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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Shinnecock, Hampton Bay, LI - Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 5:37pm

Friday and Saturday I made dives at Shinnecock
Inlet, and I am happy to say that the ecosystem seems to have recovered nicely
since May, when everything looked dead in the aftermath of the hurricane last
year. The fish action was amazing with lots of fish everywhere.  I could
identify 15 different species of fish over the two days, some unusual but most
were the usual suspects (blackfish, sea bass, porgies, flukes, bluefish, etc).
On Fri I saw 28-30 stingrays. Also, on Sat,  I stopped counting stingrays
at 34. And many were big and you can get close to them. I also saw a school of
what looked like adult drums, I think they might have been black drums,
something I’m not sure I’ve ever seen here. Maximum visibility on Fri was 15 ft
+ and on Sat 20 ft +. Water temperature was 66 F to 70 F, depending on the tidal
current and the depth. I did notice that the colder water was also clearer. I’m
still able to find my way down to 50 ft but it looks completely changed down
there. Maybe I am not in the same location since the bottom is very different
once you get away from the jetty.

I reckon I will try to go again on Fri if I can
get away from work early, and also on Sat if we don’t have to leave for Jersey
too early.

Joe Muratore
11:48 am edt 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sujon Low Memorial Dive Picnic - Shinnecock, Hampton Bay, LI - Saturday, July 27, 2013
It was a beautiful New York summer day to remember  a beautiful person- Sujon Low. This was AVSC’s fifth memorial for our former president. The day was dry, sunny ,a pleasant temperature of the low 80’s – perfect to don our diving gear and dive at Sujon’s favorite diving spot- Shinnecock, Hampton Bay Long Island. 
Due to slack tide we dove about noon.  Norm, Steve M, Little Joe, Joe, Johnny, Ivan, Roberto, Robert, Gerry and Steve dove at the Shinnecock Bridge.  We dove in 4 teams.  The water temperature was about 68 degrees Fahrenheit.  The diving experience varied from 6 feet visibility to 20 feet visibility, from a 6 inch fluke to a 3 feet fluke.  We all saw an abundance of clams lining the ocean floor, school of small light blue fish, starfish galore, crabs from 1 inch to foot long, horseshoe crabs, snails, algae…. The marine life was plentiful.  Our dive time ranged from  2 minutes to 90 minutes. One of us had too little weight. One of us had to add rocks to get proper weighting.  Of course the last one to return was Norm and his group. We all had a good dive.
We had a wonderful time with fun people and sparkling conversations. Once again Judy catered a delicious hot meal of barbecued chicken and tender spare ribs, fried chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, corn on the cob, and hot corn bread.  Prior we had a spread of grapes, cherries, salsa, chips, minicupcakes, slices of pound cake- yellow, chocolate and marble. We had wine to tingle our tongue. Tina was Judy’s assistant in laying out and serving the happy group.  We had the pleasure of Charles and his wife, Natasha, Joe , his daughter and two grandchildren, Little Joe, Steve, Tina, Steve and their daughter, two new divers to our group, Johnny and Steve, Norm, Judy, Ivan, Roberto, Robert, Gerry and her nephew Alex, Terry and of course Margaret Low.
I never met Sujon, but I know him through the many people that he touched. Here are some of the paraphrases from Saturday:
·         Phenomenal diver
·         Beautiful person
·         Instructor who encouraged you
·         Knowing and diving with Sujon improved your diving
·         Avid fisherman- Champion spear fisherman
·         President of NABS and AVSC
·         Great person
·         Whenever I came to Shinnecock , I would always see Sujon
Sujon’s presence is always so strong on these days of memory. That day believers and non-believers joined hands in prayer/spirit and cited how blessed they were to have known Sujon Low.  
2:09 pm edt 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dive at Shinnecock Jetty October 8, 2012

