May's Club Outing


May 25- 26 Memorial Day Weekend


Stillwater, Sonoma.

Sites 5 and 9 have been reserved for Sat. &Sun.  

Carol will be in Searanch so we can access the sites there.



In Other Ocean News

Abalone Cards and Glasses:

Question: I wear reading glasses. I don't like to take my glasses on the beach or in the water with me because I don't want them to get scratched. However, without my glasses, I cannot clearly read the new abalone cards. Last season I accidentally used the wrong tag (one that was not in sequential order) because I could not read the numbers. What can I do to make this easier? (Zoe D., Trinidad)

Answer: I can empathize with your frustrations. You may want to consider including non-prescription reading glasses and/or a small magnifying glass in your dive bag. Either can be purchased at many convenience stores for under $15. At least with these you would not have to risk losing or breaking your prescription glasses and you will be able to comply with the regulations.


What your hands look like after 10 days underwater

In 2002, scuba diver Tim Yarrow set a record for the longest time spent underwater after spending 10 days submerged in a tank in Johannesburg shopping center. When he finally emerged, his hands were spectacularly wrinkled.

Edit: Commenter Aloicious points to this Nature article, which notes that the "pruney fingers" effect doesn't happen in people who have nerve damaged fingers, suggesting its the result of an autonomic nervous system rather than a result of absorption.

Commenter Stephan Zielinski adds another Nature article, this one from a 1973 study, "The effects of prolonged water exposure on the human skin," which examined the effects of 72-144 hours of skin immersion in warm water. Although the wrinkling from brief immersion is a nervous system effect, after many, many hours, researchers in this study did find pronounced hydration and softening of tissue in the outermost layer of skin. This may be what we're seeing with Yarrow; it's simply unrelated to what we see in the bathtub.

The above is a screen grab from a recent segment of Outrageous Acts Of Science, which explains a bit more about Yarrow's ten days in the tank and warns that too much time underwater could lead to hazardous cracking of the skin.


A Lost City found underwater in the Mediterranean Sea

Known as Heracleion to the ancient Greeks and Thonis to the ancient Egyptians, the city was a port for both civilisations.  It was found 6.4 kilometres off the coast of Egypt and 9 metres below the Aboukir Bay in 2000.

French underwater archaeologist Dr Frank Goddio's 13-year excavation will be explored in Egypt's Sunken City - A Legend is Revealed, which will air on French and German TV network Channel Arte on May 11. During the underwater excavation Dr Goddio found a giant red statue of the god Hapi, ancient ships and a monolithic chapel. Experts at an Oxford University conference earlier this year said the ancient city may have sunk due to the heavy structures being built on clay. Others believe an extreme flood may have sent this city into the water.


Abalone diver's death the fourth in eight days

The abalone sport fishing season opened April 1 and ran for several weeks without the kind of scare that for years has illustrated the pitfalls of entering the sometimes rough surf off the North Coast.

Emergency personnel said Saturday's victim, a middle-aged East Bay man, went into distress in Fisk Mill Cove, a popular abalone hunting ground toward the northern end of Salt Point State Park where another diver died just one week earlier. The victim wasn't feeling well when he got out of the water around 8:15 a.m. and collapsed on the rocky beach, Supervising State Park Ranger Damien Jones said.

Then last weekend, three divers died within 24 hours of one another. A San Francisco man, Kenneth Liu, 36, who got caught Sunday morning in a rip current at Fisk Mill Cove, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said.Other divers in the area swam out to the man as he struggled in the water. They got him to rocks near shore but the effort took several minutes as they had to fight through the rip current to reach land. They were performing CPR on the unconscious man but he didn't respond and was pronounced dead after paramedics arrived.

About an hour later, Henry Choy, 50, of San Bruno, died in rough water off a Fort Bragg beach. He was found dead under the water off MacKerricher State Park beach north of Fort Bragg. He was about 15 feet below the water and might have been snagged in rocks, requiring a deputy and paramedic to work in breaking surf to release him, Hoener said. Bradley estimated more than 100 people were at the Fort Bragg beach with about 20 divers in the water as they were pulling the deceased diver from the water.

"The surf was absolutely pounding on us," said tactical flight officer and Sonoma County sheriff's Deputy Henri Boustany, who helped with the recovery.

On Saturday, a retired Pacific firefighter, Cedric Collett, 66, died while diving from a beach in The Sea Ranch.Collett was a strong swimmer and in good physical shape, friends told deputies. When he hadn't resurfaced after several minutes, his friend went to a nearby home and called 911. The sheriff's helicopter, state park lifeguards and deputies responded to the 1:15 p.m. call. After spotting a drift line under the surface but no diver, the helicopter crew lowered state lifeguard Joe Stoffers into the water. "The lifeguard swam down and located the gentleman about 15 feet down, with his weight belt on," said Hoener.

"It is the busiest we've been in that short amount of time with that many horrible outcomes," said 12-year sheriff's helicopter pilot Paul Bradley. A very low tide Sunday morning brought swarms of abalone divers to beaches and coves up and down the North Coast. Six state parks officers and lifeguards were on duty along 40 miles of Sonoma County's coastline and aided several divers during the weekend.


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