October 2008 - San Francisco Reef Divers

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					San Francisco Reef Divers                                                                          October 2008
Volume XXXVI, No. 10




Diving Kauai           and     Ni’ihau      Islands,          area is dry! Fathom Five operates two boats: a 25
Hawaii                                                        footer and 35 footer. Both take a maximum of 6
By Jacob Rosenstein                                           divers. They provide Nitrox, rinse your gear after
                                                              diving and store it overnight. The dives are done in
   It took some research to figure out where to go for        groups, so everyone swims with the Dive Master.
a dive vacation. Tahiti has terrific pelagic activity,        Holly and Anthony were both very competent and
but it’s very expensive, especially with the dollar in        friendly Dive Masters. They use a slate to write the
the tank. The Phillipines has interesting marine life,        names of the marine animals we encounter. Both
but summer weather is                                                                    give detailed pre-dive
unpredictable.     So    after                                                           briefings.
reading divers’ experiences
in       Kauai      in     the                                                             There was no shortage
“Undercurrent” web site,                                                                 of marine life on any of
this option seemed exciting,                                                             these dives. Green Turtles
especially with the attraction                                                           were seen on almost
of Ni’ihau. This smaller                                                                 every dive, along with
island is only accessible in                                                             Racoon         Butterflies,
the summer months, as the                                                                Moorish             Idols,
crossing channel can get                                                                 Bluestriped Butterflies-
very rough. Ni’ihau diving                                                               an endemic specie to
is famous for diverse marine                                                             Hawaii,         Sharpnose
life, especially the Hawaiian                                                            Butterflies,     Lionfish,
Monk Seal, and crystal clear water. It was a special          Triggerfish, Trumpetfish, Surgeonfish, some type of
dive experience for me and my dive buddy and                  Scorpionfish, and Morays. At “Three Fingers”, we
daughter, Hannah.                                             saw a Dragon Moray, so named because of its
                                                              distinguished tubular nostrils above the eyes
  The dive operator chosen was Fathom Five Divers,            resembling horns, Devil Scorpionfish, Leaf-
whose dive shop and staging area are located in               Scorpionfish, Spiney Lobster and a large Crab that
Koloa, on the south part of Kauai. I decided to stay          Holly picked up from its rock, and later placed it
in Po’ipu, a 10 minute drive south. This is the               back. At “Turtle Bluffs”, our D.M. Anthony took us
second driest part of the island, getting an average of       to several ledges inhabited by Grey Reef Shark.
36 inches rain per year. Compared to Mt.
Wai’ale’ale, which sees 432 inches per year, this                                              Continue on page 4




                              This month's entertainment will feature

                 Your Adventures and Elections 2008
                                    -Reef Diver’s Elections that is …

                      If you don’t want to hold an office -then show up!!!



                                                          1
    San Francisco Reef Divers                                                               October 2008
    Volume XXXVI, No. 10




                                                             2008 SFRD OFFICERS
                                                         President         Gene          (650) 359-2785
                                                                           Kramer        genekramer@pacbell.net

                                                         Vice President    Classified    In an undisclosed but
                   Der Stammtisch                                                        secure location
By Pierre Hurter
                                                         Treasurer &       Pierre        (415).810.6851
  We started September’s meeting with a DVD of           Secretary         Hurter        sfreefdiver@comcast.net
our recent dive trip to Alaska aboard the Nautilus
Explorer.    Between the shared memories and             Webmaster         Curt Degler   91-94442154 (India)
flashbacks of Gerda, Ken and me, we had a lively                                         cdegler@yahoo.com
discussion around the diving, the single malt
Scotches available on board, the scenery and the
                                                         Newsletter        Gerda         (415) 810.6851
exceptional hardware stores to be found in our 49th
                                                         Editor            Hurter        sfreefdiver@comcast.net
state. When we first planned our trip to the north
who would have thought that Alaska or its governor
would come to feature so prominently in the              Entertainment     Ken Gwin      (415) 648-7046
headlines?                                               Committee                       artfxsf@aol.com

  I wanted to explore the San Francisco / Alaska         AMCR              Gene          (415) 339-2785
convergence more closely; Alaska’s’ population for       Representative    Kramer        genekramer@pacbell.net
example, 670,000, San Francisco 744,041, the
percentage of homes where a language other than          CenCal            Debra
English is spoken, 14.3% for Alaska, 45.7% for San       Representative    Gilmore       gilmoredeb2@yahoo.com
Francisco, the tourist shops, all run by people with
distinctly foreign accents and aside from the fur
bikinis selling pretty much the same chachkas. But
my attempts at investigative journalism where
quashed, my discoveries censored by the editor of
this very          mainstream, liberal         biased,
drive-by media          rag. I’ll have to wait for the
judgment of history like everyone else.

