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BCD welcomes all its new members and we look forward to seeing you in (or at least near) the water

 

Next Club Outing:

 

Sunday, August 10th - Spend the 9th at Roy's Cabin in Forestville and dive the Sonoma Coast on Sunday, ab season re-opens August 1st

 

Representin' time:

Bring t-shirts and sweatshirts for silkscreening of the club logo to the next meeting - or drop them off to Carol sometime soon.

 

BCD Abalone Cook book:

Send your recipes to Curt lingking@sbcglobal.net

or Dan seawindowz1@yahoo.com

 

In Oceanic News:

New World Record Set for Underwater Cycling

Italy's Vittorio Innocente aged 62, has set a new world record in underwater cycling, pedalling his specially adapted bike to a depth of 65 metres in the sea near Genoa, beating his previous record of 60 metres set three years ago...

Innocente said he first got the idea of cycling underwater 25 years ago when leading a party of tourists they found a cyle and he climbed in to the saddle for a joke.

Since then he has modified a cycle by filling the tyres with water, weighing it down with 35 kilos of ballast and adding fins and spoilers to it. One of his first Guinness records was one of his first achievements, covering one kilometre along the bed of a canal in just 13 minutes. Another record was set in 2001 when he pedalled 1,200 metres in a swimming pool at an average speed of 87 cm/second.

The new record was actually due to be televised but unfortunately Innocente damaged an eardrum during his practise session, but Guinness Book of Records judge managed to authenticate the record by checking the computerised depth gauge on Innocente's modified mountain bike and verifying eye witness accounts.


Manta Rays: A new species?
A second, and possibly third, species of manta ray has been discovered in the World’s oceans. This is the biggest news to date to come out of ray research, and its importance is the marine equivalent of discovering an unknown species of elephant.

common Manta new species

After suspecting the existence of a second species Andrea began studying other populations across the globe. The two species have mainly overlapping distributions, but their lifestyles differ greatly; one is migratory and the other is resident to particular areas along the coast. Editor's note: this seems very similar to Resident and Transient Orcas that split off genetically about 100,000 years ago.

Other differences between the two species lie in their colour, skin texture, reproductive biology, and the presence of a non-functioning type of sting on the tail of one of the species.

For the past five years the Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) has sponsored Andrea Marshall, a PhD marine biologist in a quest to make advances in the scientific knowledge of these winged beauties of the sea, whose large triangular pectoral fins can span almost 8m in width and whose weight can reach over 2000kg. Manta rays, which are totally harmless and do not possess a stinging barb, are the largest of over 500 different species of rays and skates, and although divers have noted variations in physical appearance they were previously believed to be the same kind.

The smaller, more commonly known manta ray, resides in the same areas year round and is often encountered at coral reefs where they congregate to be cleaned by parasite-eating fish in locations such as Hawaii, the Maldives, Mozambique, Australia, Japan and the Island of Yap. Due to their residential nature they face a grave threat from unsustainable fisheries, as other manta rays will not replace a dwindling population, making their regional extinction a likely possibility.

Far less is known about the larger species, as it appears to be more migratory and elusive, shying away from divers rather than seeking interaction as its smaller cousin often does. Andrea has only ever witnessed it arriving at sea-mounts or at particularly productive areas along the coastline to feed on plankton before disappearing into the blue once again.

Through her observations of the unique spot patterning on the ventral surface of each ray Andrea has identified over 900 individuals on a single reef, and she believes southern Mozambique may boast the largest known population of manta rays in the world.

Manta rays are now known to give birth to a single large offspring of about 1.4m after a year of gestation and, once reaching maturity at about 4m across, typically produce a pup every other year. Elaborate and sophisticated courtship displays are performed and they may communicate with one another using specific body posturing and perhaps sound.

Lost City of Atlantis Cayman Extended

The third stage of Lost City of Atlantis at Cayman Brac is soon completed. Statues of wounded US soldiers are scheduled to be sunk the second week of July as the Lost City of Atlantis has completed phase three of the project. The artist said he is very moved by the courage and sacrifice made by a brave group of people, who risked their lives in service to their country...

The Lost City of Atlantis is a large, underwater, multi-piece sculpture made from cast concrete by a local artist, known simply as “Foots”. He had a dream to create his own version of the Lost City . The dive site is located at Radar Reef off the north coast of Cayman Brac. The sculptures are in about 40 to 50 feet of water, and therefore accessible for most certified divers.

So far the dive site consists of the Archway of Atlantis, of which the two bases alone weigh 21,000 lbs each, the Elders’ Way, a pathway lined with 5-foot temple columns, leading to the Inner Circle of Light. This will be marked by 11 columns, in the center of which will stand the 2,600lb Sundial on a 5,800 lb base. This year, will be the Pyramid of Atlantis, which Foots estimates will be in excess of 40,000 lbs and will be the largest sculpture in the Lost City.

The first phase was completed in 2005, the second in 2007.

 

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