By: Owen Autry
Dear Dolphin Divers of Sacramento,
So hard to believe it is JULY! Half the year is now gone, and I am just amazed that 2022 is flying by. July is a great month, as we celebrate the 4th of July and celebrate the Birth of our Nation. God Bless America! I hope all of you have a great 4th weekend and enjoy time with your family and friends.
2022 has been a great year so far with the club getting out and diving each month, and sometimes a couple of times each month. Please be safe and remember to do your buddy prechecks before you get in the water. I remember my first lesson and all the prechecks and double-checks with my dive buddy and how nervous I was to be trying this new sport of recreational diving. One thing I have noticed is that when diving in a larger group dive group, on occasion, I have forgotten to ask if someone will do a buddy check with me. I usually just suit up and check everything myself and roll into the water. I am going to get back to basics and remember the mnemonic BWRAF before each dive.
Begin: BCD check the power inflator or manual inflator to see if they are working properly. Next, the dump valves, checking to see where the dump valves are and do they work properly. I have had the dump valve in the stuck position more than once when getting into the water. Not a fun feeling as I am sinking.
Weights: What is your buddy’s quick-release system? Do they have a weight belt or is it an integrated system in the BCD? Check to familiarize yourself with how it releases and dumped.
Release: How to secure and release your buddy’s equipment? Check all the clips or buckles on the BCD. How do you release each one? Remember also to check the air tank releases on the back.
Air: How much air does your buddy have? Turn on the tank, check the first stage for leaks, and double-check the straps. Next have the buddy check and breath out of the regulator while they are looking to see if their pressure gauge is moving up or down. Also, check the secondary regulator air gauge to see where it is located and is it working properly.
Final OK: Are you ready for your dive? Are you ready to dive? This is a big one, never go in if you are for whatever reason not ready to go. You can always call the dive. Do you have all your equipment? Mask, fins, spear gun, camera, dive sausage, or anything you need before getting into the water. Did you talk about what the two of you are going to do once in the water? Being prepared is always a must, but things might and do change once in the dive.
Let’s all keep each other safe and happy diving.
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 get 10 free refills of your scuba tank.
Our next Dolphin Club General Meeting will be held in-person “Picnic in the Park 2022” at the Fair Oaks Park on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. We will NOT be having a Zoom hookup for this event. We are hoping you will all come and please check the bubbles and the webpage for more information as it becomes available.
Hope to see you in the water, and bubbles up!!
QUOTES FROM THE SEA
“The ocean is everything I want to be: beautiful, mysterious, wild and free.”
Safety Officer’s Message
By: Brad Freelove
How much weight do I need to dive?
I hear this question all the time. I always look at that diver thinking to myself, there goes a smart diver. Not afraid to ask a question or admit that they have a limitation of knowledge or experience. Good for them!
How much weight you might need to have a safe dive depends on several different factors. If you are overweight yourself, you must carry that weight around while you make your dive. You will be expending energy (and air) that you could use for something else. You might end up walking on the bottom! Too little weight and you will be expending energy (and air) to stay down if you can get down at all.
For proper weighting, nothing beats jumping into the water. A swimming pool, Folsom Lake or Monterey are all good spots to finesse your weight. There are some differences between fresh and saltwater for how much weight you will need, but not a whole bunch. Taking a class on buoyancy control will get you the correct amount of weight and might be a little more fun than doing it by yourself. If you plan on using a dry suit, take a class. Some big differences between wetsuit and drysuit diving.
For the rest of this article, we are talking about wet suit use, not dry suit.
If you are a new diver and still trying to figure out how much weight you should use, consider using one of the established formulas. For many years, divers have been taught to use 10% of their body weight for fresh water. Add a couple of lbs. more for salt water. Newer training methods still use the 10% factor but add on 4 – 6 lbs. for using a full, 7-mil wet suit. For a 3-mil full suit, take off 4 – 6 lbs. from the 10% amount.
Another method is to take 5% of your body weight and add 2 lbs. for each millimeter of neoprene.