I was able to dive twice this weekend at Shinnecock Inlet. I am convinced more than ever that this is the best time to dive. If you get a chance, you should try to get out there before it gets much colder. The water temperature was down to 63F but the visibility was good and there are so many fish it’s like sensory overload. Anyway the most interesting thing to see there now is a colony of at least four octopuses. They are located at about 10 – 15 ft deep in the rocks along the west side of the jetty. They are brownish-orange in color but the underside of their tentacles is white. They seem very intelligent and if you try to grab them they will grab you back. One of them grabbed onto my hand. You have to look for them in holes in the rocks because they usually don’t come out in the open

By: Joe Muratore
4:12 pm edt 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Juan Medina & Terry Klug Dive DR - November 2, 2011

Terry and I arrived in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic on Wed Nov 2, 2011. We had planned to dive on several days, unfortunately there was a tropical storm north of the island churning up 10-foot waves which made conditions rough, so we only had two actual dive days. Our first day of diving was on Friday. We made two dives. The first was "Paradise One" which was not much of a paradise. The coral was pretty much bleached and gone. Terry and I collected as much trash and debris as we could, and when the other divers observed this, some of them also collected trash. The second dive that day was to a site named "Three Rocks" which was exactly that — three huge rocks. It was a relatively small dive site but it made up for the first dive. There was a lot more sea life here than at the first site. The coral was healthier and had many varieties. There were several lobsters, spotted morays eels, parrot fish, flounders and rays; stuff we come to expect and take for granted on other islands but unfortunately is becoming rare here.

On Saturday, we were treated to the best dives of our trip at Dudu Caverns. It is located near the town of Cabrera, two hours from where we were staying. On our first dive, we entered through a fresh water spring and headed to the left of the system. There, we saw some cray fish and a few small fresh water fish. We ascended into an air pocket which was amazingly pretty and well lit despite the distance from the entrance. It was pretty nice and serene and we hung out there for about a while before we headed back to switch tanks. During a period of off-gassing, I decided to try swinging off a rope and into the water (Tarzan-like). It was not pretty at all according to my critics. I guess I needed more practice. After making a spectacle of myself, we geared up and re-entered the caverns with our guide leading the way. This time as we descended the water it actually became warmer. This we were told was from the sulfur emiting from an underwater geyser. We actually saw a thin cloud of sulfur and a lot of well preserved trees. We made our way through a swim-through about 80-feet long and came up in an open cavern where we saw hundreds of bats. Man, did it smell bad! I guess that is where this place got its name. I really enjoyed this dive so much that I am thinking of obtaining another certification of Cavern Diver. From what we were told, the Island of Hispaniola has one of the most extensive cave system in the world.
By: Juan Medina

6:06 pm est 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dive at Shinnecock's West Jetty Dive -  June 24 and 25, 2011
I went to the Shinnecock west jetty last Friday and Saturday. The visibility was about 15 ft and the water temperature 62-63F. There were tons of fish; I counted 15 different species of fish, including big stingrays, skates, conger eel, blowfish and even a striped burrfish. There were lots of triggerfish on Friday but I didn’t see very many on Saturday. I was talking to a Russian guy that had just finished fishing and he had a bucket of triggerfish he had just caught by rod, and he said he had been spearfishing earlier and had shot 30 of them! I couldn’t believe how these idiots just go out there and slaughter these fish. It happens every year. Still, the amount of fish is action is incredible. I even saw a school of bluefish at the secret spot.
I reckon I will try to go a few times this coming weekend. I’m also off on Monday and Tuesday, so I ‘ll try to catch up on some of the diving I missed in May when I was at CERN. If anyone is interested, let me know.

