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Scuba H2O Adventures Magazine recently had the good fortune to catch up with Faith Ortins, formerly of DUI and currently Managing Partner...
And now it can be told. An interdisciplinary team of ten US Federal agencies, the military, scientists and academicians collaborated on a two-year study of the wreck of USS San Diego on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its sinking, to determine definitely what happened that day. The study was undertaken in memory of the six sailors killed in the sinking. New technologies were employed in the study, including finite-element engineering modeling of the flooding and sinking timeline based on loads aboard the ship and interior compartmentalization, high density/definition photogrammetry mapping and side scan sonar analysis of the wreck, and underwater unmanned probes (AUV’s and ROV’s – autonomous underwater vehicle and remote-operated vehicle) equipped with laser beams to measure the structure.
H.L. Hunley and H.L. Hunley exhibit at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center
From June 1 to June 22 I traveled to the capital city of Kathmandu in Nepal, then to the mountain town of Lukla with two friends with the objective of climbing to Mt. Everest Base Camp. The trip was a long dream of mine. It was formed the basis of a fund-raising effort to fight cancer under the auspices of an organization with which I have been associated since 2002. One of my friends with whom I climbed (Dave) is an individual whom I know professionally (Dave is not known to the Club) – but my other friend is well-known to many members of our Club, Parag Joshi -- who has joined Jody Deevy and our Club on many dive trips. Parag is respected and admired for his good cheer, common sense, supreme photography (really off the charts and of scientific importance in his documenting via photography of rare and endangered birdlife in his home country of India). Parag lives in Gujarat, India and joined Dave and I in Kathmandu.
White shark Azlyn takes off like a shot as soon as she realizes she is free to return to the ocean!
Amos might object to the following because he is a rough and tumble ‘big animal’ kind of guy (not a nudibranch guy), but we will say it anyway… he is a teacher. Most of us understand that apex predators are not mindless killers looking to create misery and death, and we believe that they will not indiscriminately attack anything that moves just for the enjoyment of it. Amos proves this to us by diving/venturing into their spaces, both topside and underwater, and documenting his experiences with them. He stakes the position – by swimming outside the cage with white sharks – that we must respect natural law and be aware of animals’ predatory behavior. His discussion also covered the use of underwater equipment – specifically the use of the 50mm lens which yields correct ‘normal’ angle of view, so as to not distort the relative size of animals. His many resulting head-on images of ‘smiling’ white sharks - with their fearsome, serrated triangular teeth - are nothing less than electrifying. He thinks creatively about species behaviors, seeks unusual angles and situations, and then he and his team of Sherpas or porters or local Inuit or local fixers – relying on their instinctive knowledge and animals’ ways and means, goes out and gets the shots. It is important to understand that his images frequently capture behaviors for the very first time in human history!
On November 18th, 2018 The Scuba Sports Club of Westchester NY launched the 2017 holiday season with a big expedition of members who sojourned into Manhattan NYC to experience the National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey exhibit. We all heard great things about the exhibit, and were so excited to attend together as friends, divers and avocational naturalists! Virtually all of us - at one point or other during our collective years – have been captivated by articles in National Geographic, and for two+ generations have enjoyed NatGeo television documentaries. These fired our interest in the undersea world, brought us to scuba diving, and ignited our environmental awareness. Hats off to National Geographic for incorporating continual technology advances. NatGeo has succeeded brilliantly integrating the public’s visual awareness (due to the internet/social media/BBC’s Blue Planet series, etc.) with multi-sensory experiences – way beyond two-dimensional print media -- into their mission! This exhibit certainly succeeded in that!
In September members of The Scuba Sports Club of Westchester NY took training from Joe Rinaldi and Pat Considine in emergency first aid / CPR. Joe is a retired NY law enforcement officer, an MSDT (PADI MSDT Master Scuba Diver Trainer) and one step above that, an instructor at the PADI Instructor Development Center. Joe is also an Adjunct Professor at Iona College. Joe was assisted in training the students by Pat Considine, MSDT. Students included Tom Butcher,Cindy Fisher,Judy Simek, Bob Bak,James Sacci,Kenneth Salstrom, Gary Lehman and Helen Carapella.