By: Owen Autry
Dear Dolphin Divers of Sacramento,
What a great summer, gas prices are finally coming down a little! Woohoo!! I sure hope lower gas prices hold until our Labor Day Ocean Cove camping and dive trip. I hope you can make it, and watch your inbox for more emails to follow.
Our July General Meeting “Picnic in the Park 2022” at Fair Oaks Park was a great success on a very hot summer day. I would like to thank Brad Freelove for organizing the event and his assistants Ken, Corinne, and David, as well as all of you that chipped in while setting up and taking down the meeting at the park.
We have a fun-filled August planned…we are having the Inland Lobster Feed 2022 on Saturday, August 20, 2022, at Lake Natoma, Black Miner’s Bar, Greenback and Folsom Blvd. This event is led by our faithful camp leader Jack Millard, and this will be followed up with our fun and adventurous Labor Day Weekend camping and dive trip at Ocean Cove Campground on September 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Please get your signup sheets into Jack as early as possible. We always need help, so please reach out to Jack to see what you can do to assist with these events. We have a special guest coming to the camping trip, my mom who is turning 90 years old this November. Please say hi when you see her and enjoy her company. I know she would love to meet you all, and I am thrilled she will be able to attend. I have to say, I was a little surprised when I asked her last month and she said yes.
If you have not joined the club officially, please sign up by checking out the Web page at https://www.dolphindivers.org and registering today. This will get you on the email list, so you won’t miss any activities and receive a card that gets you 10 free air refills of your scuba tank courtesy of Dolphin Dive Shop.
Our next Dolphin Club General Meeting will be held in person on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Round Table Pizza (9500 Greenback Lane in Folsom), and via Zoom for those who would prefer to attend remotely. Marilyn will send the information on the day of the meeting. Everyone is welcome to join the meeting!
Hope to see you in the water, and bubbles up!!
QUOTES FROM THE SEA
“75% of the Earth is water. Divers live on a much bigger planet.” – Unknown
Safety Officer’s Message
By: Brad Freelove
Most divers were taught that you always dive with a buddy. If something happens, your buddy is there to help you out. If you come across a 200-kilo black sea bass, you can share the experience with them. There are many good reasons to dive with a buddy. However, a qualified and experienced diver can safely dive alone. Maybe you want to spear some fish or take a limit of scallops or take a few photos without a buddy hanging around. Perhaps your buddy goes left, and you go right and you lose each other. There are many valid reasons for not diving with a buddy. As a certified diver possessing the proper mindset, skills, and training, you can safely enjoy a dive all by your lonesome.
As a certified diver, you are responsible for your own decisions. If you decide to learn more about solo diving, I suggest you take a course from an instructor that has been teaching for a while and is willing to work with you. Most certification agencies have some minimum standards that divers must meet before they can partake in a solo or self-reliant diving course. 100 logged dives and being over 18 years old are common requirements. Your 100 dives may need to have been completed over a specific period. And you may need to prove that you have the necessary mindset and skills to begin the class.
When you successfully complete your solo diving course, keep in mind that diving with a buddy is still the safer way to go. But practice those solo diving skills when time and conditions permit. You should discover that you are more confident in your own abilities. Maybe even a little more observant of your surroundings. Planning your dive with increased care. Perhaps learning how to use your compass and understanding more of the functions of your dive computers.
Summer is here! Get out and dive!
PICNIC IN THE PARK
River Clean Up Dive
By: Brad Freelove
Sunday, July 17 on the American River somewhere between Sunrise Park and River Bend Park. Working with the American River Parkway Foundation, American River Raft Rentals, and several dive clubs, about 50 divers, boat handlers, kayakers, and helpers made their way down the river pulling out all sorts of trash and treasure from our river.
The river was flowing fast! Near 4,500 cfm. Temp was around 65 degrees F., with a vis of 8 – 10 ft. All sorts of trash was pulled out this time. The usual cans, bottles, and assorted discarded items were pulled from the water and deposited at River Bend Park. Old fishing equipment, radios, clothing, and other odds and ends got dumped in the appropriate place. Several radios, umbrellas, and boat paddles joined the large pile of lost items.