  So, it’s back to diving news. September was a
good month for it, we started out with the annual
Lake Tahoe dive and dine extravaganza. After
throwing everything including the kitchen sink into
the back of our new dive-mobile we set off, making
our way east on 80, through historic downtown                        Payments for membership and
                                                                     activities should be mailed to:
Richmond, Vallejo, Sacramento, Placerville and on
to Lake Tahoe. We pulled off the road in Placerville,
or Hangtown, to dawdle at some of the wineries that                           Pierre Hurter
have been popping up over the years. The area                             515 Diamond Street
between Motor City and Camino is connected by a
winding narrow road that roughly parallels Highway                     San Francisco, CA 94114
50. Depending on the time of year the area is rife
with celebrations of the apple or the grape

                                 Continue on page 6



                                                         2
San Francisco Reef Divers                                                        October 2008
Volume XXXVI, No. 10




                         REEFER’S RAP 2008

          JANUARY                          FEBRUARY                           MARCH

01 - New Year’s Day - Point       06 - Officers Meeting            05 - Officers Meeting
Lobos Dive                        09 - Cypress Sea - (3 Dives) -   08 - Cypress Sea - (3 Dives) -
02 - Officers Meeting             Sat - Pierre - 415.810.6851 *    Sat - Pierre - 415.810.6851
12 - Cypress Sea - (3 Dives) -    20 - Meeting - Sinbad’s          19 - Meeting - Sinbad’s
Sat - Pierre - 415.810.6851
16 - Meeting - Sinbad’s




            APRIL                              MAY                             JUNE

02 - Officers Meeting             07 - Officers Meeting            04 - Officers Meeting
05 - Abalone Opener - Fort Ross   10 - Cypress Sea - (3 Dives) -   14 - Cypress Sea - (3 Dives) -
- CenCal                          Sat - Pierre - 415.810.6851      Sat - Pierre - 415.810.6851 *
12 - Cypress Sea - (3 Dives) -    21 - Meeting - Sinbad’s          18 - Meeting - Joint meeting
Sat - Pierre - 415.810.6851 *                                      with Marin Scuba Club
16 - Meeting - Sinbad’s                                            21-22 - Scuba Show - Long
19 Dive into Earth Day -Del                                        Beach Convention Center
Monte Beach                                                        TBD - Abalone Closer
19 - Historical Diving Society
Meeting - Monterey



             JULY                           AUGUST                        SEPTEMBER

02 - Officers Meeting             TBD - Abalone Opener             03 - Officers Meeting
12 - Cypress Sea - (3 Dives) -    06 - Officers Meeting            05 - 07 - Lake Tahoe Dive -
Sat. - Pierre - 415.810.6851      09-12 - Channel Islands - Jim    Norm Knutson
16 - Meeting - Sinbad’s           Vallario - 415.566.0784          13 - Cypress Sea - (3 Dives) -
                                  20 - Meeting - Sinbad’s          Sat - Pierre - 415.810.6851
                                                                   17 - Meeting - Sinbad’s!



         OCTOBER                          NOVEMBER                         DECEMBER

01 - Officers Meeting             05 - Officers Meeting            03 - Officers Meeting
11 - Cypress Sea - (3 Dives) -    08 - Cypress Sea - (3 Dives) -   13 - Cypress Sea - (3 Dives) -
Sat. - Pierre - 415.810.6851 *    Sat. - Pierre - 415.810.6851     Sat - Pierre - 415.810.6851 *
15 - Meeting - Sinbad’s -         19 - Meeting - Sinbad’s -        17 - Meeting - Sinbad’s -
Officer Nominations !!!           Officer Elections !!!            Christmas Party !!!
                                  TBD - Abalone Closer




                                               3
San Francisco Reef Divers                                                                      October 2008
Volume XXXVI, No. 10