As I weigh 185 lbs., using the 10% method, I would start with 18.5 lbs. and add on 6 lbs. for my 7-mil. suit. For the 5% method, I would start with 9.25 lbs. then add on 14 lbs. for my 7-mil suit. The total for the 10% method is 24.5 lbs. The 5% method gets you 23.25 lbs. Not much difference between the 2 methods. You still need to refine the actual amount you need, but that requires you to get wet.
The tank you are using makes a difference. When full, some tanks are negatively buoyant. Others are positive. Also, make sure that you have all the air let out of your BCD when trying to descend. You want to be as close to neutrally buoyant on the surface as possible. As you descend, you can add air to your BCD.
When you find your optimal weight, you might want to split the weight between a weight belt and your BCD weight pouches. If you do not have a weight belt, borrow, or rent one. Split up your weight between the belt and the BCD.
Jump in a pool and see how fast you can ditch the weights from your BCD. Then, do the same for the weight belt. I bet that you can ditch the belt in just a few seconds. The BCD will take longer. Being able to ditch half your diving weights quickly might help you out sometime.
As you become a more experienced diver, you will get your proper weighting in line. You will figure out what method works best for you. Weights on a belt or BCD or both.
Finally, do your best to NOT need to ditch your weights. Dive safe and smart and do not be afraid to ditch those weights!
PICNIC IN THE PARK
Our July 20th membership meeting will be held at Fair Oaks Park! This will be a potluck-style event.
The Board of Directors will supply hotdogs, hamburgers, buns, condiments, drinks, and other stuff needed to have a great picnic time! Board members will do all the cooking.
All you need to do is show up and have a good time. Members are requested to bring along something to share with their fellow divers. A salad, dessert, chips, or some other favorite dish all work for the evening.
The meeting will start at 6 pm and we should be done by 7:30 to 8:00.
Fair Oaks Park is located at 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks, CA 95628.
We have reserved the group picnic area that includes a barbeque area and picnic tables. There are restrooms on-site and a couple of parking areas that are close to our picnic area.
Plan on attending in person as our ZOOM capabilities will be limited.
As we get closer to the 20th, we will remind everyone of the change in location for the meeting. So come on out and have some fun!
GEAR GIVEAWAY AND GARAGE SALE
I have dive gear that I no longer use, and just takes up room in
my closet. Rather than throw them away, I would like to offer
my gear, free, to anyone who can use it. So, I’ll have a table set
up at our July 20th Picnic In The Park General Meeting with a
“FREE” bin containing my giveaway gear.
Anyone else who has gear that they would like to give away or
sell, feel free to bring it to the Picnic. If you intend to sell your
gear, be sure to label it with the asking price, and your name.
What is your pre-dive ritual?
By: Joe Morgan
On every dive boat, on every shore dive, and on every training dive, divers expect a dive briefing. In some cases, they are outstanding presentations including a beautifully drawn map of the dive site along with a detailed informative talk about the local animals and how best to see them. Other times it is less than thrilling with little useful information.
What I usually hope to hear includes: 1. Dive Site Name 2. Site Description 3. Dive leader’s role in the dive 4. Entry and Exit Techniques 5. Dive Procedures 6. Emergency Procedures 7. Signal Review 8. Roster/Buddy Check 9. Environmental Orientation 10. Predive Safety Check.
I have gotten into the habit of asking questions after most briefings because for some reason no one else does. Often it seems others had questions, but just didn’t feel comfortable asking.
What are YOUR safety steps? What do you want to know before a dive? Do you ask questions during the briefing? I am genuinely curious how other divers feel about this subject. For some reason, it often seems we forget to do many of the things we should pre-dive because we are excited. I know I have.
How many of us have been on a dive where we skipped over the pre-dive safety steps, or on a second or third dive of the day been cavalier about your “buddy check”, “BWRAF”, “Seabag”, or whatever other name your dive agency taught you?
