|San Gabriel Valley Scuba Club|
Diving is a passion and I belong to a relatively new dive club called the San Gabriel Valley Scuba Club, I am actually the secretary and my husband is the President of the club. We are supported by Sport Chalet of Glendora and meet every second Thursday of the month at San Dimas I Hop, were we get together to talk about our adventures under water and plan club dives and BBQs.
Dive Club News 2011
September 8th dive club meeting
At 6.30pm our 9th meeting of the year was held at I Hop in San Dimas, there was not a lot of members but we did have 22 members show up.
A lot of our members had been on some extrodinary dive trips. Ron Springer had just got back from diving on the Palau Aggressor with a local dive shop, his Maui Bride Loretta had done an out standing job of editing a few of his photos and making a cool slide show for everyone to enjoy. Joe Binstien had also returned from diving in Mexico for 5 days in yup a shark cage and his photos were incredible and shared them on facebook.
We had voting tonight for positions in the dive club and the new board is
AL WIscovitch President, Mike Richer Vice President , a new treasurer Dave Hokanson, Secretary Suzy Degazon (me) and Web Master Mike Carter.
I was really happy that a Padi Seal won the $50 gift card!
On August 20th Mike Richer our VP organized a great 3 tank dive trip aboard the Bottom Scratcher. I personally love this boat as the Captain is an ex Marine and plays the Bag Pipes and the food is unbelievably good for a day charter. We did a total of three dives and I was able to help some divers do a deep dive, boat dive and work a little on Buoyancy Skills. The highlight of my dive was not just the Oil Rigs with the sea lions getting in my face but the dives at Catalina Island and I saw a HUGE and I mean 400 plus pounds huge of Black Sea Bass totally amazing.
Cannot believe how beautiful Catalina looked almost like being in the British Virgin Islands~
We were blessed with several Blue Whale sightings on the way back to the main land.
At the end of the day new friends were made as different clubs had made up this fantastic dive trip. Our Vice President Mike Richer works really hard to make sure these trips happen.
At the August meeting we had a scuba instructor talk to us about his experiences with www.reef.org. He was definately a good guest speaker and explained very clearly about fish surveys etc. I also offered to teach Fish ID to all members of club that signed up for Reef.
The next day I signed up to become a member for REEF and sent of my cheque for the under water slates and set up an account so I can log my fish count on line.
It was also decided to create a new facebook page for members to post about dives and keep in touch better.
The new facebook page has been successful and was a smart move to keep members who want to post pics etc in the loop. I set up the facebook page so only members could see posts. It was pretty cool as almost immediately we had divers using the facebook to send messages and share dive info. I called the page Divenow130 as that is what our old yahoo page was called. Just another way to be able to keep up with the club members.
At the next meeting we will be having elections again for the 2012 year.
La Verne Eco Dive Club Newsletter July 2011
It is half way through 2011 and we have had a lot happening in our dive club with many members doing different things such as travelling, getting more certifications, joining a volunteer group or just diving!
In January we had a good meeting to start the year off, renewing club memberships and had Ron Springer talk about Ships to Reefs and the Kawishiwi.
Here is Chip, Suzy and Mike before descending to 120 feet brrr. We had a good turn out with Ron Springer, Conrad Miller, Carlo La Placa and Al Wiscovitch from the LVEDC.
At the meeting we also enjoyed a video from Jonathan Blake from his dive trip to Visaya Islands.
A little bit of knowledge:
Glossary of Seashell Parts
Aperture: Shell opening.
Columella: The pillar around which the whorls form their spiral circuit.
Mantle: The outer covering of the soft parts of a mollusk. It secretes the substance that forms the shell.
Operculum: The “trap door” that covers the aperture when the animal is inside the shell.
Umbilicus: A small hollow at the base of the shell.
Al Wiscovitch Club President
Mike Richer Club V.P
Suzy Degazon Secretary
Jodi Ruby Treasurer
Mike Carter Web Master
MEET 2nd Thursday of the Month at 6.30pm I HOP San Dimas.