Kauai and Ni’ihau Islands              the plateau portion, we saw a         dolphins, before I stopped
from page 1                            Blue Dragon Nudibranch, and           counting and just watched in awe.
                                       another Nudibranch with an            It was a marvelous sight. This
  The first ledge had 5 juveniles,     orange body and purple border,        definitely capped off the dive
the second the mother, and the         probably Kunie’s Chromodoris.         week. There were also the usual
third contained a sleepy father.       Cole, one of                                         tropicals: Pyramid
True to its namesake, there were a     the      divers,                                     Butterflyfish,     a
couple of Green Sea Turtles            spotted        a                                     school of Longfin
having their shells cleaned of         small                                                Bannerfish, Lined
parasites by small Wrasse. We          Lionfish in                                                Butterflyfish,
dove “Sheraton Caverns” a              the       rocks.                                            Unicornfish,
couple of times. This site is          The         next                                     Sergeant Majors,
located across from the Kauai          morning dive                                         Trumpetfish, and
Sheraton. It has several swim-thru     “Ni’ihau                                             Black Durgeon, a
arches formed by lava tubes.           Drive Thru”                                          type              of
Under the ledges, Green Sea            was           in                                     Surgeonfish. The
Turtles catch their siestas away       terrific                                             trip back to Kauai
from any predator. They should         topography. It was a series of four   resembled bronco busting, as I
call it Turtle Motel. You pass by      caves: 2 chimney swim-thrus and       did a lot of unexpected bouncing.
several rooms, with one turtle         a couple of large caves with air      The sun shone throughout the
after another relaxing under the       pockets and lots of Black Coral.      day, so getting a little sea spray
overhang.        We also saw           There was Orange Cup Coral            even felt good. We were back at
Whitemouth         Moray       and     growing on top of one Black           the Small Boat Harbor high on
Yellowmoth Moray, as well as an        Coral clump, and a shrimp living      diving, and thanking our dive
nocturnal moray under a rock. At       on another Black Coral. The large     crew for a marvelous time, under
“Fast Lane”, there was a school        caves were like a drive-in movie,     and above the water.
of Polani Surgeons with a lone         and the chimneys were a tight
Pufferfish going for the ride.         squeeze. It was interesting to see      I kicked back the following day,
Also, a school of Chromis was at       the mirror-like effect of the air     as Hannah tried her hand at
this site, as well as a school of      pockets, and fun to swim through      surfing. The waves were small,
Bluestripe Snapper.                    large dark caves with flashlights     not even challenging to novice
                                       leading the way. A hearty lunch       surfers. On Saturday, we drove to
  As if this wasn’t enough, diving     of sandwiches, chips, and fruit       Hanalei Bay in the northern part
Ni’ihau was the topper. The boat       was provided during the surface       of the island. This is where our
left the Small Boat Harbor in          interval. The boat then went to       Na Pali cruise boat was berthed.
Po’ipu as the sun was rising           the fissure in the rock formation     We stopped at Wailua Falls on
through the swaying Palm Trees.        of Leihou for some sightseeing.       the way to gawk at this
Breakfast consisted of bagels and                                            magnificent drop of 173 feet. It’s
cream       cheese,       pineapple,     At 12:30, the water temperature     actually taller than Niagara Falls,
honeydew, apples, bananas, juice       increased to a toasty 81 degrees F    but doesn’t have the same water
and coffee. We entered the 78          for our third dive. This site was     volume flowing. There were
degree F water at 8:45 AM for          “Pyramid Point”, and my max           some adventurous folk on the
our first dive called “Vertical        depth was 68 feet. There was          bottom who had hiked in. We just
Awareness”, just off of Leiahou        current between the wall and the      drove up, like the rest of the
Island. It was a vertical wall with    rocky plateau. We saw a               tourists. The Na Pali coast of
a 3000 foot drop. Two Hawaiian         Hawaiian Monk Seal throughout         Kauai is like nothing I’ve ever
Monk Seals met us on our               the dive. These seals are known       seen. It’s mountainous, hilly,
descent, and kept us entertained       to travel individually, so I doubt    cavernous,        spooky,     and
throughout our dive. Word has it       if we’d seen him/her before.          beautifully colored in red, green,
that there are only 100 of these       Regardless, it took offense when      and orange.
playful       intelligent      seals   our attention was focused on a
remaining. Where’s the outcry to       pair of juvenile Grey Reef Shark.        The boat was small enough to
save them? A couple of huge Ono        “Hey, look at me,” it wanted to       fit inside a cave, where it quickly
Tuna were skimming the surface.        say. But not far off, swimming        darkened and the only light came
There were also a couple of huge       close to the surface was a pod of     from the entrance. If you’re ever
Trevally Jack in the distance. In      Spinner Dolphin circling above
                                       us. There were over three dozen                    Continue on page 5

                                                       4
San Francisco Reef Divers                                                                       October 2008
Volume XXXVI, No. 10