I was reading an article on the website “Deeper Blue” about pre-dive checks and read this:
“In 1995, the Journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society published a 1994 study where 55 divers attending a dive equipment exhibition were randomly selected and asked to perform a pre-dive safety check on an assembled scuba kit (buoyancy jacket, regulator, air cylinder, contents, and depth gauges). Unknown to the divers each kit had 9 faults.
The Nine Faults:
The air was not turned on
The tank was empty
Masking tape had been left on the pillar valve
The regulator mouthpiece was partially bitten through
The tank was loose in the harness
The buoyancy jacket’s emergency dump valve was loose
The power inflator was not connected
The oral inflator was torn and loose
The maximum depth indicator was not zeroed
Of the 55 divers who were asked to do the pre-dive safety check only 2 found all nine of the faults, and only 3 noted all of the faults that could have potentially fatal consequences (the empty tank, the air supply switched off, and the loose dump valve) and that only 14 noted the inadequacy of the air supply. Only 12 divers found the emergency dump valve was loose. The most commonly found fault, reported by 47 divers, was the power inflator. However, that means 7 did not find the fault.”
Further in their article, they mentioned how many divers treat pre-dive checks as something many divers believe is only for “Newbie” divers. Is that what you have come to believe? In watching very videos of advanced divers (Tec, Cave, etc) they all seem to use a physical checklist, and if it is what they do for safety it’s good enough for me.
With that in mind, I created a list for myself, that I now take every time I dive. As I have said in the past, I am an over-planner, but I would personally rather look like a “newbie” than have my “Underwater Life Support” fail me at depth because I had neglected something that on the boat was a simple fix.
Here is my checklist:
you will notice I add things that are just for me, but I have these all printed on 3×5 cards and take them every time I dive. I usually am a solo traveler and end up paired up with an instant-buddy on each boat. Usually, when I go through my checklist, they are surprised, often they have seemed thankful. Have you had a similar experience?
Do you think I am overcautious? What are your pre-dive rituals? Do you have a set of things you do before every dive? Either by email or at any club event I would love to hear what they are. I might add something of yours to my list.
We must take our safety seriously. Remember that only you are responsible for your diving safety.
Dolphin Dive Club 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, email@example.com, 916.955.8017
Folsom Lake Scuba Challenge
By: Brad Freelove
On June 18th, Dolphin Divers of Sacramento held our annual Folsom Lake Scuba Challenge. Ilkan Cokgor was the originator of this event about 5 years ago. Thanks, Ilkan, for coming up with the idea and for putting the event together.
There were several activities set up for the divers. Divers did have the option of just making a dive. When we reached our starting time, our divers decided that just making a dive was what they wanted to do. Many of them had not been in the water in a couple of years. The divers just wanted to refresh their diving memories. So, we loaded up the boats with everyone and headed off across the lake to a diving spot with little boat traffic.
Divers took their time to get suited up and hit the water. Some needed to add some extra weight, and some took a few pounds off. Within a few minutes, everyone was on the bottom and having fun. Collecting trash was the main event of the dive. Cans, bottles, and other trash items were returned to the boats. I found a nice piece of driftwood on the shore and Tom O. swam over and retrieved it for me. With a surface water temperature of 73 and a bottom temperature of 65, the dive was quite warm. Vis. was between 4 and 8 ft. Most everyone was in the water for a solid hour.
Thanks to all the divers that came out to enjoy the day. Dave, Tom, John, Rene, Liz, Julie, Gordon, Alex, Gary, Suzanne, and Gil enjoyed the warm, calm waters of Folsom. For shore support, we had club president, Owen Autry, newsletter editor Joe Morgan and ex Board member Dave Ford. A couple of club dogs (Teddy and Biju) came by and said hello. They brought along their humans, Corinne, and Holger.
Special thanks to Ken Takata, Gordon Kuhnle, and Alex Kuhnle. They supplied their boats and time to make the day a fun one for all involved.
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
JULY MEMBER BIRTHDAYS
Past Club Events
Photos from past Great American River Clean-Up dives. Our next river clean-up is set for July 17. As we get closer to that time, more information will be sent out.
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