By: Joe Muratore
9:34 pm edt 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dive at Shinnecock Inlet - August 15, 2010
After a very excellent dive at the bridge on Saturday with Howard, Tony and Guy, I decided to go back again on Sunday and see if the jetty looked improved enough to get in there. A guy from LIDA Eric was there as well as another guy Jim from Huntington and they wanted to go as well. The water at the jetty did look improved and there wasn't much surf, so we decided to check it out. Unfortunately, Eric's BC malfunctioned so he couldn't go. So Jim and I went and headed out to the jetty tip and also the Secret Spot. The visibility was very good, at least 20 ft, possibly as much as 25 ft. The entire area was teeming with fish, including the usual abundance of blackfish, bergalls, sea bass, sea robins, fluke, and stingrays. We must have seen 6 stingrays, several of which were very big, and one stingray actually swam right over us like a manta. I also saw some blowfish, which I hadn't seen yet this year. And also some sennets, looking like small barracuda. They seem to be swimming with schools of snappers and I had never seen this before. There are still a few triggerfish left as well. And lots of blue crabs. Some other guy was there and came out with a bag full of them. When I got out I saw a huge crowd of people on the beach, it looked like somebody must have passed out or something, but they were all trying to get a look at the crabs. I found two lobsters, one of which I grabbed and it seemed big enough to keep, but I let it go since I didn't have a bag or a permit.
We got in about half hour before the bridge high tide and it was slack for most of the dive. There was current only at the end when we went around the tip of the jetty. There was surge present most of the time, but that didn't seem to hurt the visibility. In fact the water was very clear on the way back in the shallow area along the jetty, despite the surge.
Overall it was an excellent dive and I wish I could be around on 29-Aug to be at the dive for Sujon. It's too bad I will be out of town. If the conditions are good, it's definately worth going to the jetty. The fish action is amazing and there's lots to see. Every dive I have done at the jetty this year has been swell.

By: Joe Muratore
4:03 pm edt 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cozumel Dive Trip July 26 thru August 1, 2009
The Cozumel trip was my first official scuba diving trip with a scuba club.  Previously, with no vacation friends that scuba dive, I usually went on a dive while on vacation in the islands.  My new scuba diving crew became fast friends and the group trip experience was fabulous!  William really worked me over to make sure that I had the right equipment and refresher classes since it had been a few years since my last dive.  He even made me get my first wet suit since I was used to diving in just a bathing suit (still not sold on diving in the Northeast yet).  Really glad that I had the wet suit.  Everyone on the trip was really friendly and they shared great diving tips that helped my skills and the diving experience.  The weather was amazing everyday and the dive crew made the trip even more fun.  The best dive for me was definitely the ship wreck.  It felt like a Blair Witch Project experience.  The cave was also a really cool experience. Especially when I looked up and there was a ceiling.  Even the nights were fun.  With unlimited Tequila even Karaoke is fun! Thanks Deb for the gloves!

By:  Carol Watson
6:26 pm edt 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shinnecock Inlet Dive 8/2/09
Got in at 4:31pm and was under for 1 hour 34 min. Conditions were the same as  except a bit dimmer and hazier due to sun lower in sky.  Still probably 15-20 ft visibility.

Nice dive with loads of fish including hundreds of small drums on the sand in about 3-4 ft water and a larger stingray that swam over my head in 20 ft of water like a small manta. Lots of triggerfish, etc. Some guy I talked to had speared a few triggerfish.

I finally found my way back to the secret spot area. I discovered that the familiar boulders that I uded in past summers as navigation landmarks were partially sanded in and possibly shifted, so that's why it looked so scattered and different this year. In addition, the medium size boulder pile at the end of the north-south reef edge as you head south was half buried, so I had to swim over open sand heading south until I found it. In past years you could see it from the end of the north-south line of rocks and boulders, but now only if the visibility is exceptionally good. Lots of rocky areas are now buried in sand. Even on the way to the secret spot the sand intrusions make the place look very different, until you get down to about 40 ft or so.

The secret spot area is still the same and the depth is still about 54ft in the bowl shaped area, and there were loads of blackfish there but I saw no stripers like in the past years. Maybe they will be here in September. I found a decent size lobster under a ledge in the jetty and it was probably legal, and also a small conger eel in a hole nearby.

The visibility improved as you got away from the jetty tip. There was never much current during the whole dive, so that was different from Saturday. After diving this place for 34 years, it's still impossible to predict what's going to happen.

