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Updated Wednesday, February 10th, 2021
 

DIVER04.GIF (27036 bytes)Welcome from the Jacksonville Scubanauts Dive Club!


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February Meeting

Normally our meetings are held the second Wednesday in each month. Please note that our meeting place has changed from past years and our meetings are now at the Mediterrania Restaurant at 3877 Baymeadows Rd. They do have a private room reserved for us that suits us well. Socializing begins at 6:00pm with the actual meeting starting at 6:30pm. Visitors are always welcome!

Please note: Because of the effects of the resurgence of Covid-19 in Florida our scheduled February 10th meeting will again be only via Zoom video web conference this month vs. an actual physical meeting or a hybrid of the two approaches as we've done the previous few months.

The link to join the Zoom side was mailed out by Beth earlier this month. If you didn't get it, contact Beth or any Scubanauts officer. (We are not posting the link here to avoid the possibility of "Zoom bombing" incidents).

Because of Covid few of our members were able to get offshore this past year so we had canceled our usual annual Scubanauts Photography Contest this past year. Yet we always enjoy being able to share our members' work. So the club decided that for this meeting - nstead of a guest speaker - our program tonight will be the showing of our members' favorite underwater photographs..

Don't forget our 2021 trip to Roatan, Honduras: May 15th - 22nd, 2021. Deposits will only be $50 for 2020 to hold your 2021 spot and favorite room! Rates for Cabanas and Bungalows are $1704.76 PP. Our beach house peeps already have their rates! I will have flyers at the meeting with the specs! Please note that the room rates are up a little due to how they calculate the taxes and discounts now.

There have been significant changes to new Covid testing requirements to re-enter the U.S. after this trip.
On January 12, 2021, CDC issued an Order requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight.

When we contacted CoCoView about this, they said they were aware of this new requirement and would provide a way to handle compliance. You can get the blood for this test drawn right there on CoCoView's property and they'll handle getting the blood transported to an approved facility for the tests to be done.. And they'll provide that service for $85 per guest; a cheaper rate than otherwise expected. We'll update this issue when more information is available.

Also due to the recent Covid-19 spike, Delta will not be flying to Roatan in May as previously scheduled. They claim they'll resume flying June 1st; which will be too late for this trip. Even should members decide to delay their trip farther, Delta has changed their mind on flying into Roatan many times already in this past year so most Scubanauts are rescheduling with other airlines for this trip.

We've worked with CoCoView to provide a bit more wiggle room to accomodate those changes. As a result we were granted bit of extra time before the final payment for this trip must be made. It will now be due by February 20th instead that payment being due by tonight's meeting.


Coco View's Facebook page ("CocoView Divers") recently said that the resort has now re-opened from their Covid-19 suspension in August. Since they are still not hosting a normal number of guests due to Covid, the Scubanauts had established a fund to donate money for those laid-off at CoCoView due to reduced guest numbers. Donations can be sent via our PayPal account (see Vicky for details). You can donate through Vicky and the donation will be recognized as associated with the Scubanauts. (We've had a long-time relationship with CoCoView going back to our first trip there in 2007). Or you can choose to donate directly to the resort's GoFundMe "Covid-19 Crisis Fund".

Rob and Kathy are encouraging fellow Scubanuts to join them at the Suwuannee River Rendevous for the Annual Poker Run on Sept. 19th. The idea of the poker run is to kayak or canoe down the Suwuannee River; stopping at several spring locations to draw a card. Prizes are awarded for the highest poker hands at the Rendezvous afterwards and are awarded . The cost is $10 a ticket with the proceeds going to benefit the 7 Gables Food Pantry. The starting point is at the Highway 51 bridge near Luraville. Rentals are available and include a shuttle.


New ways to get Offshore Jax! While out at Divers Supply last week getting some equipment serviced we saw notices for two different 6-pack dive boat outfits that are now operating in this area: Florida Man Fishing Charters and Due East Chartering Services.

We have not yet dove either operation so we can't provide any informed opinon on these boats. But this could be great news for local divers without access to a private boat. (Without such access it's been very difficult to get offshore here since Capt. Dan Lindley's "Diamond Diver" dive boat ceased operation). See our Jacksonville Area Diving page for more information on these new options.


Florida's scallop season is open now and runs through September 24th. Full lobster season this year is also running now.

We do need a couple of smaller trips throughout 2019.

Some suggestions we've been kicking around:

  • West Palm Beach—easy to get to and there is always a Blue Heron Bridge
    dive!
  • Pompano beach
  • Keys with Florida Keys Dive Center?
  • Kayaking trip
Please consider running a club trip; it is fun diving with your friends! Be thinking about what trip destinations you'd like to see in the coming year. At our last meeting, members had tentatively volunteered to organize trips to Palm Beach and the northern Florida Keys, but it is too early for anything specific regarding those destinations. See the Activities Page for information on all Scubanauts activities! Don't let the best of club diving pass you by!

Our Photo Gallery has portfolios from members as well as photos from our contests and arties. We're still looking for more material for the Photo Gallery. Check out the submissions so far! Members, send in some for your own page.

There are still some Scubanauts logo shirts and caps left from our last order. So if you didn't get want you wanted, check with Scott to see what stock remains.

The coveted Golden Copralite award is being held by Bill "CrawDaddy" Crawford. Please pass word of any future discretion to Bill so he can help others experience the pleasure of this award.

We could find no Offshore Jax dive report that was current enough to be of use.

For our members who like to spearfish, there is important news. The group "Our Florida Reefs" is pushing very hard to near totally prohibit all spearfishing while on scuba. (The sole exception is to hunt lionfish). This proposal is very near being passed into formal regulation. So any members who have a strong opinion on this need to get involved very quickly and let your state representatives know how you feel. Click here to see a .PDF of their draft proposed regulation.

We've all been following the OCEARCH Great White Shark satellite radio tagging program which has been operating in the waters offshore Jax periodically for some time now. News reports are saying that the Jacksonville's Mayport docks will become the home port for their research boat. The city will build new docks for their vessel and will provide two historic buildings that will become the organization's home base.

In honor of this decision, a great white recently tagged 40 miles off Mayport was given the name "Miss May" in the Ocearch registry.

If you want to follow one of the specific tagged sharks which has been in the local news recently, here is the procedure. This example is for following "Katherine", the large female that has been sighted multiple times recently by divers off the Florida Keys; including being video'd by a dive team off the wreck of the Duane offshore Key Largo. At this writing, her satellite tracker's last "ping" was near the edge of the Continental Shelf east of the border between North and South Carolina.

  To follow Katherine's - or any other tracked shark's - travels:

  • Open your web browser and point to the OCEARCH Global Tracker website
  • Enter the shark's name (“Katherine”) into the field titled “Sharks” in the filter box to the left
  • Click the blue “Update” button
  • View where Katherine is in realtime

Newcomers, come check our membership pages to find out more about joining the Scubanauts!

If you have any ideas for speakers, please let your officers know. We always need new ideas!

Missed the last meeting? See the minutes of last month's meeting.

 

For the most current Scubanauts event updates, please visit us at a membership meeting!

Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

See the newsletter or click the Mediterrania Restaurant address link for directions!


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Last Updated 02/10/2021 12:45pm EST
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