Kauai and Ni’ihau Islands                Diving is a triumph of backyard      again made a surface dive and
from page 4                            and garage technology; a primal        slipped below the waves, free and
                                       dream, a simple idea, some spare       unencumbered by the tinny rattle
in Kauai, go with Na Pali              parts machined for some other          of exhaust bubbles pinging
Catamarans! The guides are very        purpose, some tinkering, and the       against his ears. The gasps, the
knowledgeable, and fun. We             nerve to strap the whole               sound and feel of real levers and
snorkeled at Miloli’ where there’s     contraption on and take the            valves, the various pained
even a small beach, and watched        plunge.                                crepitations, and the purr of a
a Green Sea Turtle below us. The                                              duck-billed flapper valve gave
Na Pali coast is a must see if           I have tried to relive the dream     steady reassurance that bubbles
you’re ever in this neck of the        and join in their song whenever        were faithfully flowing from the
world. There are even helicopter       the opportunity presented itself.      "alarm clock," proving once again
tours, as well as motorized hang                                              that the dream is alive, that all is
gliders that can take you on a tour      Mr. Wheezy started making            well, and Nemo is the Prophet.
if you’re brave enough. Other          reports after diving Cortez Banks
attractive natural sights are the      and other Southern California            Yes, the thing still breathes like
Allerton Gardens in the National       locations, recapturing the thrilling   a pig. It moans and honks under
Botanical Gardens, where you           days when men were men, and            mechanical stress. There is a
can see giant Ficus trees that were    scuba was a tank, a valve, and         strange harmonic created in the
in “Jurrasic Park”, and the            two corrugated hoses.                  breathing rhythm that lulls the
Waimea Canyon. The latter is a                                                brain into an altered state. But,
long drive on steep 2 lane roads. I      And so, various equipment            yes, air still comes out and Mr.
saw the Kalalua Valley from the        reports have been made to this         Wheezy still lives.
top lookout, as well as the Pacific    end. We have revisited the
Ocean. The weather changed             Mistral, the Aqua Master, the            Off Outer Butterfly, this flight
quickly at the summit, 4000 ft.        Royal Aqua Master, the Voit 50         was made. Accompanied by
elevation, but I felt at home in the   Fathom, and the new Aqua Lung.         Pierre and Joerg, Mr. Wheezy
misty fog. There are plenty of         We have strapped on single 72s in      pirouetted through the kelp,
hiking trails in the Waimea            various incarnations attached with     spiraling downward to the rock
Canyon that take you down to the       a variety of straps and backpacks,     strewn forest floor, free and alive
Na Pali coast, or to the wettest       and shouldered the crowning            among the fish; the arc of kelp
spot on earth, Mt. Wai’ale’ale.        glory of 1950's art and                fronds overhead, a reminder that
Kauai was                              technology: the triple 30s. We         heaven might be in the skies, but
beautiful                              have sucked air through yellow         paradise can be found while here
and      wild,                           hoses, grey hoses, and black         on earth, and what better place
worthy of it’s                               hoses. We've taken out the       than floating just above the sands.
designation as                                   Submariner, the U.S.
the “Garden Isle”.                                  Divers Pro Depth          This dive was made with a
                                                    Gauge,and the Bend-       modern drysuit and argon bottle
                                                  o-Matic.                    for inflation and buoyancy
OUR CLUB DIVE                                                                 control. Tank was a standard
                                        Almost all of these dives were        issue steel 72 with J-valve
AND THE
                                       made with a wetsuit and no BC.         mounted on a single tank adapter
FURTHER ADVENTURES OF                                                         and steel backplate. The regulator
MR. WHEEZY                               Recently, Mr. Wheezy took his        was a mint condition DW Mistral
THE CYPRESS SEA--9/13/08               newly refurbished rig out for          (Cousteau-Gagnan process, 1
by Kenneth Gwin                        another dive into the past, reliving   stage regulator -- use compressed
                                       the dream that brought us all to       air only) bright yellow, two-hose
  Over the years, the ghosts of        this point in time. And times have     regulator. Pressure gauges are for
Jacques Cousteau, Mike Nelson,         changed since analogue was king.       weenies.
Peter Gimble, and all the rest,
have constantly hummed the              But, it hasn't gotten any better.
melody of their communal song
in my ear as I made my regular          On September 13, after two                          Continue on page 6
drives down to the sea.                normally aspirated dives off the
                                       Cypress Sea, Mr. Wheezy once


                                                        5
San Francisco Reef Divers                                                                       October 2008
Volume XXXVI, No. 10

THE CYPRESS SEA--9/13/08                                                      the owner of one of the wineries
From page 5                                                                   we visited, Findelton, is also a
                                                                              diver.

                                                                                The great thing about wine and
                                                                              small wineries is the variety in
                                                                              styles and tastes. I don’t mean
                                                                              the ongoing battles among
                                                                              oenophiles      concerning    who
                                                                              makes the “best” wines ala the
                                                                              Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. No,
                                                                              what appeals to me is how two
                                                                              vintners can take the same grapes,
                                                      Gads!
                                                                              harvested at the same time and
                                          But, diving isn't the only thing    depending on their preferences
                                        that makes the dive day great. To     and the angels sitting on their
             Tim saw it.
                                        those that know, the Cypress Sea      shoulders produce completely
                                        is also known as the Love Boat.       different results.
Tasks accomplished included the
successful team salvage of                                                      I’m reminded of Benjamin
approximately 40 pounds of lead                                               Franklin’s comments on wine;
left recently by some person
using yellow pouches. This                                                      “We hear of the conversion of
required the deployment of a                                                  water into wine at the marriage in
marker buoy with a spool and the                                              Cana as of a miracle. But this
youthful assistance of Mike and                                               conversion is, through the
Corey.                                                                        goodness of God, made every day
                                                                              before our eyes. Behold the rain
                                                                              which descends from heaven
                                                                              upon our vineyards; there it enters
                                                                              the roots of the vines, to be
                                                                              changed into wine; a constant
                                                                              proof that God loves us, and loves
                                                                              to see us happy.”

