Underwater treasure hunters have been around since the times of the first ships being lost, from salvage divers to seekers of sunken treasure. Mel Fisher, in his search for the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, the Santa Margarita, and the 1715 Shipwreck Fleet is often credited with being a pioneer for bringing scientific methods and archaeological protocols to the scuba diver. Around the world, local and international laws now often require new shipwreck finds to be subject to evaluation using archaeological protocols. Some knowledge is helpful.
Marine Archaeology is an interesting field of study for many scientists. A marine archaeological “dig” can be an exciting adventure of a careful search to uncover the past. Many historical ship wrecks and sunken cities around the world are being carefully examined. While many a diver has dreamed and even succeed in finding a new wreck it is often very important to known what to do with the wreck after you find it. Generally, as scuba divers, we are often excluded from diving historical wrecks so as not to destroy historical artifacts and information. Marine Archeological as an avocation or a hobby has been difficult to pursue in the past as the professionals often did not want amateurs to interfere.
World War Two saw the “failed” projected renewed. The War Time Shipping Administration contracting five contractors to build 104 vessels. Some of these were powered ships but most were barges. These barges were very similar to the ships and were ocean going but had no means of propulsion and carried a crew of three. My fist concrete ship dive was on one of that 104, a B7-A2 type barge (375 foot long, 56 foot beam, 5,410gross tons, 22 built) located in 30 meters of water. I have not been able to positively identify the wreck but I am certain it is YON-146 an unnamed vessel sunk in July 1957. The second concrete wreck I dove was similar, the M/V WIT Concrete, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
After WWII, concrete boat building disappeared again. In the late 1960s and early 1970s they made a small comeback. This time as pleasure crafts. Boat building companies and hobbyist were creating ferrocement boats again. By the late 1970s the trend died away as cheaper easier to use materials came into being. There is a boat building website that has an interesting article in greater detail concerning some of the earliest usage of concrete ships. The article includes a photograph of the S.S. Selma under construction. The Selma, another of the WWI ships, is located off Galveston Texas and is the official flagship of the Texas “Army”.
New Dive Console Will Locate Your Buddy
Imagine being a dive leader on a drift dive and being able to know where all the divers are at just a glance at your dive console. A Swedish company by the name of Aqwary is making that a reality. Their pioneer product is to be the Smart Console a device that combines current scuba equipment technology and smart phone technology with a technique perfected in WWII hydrophones. Similar to many dive consoles on the market today, the Smart Console will give the diver his basic dive information: air pressure, depth, water temperature, compass and NDL. This device will display information on a 3.7 inch color screen similar to a smart phone. The Smart Console can hold dive data for hundreds of dives.
The device has a WIFI feature for above water communications. The WIFI feature will allow the diver to transfer the dive information to a computer or other WIFI device. The WIFI feature also allows the Smart Console to synch data to the Aqwary Cloud storage. The device is designed to be upgraded. New features will be added by apps, using the same method you find on smart phones. Because these are considered safety devices, upgrades and new apps can only be added from Aqwary. Today, Recreational divers have to rely on hand signals or writing messages on a slate to communicate underwater. While not planned as part of the initial release, the Smart Console will have an app for underwater communications similar to SMS on cell phones. The Smart Console does come equipped with apps for a compass, mapviewer, buddy watch and a no decompression dive computer. Additional apps such as an advance dive computer and the message component will be available shortly. A dive boat app is expected to be released also that has additional safety features including a recall function.
The Most Frequent Trigger That Leads To A Dive Fatality: An Out Of Air Situation
In the scope of evaluating risk, it was determined that 88% of diving accidents occur on the first dive of the day. While many divers only dive one time in a day, other divers dive more than twice so the frequency does balance out showing the first dive is more prone to accidents. The excitement of the dive can lead to more rapid use of air or failure to pay attention to details. What may seem strange at first glance is that new divers are not those most at risk. A significant factor is that they are still holding on to the procedures taught in training. The highest risk are those who have not been diving for a year or more and return to diving without a refresher. Many resorts “require” check out dives or refreshers if a diver has not been diving in over six months, however, it is just the diver's word on when they last dived.
There are some things you can do as a diver to help yourself avoid becoming a victim.
• First is of course keep to the basics: check your gauges and your buddy frequently.
• Improve your air consumption, this will give you more reaction time if you are in a low on air or out of air situation.
• Recognize signs of panic in yourself and your buddy. If you can control panic rapidly you can turn the situation around.
• Learn solo diving skills. These skills can help if you get separated from a dive buddy and they boost your confidence in dealing with stress.
• Dive frequently and take refresher course or check out dives if you have not dived in 6 months.
• Practice basic skills if they have not been used in a while.
Artificial reefs can benefit the ocean by creating new habitat for corals and reef fish. However, artificial reefs are only useful when they are done right. Fortunately, man-made reefs have come a long way since the disastrous tire reef of the 1970s. In fact, new ideas and technologies are making reef building easier and more effective than ever before.
• New Designs and Materials
A good artificial reef will be made from materials that are durable and attractive to coral larvae. Resource managers now recognize that certain materials are not suitable for reef building (i.e. rubber and rusty trains) while other materials can encourage coral growth. The Reef Ball Foundation uses a special concrete with a lower pH level and increased durability to encourage lasting artificial reefs. They also create structures with grainy surface textures and unique hole sizing to mimic what corals might find in nature.
What Is Your Pre-dive Ritual?
