Saturday, 30 June 2007
"Scuba diving in Fiji Islands
The islands Fiji is famous for its spectacular scenery and is a world class attraction for sea sports such as big game fishing and of course, scuba diving. Fiji is a favorite scuba diving destination for scuba divers and highlights include a fantastic variety of colorful soft corals, more than 1200 species of fish, 12 species of whales and dolphins and plenty of scuba diving resorts which cater to all types of budgets. Alternatively divers can choose live aboard dive charters or if a tourist on vacation in Fiji cannot scuba dive, snorkeling off the beach is also a wonderful option.
Scuba diving conditions in Fiji
The Fijian archipelago is encircled by a huge reef. There are many shallow lagoons to swim, snorkel or to play in. There are also thousands of scuba dive sites to choose from. Most areas are easy to get to with plenty of resorts offering scuba diving scattered around the Fijian islands.
The water temperature is just perfect for scuba diving and is at its coldest 25C. On warmer days, it is about 30C. Water visibility in Fiji is excellent and visibility of up to 40m or 120ft is not unheard of although heavy rainfall can reduce the water visibility because of debri from the islands with river run-off."
Sunday, 24 June 2007
The DES Quest II has begun, time for divers to challenge themselves to dive deeper into dive education and hands-on experience in rescue. Last year more than 250 divers met the challenge: This year could be yours.
Beginning June 1, DAN is challenging all interested divers to pursue and achieve the level of Diving Emergency Specialist (DES), a training recognition program designed to commend divers who have continued their education and training in obtaining knowledge and becoming both better buddies and better divers.
To achieve the level of Diving Emergency Specialist, a diver must:
1. be a rescue-level (or higher) diver with their training agency
2. hold a current CPR and First Aid certification
3. hold a current certification in Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries (or equivalent)
4. complete three of the following:
· Advanced Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries (or equiv.)
· First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries (or equiv.)
· AEDs for Scuba Diving (or equiv.)
· On-Site Neurological Assessment for Divers (or equiv.)
· Remote Emergency Medical Oxygen (REMO2™)
The DES Quest II runs from June 1 – Dec. 31, 2007. During the Quest, when DAN is notified of a diver’s achievement of DES, that diver will receive a specially designed T-shirt and ballcap prize package. In addition, the diver will automatically be entered in a drawing for a DAN Gift Certificate worth $250Ñ.
Plus, you’ll have the added confidence of training. Join the growing ranks of DES providers by completing the DES Quest II.
To find out more and to download an application, go to http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/news/article.asp?newsid=971
Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
While this is Kurson's book, you can see the extensive contribution provided by Chatterton, Kohler and others who shared the experience. This book fits beautifully with "The Last Dive", which I reviewed here a few years ago. I did learn things here, which surprised me relative to "The Last Dive". I thought they had been doing mixed-gas diving much longer on U-869 then just before the Rouse's arrival. Chapter 2 is about the dangers of wreck diving and sets the stage of what to expect throughout the remainder of the book.
Kurson makes sure the reader understands this wasn't just a bunch of treasure hunters looking for some "stuff". These guys respected this dive site as sacred resting place for these German sailors and their actions (including their own research) supported that belief. And in the end, I was right...it was a disappointment to see it end.
Monday, 18 June 2007
LONDON -- The elephant, the world's largest land mammal, is being threatened with global extinction by a "rampant trade" in ivory on the eBay online auction site, animal welfare campaigners said on Tuesday.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said it had conducted a survey in Britain, Australia, China, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Canada and the United States and tracked more than 2,200 elephant ivory items listed on eBay websites.
It found more than 90 percent of the listings breached even eBay's own wildlife policies.
International wildlife trade laws differ from country to country and are often complex, but according to the IFAW in general it is illegal to sell carved or uncarved ivory unless it is antique and accompanied by a proof of age certificate.
The Fund says the only way to protect elephants from poachers is to shut down the markets where illegal ivory can easily be passed off as antique.
"As the world's largest online shop window, eBay has a special responsibility to lead the way by banning ivory from their sites, said Robbie Marsland, IFAW's British director.
