November 11, 2002
Tanks on the Market
The Department of Transportation has discovered that a substantial umber of aluminum tanks have been stamped with dates in the side wall by Blue Water Divers Ltd., Tortola, British Virgin Islands, The stamps have compromised the integrity of the walls, and the tank could explode upon filling. Some cylinders are being used in the U.S. Virgin Islands and have been sold to individuals and U.S. companies. They may have stickers covering the stamps. Remove the sticker and inspect for unauthorized markings or a marking of a month and a year such as 2 00. Some cylinders have multiple months and years stamped on the sides. Any suspect cylinder should be condemned and not tested hydrostatically or filled. If you want more information, contact Robert Bonn, Hazardous Materials Enforcement Specialist, U.S. Department of Transportation, College Park, GA Telephone: (404) 305? 6120. Fax: (404) 305?6125.
In 1994, in the most dangerous diving expedition ever, Dr. Bill Stone led his team into what is probably the deepest cave complex in the world -- Mexico's uncharted Huautla cave system. This brand new book explores the adventure and danger that illuminate tech diver's obsession to tackle whatever exploratory challenge they can find. At record-breaking depths, Stone and Barbara am Ende, the team's least experienced diver and only woman, found themselves in a life and death struggle, virtually cut off from help. Their exceptional adventure is chronicled in 318 pages by Stone and Ende in a harrowing and heroic and page-turner. Click here to order this white-knuckle read via Amazon.com, or take a look at our Editor's Picks section. A good hunk of our profits will go to support the Coral Reef Alliance.
Like no other writer, journalist Michael Capuzzo describes in great detail the mystical journey of a great white shark in search of prey. How it uses its smell to detect minute amounts of mammal urine, how it navigates with aid of the magnetic north, how the lateral lines detect fish tails and fins, and how it homes in on a heart beat. Nowhere have I seen a more thorough and fascinating description of the great white. Here Capuzzo retells the story of the first shark attacks ever in American waters, at a time when people believed sharks didn't bite and summer sport was taking a four-mile swim off the Jersey shore. This New York Time's Best Seller tells the true story of Jaws, every bit as frightening, but marvelously researched and historically accurate. I couldn't put it down. I couldn't put it down. $10.47 paperback. Order now
This summer a white spotted bamboo shark at Detroit's Belle Isle Aquarium
surprised the curator by giving birth to two babies. Why the surprise?
It was a virgin birth: She hadn't been near a male for six years. The
mother laid a clutch of eggs in April, which isn't particularly unusual,
said Doug Sweet, curator of fishes, but the eggs are assumed to be infertile
and are discarded. But Sweet left the eggs in the tank because he had
heard of a bonnethead shark in Omaha thought to have given a virgin
birth. Fifteen weeks after they'd been laid, the eggs hatched, and the
mystery of the virgin birth was repeated. The births have raised questions
about whether sharks can reproduce parthenogenetically, a mode of reproduction
in which, common in invertebrates like snails. Or, the white spotted
bamboo shark may have been fertilized by a male at a very young age,
but Sweet thinks this is extremely unlikely. Perhaps it is a harboring
both male and female sex organs, and capable of fertilizing its own
eggs. Whatever the case, there are a lot of folks in Detroit scratching
The Bush administration wants to immunize the government from lawsuits for the next five years when endangered Florida manatees are unintentionally injured or killed by collisions with government water craft. Sam Hamilton, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southeast regional director, said that current regulations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act ''expose government agencies to potential liability'' when manatees are inadvertently harmed. The proposed regulatory changes were issued as U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington again threatened to hold Interior Secretary Gale Norton in contempt, this time because she did not meet a Nov. 1 deadline for publishing them. Sullivan earlier threatened Norton with contempt because the Fish and Wildlife Service had bowed to a request by the president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, to delay imposing more stringent restrictions on boating and other recreational activities in manatee waters.
Oceanic is about to recall its CDX balanced diaphragm first stage. They are still working out details, but the company issued a "quality alert" to dealers last week. Evidently there's a problem with vibrations set up by harmonics within the $200 CDX, which Oceanic has been promoting as an extreme diving regulator for use with its ALPHA, DELTA or ZETA second stages. Keep an eye on http://www.oceanicworldwide.com for further details as they're released.
460 plus pages, will be mailed on December 10 to all print subscribers of record. Look for reviews of hundreds of liveaboards and dive operations, including new finds -- and real dogs. The following month it will be posted on the website for Online Members.
-- Ben Davison, editor/publisher
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