All in all, both days were good and I think it will continue to be good there. You should try to go this weekend if the weather holds up. Also, the water in the back by the commercial boat slip looked pretty clear like it did on Saturday. I'm looking forward to going back there again.  Hopefully, there will be lots of tropicals there. But on Sunday I only saw a few small butterflyfish and snowy groupers but did see all those cool drums at the end of the dive. And right over the drums was a dense school of peanut bunker (menhaden).

Well I'm off to Seattle on Saturday for some cold water diving. Now that I'm used to the 70F or so temperatures at Shinnecock I will have to acclimate to the 45-50 F water of Puget Sound. One of my coworkers who has a boat in Jamesport says that the Peconic Bay is now 78F! And the water is still reasonably clear with no sign of the brown tide that's in Great South bay right now. Also, Greg at Port Dive Shop said he just taught a class at Cedar Beach in Mt Sinai and the visibility at high tide was 20-25 ft which is as good as it ever gets in the Sound.

You should be able to get some good diving this upcoming weekend somewhere.

By: Joe Muratore
5:46 pm edt 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wreckfest 2009 Diving The Graveyard of the Altantic
Me, Reggie Callander and Joel Brisco headed down Thursday afternoon in order to get in a extra day of diving on Friday morning.  Although we got there around 4 am, we were still  able to make it  to the boat by 6am. The weather was great, there were blue skies and sunshine. There was a film crew from the Discovery Channel to film the dive, but as we all know as open water divers mother nature can play a big part in recreational diving.  About 15 min from shore they told us the  waves at the dive site were about 4-5 ft high and the dive was cancelled. I believed the fact that a  film crew was on board played in the decision to call off the dive.

Back at the dive lodge I tried to get some much needed sleep, I didn't. Unless you can sleep through a bombing I would not recommend staying at the Lodge.  Later that night we met for dinner at the Golden Correl for the Wreckfest reception.  Best fried chicken I have every tasted.  The reception was well organized, there was speeches made about  the next day dives and  a representitive from DAN was there to talk about safety.  Many clubs were represented , the Atlantic Rangers, the Nubian Divers of Charllote, AVSC and others from the Washington D.C. area.

The next morning without any sleep, I met up with Reggie and Joel at the boat at 6 am and at first headed for the site of the u-boat-352 wreck that has been promised.  But mother nature raise here ugly head again and we was re-routed to another dive site called the "Indra".  Feeling a little quezey from lack of sleep and all you can eat from the nite before, I Just wanted to dive any where. 

Diving with a 100 cubic ft alum tank,  we dove to about 65 ft with the visabilty about 10 to 15 ft.  It  was quite a large wreck. Saw quite a few baraccudas which came very close. My bouyency was very good I should  say, also saw many jellyfish, Reggie and Joel were stung but I kept my eyes open for them and the baraccudas.  The second dive of the day was the "Titan" a tugboat.  I did my first penetration as I could see the exit on the other side of the boat.  Once inside I was surrounded by about 20 to 30, 5 to 6 inch fish with large eyes that kinda look at me and said what the hell.  Joel has  a great shot of me exiting the wreck, he ask me how much am I ready to pay for it. 

Day two: This was the day that we would dive the wreck the "Spar"  and see the amazing sharks,  but to no avail,  we were told the weather was a factor again and we returned to the wreck "INDRA"  At the end of the dive almost invisable and covered in the sand was a medium size stingray.  The second dive we dove the "Suloide" wreck an tanker that was broken up by the navy so it was all spread around and not much to see.  There was a strong surface current and the water temp was much colder and we stay aroud the anchor line for most of the dive.

As the weekend go,  I was pretty disapointed not having swam with the sharks and not diving the u-boat, but as most people who know me I just enjoy diving no matter what's down there.

