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By: Owen Autry
Dear Dolphin Divers of Sacramento,
WOW, what a great gathering of our Dolphin family at the April 2022 General meeting! It was great to see members talking and sharing time together while eating pizza and drinking ice-cold beverages. I am hopeful that everyone will continue coming to the general meeting and become more involved in our events as they are being formed and scheduled for this year.
I would like to thank all the 2021/2022 Board Members for all the continued help in keeping this last year moving forward and helping make this year (so far) very successful. Thank you, Ken, Brad, Marilyn, Liz, Jack, Tracy, Renee, Dave, Corinne, Steve, Julie, Maridee, Kenny, and Alex.
The board for 2022/2023 looks great and I appreciate everyone taking the time from their busy schedules to participate in board meetings, general meetings, and all the events they will be able to attend. At the April general meeting, we had returning members, and new members, introduce themselves and give us a chance to learn more about them and their diving experience.
Please take the time to join our Facebook page and let’s start loading pictures of events that are happening and show our members why it is so great to be involved in our Dive Club.
I would like to introduce everyone to our new Bubbles editor, Joe Morgan, and thank him for continuing to publish the Bubbles Newsletter every month. If you have a subject or a topic you would like to submit for the Bubbles Newsletter publication, please email it to: Editor@dolphindivers.org and he will try to fit it into a future Newsletter. Joe will send out an email each month with a deadline for all articles to be submitted.
Our next Dolphin Club General Meeting will be held in person on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Round Table Pizza (9500 Greenback Lane in Folsom), or via Zoom for those who would prefer to attend remotely, Marilyn will send information the day of the meeting. We are working on new and returning guest speakers to bring quality and interest to our meetings.
Hope to see you in the water, and bubbles up!!
QUOTES FROM THE SEA
“I love all the unique things you see on each dive. Millions of little aquatic soap operas playing out between all the creatures. And the silence. Well, it’s not really silent down there, but the roar of bubbles blocks any other sound.”
SAFETY OFFICERS MESSAGE
By: Brad Freelove
Surface Marker Buoy
Also known as a safety sausage, SMB, or DSMB, the SMB is something that every diver should have. The name is not as important as what the SMB/DSMB can do for you. A surface marker is relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and can save your life. The two main types of surface markers are the delayed surface marker buoy (DSMB) also known as the safety sausage, and the surface marker buoy (SMB). The DSMB is simply an inflatable tube that you send up to the surface from underwater as you begin your safety stop. The DSMB is attached to a line that allows you to keep the DSMB right above you while you complete your stop if needed. The buoy also alerts your, or other boats, of your location. The SMB is similar to the DSMB but may be smaller and have fewer features. Mainly used once you get to the surface to let others know your location.
Carrying an SMB and/or DSMB keeps you safe in a number of different ways. As we’ve already learned, first and foremost a D/SMB can protect you from boat traffic by alerting boats to your presence and, more importantly, letting boats know you’re ascending.
DSMBs and SMBs are also extremely important in locations with heavy currents. A diver at the surface can be carried very far very quickly by a current so having a marker buoy deployed makes you much more visible and means you can be found much quicker in an emergency situation. Similarly, deploying a DSMB during a drift dive means that a boat or your surface support can follow your location while the current is carrying you along. You can also use your DSMB to mark the location of some great discoveries that you have made!
When diving, I carry both types. I carry a DSMB and line reel with me attached to a hook on the outside of my BDC. It is easily accessible should I need it. Maybe I need to mark an anchor that I found or just need to have our boat come and get me after a drift dive. Whatever the reason, I have my marker right where I need it. Stuffed into a weight pocket on the back of my BCD, I have a smaller SMB with a short piece of line. My backup plan if I get to the surface and cannot find my DSMB. I can remove my BCD, pull out the SMB and hook it to my tank. The SMB will always be right beside me letting everyone know where I am.
Some of the features that you can find on marker buoys of either type are over-pressure valves, Velcro straps, clips on at least one end, and a way (usually a clip) of attaching a small strobe light to the top of the marker. Once you inflate the DSMB it will head to the surface. Remember to let go of it when it takes off. The over-pressure valve will keep the marker from bursting as it rises from the depths. Velcro straps will keep the marker rolled up while you are diving. Clips on both ends allow you to secure a line to one end and a strobe to the other.
