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Welcome to the UB Diving Blog!
Stay up to date with our weekly adventures, critter features and scuba history tidbits here, feel free to comment and share!
|Posted on September 22, 2015 at 6:30 PM||comments (79322)|
By definition, altitude diving is underwater diving when the surface is 300 meters (1,000 feet) above sea level. It requires a special certification to learn about the dive procedures, planning and techniques adjusted for altitude.
Today's trivia question.. Can you guess where the highest dive site is located and at what altitude? Bonus points if you refrain from using Google.
|Posted on September 17, 2015 at 1:15 PM||comments (2408)|
April 1969 issue of Skin Diver Mag. I came across an article for a Underwater Sightseeing Bus.. Yep. You read that right.. An Underwater Sightseeing bus. Apparently this idea didn't get very far off the ground. (Ha! See what I did there!) The first model was to use a 50 tonne, twin keeled submarine. It was capable of carrying up to 8 people and would be available to film crews or scientists. A 2nd version of the bus was to be 63 feet long and carry 40 passengers. I can't even begin to fathom (Hehe there's another pun for ya!) all the variables that would make this such an improbable mode of sightseeing. I mean, even Disney's famous submarine ride has many issues and it's on a track and in a secured, controlled environment. I guess it was never meant to be. The owners, a company called 'Indies' just couldn't keep their head above water.. (I'll see myself out.!)
|Posted on September 15, 2015 at 3:35 PM||comments (2841)|
Most Vancouver Island residents know we have Resident orcas in our waters. They may even know the names of the Pods. (J, K & L).
You may also know how they are identified from another (Markings on their fins).
But, (and here's this week’s trivia question), do you know how many orcas there are combined in all three resident pods?
|Posted on September 11, 2015 at 5:10 PM||comments (4322)|
We’re going to look at one of the meanest fish in our waters this week. The Cabezon. I’ve known many divers, myself included, who would unwittingly swim close to one of these fish while they were sitting all camouflaged protecting their nest and it would charge as you and literally ram you.
The Cabezon, (Scorpaenichthys marmoratus), is part of the sculpin family. Although it’s genus name translates literally as "scorpion fish," true scorpionfish, i.e., the lionfish and stonefish, belong to the related family Scorpaenidae. This species is the only known member of its genus.
The Cabezon is also another scale-less fish. It usually has 11 sharp spines on the dorsal fin. It’s color varies, but is generally mottled with browns, greens and reds. (Red fish are generally males while the green ones are usually females. They have a very large head when compared to the rest of it’s body.
Cabezons can be found from Northern BC south to Southern California. They generally are found in kelp beds in the 20-50 foot range.
Although Cabezon is sometimes caught to eat as there are many recipes available to prepare them. Their roe is toxic to humans. The current largest recorded Cabezon weighed in at 23 pounds and was cause in the Juan De Fuca Straight in 1990.
|Posted on September 10, 2015 at 7:40 PM||comments (2575)|
This week I'd like to go in a different direction for our TBT.. How about a Jump Ahead Thursday. Once a month, I'm planning on looking at something new in the world of Scuba diving. Let me know what you think.
For my first Jump Ahead Thursday, I came across this new bundled regs, tanks and BCD set. And apparently it's not just a prototype. You can actually order this. It looks really sleek. I personally would love a set.
|Posted on September 8, 2015 at 7:30 PM||comments (2366)|
Trivia time.. Here's are your hints. Guess what I am.
- I am a fish
- I do not have scales
- I can grow up to 19 feet long
- I am generally found in fresh water but can delve into some salty water.
- Some people eat my eggs as Caviar.
|Posted on September 4, 2015 at 6:00 PM||comments (2239)|
This week's FFF isn't about fish, but something else we see on every dive.
Did you know that there is a type of Algae that is a single cell organism that can grow up to the size of a lemon? Think about that, A single cell the size of a lemon.. It blew my mind. The Bubble Algae or Sailor's eyeball can be found in oceans throughout the world in tropical and subtropical regions. (And who knows, maybe thanks to climate change, we'll see it locally.
The single-cell organism has forms ranging from spherical to ovoid, and the color varies from grass green to dark green, although in water they may appear to be silver, teal, or even blackish. This is determined by the quantity of chloroplasts of the specimen. The surface of the cell shines like glass. The thallus consists of a thin-walled, tough, multinucleic cell with a diameter that ranges typically from 1 to 4 centimeters (0.39 to 1.57 in) although it may achieve a diameter of up to 5.1 centimeters (2.0 in) in rarer cases.
|Posted on September 3, 2015 at 3:45 PM||comments (2983)|
October 1969 issue of Skin Diver for this weeks TBT. I saw a full page ad for a company called OEC (Ocean Equipment Corp), What originally caught my eye was the underwater telescope, That's neat I thought, except it wouldn't be useful in our emerald green water.
Then I saw the Closed Circuit breathing system. And the price. $2975!!! Remember this is 1969! But what entertained me the most from the ad was at the very top. An Anesthetic kit for fish collecting. I immediately had visions of getting some and applying to some dogfish during a dive so they'd sit still long enough so I could take a picture of more than it's tail fin as it scoots away. Then I started reading more about it (I love Google) and see that they still use Anesthetic in marine biology for sample collections in tide pools. Very cool.
|Posted on September 1, 2015 at 5:45 PM||comments (2800)|
Wow I can't believe it's September already. The weather is changing for sure.
This weeks trivia question. Our beloved diver down SCUBA flag. What year was it created and bonus if you know who created it
|Posted on August 28, 2015 at 1:40 PM||comments (2640)|
Melibe leonina.. The hooded nudibranch.
I love seeing these guys on a dive. I saw about 10 of them on my last dive at Argonaut Wharf in Campbell River last Sunday. In fact, I recall one particular dive in Deep Cove (a dive site just north of Victoria. BC in Sydney, where there were literally dozens of them on every piece of eel grass and bull kelp stalk and I kid you not, I would probably be under-estimating when I say thousands of them in view. It was surreal.
Let's get on with the fun fish facts. These guys are also sometimes called the 'lion's mane nudibranch', or 'lion's mane sea slug'.
This nudibranch is up to 102 mm long, 25 mm wide, and 51 mm across the expanded oral hood. The body is usually translucent but can be pale yellow or green. It has a large expandable oral hood, fringed with sensory tentacles, which it opens and throws forward in order to catch food. Prey include amphipods, copepods, mysids, other small crustaceans, small mollusks, small jellyfish and ctenophores, larvae of other invertebrates and in some cases small fish.
They apparently live about one year, reciprocally fertilize one another, lay their eggs and die.