Aprils's Club Outing

April 5 &6 (Fri & Sat)

Little house in Mendocino

reserve your bed, space is limited.


Russian researchers dive one of the coldest places on Earth

Russian researchers have reached the bottom of Lake Labynkyr, situated in one of the coldest places on Earth where temperatures reach over minus 70 Celsius (-94F).

It is widely known as Russia’s Loch Ness as legend says it has its own cryptozoological monster. A Soviet expedition in 1953 reported seeing some kind of animal, but on this occasion the divers did not find any proof of a creature.

During the latest dive by members of the Russian Geographical Society, the temperatures in the Siberian village of Oymyakon in Yakut by the lake were a relatively mild -45 C (-49F). The water in the lake was -2 C (28.4F).

Previous deep exploration of the lake has only been possible by remote controlled diving robots. This was the first time a human has been able to gather samples of water, flora and fauna from the bottom of the lake.


Egyptian navy captures divers trying to cut undersea internet cables

A spokesman for the Egyptian military has reported that three scuba divers have been arrested in the Mediterranean as they tried to cut a submarine data cable owned by local telco Telecom Egypt.

Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said on his Facebook page that the three men had been caught diving from an inflatable dinghy as they worked underwater to try and cut the cable at a point just north of the port city of Alexandria, AP reports. Alexandria is the main entry point for the multiple submarine cables that bring internet connectivity to Egypt.

Egyptian internet users have been suffering patchy speeds for the last week, but telecoms officials had been blaming this on damage to the cable caused by shipping. It now seems that accidental damage may not have been the cause.

No reason for the attempt was given and the identities of those under arrest have not been released as yet. They now face interrogation as to their motivation.

The cable in question has been named as the South East Asia Middle East Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4), the same line that was damaged in 2008 by a ship's anchor. That outage cut traffic to the country by 75 per cent and had knock-on effects in the Middle East and India.


Navy deaths close proving ground

Shaped like a teardrop and carved out of the eastern bank of the Bush River, the UNDEX Test Facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground has earned the nickname "Super Pond" for its unusual properties.

Viewed from above, the man-made pond looks much darker than the nearby waters of the Chesapeake Bay. That's because it drops 150 feet to a flat bottom, where, out of view of the public, the military tests missiles, torpedoes, sonar and the effects of explosions on submarines and boats — all within walls that can withstand the equivalent of 4,100 pounds of TNT. At 1,070 feet long and 920 feet wide, the Super Pond can accommodate both boats and submarines. Equipment can also be dropped to the bottom. The facility is cleaned periodically.

It's also where Navy divers practice salvage missions. When the military isn't blowing things up in the Super Pond, it offers a controlled and easy-to-monitor environment, away from the unpredictability of nature's choppy waves and ever-shifting conditions.
"Until recently," said Maj. Gen. Genaro J. Dellarocco, chief of the Army Test and Evaluation Command, "it was one of the safest facilities we had on the installation."

On Tuesday afternoon, rescue workers pulled two members of the Navy's elite Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 from the Super Pond. One was dead at the scene; the other was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. They were the second and third divers to die at the Super Pond in less than a month. They were using surface-supplied diving, which is considered one of the safest forms because divers have unlimited air from hoses attached from their helmets to the surface, can stay in constant communication with command and may be pulled up in an instant.

"It's deep, it's dark, it's cold. I'm sure there's all kinds of stuff on the bottom that someone can get entangled with. It's hard to predict what could have been down there that could have caused the accident with these guys."

Mark V. Lonsdale, author of "United States Navy Diver: Performance Under Pressure," said the deaths are baffling.


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