By:  Mark Pierce
8:42 pm edt 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dive at Ponquogue Bridge, Shinnecock, NY - May 30, 2009
Bridge Over Tepid Waters: “It’s A Lovely Day” 

On the morning of May 30, 2009, a day that did not look promising, as the sky was heavy with cloud cover, our intrepid group led by Norman Berhannan assembled at  the 7-11 off the Long Island Expressway.   Our shore-based group consisted of Judy Berhannan, Zelda and Mel Betty, Margaret Low, and Charlie Davidson; our divers were Terry Klug, Joe Muratore, Juan Medina, Bob Willis, Ivan Donovan, Mark Pierce and Norman Berhannan.   As we stopped at the dive shop, the sun began burning the clouds away.


After receiving our pre-dive briefing from Norman, we suited up so that we could be in the water by the 2:00 pm slack time.  We were divided into two groups; led by Joe and Norman.   At 52 degrees, the water under the Ponquogue Bridge was like tepid ice tea in my seven-mil wetsuit.   Initially weighted at 28 pounds, I had to take on an additional four pounds before I could successfully descend.  At approximately 2:06 pm we started our dive.  Surprisingly, the visibility was at thirteen feet as we leisurely kicked down a slight grade of rock and sand.  As we approached the base of the east bridge, I was taken aback of the abundant number of starfish that were gorging themselves on mussels.


Since I was diving without my camera, at twenty minutes into the dive, I tapped Bob Willis, my dive buddy, to take out his camera from the pocket of his BC.  While he was getting his camera, I checked his air and found he was getting low (due to a short fill and his struggle in the beginning of the dive to descend.).  Norman came swimming up to us and determined that it was time for Bob to return to shore.  Juan decided to return to shore with Bob.


Joe, Mark and I spent the rest of the dive exploring the east and west bridge supports.  I fired off a few photos, but by then there was silt that cause backscatter to the photos.  Other than observing the seafloor of starfish on mussels and horseshoe crabs resembling miniature World War I tanks, we saw juvenile pollock, rockfish, blackfish, and a singular sea bass.  From the time we descended (at 2:06 pm) to approximately 2:36 pm when we felt the first vestiges of current breaking east, our dive was idyllic.  During that brief period, I had to crawl along the bottom using heavy rocks as hand holds.  Fortunately, we were at the back end of completing our dive and after 49 minutes we surfaced near our point of entry to see a light blue sky with wisps of clouds.  Watching the sky while swimming on my back to shore, I could not help to hear in my mind the lovely refrain of a Bill Withers song “It’s A Lovely Day.”  Of course, since it was a song playing in my head, I substituted the line to ‘t’was a lovely dive.”


Before we headed back to our respective homes, Norman led a caravan of cars to Shinnecock Inlet in Hampton Bays to the area where Sujohn Low’s Memorial Bench would be placed.  I think Margaret as well as the rest of us were happy with the site selection and I felt Sujohn would be elated. 


Ravenous from the sea and air, we invaded the local eatery “Tulley’s” and dined, socialized, and the song, “It’s a lovely day” was still playing in my head.

By: Ivan Donovan

9:45 pm edt 

Monday, November 10, 2008

AVSC Night Out at Club Denim in Brooklyn, NY - November 2, 2008
Divers are always looking for ways to stay fit and limber during the "off-season".  What better way to sharpen your reflexes and loosen up those joints than learning some new moves while mixing it up with young and old.?  Last Sunday evening AVSC had a ball at club DENIM in Brooklyn.  Our own Naomi Wright is an experienced line dance instructor and introduced us to the line dance scene.  Judy and Naomi worked up a sweat dancing to "The Boss", "Follow Me" and other old school hits.  George Ellis and friend, Naomi,and Norman and Judy Berhannan mingled with the crowd at DENIM and had a chance to display our club pictures and videos and talk to other guests about our favorite sport. The event was covered by local cable TV station BCAT, and by WLIU radio, and during the course of the evening, Norm got a chance to go on the air and talk about AVSC and NABS. We all enjoyed the bountiful southern style buffet meal, great music and good company. Let's do it again!

