Titanic Polystyrene Cup – 2005 Expedition – Up for auction now!!!

This auction is being held to raise money for Deptherapy and the RNLI.

The cup is now significantly reduced in size due to the immense pressure experienced during the dive to the Titanic.
Rory Golden, of Flagship Scubadiving Ltd, Dublin, returns to the site of the world’s most famous shipwreck, RMS TITANIC, 1st – 8th August, as a part of the HARRIS EXPEDITION, led by G. Michael Harris, owner of the renowned attraction, Titanic – ‘Ship Of Dreams’ in Orlando, Florida

Mr. Golden will be taking part in a film documentary capturing a Guinness World Record diving attempt by Mr. Harris’s 13 year-old son, Sebastian Harris, the youngest person to ever dive to Titanic. Golden will be in charge of dive safety for underwater camera crews who will be filming the launch and recovery of the submersibles as well as diving to the wreck 4,000 metres deep, and placing a Memorial plaque from Belfast City Council and Harland and Wolff in honour of the men and women who built Titanic, the 22 Belfast men who lost their lives, and all those who perished in the tragedy.

Five years ago, he also placed a memorial plaque from Cobh, the ship’s last port of call, on the ship.

It has always been his dream to return to TITANIC one day and leave a tribute from the city that built it.

It has been 4000 meters below the sea!

It has been 4000 meters below the sea!

Famous Scuba Divers

People Who Have Made A Difference – Plus Some Celebrities That Dive

Famous scuba divers. Almost everyone has heard of Jacques Cousteau. He is probably the most famous diver in the history of scuba diving. And rightly so since he is the one who made it accessible to the average person.

But who else has strapped on a tank and made a difference in the sport? Well, let’s find out…

Photo by Tom Ordway, Ocean Futures Society; Courtesy of KQED
Jean Michel Cousteau founded the Ocean Futures Society

We’ll start with Jean-Michel Cousteau (1938 – ), the son of Jacques Cousteau. He is listed as thefirst certified diver in the world.

It is famously reported that his first dive was when he was 7. He was thrown overboard by his father with his father’s newly invented aqualung strapped to his back. Today he is probably the most recognized environmentalist in the world. He is president of the Ocean Futures Society (a nonprofit marine education and conservation organization) and an influential filmmaker.

Let’s go to Hollywood for some famous scuba divers. Lloyd Bridges (1913-1998). For the younger set, he is the father of actors Jeff and Beau Bridges. He introduced scuba diving to millions of people with his TV series “Sea Hunt”which aired from 1957 to 1961. In this series he played a Navy frogman turned undersea investigator.

Many recreational divers entered the sport because of this series. Bridges was also NAUI’s first honorary instructor member.

Zale Perry is another entry with a (partly) Hollywood angle. She played the resident damsel in distress in the Sea Hunt series. Prior to this, she was a test diver for major equipment manufacturers. Zale Perry began her diving career in 1951 and is considered an authority on sport diving. She was key in the development of decompression chamber treatment for diving injuries and is now a member of the Diving Hall of Fame.

Lloyd Bridges in Sea Hunt

We’ll leave the Hollywood angle behind for now and focus on the more serious work of some famous scuba divers. Albert Tillman (1928-2004) along with Neal Hess founded the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) in 1960. NAUI is now the second largest certification agency in the world. Tillman also co-authored Scuba America with Zale Perry.

John Cronin (1929-2003) was co-founder and CEO of PADI. Along with Ralph Erickson, he formed this new professional diver training organization in 1966. PADI is the largest diving certification agency in the world.

Famous scuba divers also include Mel Fisher(1922-1998), better known as the World’s Greatest Treasure Hunter. He found the Spanish galleon, Nuestra Senora de Atochaand Santa Margarita on July 20. 1985. These ships sank over 350 years ago and contained over $450 MM in silver, gold and other artifacts. He is credited with opening the states first dive shop around 1950. He spent his life in various aspects of the dive industry (teaching, filming, treasure hunting).

 

Mel Fisher with some of his underwater treasures.

Sylvia Earle (1935- ) is probably the best know female marine scientist. Nicknamed the “Sturgeon General” or “The Queen of Deepness” she is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and a former chief scientist for NAOO (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). At 3280 feet, she holds the record for solo diving. Earle is also one of the original inductees into theWomen Divers Hall of Fame.

Eugenie Clark (1922 – ), also known as The Shark Lady, is known for her research on sharks and poisonous fishes. She has caught and studied over 2,000 sharks. With her research, she has given the world a better understanding of why fish behave the way they do.