I am not sure why a rice cooker was in the river, but we did pull one out. Several hundred pounds of plastic kids’ rafts were picked up during our trip. Come on parents! Teach your kids some respect for your river!
Some reallllllly nice sunglasses were found! A full bottle of tequila was brought up. I tried to confiscate it but was rudely told “HANDS OFF.” A small amount of cash and some nice shirts were brought aboard our boats.
As always, a ton of cell phones were found. Steve Gilmore found 6 phones. Steve managed to locate the owner of 1 phone and return it. Heck of a job Steve! Gordon was also able to find and return a phone. Great work Gordon! Brandon, Cameron, and a couple of other divers found phones. Looking for owners now. I wish them luck.
Thanks to all the divers, boat handlers, and helpers that came out to help pull trash from the river. We had lots of new faces and the usual group of hard-working club members. Thanks to Tom, Gordon, Brandon, Fred, Steve, Cheryl, Liz, Barry, Ed, Tony, Shane, Mike, Lailani, John, David, and all the rest of our team. We will do this again on September 17th. The flow rate will be half of what it was for our July trip. Come join us if you care about YOUR RIVER.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE ETHICAL ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS
By: Joe Morgan
I want to preface this article by saying that I am not trying to shame anyone, this is merely a personal journey I took into my own mind, and I thought others might have also had questions about it.
I recently read an old article from NatGeo “Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism” (warning it’s a tough read if you love animals) and it started me on a path into my own mind thinking about the animal encounters I have had and wish to have in the future:
In our travels, most of us have witnessed the diver who does not respect the wildlife. The person who chases the turtle (personal story from Belize), the person who stands on the coral (A young couple in the Bahamas), the person who follows an animal that is obviously trying to get away just for the sake of a better picture (Woman I watched chase a whale shark that was clearly unhappy with the encounter).
Can we even have ethical animal encounters without disturbing the inhabitants of the ocean? I ask myself this after a few encounters I have had where in hindsight I question my own participation in a dive.
In August of 2021, I took my son to Guadalupe Island to cage dive with Great Whites. We went with a group of other parents and children eager to learn more about the magnificent animals. Onboard there were classes about anatomy, lectures on feeding habits, and other very interesting talks about every aspect of the sharks. We then got in the cages many times over the course of the next few days and watched the sharks.
Since reading the article I ask myself if baiting (not chumming) the animals to the surface was acting outside the interest in my favorite sea creature. Over the week the kids onboard fell in love with the sharks, they became what I would call “vocal and informed future conservationists” My question to myself was – was the brief change to the shark’s behavior worth teaching people about the real nature of these animals and turning people into shark advocates. I honestly don’t know whether this “baiting” has any effect at all on these sharks, but I do know it had a profound effect on me and the others aboard. We have a better understanding of how they act and learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are in fact peaceful and gentle creatures.
After reading A guide to ethical wildlife encounters: by Brooke Brisbine where she wrote:
“I think the opportunity provided by these facilities to view and learn about animals first-hand is vital to raising awareness about imperiled or endangered species, and can even be an important catalyst for widespread conservation efforts.”
All in all, I think the experience in Guadalupe was a net positive for the future of shark conservation, and with multiple tour operators offering the same experience weekly I believe that the benefit of having literal boatloads of new advocates is worth the brief change in their behaviors.
In the Bahamas I dove with a local operator to do a gear check the day before I boarded a liveaboard for the week. The AM dives were nice, but I was the only person signed up for the afternoon dives so the operator asked if I would mind tagging along for the Shark Feed instead. I wanted to dive so I said yes. Here is my logbook entry for that dive:
This was a shark-feeding dive. Since I was the only one who was scheduled to do a “regular pm two-tank (operator deleted) asked if I would be ok going on the shark dive instead.
It was fine, I am not sure how I feel about hand-feeding the sharks. It felt like a show at a zoo rather than seeing wild animals. I guess I’m not anti-shark-feeding, it’s just not for me.
Long story short, good dive, but I will never intentionally go on a feeding trip again.