Shortly after becoming a diver, I developed a pre-dive ritual. It has been refined some over the years and there is flexibility depending on local conditions but it is not vastly different from what I learned in my open water course. While waiting for the dive brief, I do another visual inspection of my gear and make sure I have everything I need including weights or insuring that the weights are on-board the boat. After the site brief by the dive leader, my dive buddy and I review our individual plans. I find this is very important with an unknown dive buddy. I want to make sure that our activities are within comfort zones, are compatible and make modifications if necessary. It will include which one of us will be the lead diver when we start. Most boat dives will have you assemble your equipment on board. I do this as soon as possible. I always assemble my own equipment. I general keep half an eye on my dive buddy. You can learn a great deal about a diver as they assemble their gear. Once my gear is assembled, I do a clockwise inspection. I slowly open the value and listen for leaks and check the pressure gauge. I check my hoses for the pressure gauge and auto-inflation, them strap them into position. I inflate my BCD with short fills making sure the button is smooth in its operation. I over inflate the BCD and make sure that the values release. I check the operation of the dump value and the manual value. I then manually inflate the BCD again. As my computer is consul mounted, I check the self test of the computer and if diving Nitrox set the percentage. I check my left front pocket for my sea snips and make sure they are working before returning them to the pocket. I secure the cummerbund together. I test breath my two regulators and secure the hoses. I check my right pocket for a small flashlight and check its operation. I test my back dump valve and leave my BCD mostly inflated. Back at the top, I check my mask and then secure it with the regulator hose. I check my fins and the last step is to check my weights.
When my dive buddy is ready, I point out the configuration of my gear and discuss out of air procedures and hand signs. I show them how my octopus is secured and how to remove my integrated weights. Most of the time I will have them remove one set of weights. When finished I empty the BCD of air and close the value. We review their configured as well. When it is time to dive, we kit up and do a visual inspection of each other. We enter the water as a team. On most dive, We include in our dive plan a 5 meter safety stop at the beginning of the dive as well. It is a short stop, just long enough to insure nothing came loose and all of our hoses and gauges are streamlined.
I started my scuba journey in Hurghada with the Funny Divers team. We completed our OW referral and then had 3 days diving with 2 dives per day.
Funny Divers were fabulous from the first contact to picking us up at the hotel to dropping us off at the end of the day. The boat was spacious and not over crowded. Each dive the visibility was fantastic, marine and coral life in abundance. We also saw huge Nepoleon fish, plenty of Morays in all sizes, Lion fish, Scorpian Fish, Crocodile fish, Clown fish with their little babies, Blue spotted rays and also two sea walkermen.
Being my first proper trip out at sea as a qualified diver it was fantastic. The FunnyDivers team were fabulous, friendly and very helpful.
Looking forward to a return to Egypt in the coming years that's for sure.
It is one of the best areas to dive in the north-east of the Canada. Marine Park is perfectly design for divers. You'll find an ample parking lot with an attendant ($7.80 a day per diver), large (complimentary) plastic carts to get your gears from the car to the benches or in the case of the "West Cric" dive-site very close to entrance to the water. Shower, lockers and large basin with fresh water right on the premisses.
By the way, there are three entrances located not too far from each other, but underwater it is one large area. You can enter at West Cric and 10 minutes later get out at the East Cric. Or proceed to the Anemone Bay.
Water's temperature, depending on the season and depth, can fluctuate between -3 to +7'C, so dry-suit is highly recommended.
Underwater life is plentiful and in large quantities. As soon as you submerge, you'll find "forests" of frilled anemones, plumose anemone, northern red anemone, and scarlet psolus. Also one can find an atlantic wolf fish, all kind of nudibranchs, sunstars of many color varieties, arctic sunstars, smooth sunstars, spiny lump suckers, fields of pink to red soft corals, polar sea-stars and much, much more.
Between dives you can observe as minke whales, belugas, dolphins and other pelagic animals resurfacing for to take a breath. One can also take a short trip for watch whales or, if you are a “Lord of The Ring” fan, you can drive an hour and get to the fjord of Saguenay. Scenery is breathtaking.
I truly believe that if you decide to visit Saguenay-Saint Laurent Marine Park, it will instantly become one your favorite places to visit and dive.
We had never scuba dived before and were nervous! The Lobster Pot Dive Center is very professional and informative. Our nerves were calmed because of the knowledge and guides we had throughout the dive. The sights of the reef are amazing - and one of the guides took some photos for us so we've have something to remember it by! We're planning to get fully certified next time we visit Grand Cayman and we'll definitely be using Lobster Pot. We highly suggest first time divers to come to the cheeseburger reef. Thank you!
Back in Tioman because it's the best place to pick up new skills. Took my Padi advance open water.
slowly but surely improving and with less attention on the diving, i see more things.
Had my first and last night dive. only in the water for 26mins and out i go. It's extra freaky when one is night blind.
the good thing about tioman is the opportunity to see sharks on almost every dive. There's the resident shark who always take the same route.
looking forward to maldives in Mar'15
Dive at the following sites Viking Cave, Maya Nui and Bida Nok, if I've spelt them correctly.
Joined the daily dive with Kon-Tiki in Krabi and was well taken care of as they knew I had only just gotten my OW.
saw a few green turtles, one leopard shark sleeping at the bottom. Clown fish is quite common too. Current was strong for me when i was there and i experience my first surge and =( seasick. haha Felt better after throwing up and continue with dive2.
i think i will return and try the King Cruiser wreck dive.
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