Maximum       depth:     83      feet                                           “Before Noah, men having only
Water temperature: 55 degrees F.                                              water to drink could not find the
                                        Stammtisch from page 2                truth. Accordingly ... they became
                                                                              abominably wicked, and they
  Then, to make things worse, I           I felt like an early pioneer, who   were justly exterminated by the
loaned the rig to Pierre for a little   after having made my way west         water they loved to drink. This
spin around the kelp.                   and checking out the local real       good man, Noah, having seen that
                                        estate market decides to head         all his contemporaries had
                                        back east.                            perished by this unpleasant drink,
                                                                              took a dislike to it; and God, to
                                         There’s something appealing          relieve his dryness, created the
                                        about pulling into small local        vine and revealed to him the art
                                        wineries where you can spend a        of making le vin. By the aid of
                                        couple of hours talking to the        this liquid he unveiled more and
                                        winemaker / owner between sips        more truth."
                                        of their latest offerings. We
                                        stocked up on a few Zinfandels,         To be fair, Ben apparently
                                        some Syrah, a few Pinots and a        never meet an alcoholic libation
                                        surprising Chardonnay, not the        which he didn’t think was proof
                                        usually butter saturated monsters,    of God’s love of mankind, he said
                                        but subtle with the glorious color
        Hell, I'll try anything.        of sun drenched hay. Turns out                     Continue on page 7

                                                        6
San Francisco Reef Divers                                                                    October 2008
Volume XXXVI, No. 10

Stammtisch from page 6                of the Marsh-Mallow plant             profile they preferred. Didn’t
                                      (althea officinalis).      Marsh-     quite work that way, but we had a
much the same about beer.             Mallow grows in salt marshes and      great time wandering around at
                                      on banks near large bodies of         120 feet exploring all of the
 Lake Tahoe, our dive-mobile          water. It is common in the            nooks and crannies.
loaded with wine, bread, cheese       eastern United States and until the
and Jambalaya fixins we finally       mid 1800's, marshmallow candy           For dive two we motored
pulled into our campsite at D.L.      was made using the sap of the         northwards to Honeymoon. The
Bliss State Park mid afternoon on     Marsh-Mallow plant.       Today's     surface conditions where as flat
Friday. For those of you who          marshmallows are a mixture of         as the proverbial mirror. Ken had
have never been, this is a great      corn syrup or sugar, gelatin, gum     come on board with two vintage
campground, not one of your           Arabic and flavoring.                 steel 72’s complete with “J”
“primitive” sites, they have a                                              valves; one was fitted with an
solar shower and flushing toilets.                                          “H” valve, the other was capped
The weather turned out to be                                                with a minty looking Cousteau-
exceptionally warm and sunny.                                               Gagnan twin hosed regulator,
Spent most of our two nights                                                complete with brand new yellow
sleeping on top of my sleeping                                              corrugated hoses.        There is
bag, way to warm to have to                                                 something intriguing, almost
crawl inside.                                                               elemental about this sort of gear.
                                                                            To me it’s like manual
  Saturday we rolled out of our                                             typewriters, hand sewn leather
bedrolls and fueled by espresso,                                            hiking boots and ice axes with
eggs over greasy, bacon and                                                 wooden shafts and hand forged
biscuits, made our way down to                                              heads. I don’t advocate turning
Lester Beach, getting there early       Originally, the juice from the      the clock back, the Ludites had it
enough for one of the close-in        marsh mallow plant's roots was        mostly wrong, but sometimes you
parking spots. Since we were          cooked together with egg whites       can’t really appreciate where you
shaking down our new dive-            and sugar, then whipped into a        are without some sense of where
mobile, we brought our kayaks         foamy meringue that when              we came from.
this year. It makes it a lot easier   hardened, was used as a
to get from Lester Beach to           medicinal candy used to soothe          Our third dive was at Butterfly
Rubicon Point and after our dive;     children's sore throats.    With      House. Gerda decided to stay
we took a long leisurely paddle       advances in the manufacturing         topside so I dropped below with
around Rubicon Point and              processes the need for root juice     Joerg and Mr. Wheezy.           No
beyond. No crawdads this year,        disappeared, unfortunately, that      sooner did we get to the bottom
but lots of food and drink all the    eliminated     the    confection's    than I found a weight belt, one of
same. Afterwards with the             healing properties as a cough         those pouch designs with close to
campfire roaring and the twins,       suppressant, immune system            40 pounds of lead. Under the
Maya and Jasmine, flambéing           booster and wound healer.             watchful eyes of Mr. Wheezy I
countless marshmallows we told                                              threaded the loop from my reel
tall tales and watched the stars        So      beside     incinerating     through my surface marker buoy
overhead. Besides Tim, Norm,          marshmallows and diving Lake          (SMB), gave it a squirt of air and
Lupe and the twins, Loretta and       Tahoe, we also managed to             launched it to the surface. We
Debra were on hand, two faces I       squeeze in our monthly dive           paddled around a bit more and
haven’t seen in awhile.               aboard the Cypress Sea. We had        headed for the surface. Once
                                      Captain Mark at the helm and          topside, Ken gave me a shot at
  Marshmallows, one of those          Mike and Corey as the able            trying out Mr. Wheezy’s rig.
quintessentially        American      bodied crew. We also had some         Sliding off the rear swim step was
delicacies, familiar to all of us     new members onboard, Nathan           like entering another world, a
who have ever spent an evening        and Scott, ready to make the          time when man took the first
around a campfire, ever wonder        plunge into the murky waters of       tentative steps into the liquid
where they come from? Turns           Monterey. Our first plunge was        unknown. It’s quit a difference
out that they date back to ancient    at Que Passo, the plan had been       from modern regulators, for one
Egypt where they began life as a      to drape the anchor over the          thing, you can feel and hear the
honey-based candy flavored and        pinnacle around 60 feet so that
thickened with the sap of the root    everyone could dive whatever                       Continue on page 8