"Only a global ban on all ivory sales will remove the cover under which this criminal activity currently operates and as a result, seriously help to decrease illegal trade and the cruel and unnecessary slaughter of elephants."
Gareth Streeter, a spokesman for eBay in London, said in a statement the Web site operated policies to "restrict the sale of ivory in accordance with existing UK and international law.
"We have had a number of positive and fruitful discussions with the IFAW about how we can work together to ensure that our policies are effectively enforced, and we are committed to working with them to tackle the problem of illegal ivory sales," he said.
Marsland urged eBay to ban all trade in ivory.
"Elephants are facing extinction, in part because of Internet ivory trade. It is time for action," he said.
Friday, 15 June 2007
The trade show came to a close with a huge carnival set up on the Denarau Golf Course. Alcohol was flowing freely with the Fiji Malt House Brewery playing a starring role in my evening. The amount of food on the buffets was staggering, but the lighting was odd, so it was a little hard to tell exactly what I was eating.
Pretty much all the delegates asked the same question of the carnival rides. “Do you think the safety certificates are up to date?” We didn’t care though and even though my foot broke a hole through the bottom of the “spinny” ride upon boarding, I still wasn't to be deterred. Maybe I was feeling extra daring, or maybe the Fiji beer gave me an extra shot of courage, but I was totally up for “spew fest” as my new pals called it.
Speaking of new pals, here’s a photo of Allan and Terri of the Paradise Taveuni. Allan got his hands on a blinky ice cube and had great fun smiling a neon grin at unsuspecting passers by.
By the way, If you get a chance, check out the Paradise Taveuni website, which was a runner up in the Air Pacific Tourism Awards program.
Okay, I know this is supposed to be a blog of MY travels, but I just was over at the Paradise in Fiji blog and saw this fabulous photo of the whales near the Paradise resort. I know I'm blatantly ripping this image off, but how cool is it. Wish I could have been there....
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
12 June 2007 – Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – The PADI Master Scuba Diver Challenge continues to lead the way in continuing education and diver retention programs, with PADI Americas rewarding instructors with more than $100,000 US for supporting this popular campaign. This translates to more than 4000 new PADI Master Scuba Diver certifications and 20,000 specialty certifications since the program's inception in June 2005. These numbers nearly triple when certifications from all PADI global offices worldwide are included.
“PADI Members worldwide are clearly integrating the Master Scuba Diver Challenge into their local marketing tactics,” noted Kristin Valette, Director of Marketing and Communications, PADI Americas. “By doing so, they’re reaping the rewards in more ways than one. Continuing education sales positively impact all dive business profit centers - from equipment sales to dive travel to education. The Master Scuba Diver Challenge rewards are simply an added bonus to a winning strategy.”
PADI’s Master Scuba Diver Challenge will roll throughout 2007 and beyond, with new and exciting support materials coming in 2008. PADI Instructors continue to reap rewards with a $25 US incentive for every PADI Master Scuba Diver they certify in 2007 and new PADI Master Scuba Divers receive a branded backpack and personalized certificate of recognition.
As the world’s largest diver training, certification and membership organization, PADI continues to focus major resources on effective diver acquisition and retention programs such as the unprecedented GO Dive campaign, the innovative PADI Master Scuba Diver Challenge and motivational Go PRO Challenge.
For more information about these exciting campaigns and to learn how you can leverage PADI Membership to your advantage, contact the PADI International Resort and Retailer Associations at 800 729 7234 (US and
Monday, 11 June 2007
By: Chris Chew
The islands of Fiji are famous for its spectacular scenery and a world class attraction for sea sports such as big game fishing, snorkeling, sailing and scuba diving. Fiji is a favorite scuba diving location for scuba divers from all over the world and its highlights include a fantastic variety of colorful soft corals, more than 1200 species of fish, 12 species of whales and dolphins.
There are also many scuba diving resorts in Fiji which cater to all kinds of budgets and divers. Alternatively divers can choose live aboard dive boats or if you are a tourist on vacation in Fiji do not know how to scuba dive, you can take up lessons there or simply go snorkeling off the pristine beaches.
