Wednesday, February 29, 2012

California's new 2012 MPA, Simplified

Over the years, our government has recognize the need to protect our natural resources, even the hard to see ones hidden under a blue blanket of water. We, as divers, have the opportunity to see firsthand the treasure that hides from the eyes of most people. We can be right there next to the beauties and wonders that are document in magazines and shows. California’s state government implemented the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) to complement the federal laws to help better serve the idiosyncrasy of the area. Various Marine Protected Areas (MPA) were created with different restrictions were created to help protect the natural heritage of the areas and its ecosystems. Over times, the rules are adjusted to help better serve and protect the target areas. The start of 2012 saw a variety of changes that came about after various public discussions and panels. Some of the changes to protected areas do come into conflict with various non-profit groups whose goals are to restore threaten and damaged areas. One such group that was directly affected was the Bay Keeper organizations.

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Visit to the Dive Museum in Islamorada

Ever go away for the weekend to your favorite getaway spot and notice one of those funky little places you always say you're going to stop in and see what it's all about?  Well that's the way it was for me and the Florida Keys History of Diving Museuem.  On my last trip down to Marathon I decided to stop in and take a look around this spot and boy was I surprised to see the large collection of diving equipment, diving bells, masks, diving suits, and historical facts throughout the museum explaining the history of diving and the challenges that man has encountered to get to where we are today.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"New" Old Marineland

Marineland of the Pacific once sat majestically on top of Portuguese Bend in Palos Verdes, CA overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Some of the structure and layout was designed by a renowned architect of the era, William Pereira. The oceanarium first opened its doors to the public in August 1954, one year earlier than Disneyland, making it one of California's first theme park. The facility housed two huge sea tanks with water drawn from the ocean directly up 125 feet through 2,500 feet of piping from the beach to the filtration system. It was an amazing feat! The facility was complete with a restaurant and bar, coffee shop, and a hotel for visitors and guests. The oceanarium was not solely for the purpose of recreation, it was one of the frontier researchers in oceanarium techniques.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tips n Tricks: Easing the Cold

Even though Southern California is known for its hot summers and other temperate weather, the diving here is still considered cold water diving. For about half the year the water can easily drop down to the low fifties, especially if you are diving closer to central California towards the northern Channel Islands. Low fifties, even high forties, can still be done in your normal 7mm wetsuit, maybe add a 3mm vest to help. You do not really need a semi-dry wetsuit or a dry suit. They are great, but they are also a lot pricier. Depending on how long you dive, it does get uncomfortable really fast.