                                                      7
San Francisco Reef Divers                                                                      October 2008
Volume XXXVI, No. 10

Stammtisch from page 7                   In the meantime, I’ll settle for    fisherman’s wharf; so far
                                      some splash time in local waters       Southern-Cal     Seafood  has
mechanical bits behind your head,     with modern recreational gear.         brought in 14,000 tons on this
hear the spring loaded single         Until then, I’ll be swirling and       year’s second harvest.
stage diaphragm move back and         sipping a delightfully precocious
forth as you breath. I felt like      little claret that I found tucked        So if you’re in the mood for
Mike Nelson or maybe more like        behind some moldering bottles in       some fresh sardines, don’t wait,
Ned Ludd, I loved it, all that was    my cellar and thinking about the       try some fresh grilled sardines, or
missing was some evil miscreant       Phylloxera       infestations     in   maybe a nice fresh sardine
whose hose I could cut, sending       Bordeaux       during     the   late   escabèche , all you have to do
him to the surface in a torrent of    nineteenth century that led to the     now is pick the right wine.
bubbles. I’d like to try it again,    industry being rescued by grafting
but in a wetsuit, no BC, just a       native vines to their more pest-
couple of cotton straps and maybe     resistant     American       cousins
a hard plastic backpack, the way      rootstock. What does it all really
man was intended to dive.             mean? Hope to see you in the
                                      water soon. To quote the late
                                      great Frank Sinatra “I feel sorry
                                      for people who don't drink. When
                                      they wake up in the morning,
                                      that's as good as they're going to
                                      feel            all            day.”



  There are a surprising number                                              AROUND THE         WORLD ON
of people out there who are                                                  BIODIESEL
hooked on diving vintage gear.
I’ll admit that I understand the                                               If you remember reading Jules
appeal. It’s like reaching back for                                          Verne’s, Around the World in 80
a piece of our near past and once                                            Days (Le tour du monde en
again living that bit of history.                                            quatre-vingts     jours)  you’ll
My personal goal is to take a                                                appreciate    the    news   that
plunge in full dress, hard hat,                                              Earthrace, a tri-hulled boat
rubber coated canvas, brass boots,                                           running on biodiesel, has beaten
the works, preferably in a Mark V                                            the world speed record for a
helmet like those used by the US                                             powerboat to circumnavigate the
Navy starting in 1916 and with                                               globe by 14 days.
minor modifications until 1984.
                                      A US Navy MKV helmet                   The boat traveled 24,000 nautical
   A number of companies still                                               miles in 60 days, 23 hours and 49
make the Mark V, so if you                                                   minutes. I wonder what Phileas
hanker after some heavy metal,                                               Fogg and his faithful man
don’t despair, but you better have                                           Paasepartout would think about
your check book ready, because                                               this.
they don’t come cheap, DESCO
will sell you one for $5,800 or if    SARDINES ARE MAKING A
you prefer the Helium Helmet it’s     COMEBACK IN MONTEREY
going to set you back $10,500.
Morse Diving, since 1837, bills         It’s good news for sardine
itself as the oldest surviving dive   fishermen in Monterey. There are
gear manufacturer in the world.       three sardine seasons a year on
One of their MK V’s will set you      the Pacific Coast, with a total
back $10,000, with a 50% down         allowance of 90,000 tons of
payment upfront and a 180 day         sardines. Some of you may have
delivery period.                      noticed the activity on the


