is “Swim with the Fish” where folks get to experience a snorkeling adventure right in the heart of Denver. Experience what it’s like to swim with a 400 lb. Queensland Grouper, Moray Eels, red drums, nurse sharks and 400 other exotic underwater animals in the Under the Sea exhibit. There’s “Dive with the Fish” where divers get to the complete diving experience seeing marine animals that they would not normally see together in one place. Perhaps the most exciting program is the “Dive with the Sharks” program where

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divers get to get up close and personal with large sea turtles, saw fish and a large variety of sharks. Divers swim with Sand Tiger sharks, Brown sharks, Zebra sharks, barracudas and Guitar Fish and all while being under the watchful eyes of the professionals at A-1 Scuba. “We provide a safe environment here and your loved ones can watch you dive as you do it,” Hall adds. “We all love what we do here and we love the fact that we are able to partner with A-1 Scuba to make this program work.” Taylor adds that A-1 Scuba is involved in a number of instructional courses at the aquarium as well including PADI specialty training. “We are the only dive shop that works with the aquarium and we are a full service facility ourselves,” Taylor says. “We enjoy our partnership with the aquarium too and hope to be working with them within these programs for a very long time to come. For more info visit or ■




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This publication supports the southwest Dive Community



Bonaire The Second Time’s A Charm



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Se Kids

By Rick Stratton Publisher, Dive News Network ou know how you see a movie a second time and are amazed by all of the things you missed the first time around…my trip to Bonaire in September this year was exactly like that! Bonaire, an island located in the southern Caribbean has quickly become one of my favorite dive destinations. Bonaire, Aruba and Curacao all make up a group referred to as the “ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles” and are located approximately 50 miles north of Venezuela. Calm weather and waters full of marine life makes the Bonaire area a playground for divers. A yearly average temperature is 82 degrees while the water temp sits at a bath water warm 80 degrees makes the island an any-time-of-the-year dive destination. The reefs are well preserved and offer an amazingly diverse marine community and it is said that Bonaire’s fish population is the most diverse in the Caribbean and ranks among the best anywhere. Bonaire with its pristine reefs and diverse marine life gives the diver an opportunity to see the environment untouched and unspoiled. I couldn’t wait to get back after my first trip last November so when my daughter, Amanda, and I were invited back I jumped at the chance.



I stayed at the Caribbean Club Bonaire this time around and I was not disappointed by the accommodations. Located north of Kralendijk at the foot of Bonaire’s hills and just steps away from some incredible dive sites this was a friendly and affordable place with full resort facilities. They recently added some new condos on site and they were great. On this second trip to Bonaire I was able to spend some time diving and once again exploring Bonaire. In September the coral spawn so it was incredible that we happen to be there while it was taking place. We dove with Buddy Dive Resorts and their contribution to the trip made it that much better. The staff is friendly and family focused making it a great place to take your family for a dive experience. The facilities were great and Agusto, the dive manager, and Paul, the facilities manager, did an amazing job keeping up. There entire staff was incredible. One of the really cool experiences I had this go round was the chance to meet the famous Captain Don. Captain Don’s Habitat is a world famous Dive Resort that was founded in 1976 by renowned underwater environmentalist and author Captain Don Stewart. His vision for the perfect dive resort is reflected in the design of the resort. It is water front with a world class restaurant on the grounds and right across from where

we support the southeast dive community

Carribean BONAIRE

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Classes for Everyone! Recreational • Technical Professional • Public Safety Wreck Diving • Rebreather Cave & Cavern • First Aid Annie Crawley blows air bubble rings up to a participant at Kids Sea Camp. Photo by Zebedee Wakely

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Local divers don’t just dive locally - they dive globally!


TROPICAL Diving  BONAIRE I was staying at the Caribbean Club. I went over to get Captain Don to sign a copy of his book, Reef Windows, a book dedicated to Bonaire’s Dive sites, and had a drink with Jack Chalk the manager of the tiki bar Deco Stop while I waited. What a great experience! Bonaire is a popular dive destination and when you ask divers where they want to go, often many will tell you Bonaire is on the list. In fact, 90 percent of the travelers who go to Bonaire are divers and over 80 percent are United States based. The island even has a seamless money transfer system in order to cater to US residents. I would task anyone traveling to Bonaire for diving to attempt to experience it all. There are some very interesting land based activities including hiking and historical tours. There is a Donkey Sanctuary where they house the generations of donkeys who were long ago brought to the island. In 1993 Dutch Nationals, Marina Melis and her husband Ed Koopman established a donkey sanctuary on Bonaire for sick, wounded and orphaned donkeys. The primary objective of Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire is to offer a sheltered, protected life to all the donkeys of Bonaire. It is a really interesting place to visit. So if you are looking for a family oriented place to dive and explore while meeting some of the most interesting people, Bonaire is where you want to head. Family - diving - great people - what more could you ask for. ■