Let’s end with a few celebrity divers. Not because they contributed anything to the sport, but because it’s fun: Tom Cruise, Tiger Woods,  James Cameron, Lauren Hutton, Bill Gates, Kathleen Turner, Paris Hilton, Gene Hackman, Nikki Taylor and Penelope Cruz to name a few.

In fact, Shape magazine recently ran an article saying that some celebrities such as Jessica AlbaSandra BullockKatie Holmes, and Nina Dobrev took up the sport as a form of physical fitness. It is the new celebrity fitness trend. The magazine reports you can burn up to 400 calories in 30 minutes of diving. Not too shabby.

As Tiger Woods so famously put it, maybe one of the attractions of diving for famous people is: “The fish don’t know who I am.”

This list is by now means exhaustive. It would take a book to write about all the people that have made contributions to the sport of diving. But, hopefully, it has given you a good introduction. For information on more scuba divers who have made a difference to the sport, check out the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.

New Celebrity Fitness Trend: Scuba Diving

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Sick of the gym or the cold winter weather? Then it’s time to try the new workout that celebs like Jessica Alba,Sandra BullockKatie Holmes, and Nina Dobrev of the CW show The Vampire Diaries love: scuba diving! Although scuba diving may seem like more of a fun vacation activity rather than a workout, scuba burns tons of calories while tightening and toning your body.

“Scuba diving provides a full body workout that combines cardio and strength training to burn calories, tone muscles and even improve breathing” says Theresa Kaplan, director of communications for The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). “Although your body is buoyant underwater and you feel virtually weightless while scuba diving, maneuvering through water requires constant motion by your entire body, thus toning and strengthening muscles in your thighs, shoulders and your core.”

In fact, just 30 minutes of scuba diving can burn up to 400 calories for the average woman. Most diving excursions last about 30 to 45 minutes, so depending on the diver’s experience level and the type of dive, it’s not uncommon to burn 500+ calories during one workout.

One of the best things about scuba diving though — and the reason why so many celebrities enjoy it — is because it doesn’t feel like a workout.

“The act of exploring the underwater world and being one amongst a sea of unique creatures and organisms is an exhilarating and life-changing experience unlike no other,” Kaplan says. “Scuba diving provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, which is why so many people, celebrities included, are drawn to this activity.”

While many celebrities go scuba diving in tropical areas — Dobrev recently earned her Open Water Diver certification at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa over the holiday season — you don’t have to go to a beach to scuba. PADI, which is the world’s largest recreational scuba diving organization, has more than 6,000 dive centers and resorts and 135,000 PADI instructors worldwide. For those who don’t live near open water, they can still learn how to scuba dive in a confined pool at their local PADI dive center, Kaplan says.

“PADI offers a Discover Scuba Experience for those who aren’t quite ready to dive into the certification process, but want to experience the act of breathing underwater,” she says. “For those who are ready to start their certification process, PADI provides a wide range of courses such as Open Water Diver, which can be started at a local dive center or online through PADI’s eLearning option.”

One of the best things about scuba diving though is that it does give you a unique adventure to go along with your workout. For example, one can spot Whale Sharks in Utila, see Manta Rays at night in Kona or swim along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Kaplansays.

No matter where or why you scuba though, be sure to warm-up, stretch and hydrate just like you would for any other workout.

“Although you may not feel it underwater, you are actually sweating and exerting energy while scuba diving, so it’s important to stay hydrated during your diving excursion,” Kaplan says. “Getting plenty of rest and stretching beforehand will also help prevent any cramping underwater and will allow you to swim through the waters with ease.”

Information taken from http://www.shape.com/blogs/shape-your-life/new-celebrity-fitness-trend-scuba-diving

11 Quick Tips for Avoiding Motion Sickness

Even the smallest things can disrupt comfort while traveling and diving. Perhaps nothing ruins a dive trip more quickly than an urgent need to “feed the fish” from the railing. Thus, most divers try very diligently to avoid getting motion sickness – but how? What really works?

First, we need to understand what causes motion sickness. Often termed “sea sickness,” this malady really has little to do specifically with the ocean and everything to do with motion, so “motion sickness” is a more universally accurate term. When such motion causes the tiny sensors in our body to register something’s amiss, we start to feel a bit queasy, and if not remediated quickly, nauseous.

So how can we avoid motion sickness? Here’s an 11-part strategy:

1. Need to feed. A meal before you board is highly important. For most people, an empty stomach is more sensitive to being irritated, so filling it with comfort food 45-60 minutes before leaving shore is smart. Load up on carbohydrates at breakfast and avoid acidic and greasy foods, as they may contribute to motion sickness. Lastly, avoid alcohol and cigarettes.