You do not have to have both a DSMB and an SMB. The DSMB will do the same thing as an SMB. The choice is yours. Whatever you decide, make sure that you can use the line spool with gloves on and you know how to inflate it. Find a pool that you can use or Folsom Lake if it has enough water in it. Can you open the clips to access the line spool? Can you fill the marker with air easily? With a little practice, you can make yourself a safer diver.
In Search of Mermaids
Written & Photos by: Liz Marchiondo
Though historically referred to as the “River City”, Sacramento holds a secret usually reserved for oceangoing explorers of old – mermaids.
Since 2010, Sacramento has been home to “The Mermaid Promenade”, a celebratory parade for merfolk on two legs around Old Sacramento; which later evolved into the “The Mermaid Weekend”; and is now in its current and so far largest three days shell-ibration, “The California Mermaid Convention”. After a year off due to COVID-19 in 2020, The California Mermaid Convention was back and stronger than ever in July 2021 and I knew I was not going to miss out on the chance to photograph these finned folk.
The Group Swim Event, held at the Rusch Park Pool in Citrus Heights, was the perfect controlled environment to take my newly-acquired SEA&SEA MBX-D850 underwater camera housing setup for a dive. The Park Pool consists of three main water features of varying depth, and due to restrictions in regards to underwater flash photography for the day, it was an excellent environment to practice manual white balancing and exposure settings under ambient lighting conditions. With a Nikon 14-24mm lens attached to the D850 body and utilizing the SEA&SEA Dome Port, I quickly found the old adage, “Get closer!” for underwater photographers to be extremely apt. I found that my best color reproduction and clarity out of the camera of the subjects occurred if the subjects were only 2ft to 4ft from the dome port. With the variety of mermaid tails and the care each individual took in crafting their “mersona” (one’s mermaid-persona), I wanted to ensure that I was documenting each siren tail flick, sparkling mermaid scale, and hidden musical note that I could find.
While photographing, I noticed that not only were the merfolk in attendance excellent artisans and performers – they were often skilled underwater athletes. With some tails weighing in at ten pounds or more due to the solid silicone monofin encased in the fabric or poured silicone tail, these merfolk had to balance swimming with the added weight and drag of their tails, the added weight of a weight belt, getting to depth, looking for and following posing cues, and transforming into an underwater statue long enough to have their image taken – all in one breath! Two minutes minimum breath holds while vigorously finning about were not uncommon and the convention boasted a visiting professional mermaid that, at the time of the convention, had a four and a half minutes breath-hold.
On a July weekend in Sacramento, one might not expect to find a whole school of mermaids, sirens, and selkies but this hidden gem is a staple of the Northern California community and only grows more diverse, welcoming, and colorful each year.
(Event information for activities for kids and adults as well as the river cleanup can be found at: https://californiamermaidcon.com/ )
Join the Fun May 2022!
Join the pod for 2022’s Mercon! For the first time, the Con will be held at the Hagan Community Center Pool in Rancho Cordova. Visit https://californiamermaidcon.com/ for ticket, volunteer, and event information.
Searching for mermaids year-round?
Did you know, Sacramento boasts one of the only mermaid-themed bars in the United States?! Visit “The Dive Bar” on K Street!
Want to become a safe merperson yourself?
Contact Dolphin Scuba Center to schedule your own SSI Try Mermaid course today! (https://dolphinscuba.com/ssi-try-mermaid-course/) Under the watchful supervision of Dolphin’s experienced instructors, safely learn the principles of breath-holding and free diving while weighted and extend your bottom time underwater with a single breath. As an added bonus, take a virtual tour around the world and learn the history and cultural importance of different half fish, and half-person lore throughout history.
Photography Tech Spec:
Nikon D850 camera body
Nikon 14-24mm lens
- MBX-D850 UW housing
- 210 Wide Angle Dome Port
- NZ 14-24mm Zoom Gear Ring
- YS-D1 UW DS-TTL Strobes (Dolphin Scuba Center pool photographs)
Images shot in Nikon RAW and optimized in Adobe Lightroom Classic.