In February we had an interesting guest speaker called Melvin Pasley (Lt.Col ret. US Army) he did an emotional slide show and his work was teaching scuba to disabled veterans, handicapped troupes returning from war some with emotional scars some missing limbs.
February was a busy month for the dive club as we also enjoyed a 2 day trip on the Bottom scratcher out of San Pedro.
The weather had be raining cold & miserable ,there was talk of cancellation but the trip went ahead as planned and the diving was great on top of which the hospitality and the food provided by the staff of Bottom Scratcher was excellent.
Here the Captain is playing his bagpipes! It turned out to be a fantastic experience.
Whites Dry Suit Demo
The club was invited to a dry suit demo at Aqualung headquarters in San Diego. The highlight was the tour after the demo as you had the chance to see behind the scenes on how Aqualung developed products, tested them and the companies they own.
Terri and Dave check out the new line of Whites Dry Suits. We did have a good turn-out of club members too.
Aqualung also does a range of special gear for the Military and that was pretty cool and top secret too!
The meeting went well in March many members were diving or going on nice vacations. For the meeting we watched a cool Treasure Hunting Video it was pretty neat to see and very interesting. Carlo La Placa also provided a great video of his trip to Belize and diving the Blue Hole which we enjoyed very much.
In May we had Josh Myers a Commercial Diver come along to the club meeting what a lot of fun we had, he talked from his heart all about the ups and downs of commercial diving. He shared some fun stories of his work and some scary experiences. Explaining to us about how they search vessels and underwater searches. He brought a long some of his work gear to make it hands on every one enjoyed his presentation.
In May the club also had a table at Chamber Night at Long Beach Aquarium, as always a nice evening to raise money for the Chamber on Catalina Island. Al and I always love going to the Aquarium and enjoy the many different exhibits.
Chris Fuller from Aqualung came out to the club and did a great presentation of the new line of scuba gear, he did a great job of explaining the new line of travel gear, gear bags and regulators. He also raffled off some cool prizes, which the club went crazy for.
The Long Beach Scuba show was also in June and the highlight for a few of us was Wyland. Here is Montana watching Wyland as he does a Whale Muriel.
In May our Club President Al, had a very nasty accident at Catalina Island over Memorial weekend. He suffered a broken femur, a detached ACL and fractured knee cap getting out of the dive park at Catalina Island. It happened over memorial weekend and during some very nasty weather, he will be 12 weeks on crutches and has already started therapy.
Congratulations to Liz Ramirez who became the latest club member to join the Californian Science Center dive team.
Congratulations to Liz Ramirez who became the latest club member to join the Californian Science Center dive team.While talking to her about her new volunteer position she shared that while feeding the fish one of the fish could not resist Liz and took a tasty bite at her lip!
Web sites ;
AL and Suzy at Chamber Night.
We would like to thank our members and friends of the dive club.
If you have any photos or articles or dive news you would like to share we would love to see them please contact Suzy at
Seals and Junior divers of June 2011.
Basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) are one of the largest fish in the sea, second only to whale sharks. They can reach a maximum size of 45 feet, and are distinguished from whale sharks by their pointy snouts, dark grey to brown color, and gill slits that nearly encircle their head. Like whale sharks, as well as all the largest rays and cetaceans, basking sharks are filter feeders foraging near the base of the food-web on krill and other zooplankton. Consequently, they have no interest in divers, surfers or swimmers.
Basking sharks are found around the world but are seen mostly nearshore in temperate waters where currents act to concentrate prey. Off the West Coast they have most commonly been documented off Canada and Central California. In both locations up to the mid 1900s basking sharks, were targeted by fisheries or eradication programs that killed a large numbers of individuals. While historically animals were reported in the hundreds and thousands, more recently only a few individuals have been seen in any given year.