The more time has passed since that feeding dive, the more I have thought about whether it was a positive or negative experience. In almost the exact same way as the Guadelupe trip affected me, I am sure that the feeding dive affected other divers to fall in love with sharks. On the other hand, what percentage merely went for the Instagram picture? The tour operator had a professional photographer to get a picture of you surrounded by the “Dangerous Sharks” to show your friends back home. Even that day I was uncomfortable with the dive, but I am not judging people for their involvement, merely judging myself for mine. I should have listened to my inner voice that said I shouldn’t go.
On one hand, that dive could have been the moment that a tourist became a lifelong shark advocate, on the other, it was absolutely not the shark’s natural behavior. If I am completely honest I am still not sure how to feel about the practice.
What about the other encounters that I have been a part of, what about the ones I want to have in the future? How can we decide what encounters are positive and which are exploitive? I will be taking my son to a location with a “Dolphin Encounter” on a nearby island in the near future. I have tried to research the facility even going so far as emailing the director (receiving no reply) Not having enough information, I have decided not to go to that particular encounter. Selfishly I do want him to have that picture (holding the dolphin etc.) but have decided I don’t think it is worth it. I will just have to hope he has the opportunity to see dolphins in the wild.
The uncertainty of the Dolphin encounter led me to further research.
The ASPCA has a list of “Five Freedoms” that all captive animals should have, but none of them really apply to marine animal encounters.
1. Freedom from hunger and thirst 2. Freedom from discomfort 3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease
4. Freedom to express normal behavior 5. Freedom from fear and distress
So I really went “down the rabbit hole” searching for something online to help me make a personal list to follow of ethical behaviors to follow during my diving vacations.
I read dozens of articles but could never find a comprehensive list that applied to what I wanted. The closest I could find was a list by Natalie Lloyd in her article “HOW TO HAVE ETHICAL ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS IN THE CARIBBEAN”
THINGS TO DO
- Research whether or not the item you want to do is ethical, free from abuse, and not harmful for the creatures in question
- Look for tour operators who DON’T feed the wildlife to attract them
- Research how to act and what to expect around the creatures you’ll be encountering (both for their safety and yours)
THINGS NOT TO DO
- Don’t touch the wildlife
- Don’t walk on the coral. It’s alive and walking on it can kill it
- Do not kiss the wildlife
- Don’t take selfies or pictures while holding or if someone else is holding the wildlife
- Do not chase or corner the marine animals and fish
I also found that the World Animal Protection, World Cetacean Alliance, Whale & Dolphin Conservation, Humane Society International, and Born Free Foundation, collectively developed a united vision for whales and dolphins in tourism: A vision for whales and dolphins in tourism.
I guess I will end this very long article/rant by saying that my quest for a list has not gone as smoothly as I intended. I have no hard and fast rules to follow, the closest thing I can offer is that if it feels wrong, don’t do it. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, if you in any way feel like it is questionable don’t participate. I am no expert, just a diver who wants to protect more ocean than I harm, hopefully, I will.
Feel free to email me if you have any ideas to add to this discussion, I would love to hear your feedback and ideas at the next Dolphin Divers meeting.
Here are some more of the articles I scoured for ideas for ethical encounters:
Dolphin Dive Club’s annual Labor Day weekend camping and Fishing Contest
By: Jack Millard
Join all your club buddies on our annual Labor Day camping trip at Ocean Cove Campground. This is the weekend of our annual Spear and line fishing contests with LOTS of fun social time spent with other club members and guests.
You must sign up using the club form.