By: Norman Berhannan
2:15 pm est 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mt. Sinai Harbor Spearfishing Dive - October 13, 2008
Blackfish season... had a hankering for some fresh fish. On Monday I made dives at the west jetty at Mt. Sinai Harbor and on the east jetty at Port Jefferson Harbor. As soon as I got underwater I ran into two other spear fishermen. Unlike my last dive at Mt. Sinai, hardly a fish was to be seen, maybe the divers spooked them. After approx. 20 minutes, I found a good size blackfish hiding deep in the rocks. I nailed him, swam back to the boat, and left for the east jetty at Port Jeff. This spot is not easily accessible, you can only get to it by boat. I back rolled into the water and swam for the tip. What a difference, huge blackfish were everywhere, it was like picking apples. Within a few minutes I bagged my limit and called it a day. The fish were filleted, wrapped in aluminum foil and grilled with sauteed onions, tomatoes, fresh garlic, and butter. The second batch was cooked with a mustard sauce and ground black pepper. Add a rice pilaf, garden salad, and a bottle of chardonnay. Fresh fish, what a meal... indescribably delicious!

 By: Norman Berhannan
8:24 pm edt 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mt. Sinai Harbor Dive - September 28, 2008
On Sunday, September 28, 2008, AVSC members did  a shore dive at the Mt. Sinai Harbor's, West Jetty in Port Jefferson, Long Island.  In attendance were: Norman, Mel, Robert, Ivan, Kevin, Mark, Joe and Mel's nephew Daryl who provided shore support and digital documentation (He took pictures).
Visibility was about 10 feet.  The water temperature was 66 degrees and the depth at the west jetty was 15 feet and 35 feet in the inlet.
There were sightings of large black fish of approximately two to three feet long.  There were also schools of whiting passing us like a passing train back and forth during the dive.
Like on many dives there were some positives and negatives relating to the weather conditions.  The visibility wasn't great, but the rains of the previous two days made the water warm enough to make for very comfortable water temperature throughout the dive... and anytime I can go diving is a great day.
After the dive Norman took the group to one of his hangouts for lunch at "Tara's Inn Irish Pub" and introduced us to the best burgers for a buck.  Those burgers were actually very good.  Also joining us were Joe's wife and children.  We ate, downed three pitchers of beer and watched the Jets blow out the Cardinals.
In the end... it was a good day.

By: Mark Pierce
10:11 pm edt 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Project Oceanology - August 8 - 9, 2008

The NABS Science and Education Committee promoted their 3rd. visit to the University of Ct., Avery Point and Project Oceanology.  The following organizations were represented: The National Association of Black Scuba Divers – Atlantic Rangers –Philadelphia, Aquatic Voyagers Scuba Club-N.Y., Black Dolphin Divers-Richmond, The University of Ct., Avery Point, Dr. Richard Cooper, The National Undersea Research Center, Dr. Ivar Babb, The School District of Phila. Charlie Lumpkin, Project Oceanology, The 106th Precinct Explorers, N.Y., Brenda Bratcher, The U.S. Navy, Chief Petty Officer, Ken McWilliams. 

Twenty one students and adults investigated such activities as:  ROV’S, Re-breathers, Hyperbaric chambers, Living underwater (Sub Base I), Visit to the Nautilus Submarine Museum, Living on and operating a Nuclear Submarine.  The Movie “PRIDE” was also shown. 

Again we boarded the Project Oceanology vessel and learned about water temperature; salinity, density, and PH balance.  We also collected marine life, everything from spider crabs to fluke to squid.  The trip was capped off by a roller-skating party were the old heads taught the young people a thing or two.  Everyone had a great time and we thank all who participated. 