In response to the apparent decline in local populations, NOAA recently listed the basking shark as a "Species of Concern." Some reasons for this listing are the apparent reduction in numbers, the lack of a recovery in population size despite 50 years without being targeted, and lack of information on very basic aspects of their biology. For example, it is not known how old basking sharks are when they first reproduce, where they have their young, what the range of their movements are and the structure of their populations. Collecting this type of information will help us understand how both the environment and human activities influence basking shark numbers as well as aid in the development of a recovery plan for basking sharks off the West Coast of North America.
To begin to answer these questions NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center recently initiated a study on basking shark off the West Coast. One component of this study is to use satellite technology to track the movements of basking sharks and determine how oceanography influences where they go and what they do. The satellite tags will record temperature and depth throughout the track allowing us to look at habitat use. To determine the shark's locations the tag will both link to GPS satellites when it is at the surface and record light levels which will allow us to estimate latitude and longitude.
NOAA scientists were expecting to tag basking sharks with collaborators off Canada where they have most commonly been seen in recent years. However, this year the forces of nature delivered unexpected numbers of basking sharks to our doorstep. On Sunday June 6th, 2010, a basking shark was tagged with a satellite tag off Pt. Loma. This is the first basking shark tagged in the Pacific
If you see a basking shark while you are on the water and can call from your vessel, please call John Hyde at (760) 408-7726 or Heidi Dewar at (858) 546-7023.
Buster our beloved Yellow Lab of 17 years past away in Suzy s arms with AL on July 12th 4.15pm he will be greatly missed and took a huge part of our hearts to doggy heaven.
California Ships to Reefs’ (CSTR) first major sinking project, the USS Kawishiwi, now has its own special logo design, commemorating its upcoming journey from a Navy vessel to an artificial reef.
“The Kawishiwi is an exciting project for CSTR,” said Joel Geldin, CSTR’s Chairman and CEO. “We are working with government agencies, contractors and environmental organizations to sink the Kawishiwi one and one-half miles southwest of Dana Point Harbor. There it will become an artificial reef, attracting new ocean life and bringing economic benefits to the community.”
The mission of CSTR, a nonprofit corporation, is to create a network of artificial reefs along the California coastline, using decommissioned military and merchant vessels. The reefs enrich the ocean environment and provide diving, fishing and other recreational opportunities that can bring millions of dollars into the surrounding areas.
The new Kawishiwi logo is an adaptation of CSTR’s own logo design, with unique additions, including a profile of the ship. The concept was developed by Vern Bouwman, a former Kawishiwi crewmember and a member of CSTR. The Kawishiwi is a decommissioned Navy fast fleet oiler which served in Vietnam and Korea. Former crewmembers of the Kawishiwi were among the people who commented on and helped compile the final logo design. “The Kawishiwi crew members we consulted are proud to have their ship gain a new life serving as an artificial reef, instead of simply being torn apart for scrap,” said Geldin.
Creating a logo design for the Kawishiwi is a tradition CSTR plans to continue with each one of its ship sinking projects. “The project teams and hundreds of volunteers who make these sinkings possible deserve to have their projects recognized individually,” said Geldin.
The logo design has been beautifully embroidered on to polo shirts and hats, which will be available online at the CSTR store (http://store.californiashipstoreefs.org . The merchandise made its debut this weekend at a reunion of Kawishiwi veterans in Bremerton, Washington.
The Kawishiwi sinking is projected for 2013. The sink site has been identified and initial survey dives have been completed. CSTR gained support from the California Department of Fish and Game, which contacted the appropriate federal agency, the Maritime Administration (MARAD), asking them to review the project’s suitability. MARAD has determined the ship is available and suitable for sinking.
I guess when you have a good idea not everyone will think it is and so is the case with the project Kawishiwi, It always amazes me how certain groups campaign over enviromentalist issues yet as is in this case there are more important subjects to be broached such as sewage, plastic bags, lack of trees, too many car fumes etc etc than to oppose a well thought out sinking of a vessel at Dana Point!!!
Below are two very different press releases:
CA agrees to ship-based artificial reefing
Article and photo by Casey Allen
The two fleet oilers, USNS Kawishiwi (AO 146) and USNS Hassayampa (AO 145) are both 654 feet long and can carry 28,700 tons of fuel. The veteran crews of both vessels would like to see their ship continue service to mankind and the environment in the form of an artificial reef. CSTR has identified several potential reef sites with the Dana Point site being the most viable.