We have two group areas reserved near the beginning of the campground. Look for the Dolphin Banner near the Group entry gate. RV and tent Camping spaces are allotted on a first-come-first-served basis. It will not be possible to save space so please plan on arriving as early as possible. Some of us will be there earlier in the week, before Friday. If you want to come early or stay late, you will need to pay for those days direct to Ocean Cove. Everyone who has signed up in advance will be issued a parking pass so Ocean Cove will know you are part of our group. IF there is space available after the members who signed up in advance have arrived it will be possible to pay the event leader in the campground and select an available space, BUT YOU WILL STILL NEED TO USE THE CLUB SIGNUP FORM! This form will be available on our website, www.dolphindivers.org, and will be included with all messages about the event. I will track all of the early signups to monitor the available space. If our group areas fill up it might also be possible to pay the Ocean Cove Campground and stay in a space outside of our group area, but ONLY if our group area is filled! I will send a message to everyone using our club e-mail if/when it looks like we might run out of space. If you are not into camping there might be room space available at the Ocean Cove Lodge: https://www.oceancovelodge.com/
The camping cost for this event is $40.00 per night for one camping unit including one vehicle under power. Towed vehicles, including trailer or vehicle towed by a motorhome, are included in the campsite fee. Any extra vehicles, including visitors, must pay an additional fee. The launch fees for all boats used for the event will be paid by the club. On Sunday night, after our potluck dinner and fish fry, all event prizes will be awarded AND there will be a Raffle for many GREAT dive and camping-related items. BRING CASH FOR THIS RAFFLE. If you have anything that you would like to contribute to the raffle please let me know and bring it to the event. Because of the severe drought, Ocean Cove has requested that we bring as much of our own water as possible. If you have any please also bring firewood to contribute to our group campfires! There are a few water faucets available and there will be portable toilets in every camp area that will be frequently pumped. Usually, it is also possible to pay the Portable Toilet service truck to pump out your RV tanks.
YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR KEEPING YOUR SITE CLEAN AND FOR ANY GUESTS WHO JOIN YOU. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. There will be children playing so be careful when driving.
The closest air fill station may be in Santa Rosa, so please bring enough tanks to make all your dives. Diving will only be only allowed if conditions are safe. If it is not safe there will be an alternative method of awarding prizes to paid contest entrants. Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions:
Jack Millard, firstname.lastname@example.org, 916.955.8017
HISTORY OF BODEGA BAY
as posted in a public group on Facebook…
Awesome record of a postcard sent by Bodega Bay, Matriarch, Rose Gaffney to a friend Mr. Goodale from 1923!! Notice the spelling of Badega Bay on the postcard… The Getty and Doran park are not there yet…
Bodega Bay – 1923-24
Salmon Boats Anchored at Gaffney Cove
“This was taken sometime during the salmon fishing season in 1923-24. Sometimes there were some 700 and more boats anchored here waiting for the fish runs.”
“This cove [Gaffney] and the Campbell Cove at the bay entrance offered the only facilities, water, etc.”
“Bay Store was only available at high tides; Smiths used to anchor their boats opposite our Ranch Bldgs., so they get out with their trawlers; kept their other fishing boats there for taxi services to and from wharf ….”
“Prohibition made BB a smuggling center; so much so, Gov’t took notice, proposed rehabilitation. Accomplished in 1941-43 by dredging.”
“Last schooner to bring in cargo was SS Owl; Capt. Rocker; feed and dairy supplies for local farmers; Dated Oct. 1916. Took boat 3 cays to get out, stuck on sand bar opposite bay entrance. Last cargo brought in prior to 1943.”
“Hope this answers your questions. Sincerely, Rose Gaffney.”
August 17th General Meeting
REEF CHECK PRESENTATION
By: Ken Takata
Ian Norton, Northern California’s Survey Coordinator for Reef Check, will give a Zoom presentation on his organization at our August general membership meeting.
Reef Check is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of reef ecosystems both in the tropics and along California’s coast. Currently, a major project of California’s Reef Check is the restoration of kelp forests along our coast.
They accomplish their goals by utilizing volunteer “Citizen Scientists.” Citizen Scientists are divers, fishermen, kayakers, surfers, boaters, and a wide range of people who want to protect and preserve our nearshore ecosystems. They train SCUBA divers to conduct scientific surveys and kelp forest restoration projects along the West Coast of North America.
If you would like to become a Citizen Scientist. Check out their website for more information: reefcheck.org/California-program. Make a difference and get involved.
Hope to see you at the meeting.