2. Medicate. If you know you’re especially prone to motion sickness, investigate the use of over-the-counter antiemetic medications such as meclozine (Bonine, Antivert, Meni-D, Antrizine) or Dramamine. Meclozine reduces the activity of the portion of the brain that controls nausea. These medications are highly effective in most individuals, and thus can be a preventive measure for short trips or for mild cases of motion sickness. Be sure to start medicating the night before the dive trip to start establishing the proper blood level of the drug.

3. Go gingerly. In addition to medications, many divers swear that the intake of ginger is a simple and tasty way to help avoid getting ill. If this works for you, it’s an easy solution – just carry a Ziploc baggie of ginger snaps aboard and munch on them before and between dives. Although it’s not yet clear to researchers exactly how and why it works, studies show that the ginger root contains a number of chemicals that seem to help relax the intestinal track. As a result, ginger is often helpful in reducing the risk of nausea.

4. Avoid “conflicting instrument readings.” Look out across the horizon so your eyes can register the same type of acceleration changes your ears are reporting.  Avoid visually focusing on things that are close-by, and most especially, avoid reading for more than a few seconds at a time. Also, face the direction the boat is traveling.

5. Your nose knows. Odors can complicate the mix of signals to the brain, increasing your likelihood of becoming ill. Avoid smelling diesel fumes, cigarette smoke, perfume and of course, anyone else’s vomit.

6. Minimize movement. Standing in different locations on the boat’s deck will result in different amounts of velocity/acceleration being transferred to your body.  Stay topside, close to the center of the vessel.

7. Keep hydrated. Continue to drink plenty of fluids while on board and throughout each surface interval. This will help keep your stomach more full and will help your body metabolize food and process everything else better.

8. Stay cool. If you become overheated while on deck, you’ll be more at risk of becoming ill. Wear a cap to keep the sun off your head and face, sit in a shady location between dives and peel off part or all of your wetsuit.

9. Heads up! If you feel the urge to vomit, move to the leeward rail (with the wind at your back), lean forward and try to direct your explosion toward the sea. The fish will thank you. Never go into the head (marine toilet).

10. Dive in. If you do begin to feel the early signs of motion sickness, get into the water and submerge several feet below the surface, doing so will usually quell the queasy feelings because your body will stop receiving the conflicting acceleration readings.

11. Regulate it. If you happen to become ill while underwater, such as just after submerging, it’s usually perfectly OK to vomit in your regulator. It’s not the most enjoyable experience, but it’s typically over very quickly and you’ll feel better almost immediately.

The bottom line is that motion sickness can be managed and/or minimized by planning ahead with sufficient sleep, proper food intake, use of medications and consciously taking avoidance actions while on-board, before the first signs of motion sickness manifest.

Have fun and dive safe!

How Motion Sickness Occurs

Our body’s primary motion-sensors include the inner-ear sensors, our eyes and deeper tissues of the body surface. Technically speaking, the inner-ear sensors detect changes in acceleration rather than motion, such as the movement a boat makes when bobbing on top of waves in the ocean. When our body’s internal instruments sense these acceleration changes, and those changes aren’t confirmed by other sensory inputs, such as visual feedback from our eyes, the conflict in the sets of data they deliver to the brain can trigger motion sickness. Scientists aren’t sure what causes the nausea that comes with motion sickness, but the most popular hypothesis is that the conflicting data from multiple sensors causes the brain to assume that toxins have been ingested, and the body’s automatic response is to internally induce vomiting.

Information provided by http://www.scubadiving.com/

TOP TIPS: Maintaining BCDs and drysuits

TOP TIPS: Maintaining BCDs and drysuits

The dive season is here and its time to make sure that all your kit is ready for the season kick off.

Two fundamental pieces of dive kit that we all seem to neglect during the season is the BCD and Drysuit.

Follow these simple tips and get you can’t go wrong?

Want to take it a little further? Then why not book onto the Equipment Speciality course and learn how to get years of trouble free service from your dive kit.

Zip

If a regulator fails underwater it tends to lead to one of the following situations: inhaling water, an air leak reducing your air endurance, or a freeflow causing catastrophic air loss. With good training, self control and an alternative air source, all of those events are easily survived. The nightmare scenario of the regulator actually failing to supply air is fortunately extremely rare. The vast majority of divers understand that to avoid these risks their regulators need to be regularly serviced.

Compare that to a BCD. Failures that I have witnessed over the years include: shoulder buckles failing; bladders leaking air and losing buoyancy, direct feed inflation units stuck causing rapid ascent, dump valves failing causing unexpected descents, and cinch bands failing (on one occasion causing the cylinder to be jettisoned down the stone steps of a harbour wall. How we dived for cover that day!). BCDs, and for that matter, drysuits are not maintenance-free devices. When you consider the consequences of these failures, it is clear that BCDs and drysuits are as much a part of your life support system as your regulator.