The Fijian archipelago is encircled by a huge reef and therefore there are many shallow lagoons to swim, snorkel or frolick in. There are also thousands of scuba dive sites to choose from. Most dive locations are easy to get to with plenty of resorts offering scuba diving scattered around the Fijian islands.
The water temperature is just perfect for scuba diving with at its coldest at only 25C. On warmer days, it is about 30C. Water visibility in Fiji is excellent with superb visibility of up to 40m or 120ft is a norm rather than exception.
Mamanuca dive sites in Fiji is easily be accessible "
A 41 percent spike in padi.com traffic is attributed to the recent eLearning launch
Traffic at padi.com – one of the dive industry's most visited websites - skyrocketed the week of 20 May 2007 largely due to the launch of the PADI Open Water Diver Course Online. The volume of traffic marks the highest number of page views in padi.com history, which holds promise of an increase in new divers for
With eLearning’s launch on 21 May 2007, padi.com saw an immediate increase in traffic. By Friday 25 May, padi.com traffic increased more than 41 percent, equating to an additional 5,538 unique visitors on that day alone as compared to last year. 4,926 visitors on that day were new to the site. Padi.com page views increased by more than 76,600 as compared to the same time last year, surging padi.com traffic to a record breaking week!
PADI eLearning is already leading to a surge in business for
Mass Diving, in
“I asked them, now that they're done with the course, if they would do it again via eLearning or if they would have preferred to take the course via the DVD version,” continued Potter. “They told me, hands down, that they would do eLearning again. There were a few little glitches, but nothing they couldn’t work out. They’ve asked for some more help on dive tables, so I’m having an instructor email them to give them more direction. And, if they need to, they can always sit in on a regular class when we cover that portion. But, overall, I feel warm and fuzzy over eLearning. It’s going to be a big hit.” It’s important to note that Mass Diving students pay $55 US more for the PADI Open Water Diver Course Online than their standard PADI Open Water Diver course.
Surge in padi.com traffic, new students at
“We have two people who were planning on going to the
Sunday, 10 June 2007
The last species protected by the administration were 12 Hawaiian picture-wing flies listed in a single rule on May 9, 2006. Overall, according to a report released by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Bush administration has listed fewer species under the Endangered Species Act than any other administration since the law was enacted in 1973, to date only listing 57 species compared to 512 under the Clinton administration and 234 under the first Bush administration.
“The Bush administration has killed the program for protecting new species as endangered,” says Noah Greenwald, conservation biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “and in the process has contributed to the extinction of at least two species. This government’s war on science is also a war against wildlife.”
In October of last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the Hawaiian plant Haha (Cyanea eleeleensis) is likely extinct and thus is being considered for removal from the candidate list. The summer run of Lake Sammamish Kokonee salmon in Washington state are also believed extinct.
A copy of the Center’s report can be found at:
Further reading: Center for Biological Diversity
May 25, 2007 — Weather disasters, economic pressures and other problems have disrupted the lives of Pacific Islanders near Australia to the point that they too are now mismanaging their natural resources. This shift has led to dangerous declines, and even collapses, of shark, other fish and marine stocks, according to a new study
The conclusion comes in the wake of new detailed analysis of coral reef fisheries in the Solomon Islands, which have a population of around 500,000 people mostly from the Nggela culture. The Nggela traditionally believe in ancestor and nature spirits that can "curse" anyone who breaks fishing prohibitions.
Saturday, 9 June 2007
Oceanographers have completed an important step in constructing the first deep-sea observatory off the continental United States. Workers in the multi-institution effort laid 32 miles (52 kilometers) of cable along the Monterey Bay sea floor that will provide electrical power to scientific instruments, video cameras, and robots 3,000 feet (900 meters) below the ocean surface. The link will also carry data from the instruments back to shore, for use by scientists and engineers from around the world.
The Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) observatory, due to be completed later this year, will provide ocean scientists with 24-hour-a-day access to instruments and experiments in the deep sea. The project is managed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Currently, almost all oceanographic instruments in the deep sea rely on batteries for power and store their data on hard disks or memory chips until they are brought back to the surface. With a continuous and uninterrupted power supply, instruments attached to the MARS observatory could remain on the sea floor for months or years.
"MARS represents the first step in a long-planned process to transform the way the oceans are studied," said Julie Morris, director of NSF's Division of Ocean Sciences. "Marine scientists will no longer be required to go out to the ocean for their studies. The ocean is about to come into their offices."
If something goes wrong with the instruments, scientists will know immediately, and will be able to recover or reprogram them as necessary.
Slightly thicker than a garden hose, the MARS cable is buried about 3 feet below the sea floor along most of its route, so it will not be disturbed by boat anchors or fishing gear.
The cable itself contains a copper electrical conductor and strands of optical fiber. The copper conductor will transmit up to 10 kilowatts of power from a shore station at Moss Landing, Calif., to instruments on the sea floor. The optical fiber will carry up to 2 gigabits per second of data from these instruments back to researchers on shore, allowing scientists to monitor and control instruments 24 hours a day, and to have an unprecedented view of how environmental conditions in the deep sea change over time.
"After 5 years of hard work, we are thrilled to bring the age of the Internet to the deep ocean, so we can understand, appreciate and protect the two-thirds of our planet that lies under the sea," said MBARI director Marcia McNutt. "We are grateful for the help of our talented partners and visionary sponsors. MARS has truly been a team effort."
At the seaward end of the MARS cable is a large steel frame about 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall and 15 feet (4.6 meters) on each side. This "trawl-resistant frame" will protect the electronic "guts" of the MARS observatory, which will serve as a computer network hub and electrical substation in the deep sea. The researchers hope to install these electronic components into the trawl-resistant frame in the fall of 2007.
After the electronics package is installed and tested, scientists from around the world will be able to attach their instruments to the observatory using underwater extension cords. These instruments will be carried down from the surface and plugged into the science node using MBARI's remotely operated vehicles.
MARS also will serve as a testing ground for technology that will be used on more ambitious deep-sea observatories. As planned, such observatories will use thousands of kilometers of undersea cables to hook up dozens of seismographs and oceanographic monitoring stations. They will provide scientists with new views of sea floor life, and a new understanding of the global tectonic processes that spawn earthquakes and tsunamis.
"MARS is the harbinger of an international ocean observatory network that will enable scientists to study ocean features and changing conditions," said Morris. "New ocean observing capabilities will provide knowledge about the ocean, and information to better manage and preserve ocean resources."
The MARS project was initiated in 2002 with $8 million in grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and $1.75 million from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. NSF also contributed an additional $2 million to meet permitting and homeland security requirements. Components for the observatory are being designed and built by MBARI, the University of Washington, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Nautronics Maripro, and Alcatel.
MARS Observatory: http://www.mbari.org/mars/
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of $5.91 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 1,700 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes nearly 10,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Receive official NSF news electronically through the e-mail delivery and notification system, MyNSF (formerly the Custom News Service). To subscribe, visit www.nsf.gov/mynsf/ and fill in the information under "new users".
Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
NSF News: http://www.nsf.gov/news/
For the News Media: http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp
Science and Engineering Statistics: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards Searches: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/
Thursday, 7 June 2007
Rossier's writing is clear, and his instructions are easy to follow. I bring my copy with me every time I go diving. It's small enough to fit easily in my dive bag. If there is a diver in your family he or she needs this book.
Like all adventure sports, scuba diving comes with risk, but with proper preparation, these can be minimized. A new resource, Scuba Diving Safety, provides up-to-date safety and rescue information for today’s evolving diving world. This vital reference arms serious and advance divers with buddy and self rescue techniques, first aid advice, and safety recommendations for virtually any type of dive location or scenario. Novice divers can benefit from real-life scenarios and lessons learned while diving.
Through this easy-to-understand guide, scuba enthusiasts will learn about the full range of dive environments and safety precautions. They will find rescue techniques for surface and underwater situations, open-water resuscitation, and removing a diver from water. Included are strategies for avoiding and surviving entanglements, currents and dams, overhead environments, faulty or damaged equipment, and dangerous marine life.