Inland Lobster Feed & Potluck
By: Jack Millard
Saturday, August 20
Bring your family, bring your friends and join us at Lake Natomas for our “Inland Lobster Feed” dive and potluck on Saturday, August 20 at the Negro Bar picnic area.
Look for us under one of the group picnic covers. A few of us will put out crawdad traps late Friday to recover for the event in the morning.
Saturday morning all of the divers will meet at the picnic area by 9:00 to boat up past the Rainbow Bridge for a fun drift dive. You should plan on arriving at the Negro Bar picnic area early because we want to be in our boats and ready to dive by 9:00! There are a lot of big crayfish hiding under the rocks so bring a “Goody Bag” to grab the biggest and fastest ones you see. There are also a lot of lost “treasures” that fishermen and swimmers have dropped in the lake so we can also do a lake cleanup and scavenger hunt while we dive. I have found several working watches and a gold ring on previous dives so be sure to keep your eyes open. The deepest you can get is only about 40 feet, and there may be a current to help us drift while we dive. Visibility is typically about 6 to 10 feet and the water temperature has been in the low sixties on previous dives.
After we have made our dives we’ll gather in the picnic area for the rest of the fun. We will have prizes for a crawdad race for the adults and also for the kids, so be sure to save your biggest and your fastest crawdad. We will also have a “Liars Contest” where we will spin yarns about the “treasures” that we find. While we are diving and holding our contests a few volunteers will fire up the barbeques and cook up the crawdads, hamburgers, and corn-on-the-cob. Please bring $5.00 per adult to contribute toward the soft drinks, hamburgers, and corn on the cob. Please also bring a potluck dish, and don’t forget your dive gear, hats, beach chairs, and sunscreen.
Jack (916) 955-8017
DAN’s new Travelers Medical Guide
DAN’s new Travelers Medical Guide was created to help divers, boaters, and adventure travelers recognize and manage travel-related illnesses and injuries.
Drawing on DAN’s decades of experience managing emergencies, this digital guide explains common symptoms, illnesses, and treatments in an easy-to-understand manner.
AUGUST MEMBER BIRTHDAYS
Brian & Tyler Hopper
Past Club Events
DOLPHIN DIVERS OF SACRAMENTO
CLUB STORE NEWS
If you are looking to purchase any Club-Branded merchandise, it is available at the monthly meeting.
Over the summer the club will be printing more Club-Branded merchandise and if there is anything that you want to be printed please bring it up with Tracy Clarke at the general meeting.
CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS
By: Joe Morgan
Each month I will be looking for submissions in the following categories:
- Trip Reviews: Let us know where you have been diving, what operator you used, the hotel you stayed at and how was the diving there. Let us know if the operator was safe and fun. Let us know if the hotel was a good deal, give us as much detail as possible and hopefully more Dolphin Divers will venture there in the future.
- Recipes: I was told that in the past Dolphin Divers gave each other SEAFOOD recipes that they loved so that everyone could enjoy the bounty of the sea, I hope to continue that each month with at least one good recipe.
- Dive and Camping yard-sale items you wish to include in the newsletter.
- Dive Activities: Please let me know if there are any dive-related activities you would like included in the newsletter.
- Pictures from your last dive. Please make sure to let me know how you would like the picture credited in the newsletter. -example – Picture by John Member, of a Silky Shark, at Roca Partida Mexico.
PLEASE MAIL ALL SUBMISSIONS TO
DOLPHIN DIVERS OF SACRAMENTO
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Owen Autry
Vice President: Ken Takata
Treasurer: Marlyn Sepulveda
Secretary: Elizabeth Marchiondo
Safety Officer: Brad Freelove
Activity Chair: Ilkan Cokgor
Webmaster: Renee Viehmann
Promotions Chair: Tracy Clarke
Newsletter Editor: Joe Morgan
Historian: Jack Millard
Member at Large: David Whiteside
Member at Large: Corinne Fuerst
Member at Large: Marylin Campbell
Member at Large: Steve Campbell
Member at Large: Lalanyia Little
Member at Large: Tom Mischley
Alternate Member at Large: Bob Taylor
Alternate Member at Large: Tom Oja