The fleet oiler Kawishiwi (right) or her sister ship Hassayampa will be considered to become an artificial reef off Dana Point in Southern California.
The fact that CDFG contacted MARAD about obtaining a ship is significant and demonstrates the State’s willingness to create artificial reefs. The last ship to be sunk in California for an artificial reef was the Canadian destroyer Yukon placed off San Diego in 2000. It is estimated the ship generates 4.5 million dollars in revenue annually from diving and fishing activities.
The news is especially welcome to members of Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers and the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District who have partnered to create an artificial reef off Humboldt Bay. The fishing reef will be made of manufactured reef structures and concrete rubble with the possible addition of a ship in the future.
The fact that the State is getting involved legitimizes the projects and opens doors for permitting, research activity, and fund raising. The next step for CSTR is to survey the ships to determine the effort necessary to clean the ships to Environmental Protection Agency standards. For more information visit www.californiashipstoreefs.org
Here is another article which can be expected as a hurdle ...
July 18th, 2011, 3:24 pm · 30 Comments · posted by Pat Brennan, science, environment editor
The proposed sinking of an old Navy ship off Dana Point to create an attraction for divers could come with toxic side effects, including PCBs, an environmental group opposed to ship scuttling contends.
But the group proposing the idea, backed by the Dana Point City Council, says all toxic material would be stripped from the craft, the USNS Kawishiwi, before it is placed underwater.
Should an old Navy ship be sunk off Dana Point to attract divers?
“There’s no way we would ever put a ship down with anything like PCBs, or any kind of pollutants in it,” said Ron Springer, part of a non-profit group called California Ships to Reefs. “We will follow the EPA guidelines to the letter.”
Divers gathered around the Yukon, a Canadian ship sunk off San Diego in 2000, on the 10th anniversary of the sinking. Photo by Patrick Smith, courtesy California Ships to Reefs, Inc.
The proposal by the Orange County representatives of the group, based in Wheatland, erupted into a minor controversy after a Washington Post story Sunday.
The story says PCB contamination in fish caught near the USS Oriskany, sunk off the Florida coast in 2006, spiked a year later, though levels have declined since.
PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are a class of organic compounds that had a variety of uses, including as coolant in transformers, before they were banned in the United States in because of neurotoxic effects.
“From what we are seeing, there are very little post-sinking studies,” said Colby Self of the Basel Action Network, which opposes sinking ships for use as reefs. “We are concerned about continuing the program when we see vessels with toxics in it, without really knowing the impacts.”
Members of the Ships to Reefs group said they would not seek the EPA waiver necessary to send a ship to the bottom with any contaminants still on it.
“We will clean her extensively,” he said. “We will take any of the fuels out, and have them washed out. We will pull all of the contaminated wire off the ship prior to ever putting her down.”
The Kawishiwa is now moored at the Suisan Bay Reserve Fleet near San Francisco.
Any attempt to sink the ship near Dana Point is at least three to five years away, Springer said.
State Fish and Game officials received confirmation July 5 from the Maritime Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, that the Kawishiwa is available to be “considered for reefing.”
But while the Dana Point City Council signaled its approval of the idea in 2008, more approvals are needed before it can be sunk; the sinking also would cost between $2.3 million and $5 million, said Ships to Reefs chief administrative officer Eleanore Rewerts.
“It’s not an inexpensive process,” said Kim Riddle, spokeswoman for the Maritime Administration.
Our July Club meeting went very well, we did not have a special speaker but had a good turn out and was a good divers social. We did discuss the Kawishiwi project and Ron Springer read a letter to the club and we talked about diving and new faces signed up.
Our next event is July 22-24 when the club will do a two day trip aboard the Bottom Scratcher.