                                                             8
San Francisco Reef Divers                                                                            October 2008
Volume XXXVI, No. 10

KOSHER CAVIAR?                                 with extinction. I love sushi, but     At the Central California
                                               you can’t help but notice that it    Council of Diving Clubs, Inc.
  You don’t normally associate                 has become available almost          (CenCal) September’s board
Israel with caviar, but with it’s              everywhere and that is beginning     meeting,     Steve     Campi
large population of Russian -                  to have a negative impact on         announced that he would be
Israelis, Farmed caviar seemed to              certain fish stocks.                 resigning his position as
make sense.       Now that over                                                     President at the next CenCal
fishing and pollution have                       On October 22, three leading       Board     meeting,   currently
decimated the traditional caviar               ocean conservation organizations,    scheduled for December 3,
breeding areas in the Caspian, it’s            Blue        Ocean       Institute,   2008.
turned into a goldmine.                        Environmental Defense Fund and
                                               the Monterey Bay Aquarium will       PEACE DIVE CENTER            TO
  Caviar Galilee is expecting to               make available to the public
                                               color-coded consumer guides          SHUTTER ITS DOORS
harvest upwards of three tons of
the coveted fish eggs from its                 ranking popular sushi selections
7,000 female sturgeons. Each                   based on whether they are              The Peace Scuba Center will
fish can carry as many as four                 prepared using seafood that's        be closing its doors on
pounds of eggs and at $2,800 per               caught or farmed in ways that        November 30, 2008. According
kilo wholesale, that adds up to a              harm the ocean or pose a health      to an e-mail from Eric
tidy sum.                                      risk to people.                      Bowman, the main reason for
                                                                                    closing the shop was the time
Turns out that a sturgeon has to                 If you’re a sushi fan, you’ll be   commitment required to run
be about four years old before its             in for some surprises as well as     both business (the retail shop as
sex can be determined, males are               disappointments. Popular items       well as the Peace Dive Boat).
destined for the fish market, while            like bluefin tuna (maguro) and
the best females are artificially              freshwater eel (unagi) are             Eric was quick to clarify that
inseminated and kept as caviar                 firmly on the "red" list, as is      there would be no changes to
producers.                                     farmed salmon (sake). These          the Peace Charter Boar
                                               species are either overfished,       business.      If anyone is
 Now here’s the catch, most                    farmed      with      aquaculture    interested in a Nuvair 9.6 cfm
rabbis say that sturgeon and the               methods that pollute the ocean,      air / membrane NITROX
caviar they produce are not                    or caught using methods that         compressor system contact Eric
kosher. The fish appears to the                destroy ocean habitats or kill       directly at www.peaceboat.com
naked eye to have no scales,                   large amounts of other sea life.
which would make it a forbidden                                                     NEW SUBMARINE RESCUE
food under Jewish dietary laws.                  Items like wild-caught Alaska      SYSTEM JOINS THE FLEET
There are those who argue, that                salmon (sake), farmed scallops
the fish does have scales, they are            (hotate) and Pacific halibut
just very small. Either way, keep              (hirame) are more sustainable
your eyes open for “made in                    choices, in part because they
Israel” the next time you have the             come from abundant, well-
urge for some fish eggs.                       managed fisheries or in the case
                                               of scallops are raised using
                                               sustainable         aquaculture
                                               methods.
                                                                                      The    Submarine   Rescue
                                               For more information take a          Diving and Recompression
                                               look at; www.blueocean.org …         System    (SRDRS)    Rescue
                                               www.edf.org                          Capable System (RCS) has
No, these guys are not Israelis, but you get   …www.montereybayaquarium.
a sense of how big these fish can get.                                              become the US Navy’s official
                                               org                                  submarine    rescue    asset,
                                                                                    replacing the older Deep
SUSTAINABLE SUSHI GUIDE
                                               CENTRAL    CALIFORNIA                Submersible Rescue Vehicle
                                               COUNCIL OF DIVE CLUBS                (DSRV).
  Sushi has become so popular
that it threatens certain species              NEWS

                                                               9
San Francisco Reef Divers                                                                  October 2008
Volume XXXVI, No. 10