Veteran dive instructors and safety personnel Dan Orr and Eric Douglas share real-life situations and resolutions that bring instruction to life and make Scuba Diving Safety an essential resource for anyone involved in underwater exploration.
Dan Orr is president and CEO of the Divers Alert Network (DAN). He has authored, coauthored, or reviewed more than 15 books and manuals on scuba and various aspects of scuba safety and rescue.
Eric Douglas is director of training at DAN, where he researches and develops dive safety training programs. He is also a diver medical technologist, a dive instructor, and master trainer for first aid and basic life support.
Chapter 1. Safety and Prevention
Chapter 2. Equipment Use and Maintenance
Chapter 3. Emergency Assistance Plans and Evacuation
Chapter 4. Emergency Recognition and Prevention
Chapter 5. Missing Diver Search
Chapter 6. Surface Rescue Techniques
Chapter 7. Underwater Rescue Techniques
Chapter 8. Open-Water Resuscitation
Chapter 9. Towing and Removal From Water
Chapter 10. Dry-Land Resuscitation
Chapter 11. Diving First Aid
Special Environments and Situations
Chapter 12. Currents and Dams
Chapter 13. Overheads and Entanglements
Chapter 14. Dangerous Marine Life
Chapter 15. Freediving
How fast can some dolphins swim?
What is the biggest shark?
Why do sharks attack?
Find out the answers to these questions and more in this Magic Tree House Research Guide!
Includes an illustrated gallery of dolphins and sharks, information on the ocean, dolphin communication, how sharks hunt for food, ocean exploration, and lots more!
Contested among the various dive centres, instructors and divemasters throughout the Asia Pacific Region, congratulations are due to the following who received these awards
- Outstandings (Dive Centre/Resort) Business Award: Abyss Scuba Diving, Australia
- Instructor Development Award: Minni Vansgaard & Alina Conroy, Indonesia
- Tourism Award: Dive Tutukaka!, New Zealand
- Young Achiever in Diving Award: Harrison & Taylor Koens, Fiji
- Project AWARE Environmental Award: Aquaventures PNG, Papua New Guinea
- * Diver Training Award: Pro Dive Cairns, Australia
- * Diving for Tomorrow Innovation Award: AW Redcliffe Dive Centre, Australia
Well done to Harrison & Taylor Koens from Subsurface in Fiji!
Wednesday, 6 June 2007
Did you know that in scuba diving, immersion reduces your lung volume by shifting blood from the legs to the chest? That breathing resistance increases with depth? And that results when the density of your breathing gas increases, while restrictions in your breathing apparatus increase as well?
“Breathing Underwater is an Unnatural Act” is DAN’s newest addition to a growing list of online seminars, where divers and aficionados alike can delve deeper into diving topics — ears, decompression, inert gas exchange or diabetes.
Diving is easy under ideal conditions, but life on dry land doesn’t prepare us for what we’ll experience underwater, where conditions can be far from ideal. How these conditions affect respiration and consciousness is the subject of this presentation by former Navy SEAL and current DAN vice president of research Richard Vann, Ph.D.
Did you know that divers who breathe high oxygen partial pressures can generate more free radicals than the body can deactivate? But this is not usually a problem if divers ventilate properly and observe a few simple guidelines. This presentation gives divers the tools to understand the relationship of ventilation to carbon dioxide retention.
Want to know more? It’s as easy as a click: go to www.diversalertnetwork.org/training/seminars/
Cost for this seminar – and others – is $25. The presentation on "diving and diabetes" is free.
Dive in and know more. And when you have questions, DAN is here for you.
Tuesday, 5 June 2007
Industry’s largest on-line community continues to grow and provide a valuable resource for members of the dive industry to reach potential customers.
