The new changing rooms at Cow Spring
Strictly speaking, Cow Spring (located near Peacock Springs State Park in Luraville, Florida) is not a spring at all. It is really an in-line sinkhole which provides diver access to an underground river, that surfaces for the last time at nearby Running Spring.
Cow Spring is an incredibility beautiful system and today it is owned by the NSS-CDS. It is open only to NSS-CDS members and their guests. No open water divers are allowed to access this site.
A couple of weeks ago, a number of volunteers gave up their Saturday and built some great changing rooms. This is a useful improvement to a neat cave diving site. We can't wait to use it when we are back in Florida.
If you would like to see photos of the whole build, click here.
No, not Paul. Renowned maritime historian, archaeologist and technical diver Dr Innes McCartney will be speaking in Liverpool on Saturday 9th May.
Respected submarine historian, Dr Innes McCartney
Dr McCartney is known for his discovery and archaeological research into shipwrecks including the wrecks of the Battle of Jutland, 1916 and many British and German submarine wrecks. He has contributed to shipwreck documentaries, such as Time Team Special, Deep Wreck Mysteries and Wreck Detectives series. In addition Innes McCartney used archaeological research to identify 40 new German submarine wrecks in the waters around the UK and Ireland, such as the rubbercoated U480.
He initially became interested in shipwreck archaeology when he learned to dive in 1989. In 1994 Innes McCartney became one of Britain's first Trimix-certified scuba divers and 1998 became the first person to have dived on the three great liner wrecks, SS Andrea Doria, RMS Lusitania and HMHS Britannic. Innes has always been fascinated by submarines, and in 1999 he discovered the 12-inch-gunned submarine HMS M1 off Start Point in the English Channel.
Over the past two decades Innes has focused on researching and locating lost historic shipwrecks and finding innovative methods to interpret his fieldwork.
On Saturday 9th May, Innes will be discussing key aspects of the first U-boat war and exploring some of the U-boat wrecks as they are seen today.
This free event is being hosted at the Merseyside Maritime Museum.
Joe Cocozza (sat to the left) interviews Dr Simon Mitchell on pre breathing a rebreather
In July last year I wrote a LinkedIn blog calling for Auckland based divers to take part in a rebreather study that was being conducted by Dr Simon Mitchell and Dr Neal Pollock.
The results of this useful research were first unveiled to the world in September 2014 at EUROTEK, the European Advanced Diving Conference. Dr Simon Mitchell presented 'The Five Minute Prebreathe: Sensitive Test For CO2 Scrubber Problems Or A Waste Of Time' to a packed hall of international delegates.
Since then there is some mixed messaging about should rebreather divers do a prebreathe? Or is it just a waste of time? If you didn't attend either EUROTEK or OZTek and hear Simon Mitchell's talk, what should you be doing?
Joe Cocozza of Pod Diver Radio interviewed Dr Simon Mitchell at this year's Beneath The Sea show about this hot topic.
During the interview Dr Mitchell stated, "this study has been mis-interpreted by some people to suggest that the prebreathe is completely useless. We are not staying that. We absolutely believe that a prebreathe should be still be done for the other reasons. Checking the loop function is correct, adding oxygen and maintaining a set point. These are all critical things.
What we are saying is that you should not do a five minute prebreathe in the expectation that it will reveal any carbon dioxide problems. Or put it another way, if your five minute prebreathe is ok or appears ok from a CO2 point of view you cannot rely on that. That is the point we are making. Of course you should always do a prebreathe."
To hear this interview in full, click here.
#ThrowBackThursday. Spring 2000 to be exact. Although Helium analysers are considered standard equipment by advanced and technical divers today, they were not always the norm. In fact until the turn of the century the only way to confirm the amount of Helium in your mix was to conduct a gas spectrometer test in a lab.
The game changer - a Helium analyser you could use in the field - was launched by Dive Rite at the January 2000 DEMA Show in Las Vegas.
Above you will find a scan of an article reporting this useful news in Issue 3, Volume 2 of 990 Magazine.
If you would like to read this edition of 990 in full, click here, and download your copy of this much missed and respected diving magazine.