Monthly Archives: November 2019

Scuba Shack Radio #20 11-30-19



In this episode we discuss the Suunto SK-8 compass, Ballast – a five part podcast from Hakai Magazine and another installment of Sea Hunt – It’s Still Alive.

The Suunto SK-8 underwater compass is my compass of choice. The compass is billed as the world’s most popular dive compass. The SK-8 is a liquid filled compass. Suunto claims that both the Northern and Southern hemisphere models can be used over a wider area of the glob based on their upgraded magnets. The compass is 2.58″ x 2.58″ x 1.72″. We prefer to wear our compass on our wrist and you can get it with a wrist strap or a bungee mount. One of the biggest benefits of this compass is its ability to function with a high degree of tilt – +/- 30 degrees. Additionally, the bezel ratchets every 5th of a degree making it turn smoothly in all conditions.

Ballast is a five episode podcast brought to you by Hakai Magazine hosted by Elin Kelsey. It seems like a pretty dull subject but if you listen to the podcast, Elin makes the topic quite interesting. From the history of ballast, to how ballast effects living things, to ballast in skyscrapers, I think you will enjoy. Here is a link to the website for “Ballast” https://www.hakaimagazine.com/ballast-podcast/

Sea Hunt season one, episode 35 is titled “The Amphibian”. It was released on September 6, 1958 and was filmed in Silver Springs, Florida. Mike is hired to supervise a group of local skin divers on an outing to an offshore island – San Granata. The local skin diving group includes Queenie Miller(Zale Parry), Courtney Brown (DeWitt Miller) and Jon Lindberg (Jack Padgett) – he is Charles Lindberg’s son. There is a lot of underwater footage of Zale and Courtney. Turns out one of the divers is a bad diver with a scooter and a double barreled spear gun. The bad diver – George Peterson uses his scooter to go into a restricted Navy area to take pictures of a secret underwater rocket launcher. Mike saves the day. A lot of action and some interesting underwater shots. Another great episode of Sea Hunt. We picked this one because it featured Zale Parry who I had the pleasure of talking to at DEMA.


Scuba Shack Radio #19 – 11-17-19



In this episode we discuss our time at DEMA, clothing made from recycled plastic, and another installment of Your Next Dive – Little Cayman.

Our three days at DEMA was packed. We had a chance to meet with all of our partners, look at new products, research various travel options, talk with organizations involved in ocean health and sustainability and meet some interesting people in the dive community. We talked to Autumn Blum –  founder of Stream2Sea, Bob Denton – the inventor of Sink the Stink, Cathryn Castle Garcia – executive editor of Dive Training Magazine, and Stuart Cove. We also had a nice chat with Zale Parry of Sea Hunt fame.

Clothing made from recycled plastic sounds like a great idea. On one hand it is taking plastic out of the ocean but at the same time may be putting it back in a different way. Turns out that synthetic fibers shed when being washed and produce microfibers that can’t be filtered out in our treatment plants. There are two different types of fabrics that are being made that if washed properly will result in positive outcomes. The two fibers are Repreve and Econyl. Some options to reduce microfibers include hand washing, using Cora balls, Guppyfriend washing bags, or a Lint LUV-R washing machine filter.

If you’ve never been to Little Cayman – get there. If you’ve been there before I am pretty sure you’ll want to get back there soon. The Little Cayman Beach Resort is a top-notch resort with great rooms, a fantastic all-inclusive dining facility and large pool and bar area. You can also relax in a beach-side hammock. The onsite dive operation – Reef Divers run 4 – 46 foot Newton dive boats that accommodate up to 20 divers. They are truly valet diving that get you to Bloody Bay Wall quickly. The diving on Bloody Bay Wall is some of the best I’ve encountered.


Scuba Shack Radio #18 – 11-3-19



In this episode we discuss the Halcyon Traveler BC, the Keeling Curve, and some more of our diving history with the salvage of the submarine S-51 in 1925/26.

The Halcyon Traveler BC is a great light weight BC with the control and stability of the backplate and wing configuration. The Traveler BC is a 30 pound lift capacity wing and weighs in at just about 7 pounds – half the weight of the Infinity BC with a stainless steel backplate and tank adapter. The nylon backplate has four weight pouches that can hold up to 12 pounds total. You can also add the Halcyon active control ballast pockets on the waist band or the trim tab pockets on the tank bands. The Halcyon Traveler BC is fantastic for dive travel to warm water destinations.

The Keeling Curve is a graph of the accumulated CO2 in our atmosphere from 1958 to the present. It is named for the scientist Charles David Keeling. It has been described as one of the most important works of the 20th century. It shows the rise from 315 parts per million (PPM) in 1958 to 406 PPM in 2018. This dramatic increase is alarming. The Keeling Curve also shows the seasonal variation of CO2. Until the mid 20th century scientist thought the ocean would easily absorb the excess CO2. Now we know that isn’t happening.

The book “On the Bottom” by Commander Edward Ellsberg is the story of the salvage of the submarine S-51 that sank after colliding with a steamer in 1925. The book tells an incredible story of our diving history. Working at a depth of 132 feet, the divers needed to secure the submarine inside and outside and then rig it for lifting. The salvage operation required a great deal of innovation and ingenuity along with unbelievable courage.