NABS representatives included:  Henry Rori, Regional Rep., Bob Williams, President of ATRA, Corey Joyner, AVSC.

by: Charlie Lumpkin, AVSC, ATRA

3:23 pm edt 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cape Ann, MA Dive 9/12-13/08
Last weekend the Aquatic Voyagers traveled to Rockport, Massachusetts for our Annual Cape Ann Dive. Our group was spread between the Eagle House and the Motel Peg Leg. Mel, Zelda, Steve, Tina, Kayla, Jalar, Corey, Jean, Darnella, Margaret, Mark, Keith, Terry, Dolly, Kevin, Marzena, Joe, Tony, Judy, and Norm made the trip. There were12 divers and 8 non-divers who were a big help especially with moving cars and transporting gear at Folly Cove. We made dives at Folly Cove, and Front and Back Beach in Rockport. What did we see, LOBSTERS lots of LOBSTERS. and we saw them well because visibility was over 30ft at Front and Back Beach on Sunday. In between diving, members of our group shopped and toured the historical and picturesque towns of Gloucester (Perfect Storm) and Rockport. On Saturday evening we got together for a great meal at the Fish Lodge in town. There was story telling and loud guffaws until well in the night on the balcony at the Eagle House, it must have been the wine at dinner. Our impromptu party committee has been charged with developing a cocktail to commemorate the weekend, it will be known as a "Dolly on the Rocks". Thanks Zelda and Judy for the chicken, salad and snacks on Friday and hot coffee, tea and pastries in the morning before dives. It was a great trip and we're all looking forward to next year.

                                                  AVSC....Always Ahead of the Tide
4:45 pm edt 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

AVSC members Juan Medina, Ivan Donovan, and Judy and Norman Berhannan provided a Discover Scuba experience for 12 youngsters at the Hempstead Roosevelt Pool on Wednesday, August 13, 2008. The program was a success and very well received by the participants, the staff, and supervisors of that facility. Thanks again to Raph at Long Island Scuba for providing tanks and other equipment, we are very appreciative of his generous support of AVSC's initiatives.
3:38 pm edt 

Saturday, August 9, 2008

GRAND CAYMAN DIVE 7/26 - 8/2/08
Well, we're all back from Grand Cayman safe and sound, and remembering our week in Paradise. Personally, I'm reshuffling my best dive experiences, and emerging at the top is AVSC's club trip to Cayman. Thanks to Steve Miller and Naomi Wright for all  their work in planning and coordinating the trip. The diving was fantastic, the accommodations were great, the Ocean Frontier dive operation was perfect. What was that Steve?  Norm didn't growl the entire week? Thanks Naomi and Judy for keeping us well fed, for the cake and the midnight snacks. Thanks Steve for coordinating and leading the night dive, your compass coordinates were right on (I saw the mermaid on the way back). Paul, you did a great job with the fish ID program, our guys know a lot more about what they've been looking at and I'm sure they appreciate it more. Will, thanks for handling the financial details with Compass Point. It was a team effort that made it all happen, it was a great group to vacation with. Thanks again to Naomi Wright, Steve Miller,Deborah and Will Landers, Paul Washington, Ivan Donovan, Joe Place, Keith Hoskins, Juan Medina,Terry Klug, and Judy and Norman Berhannan. AVSC you've left your mark on Grand Cayman and Grand Cayman has left it's mark on us.