Photo courtesy Kids Sea Camp


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and Casino, one of the top dive resorts in the DIVI FLAMINGO BONAIRE Caribbean, while doing research on this Bonaire series. The spacious property is located on the water, offering 7-night dive a large beach area, patios for dining including restaurants,$950 and pp 2 dive shops. The rooms were clean, comfortable and brightly decorated. Many of the rooms offer a garden view, some with private balconies. Divi Resorts is also celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2012. Overall a great place to end your diving day! Divi Flamingo Beach Resort in Bonaire will be hosting a master class in underwater photography, July 7-14, 2012, led by renowned underwater photographer Stephen Frink. Class participants will dive and shoot each morning and attend classes at the resort in the afternoon taught by Frink and his hand-picked experts in video and Photoshop® techniques. The resort is offering a travel package that assures a “picture perfect” vacation combining deluxe accommodations, dive guides and photography instruction priced at $1874 per person. Reservations for the Stephen Frink Digital Master Class package can be made online at The Divi Flamingo Beach Resort offers Divi Dive Bonaire dive operation with custom dive boats, equipment, and an experienced dive crew. Divi Dive Bonaire offers a full range of certification courses for both advanced and beginning divers. I met Serge DeGroote, the Dive Operations Manager. He toured the operations with me, introducing me to the crew and the passengers. His friendly and professional attitude really helped break the ice with the other passengers – special thanks to Serge for his time! For more information visit

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New Year, New You


Eat healthy

Stock your fridge with foods low in sodium, saturated fats or cholesterol, and avoid trans fats. When picking proteins, choose nuts, lean meats and low-fat dairy products. Stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and whole-grains. Be conscious of your portion sizes and eat a variety of foods. Wise nutritional choices help promote overall health and physical fitness.

Enhance your education


f you’re looking to shed some pounds from your weight belt, slip into that slimmer wetsuit and take a giant stride into more challenging dive environments, it’s time to commit to some changes. Make 2012 the year to improve your dive fitness.

A year in review

Before establishing a fitness plan, take an assessment of your current physical status. Talk to your doctor to develop fitness goals for the year and for nutritional guidelines to help you reach those goals. Consider your capabilities and make reasonable targets based on that information. You may want to get a dive physical to ensure you are fit to dive. If you’d like to see a dive physician in your area or if your physician would like a consultation, call the DAN Medical Information Line at +1-919-684-2948.

If you plan to take on new diving environments this year, in addition to ensuring you meet the physical demands they present, make sure you have the proper training to dive in that environment. Enroll in a training course and continue your diving education to enhance your skills as diver.

DAN Can Help

Learn more about how you can improve your fitness. Read the “Dive Fitness” column available at There you can learn about routines to enhance your dive fitness as well as how to make wise nutritional choices. You can also enroll in courses to learn more about dive fitness and dive-specific first aid at Enhance your diving experience this year with a commitment to fitness. ■

Plan your fitness

Make a workout plan; be sure to incorporate cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises. Schedule time for your workouts in writing, then stick to them. After you’ve established reasonable goals, write in benchmarks you hope to achieve, and track your progress. This doesn’t apply just to pounds. Set goals to extend the miles you can run or reduce the amount of time in which you can do it. Always wanted to do a triathlon? Train for it! Recognize that setbacks will happen; don’t let them throw off your whole fitness routine. You can and will reach your goals if you stay dedicated. As you meet your goals, take time to celebrate the success of your hard work; it will help propel you towards your next benchmark.

Buddy up

The buddy system isn’t just for diving. Knowing that a buddy expects you to meet them at the gym or to go just one more block can help you reach your goals. Support each other as you strive for better fitness.

Take it to heart

One of the leading causes of dive-related fatalities is cardiac incident, particularly in divers over the age of 40. You can improve your cardiovascular health by incorporating regular aerobic exercise into your physical fitness routine. Take a brisk walk or swim approximately 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Or if you want a greater challenge, run or bike at least three days a week for at least 20 minutes. Vary your routine to challenge yourself.

Local divers don’t just locally - they dive globally!

Northeast & Midwest Dive News JANUARY 2011

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Nauticam NA-XZ1 Housing for Olympus XZ-1

Nauticam announced the arrival of its NA-XZ1 Housing for Olympus XZ-1. The XZ-1 is Nauticam’s second entry into the advanced compact camera world. This camera and housing package offers complete control and image quality traditionally only available from much larger SLR systems with the ease of use expected of a compact system. A compact camera with this much functionality demands a rugged yet compact housing, and the Nauticam engineers have delivered with an aluminum housing offering all of that functionality to the underwater shooter. No controls need to be preset when installing the camera in the housing simply drop it in. The housing is securely closed with a locking rotary latch. For more info Get the free mobile app for your phone visit Nauticam USA at www. http:/ /

The Liquivision XEN Bottom Timer

The Liquivision XEN is a full-color OLED bottom timer, designed by leading industry professionals and input from highly respected cave and technical divers. The world’s first color OLED


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22 22

bottom timer features a revolutionary balance of performance and value. Divers who prefer “gaugemode” will no longer need to buy an expensive dive computer only to put it into gauge mode right out of the box. The Liquivision Xen combines readability with Liquivision’s intuitive tapping user interface and custom-designed bottom timer features. The Liquivision Xen features a full-color customizable OLED display with 170° viewing angle, a intuitive tap-based interface and menu-based navigation, a bottom time and resettable stopwatch both shown in seconds, easily resettable average depth, a lifetime dive log memory (240 hours at a 4 second sampling rate) and a user changeable battery. It is also both PC and Mac compatible. For more info visit www.

