Category Archives: Scuba Equipment

25. Our First Interview, Emergency Oxygen – are you prepared, and Your Next Dive travels to the Bahamas to dive with Stuart Cove



In this episode we have our first interview with Ron, discuss the PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider course, and Your Next Dives takes us to Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas  in Nassau.

From the very first day I started Scuba Shack Radio, Ron Weller – one of our dive instructors has been talking about getting guests on the show. For this 25th episode, I thought it was appropriate that Ron be my first guest. Ron talks about how he started diving, what keeps him motivated and describes a couple of his most memorable dive.

Are you prepared to act if someone needs emergency oxygen? As we are taught from the beginning in scuba diving, oxygen is a primary treatment for both decompression illness and near-drowning. While scuba diving has an outstanding safety record, sometimes things go wrong. You can be the person to help by knowing how to administer emergency oxygen. PADI offers the Emergency Oxygen Provider course for everyone. You don’t need to be a certified diver to gain this valuable specialty. Be the one who can come to the aid of someone in need.

Stuart Cove Dive Bahamas is located on the southwest side of New Providence Island in the Bahamas. You can stay at any number of affiliated hotels and take the Stuart Cove shuttle to the dive shop. We normally stay at the Orange Hill Beach Inn. Stuart Coves locations is built like a seaport fishing village and was once used as a movie set for the film “Flipper”. They have full facilities including a retail store, photo center, classroom, rental shop, gear lockers and showers. The 46 foot Newton dive boats are spacious and well maintained. They also have several other boats. You can dive wrecks, reefs, walls and experience sharks. Our trip with Stuart Cove has been running for over 15 years now.


Scuba Shack Radio #21 – 12-15-19



In this episode we discuss the Ikelite Olympus TG-6 package, stony coral tissue loss disease, and some history of New England diving.

The Ikelite Olympus TG-6 package comes with the Olympus TG-6 camera, the Ikelite housing, the action tray II with left handle, RC1 TTL (Through the Lens) receiver, a fiber optic cord, the Ikelite DS51 strobe and the compact ball arm for quick release. The camera features four underwater modes – normal, wide, macro, and microscope with 3 filter settings including shallow, mid and deep. You can add a 3 or 6 inch wide angle dome port. The camera shoots both JPEG and RAW formats. If you want to edit RAW images, you can download the Olympus Workspace application. You can edit JPEG in your favorite editing software.

Stony coral tissue loss disease was first detected in Florida in 2014 and has spread to Jamaica, the Mexican Caribbean, St. Martin, St. Thomas and the Dominican Republic. It is suspected to be caused by bacterium but still not definitive. You can get a great deal of detail on stony coral tissue loss disease on the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) program website https://www.agrra.org/coral-disease-outbreak/. This outbreak is different because of the number of coral species effected, its high prevalence, rapid mortality, the high rate of transmission, its large geographic area and the long duration of the outbreak. Interventions include topical application of chlorine and amoxicillin, epoxy, amputation or relocation.

Jim Cahill was a New England diver who is one of the pioneers of scuba diving in the United States. An original Navy Underwater Demolition Team member who started a salvage business after getting out of the Navy. He is credited with being a co-founder of NAUI, an original member of the Boston YMCA Sea Rovers and started New England Dive. Some of Jim’s adventures are recounted in a book written by his brother, Robert Ellis Cahill, titled “Diary of the Depths”. This book has some interesting stories. A couple of chapters are stories by Frank Sanger and double amputee diver who worked with Jim. You can read about the early days of salvage diving including a highly publicized murder case in MA, recovery efforts on a jet that crashed in Boston Harbor and the Texas Tower in the Atlantic.


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 #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.