Sunday Skills Test
Hosted by Dolphin SCUBA
April 24th found 10 DDS divers enjoying the warm waters of the Dolphin SCUBA Center indoor heated pool. We would spend 90 minutes testing our basic diving skills and making sure that regulators still worked, and BCDs still fit. Several divers discovered that they had some minor regulator issues or some broken straps. Small items that can ruin a dive if not taken care of. A couple of members found out that they needed to upgrade something. Most everyone realized that they could still clear a mask and hover over the bottom without looking too spastic!
Thanks to Brandon, Sara, Rich, Paul, Liz, Barry, Fred, Ken, Brad, and Lizzy for showing up and having fun. Dolphin SCUBA Center owner Mike Johnson came by to answer any questions we had. Mike is still sporting a tan from a couple of weeks in the Philippines! We took a few minutes to discuss upcoming trips to Egypt, Cozumel, and Socorro. Thanks, Mike!
DDS club mermaid Liz took several photos that are included below.
Wed, May 4th – Board Meeting – Monthly Board Meeting held at a Board Member’s home.
Wed, May 18th – General Meeting –
Monthly general meeting. All meetings will be held via Zoom in addition to (hopefully) in person at Round Table Pizza Until the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, please check the website home page to see if we will be live.
Round Table Pizza
9500 Greenback Ln,
Folsom, CA 95630
Fri, May 27th – Memorial Day Camping Trip MORE INFO
DOLPHIN DIVERS OF SACRAMENTO
MEMORIAL DAY DIVE
MAY 27-30, 2022
AT THE ALBION RIVER CAMPGROUND
We have 12 campsites (d3 to d8 and d24 to d19) set aside for our club’s Memorial Day event at the Albion River campground. The earlier you call to reserve a campsite, the greater your chances of securing a site. Don’t wait too long because the campground is typically filled on Memorial Day. The campground will hold sites for the dolphin divers until April 27th. After that date, our vacant spots will be offered to the general public.
The campground’s telephone number is (707) 937-0606. Identify yourself as being with the dolphin divers of Sacramento when making your reservations. Although any staff at the campground can take our reservations, Rebecca and Lisa are familiar with our group’s reservation.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW THE CAMPSITE YOU HAVE RESERVED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Group activities typically include potlucks.
If ocean conditions permit and space is available, a few boats may be available for diving and/or fishing. You can kayak on the Albion river, do a shore dive at van damme state park, visit the picturesque town of Mendocino, take the skunk train in Fort Bragg, and play golf at the little river golf course, or just relax at the campground. Let me know if you have any questions.
Sat Jun 18th – SCUBA Challenge
Mark June 18, 2022, on your calendar! DDS will hold its SCUBA Skills Challenge dive event. That Saturday, dive teams will compete against each other in a variety of subjects. Navigation, search and rescue, search and recovery, construction, and other underwater endeavors will challenge teams for accuracy, time, knowledge, and coordination.
Prizes for top finishers and a barbeque at the end of the contest. Applications will be available soon. Let me know if you have any questions.
Sat Jul 9th – River Clean Up Details Forthcoming
Wed Jul 20th – Picnic in the Park Details Forthcoming
Fri Sep 2nd – Labor Day Camping & Dive @ Ocean Cove Campground CLICK FOR MORE INFO
Sat Sep 17th – Great American River Cleanup 2022 Details Forthcoming
Sat Oct 15th – Underwater Pumpkin Carving Details Forthcoming
Fri Nov 25th – Black Friday / Garage Sale at Dolphin SCUBA Center. Times and info forthcoming
Sat Dec 10th – Club Christmas Party Details Forthcoming
Mon Jan 9th 2023 – Group Dive Trip to Socorro CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
MAY MEMBER BIRTHDAYS
PICTURES OF PAST EVENTS
SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS
LABOR DAY CAMPING AND DIVE EVENT
UNDERWATER PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST
INLAND LOBSTER FEED
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