  During        the       recent                                            Sometime back we had a news
multinational submarine rescue                                            piece about the search for a
exercise     Bold      Monarch,                                           missing WWII submarine. The
conducted in Norway in May of                                             USS Grunion disappeared off the
this year; the SRDRS system                                               Aleutians and was reported lost
practiced    the    rescue    of                                          on August 16, 1942.
personnel from three NATO
submarines. More recently a                                                 The sons of the commanding
successful practice run was                                               officer, Lt. Cmdr. Mannert L.
conducted with a Chilean                                                  Abele, had financed an expedition
submarine.                                                                to locate the wreck. Using the
                                                                          underwater video footage and
  The program is a three phased                                           pictures    captured    by   that
operation. The first phase was          The wolf-fish (Anarhichas         expedition the Navy was able to
the Atmospheric Dive System           lupus) has, according to the        confirm the discovery, Rear Adm.
2000, a one-atmosphere dive           CLF’s petition has been in          Douglas McAneny said in a news
suite capable of inspecting           steady decline for the past 20      release.
disabled    submarines      and       years.      According to federal
clearing debris from escape           statistics, the number of wolfish     The Grunion was last heard
hatches.                              taken by fisherman has declined     from July 30, 1942.            The
                                      by 95%, from 1,200 metric tons      submarine had reported heavy
  The second phase is the RCS         in 1983 to 64.7 metric tons in      anti-submarine activity at the
(Rescue Capable System) which         2007. The decline is blamed on
                                                                          entrance to Kiska, and that it had
is a tethered, remotely-operated      the destruction of the New
                                      England seafloor by large scale     10 torpedoes left with which to
Pressurized Rescue Vessel called                                          engage the Japanese ships. The
the Falcon.                           commercial trawling during the
                                      mid 80’s.                           Grunion was directed to return to
                                                                          Dutch Harbor Naval Operating
  The third phase is the                                                  Base. It never made it home.
Submarine           Decompression       The wolf-fish is found in
System (SDS) scheduled for            waters between 250 and 400 feet
deployment in 2012. The SDS           deep     and is equipped with         Abele's son's, Bruce, Brad, and
will allow rescued submariners        natural antifreeze to cope with     John, began working on a plan to
to remain under pressure during       the chilly waters. The fish can     find the sub after finding
their transfer to a rescue vehicle.   live as long as 20 years and        information on the Internet in
                                      weigh in at 40 pounds.
                                                                          2002 that helped pinpoint USS
CALL   FO R  FEDERAL                                                      Grunion's possible location.
                                      NAVY       CONFIRMS        L OS T
PROTECTION FOR THE
                                      WWII       SUB HAS         BEEN       In August 2006, a team of side
ATLANTIC WOLF-FISH
                                      FOUND                               scan sonar experts hired by the
  The     Conservation    Law                                             brothers located a target near
Foundation (CLF) has filed a                                              Kiska almost a mile below the
petition  with      the federal                                           ocean's surface.      A second
government seeking endangered                                             expedition in August 2007 using
species protection for the                                                a high definition camera on a
Atlantic Wolf-fish.                                                       remotely operated vehicle yielded
                                                                          video footage and high resolution
                                                                          photos of the wreckage.




                                                     10
San Francisco Reef Divers                                                        October 2008
Volume XXXVI, No. 10




We highly encourage you to also support the other organizations listed below when you pay
your annual dues. (Please indicate your membership options with the checkboxes below.)

           San Francisco Reef Divers (SFRD)                                   $25
           Central California Council of Diving Clubs (CenCal)                 15
           Sonoma County Abalone Network (SCAN)                                10

                                              Show your support for all three! $50


Name: _________________________________________________________________
Address: _______________________________________________________________
City: _______________________________ State: ___________ Zip: _____________
Home Phone: ( ____ ) _________________ Work Phone: ( ____ ) ________________
Email: _____________________________
How would you like your newsletter delivered? (Choose one):
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  Please make checks payable to “San Francisco Reef Divers” and mail to: Pierre Hurter,
             SFRD Treasurer, 515 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA 94114


                                              11
 San Francisco Reef Divers                                                           October 2008
 Volume XXXVI, No. 10




                                 SINCE JANUARY 1ST 1973
                      ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO REEF DIVERS (SFRD):
The Reef Diver Times is the official newsletter of the San Francisco Reef Divers, a not for profit
community organization dedicated to safe sport diving and the preservation of our ocean resources.
Membership is $25 annually, dues payable to “SFRD”. The General Meeting is held the 3rd
Wednesday of the month at Sinbad’s, located at Pier 2, Embarcadero Street, SF, CA 94111. Meet at
7:00pm for socializing, drinks and food and 7:30 pm for club business and entertainment. For more
information, visit http://www.sfreefdivers.org/.




 SAN FRANCISCO REEF DIVERS
 Reef Diver Times
 C/O Gerda Hurter
 515 Diamond Street
 San Francisco, CA 94114




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