We had a great turn out for the June club meeting we had Chris Fuller from Aqualung with some new gear to show us, Jimmy Stilley was home from HAwaii and shared a nice video of research diving at Captain Cooks and Mrs Kramer let us show a dvd from Catalina Island and Lake Perris of Adam her 10 year old boy learning to scuba dive with us!!
In June we all went to Long Beach for the scuba show, AL unfortunately saw everything in a wheel chair!!
Cheyenne and Montana had the chance to pose with Mr Wyland himeself wow what a talented man he is!
Here is AL before the show in his wheel chair with Cheyenne and Montana.
Below is Cheyenne who kindly volunteered on May 12th to try on a Commercial Hard Hat at the Dive Meeting. I really enjoyed the guest speaker and spoke from his heart about the life of a Commercial Diver.
Here I am with Montana at the Aquarium of the Pacific for Chamber night. We always have fun looking at all the marine life!!
The Chamber night is well endorsed by the diving community and the La Verne Eco Dive club has always had a table there too.
AL and I enjoy the evening looking around the Aquarium and spending time with our friends and family.
At our club meeting on February 10th at San Dimas I Hop we had a fascinating guest speaker who had been in the Army and now taught scuba diving to the handicapped troops returning from battle. It was hard to watch and listen to some of his experiences but his story was amazing.
Whites dry suit demo at Aqualung headquarters was a great day out and well worth the car trip to San Diego
Here we are at Aqualung testing out the dry suits!
Dave and Terri looking very professional!
Here we are listening to the Whites expert.
Testing out Whites Dry Suits!
In February the club went on a 2 day dive trip on the Bottom Scratcher despite heavy rain and wind it all disappeared and gave us some nice diving at the Oil rigs and around Catalina Island I was kept busy with Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver.
AL and Suzy after a weekend of diving.
The Captain of the Bottom Scratcher was amazing and he also played the bagpipes.
We did some great locations and the views were beautiful.
La Verne Eco Dive Club....2011 woo hoo
This is going to be a busy year, we had our first club meeting of 2011 on January 13th at San Dimas I Hop, it was VERY well attended and we also renewed our annual dues. The big news this year is the club involvement with Ships to Reefs and the project which will hopefully be approved in Dana Point.
Some of the Dive club did a dive survey at Dana Point to check out sediment and depth, it was a very cold and murky dive! But we all managed to have fun!
Al driving out to the dive spot
Chip, Suzy and Mike before diving to 115 feet to survey the ocean floor!
Here is John with his boat and some of the other research divers at Dana Point.
Californian Ships to Reefs is a 501 (C3) Non Profit public benefit corporation seeking to reef surplus ships as artificial reefs, bringing diving and fishing tourism to local ports in California and enhancing the ocean environment.For further information you can visit the organizations website at www.californiashipstoreefs.org
The sinking of the USS Kawishiwi!
Here are a few facts :
USNS KAWISHIWI (AO-146)
Built by New York Shipbuilding Co.,
Keel Laid . . . . . . . . . . 5 October 1953
Launched . . . . . . . 11 December 1954
Commissioned . . . . . . . . . 6 July 1955
Length . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 655 ft.
Beam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 ft.
Maximum.Draft . . . . . . . . . . 36ft-4in.
Displacement . . . . . . . . . . 40,177 tons
Horsepower . . . . . . . . . . 28,000 ahead
Horsepower . . . . . . . . . . 6,200 astern
Propeller . . . Twin, 4-blade, 18 ft dia.
Speed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 knots
Cargo Capacity . . . . . . 8,302,600.gals
The Origin of the name Kawishiwi:
Oilers of the U.S. Navy are named after rivers. Kawishiwi, the river for which named is in the upper NE corner of the state of Minnesota. The river was given its name by the Ojibway Indians and is translated into English as "River full of beavers' houses" The river itself rises in a cluster of lakes in Lake County and flows west through several small lakes and then forms two branches which join near White Iron Lake and flows North through Fall Lake to a chain of lakes on the Ontario line> The total length of the river is approximately 60 miles.