So why is it that for every ten or so customers that bring a regulator to my workshop for a service, only one brings their BCD as well? Here’s a list of things to cast a critical eye over:

BCDs:

• Shoulder and waist buckles – check these for cracks and replace as necessary, although this may mean renewing the stitching. If your local dive shop can’t help directly they may well know someone with a heavy-duty sewing machine – a sail maker, for example.

• Inspect straps and stitching – especially at the shoulder anchor points as well as the webbing where it is pulled through buckles. This is particularly important on BCDs that spend a lot of their life in swimming pools, as pool chemicals have a very detrimental long-term effect on BCD fabrics.

• Cinch band buckles – look for cracks in the plastic as well as failures of stitching.

• Integrated weight pockets – check the weight-release system to make sure that the weights are secured properly and not prone to accidental jettison because of damaged buckles or Velcro.

Check the integrity of weight pouches

• Leak check the BCD by inflating it – if it deflates but you still can’t find the leak then it’s time to fill the bath and look for bubbles. A small hole can sometimes be repaired with polyurethane adhesive, but this may not be possible if the hole is close to or at the seam. If your BCD is quite old and it appears to have a few pin holes, then the material is probably porous, in which case it’s time to consider a new one. With your BCD in the bath, now is a good time to wash the inside of the BCD with a sterilising solution (same stuff used for baby bottles). Oral inflation of BCDs is a required training skill so it makes sense to ensure that your gear is hygienic.

• Hoses – stretch the corrugated hose and look for cracks due to perishing and stress. Direct feed hoses eventually perish and crack so inspect the entire length of the hose, especially underneath the hose protector.

• Dump valves can leak because of debris underneath the diaphragm – most BCD dump valve assemblies simply unscrew; so as long as they are not too tight or require special tools/procedures, it’s easy to remove and clean them. Operate each dump valve to make sure that they seal properly and don’t leak.

• Direct feed inflation units – they frequently look fine on the outside but can hide corrosion and debris inside. Submerge the direct feed unit with it connected to an air supply and check for leaks. Check that the button works easily and reliably with no tendency to stick. Also check that there is a good fill rate. A slow rate of inflation is usually caused by a filter blocked by salt and corrosion.

• Emergency inflation cylinder – if your BCD has one fitted then it must be tested on the same basis as your main diving cylinder, every two-and-a-half years. The trouble is that because it’s only you that has to fill it and not a compressor operator, it is easy to forget this. Potentially this is very hazardous, because these cylinders do not have an easy life. They tend to get filled and emptied rapidly and have been known to be flooded with sea water from the BCD.

Drysuits:

• Neck and wrist seals – carefully stretch these and look for tiny cracks or holes. Also check that there is still plenty of elasticity in the seal. Dust the seals with unscented talc to help preserve them in storage.

Stretching a wrist seal reveals that it is perished and close to failing

• Use a toothbrush to clean sand from the teeth of the zip – as the zip starts to wear look out for loose threads and trim them with sharp scissors before they unravel any further. Wax the zip with beeswax or a proprietary wax every time. There is not much change, if any, from £100 to replace a drysuit zip.

• Boots – check these for cracks and holes. Minor damage can be repaired with polyurethane repair adhesive. Check the insides for small stones or grit.

• Leak check – one way of leak testing the suit is to block off the seals with suitable objects such as bottles or balls. With the zip closed and dump valve blocked off, inflate the suit fully and then systematically spray soapy water all over the suit until you find bubbles. Small holes can be patched with polyurethane adhesive. First clean the area with a cloth dampened with thinners and then create a patch by brushing a thin layer of adhesive over the hole. If you’re concerned with aesthetics then you can make the patch on the inside of the suit.

• The inflation valve should operate smoothly – if it’s stiff to operate get it serviced without delay. The consequences of it seizing underwater and causing uncontrolled inflation of the suit could be lethal.

• Inspect the dump valve carefully – if you’re getting wet on most dives then it’s quite possible that there is sand or debris under the valve seat. Resist the temptation to service inflation and auto dump valves yourself. They usually require special tools and procedures that require careful attention to ensure that they work properly afterwards. That said, the simple cuff dump valves are very straightforward to open up and clean out.

You can now turn your attention to basic kit – delayed SMBs and reels, weight belts, masks, fin straps and buckles. There surely is no bigger frustration than being fully kitted, only to break a fin strap seconds before going in the water!

Article thanks to Sport Diver and Martin is a PADI MSDT and BSAC National Instructor with 30 years of diving experience.