                             AVSC...Always Ahead of the Tide
11:12 am edt 

Monday, June 9, 2008

Shinnecock, Long Island June 7, 2008
Great and Luck Day at the Inlet

You know my favorite saying is that its "better to be lucky". Well today was a good luck day. With all the hot weather Margaret and I decided to head east to the inlet.
When we got there it looked relatively good enough to dive but not as good as the last few times out. Glad I decided to go in.
Water visibility was poor right up to the point where I got no more than 6 feet. However, as soon as I got out to the north edge of the bowl things changed dramatically. It started to clear up to 12 to 15 feet and I began to see schools of stripers moving through. First some schoolies then the big ones showed up.
I picked the first one off at around 10 feet away. I knew he was a keeper right away and I sensed by his size underwater he would be a trophy. Guessed right as he came to 41 inches (23 pounds). Without measuring him underwater I slowly dispatched him, put him on the stringer and reloaded the gun. Glad I did. That gave the school time to come back and I was able to pick off the smaller of the two, 34 inches less than ten feet away with a spine sheet that basically paralyzed him where he just settled into the sand in the bowl. Boy, wasn't sure that the trophy would hold up but I had two, my first double header. Regulations let you take a second less than 40 as long as you have one greater than 40 inches.
All of this in less than a half an hour. Cut the dive short as I certainly couldn't shoot any more and headed back to the beach. Surge had picked up but what a feeling. Raoul who was not diving met me at the shorline and helped with fins, the gun and the fish. Glad he was there. The weight of these two fish easily came to 40 pounds extra as we both got tired carrying them back to the car.
Water temp close to 60 degrees. Half an hour later the winds changed and thick blanket of fog rolled in.
Still, one of the best spearfishing days ever. There are big ones trolling the inlet right now.
May go back tomorrow if I get a good nights rest. 
(Check out photos of catch  in the Photo Gallery)

1:44 pm edt 

Monday, April 28, 2008

Shinnecock Dive - April 26 & 27, 2008
Dives this weekend

Dove both days this weekend with Black Fish season ending on April 30th. Yesterday was the better of the two days. Inlet was relatively calm, water temp in low 50s, visibility was coose to 12 feet at the bowl.
Caught these 4 tog which is now the limit on a daily catch. George reported getting a 9 pounder a couple of days before at the bridge.
Went back this morning and dove with George and Louis. Visibility was much poorer where I got probably around 6 feet at best when I got to the secret spot. Got one tog that swam right in front of me.
Well that is probably it for this part of the Black Fish season. 8 nice tog in total.
Season opens back up in October. From here on in its Stripers and Fluke for the rest of the season. Striper run should begin in the next couple of weeks.
11:35 am edt 

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well I can definitely attest that it is better to be lucky than smart. Took the opportunity to check out the inlet today with Black fish season underway. When I got to the inlet conditions were calm and the water hinted at being dive worthy. George and Freddy showed up and George and I were the only ones on the beach besides the line fisherman.
Not the smartest assessment as visibility was crap throughout the dive. I had inched my way out past the bowl towards the secret spot and landed right on the PVC piping that I have come to use as a landmark. Usually if you are going to see fish (blacks and stripers) its right in that area. Initially all I could make out were shapes, some quite large. At one point I went to lift my spear and realized that I was lifting a Blackfish easily in the 5 to 7 pound range. Needless to say he didn't appreciate being disturbed and quickly moved away. At that point I saw this guy come along and at first thought it was a huge blackfish but got him in my sights and realized by the lateral stripes that he made the mistake of swimming right in front of me. I shot him basically a point black range and he took off like a rocket as it was a flesh, non kill shot. He easily took the line out twenty feet or more.
I started pulling the line in because I knew I had him from the tension but not sure where the spear had hit. The reel gets your line back on the spool but can cost you time if you don't have a sure shot. Well when I pulled him close and saw what I had it was a nice surprise. He was hit just below the mid point but secure enough to pull in and dispatch. The downside was that my line had been drawn out so much and he had spun around quite a bit that it was all tangled and knotted preventing me from reeling it through the spool.
What a beautiful fish and he put up quite a struggle initially where I had to pivot with him as he was making a circle that could have tied me up in my own line. Something out of a cartoon :)
Like I said better to be lucky than smart.
The lucky part is that had I shot the black I would not have been ready when he shot right in front of me.
He turned out to be slightly more than 40 inches and weighed in at twenty two pounds. Striper gumbo, striper pizza, striper and eggs, striper stew. Life is good!
Water temp was 62, visibility at best was no more than five feet.
Saw Howard at the end of the dive. Seems he was working out on the boat and came in just as George and I were cleaning up to pull out.
Trying to get in the water at least once or twice more before the pumpkin head dive.
2:08 pm edt 

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