That’s right; we are making it EASIER than ever for you to advertise in our travel sub forums. Here’s the deal. You can either get exclusive coverage in one of these sub forums for only $500/month or we will let you SHARE the sub forum with up to 5 other advertisers for only $100/month with your paid in full, six month commitment and your 468X60 internet ready banner. No other discounts apply and this is on a first come/first serve basis and applies to our travel forums only. Call your favorite rep to discuss the details and catch the ScubaBoard Magic.
No other media can reach so many potential customers for so little money. We have the divers you are looking for.
Contact one of the ScubaBoard professionals today for more details:
“Natasha” Newman - (713) 705-8606
Corporate – (407) 745-1516
Monday, 4 June 2007
PADI Dive Center and Resort IRRA Members and Sport Diver partners can participate in a simple, effective target marketing opportunity free of charge. The PADI Diving Society Member Handbook and Benefits drive is underway for 2008, and participants can sign up through 20 July 2007.
The PADI Diving Society Member Handbook is where Society members turn before making an equipment purchase or booking dive travel. By sponsoring a benefit in the Member Handbook, you'll reach thousands of potential customers – many of them recently certified divers – before they make a buying decision.
PADI IRRA Members and Sport Diver marketing partners are eligible for a free listing. Although dive center and resort listings make up the majority of booklet, there is a special section in the front reserved for dive equipment and accessory manufacturers.
Sponsoring a benefit is easy for
The 2007 Member Handbook and Benefits Directory includes more than $57,000 US in special offers and is a core benefit of PADI Diving Society membership. Industry sponsors for 2007 include:
- Manufacturers: SCUBAPRO UWATEC, Aqua Lung/ SUUNTO/SeaQuest, Mares, DUI, Oceanic and Sealife.
- Liveaboards: Peter Hughes and Broadreach.
- Travel: Choice Hotels, La Quinta Hotels, SeaWorld, AVIS, National,
Alamo, and PADI Travel Network.
- Hundreds of
PADI Dive Centersand Resorts: Offers are available in more than 60 countries including locations in Australia, Thailand, Fiji, the Caribbean, the Americas, the Red Sea, the United Kingdom, Europe, Russiaand Africa.
Offers must be received by 20 July 2007 for inclusion in the 2008 Member Handbook.
About PADI Diving Society
PADI Diving Society is a membership organization of more than 175,000 active divers and dive professionals. Member benefits include a subscription to Sport Diver magazine, a member handbook full of special offers on equipment, travel, PADI courses and other dive-related services, and a personalized membership card.
Sunday, 3 June 2007
"The oceans and us
AKISI BOLABOLA of WWF Fiji
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Students from Udu collect data from sea grass monitoring every term and send to WWF. They have their own equipments to carry out the monitoring and have been trained by WWF and are assisted by the teachers and community trainer.+ Enlarge this image
Students from Udu collect data from sea grass monitoring every term and send to WWF. They have their own equipments to carry out the monitoring and have been trained by WWF and are assisted by the teachers and community trainer.
'Whether you live along the coast or far inland, each one of us is connected to the world's ocean. Get inspired, get involved and celebrate is the message to all on World Oceans day.'
More water then land
Oceans cover more than 70 per cent of the earth's surface and no doubt when one looks at the world map, blue is more dominating in comparison to the green (land area).
This dominating feature sure calls for recognition as nations and communities embark to celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8."
The oceans and us - Fiji Times Online:
Friday, 1 June 2007
For a start it is printed on glossy paper and in color throughout with excellent photo selection, maps and graphics, the design is first class, too. The first chapter, Getting Started, in eighty-eight pages gives you a complete run-down on Phaic Tan including a page schedule of what you'll see on PT/TV, one of the country's three TV stations, a spread of food photos 'A Taste of Phaic Tan', has a reference to snake wine which is often served with its own tourniquet. The countries four main regions get a chapter each and there is an index in the back.
Like real guide books I don't think it's necessary to read this one cover to cover but rather to dip into the pages now and again, after all not much is going to happen in Phaic Tan over the next few years so this guide book will always be up to date.
Oh yes, do try and avoid the south of Pattaponga, the city map on page 154 clearly shows a gas refinery next to the Syon Yup fireworks factory and remember there is only one hospital, world-class apparently!