New Lavacore Line Diving Suits

The new Lavacore line of exposure suits is not a dive skin or a wetsuit, but has the characteristics of both. Developed by the American Underwater Products manufacturing group, the new line was designed by water sports professionals. The Lavacore line can easily be worn as a primary

a listing of participating tropical charters, resorts, liveaboards, and dive shops Cayman Aggressor IV 800.348.2628 706.993.2531 Ocean Frontiers (345) 947-7500 Southern Cross Club 800.899.2582 Sunset House 800.854.4767

Costa RiCa (CoCos) Okeanos Aggressor 706.993.2531 800.348.2628 Wind Dancer 800.932.6237 305.669.9391

CoZUMEL Scuba Du 310.684.5556 Sea Robin 951.824.9073

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DoMiNiCaN REPUBLiC Turks & Caicos Aggressor II (Silver Bank) 800.348.2628 706.993.2531

FiJi Beyond the Reef 691.350.3483 Deep Blue Adventures(888) 266-6309 Dolphin Bay Divers Retreat 679.992.4001 Qamea Resort & Spa 649.360.0217 Scuba Travel Ventures 800.298.9009 Wananavu 679.669.4433

FLoRiDa Conch Republic Divers 305.852.1655 Horizon Divers 305.453.3535 Off The Wall Adventures 863.709-9253 Wetter the Better 561.596.8482

GaLaPaGos Divencounters Alliance 877.323.DIVE Galapagos Aggressor I & II www.agressor. com 800.348.2628 706.993.2531 Northeast Dive News JANUARY 2008

We support our local dive shop - without them we will not have a dive industry.

EQUIPMENTTROPICAL DIVE DIRECTORY exposure suit in warmer waters or as a supplemental undergarment in colder waters. Lavacore suits are made from an exclusive POLYTHERM™ material. This tri-laminate material retains water next to the body, allows the fabric to breathe, and yet resists the wind and other natural forces that lead to heat loss. There are many different styles including full suits, tops, shorts, long-sleeve and short-sleeve options and even matching vests, hoods, and boots. For more info visit

BioLite Buoyancy Control Device

Oceanic Worldwide has just announced the availability of its new BioLite Buoyancy Control Device (BCD). This product provides a light-weight, yet fully-functioning solution to buoyancy control. The BioLite BCD weighs just 5.5 pounds and can easily be brought along as a carry-on should a dive travel so desire. The BioLite keeps things simple with a clean, straightforward design that focuses on comfort and convenience. It has a right shoulder carabineer adjustable positioning system, a streamlined, integrated “Quick Drop” Weight System that accommodates up to 14 lbs., a low profile back pack, a low profile bladder design made with patented BioFlex® material, a self-adjusting sternum strap, a depth compensating waist band and dual 5 lbs. tank band trim weight pockets. For more info visit

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GUaDaLUPE & soCoRRo Baja Aggressor 800.348.2628 706.993.2531

Hawaii Kona Aggressor II 800.348.2628 706.993.2531 Kona Honu 808.324.4668 Maui Dreams Dive Co 808.874.5332

HoNDURas Deep Blue Resort 504. Utila Aggressor 706.993.2531 800.348.2628

iNDoNEsia Komodo Dancer 800.932.6237 or 305.669.9391 Kungkungan Bay Resort & Spa 530.347.2300 Puri Wirata Dive Resort and Spa 62.813.384.05.335 Pindito Liveaboard 831.818.8594 Sea Safari Cruises 62.361.72.1212 Northeast Dive News JANUARY 2008


MaLDiVEs Maldives Aggressor 800.348.2628 706.993.2531

MExiCo Aquanauts Dive Adv. 998.206.9365 Maya Palms Resorts & Dive Center 888.843.3483 Scuba Playa Dive Shop 52.984.803.3123

PaLaU Palau Aggressor II 800.348.2628 706.993.2531 Tropic Dancer 800.932.6237 or 305.669.9391

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st. CRoix (U.s. ViRGiN isLaNDs) Cane Bay Dive Shop 340.773.9913

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Want to support local diving in your part of the globe? email!

23 23


In honor of Mothers’ Day, we are donating all of Sunday’s female admission price to Dive For a Cure

FREE Swag Bag

Valued at over $50 To the first 250 visitors each day*


In Northern California The Second Time’s a Charm Diving in Denver, CO DIVE LOCALLY WHERE IT REALLY MATTERS January 2012 Volume 2 Issue 1 $2....