We are very excited about this project which would sink the Oiler at Dana Point, in doing so promote tourism and hopefully attract new aquatic life and making it a great destination for recreational divers as well as fishermen. Our very own Ron Springer is the Project Manager for this mammoth task... I will be up dating as I get more information as the project progresses.
Wow we have been busy at the Dive Club and this Thursday we had 45 members show up to listen to Al Blake talk about divers with disabilities!! We were all reduced to tears to see the amazing work being done by these individuals who selfishly teach people with no arms, no legs, blind and deaf to scuba dive really mind blowing. We are also diving on the 22nd on the Sun Diver boat and doing 3 dives.
Earlier in the month club members Jim and Linda opened up their home and pool deck for our first club swap meet!! It was a huge success a great social gathering and a good BBQ. This is what the club is about having good times together, diving and sharing stories.
The last meeting was to ask members who they wanted to have as President of the club again and make any changes to the Board, looks as if we will probably all keep our positions and Adam will step down as Treasurer and Jodi will replace him.
Oil Rig Day trip on the Sundiver Boat June 13th 2010
What a great dive club I belong to! Mike Richer our VP had set up a two tank dive on the oil rigs and we had 18 of us sign up! We left the Long Beach Dock sharp at 7am, Boat had plenty of room for all of us and did not feel like cattle! On the way out we had a HUGE pod of dolphins follow the boat and they put on quite a show surfing the waves from the boat! The Oil rigs were unbelievable, this is a bottomless dive! And you can look down a long way!! We had good vis, and before you knew it you were at depth quite fast! The color and life on the oil rigs was fantastic! Lots of marine life such as scallops, sheepheads, girabaldis, sea lions, Al took some great pictures on the second dive. Was a good day to dive and great company!
SCUBA SHOW LONG BEACH
Had a fantastic time at Long Beach scuba show. A lot of Dive club members were looking at new destinations and dreaming of new equipment while other members attended seminars for their knowledge to grow. I enjoyed meeting friends old and new in the industry, and looking at new equipment!
We had a great turn out at the Aquarium of the Pacific on Wednesday the 5th of May, supporting the Hyperbaric Chamber on Catalina Island we collectively raised $1,000 to become Gold sponsors of the evening. It was a great evening with good company for a great cause.
Our next dive meeting will be at I HOP 13th May 2010.
Now in April the La Verne Eco Dive Club is growing and we are working on many projects. In May we hope to become Gold Sponsors of the Aquarium of the Pacific Chamber Night, be at present have 22 members which will take up two tables at this gala for raising money for the Catalina Island Hyper barbaric chamber. We also have Ron Springer who is our contact with Ships to Reefs and we are incharge of a project involving sinking a ship at Dana Point. During the year we are planning on doing a few day dives on the local oil rigs to.
The La Verne Eco Dive Club keeps on growing. We had a great Christmas party at our home in December the house was FULL!
Al and I joined Mike, Adam and Joel for a night dive at Laguna Beach during the Christmas/New year week. Although it was a little cold we had a great dive lasting for 45 minutes!! Followed the small wall to 50 feet! The tide was quite high but we all made the shore safely!
In 2010, we are hoping to do quite a bit of diving and start diving in our dry suits! The club meets every month on the second Thursday at San Dimas I HOP. We are looking forward to a varied guest speaker schedule as well as boat trips and shore dives, outings and clean ups!
JANUARY 14th saw our first dive meeting of 2010 at San Dimas I Hop!
Our turn out was great and we had new members sign up and a fantastic guest speaker Robin Brooch who works for National Geographic and shared some amazing stories and underwater footage from his world travels spanning 20 to 30 years
We also had Ron one of our members very proudly tell us of the Ships To Reefs latest purchase which happens to be the USS MOUNT HOOD. Our dive club is going to help get it ready to sink in the Ocean at Dana Point. This is huge and in 2009 Al, Mike, Ron and my self actually surveyed the sink area. We hope by sinking the USS MOUNT HOOD, we will create an artificial reef. full of aquatic life and encourage more divers to the area!
Here is the dive club after a day of diving in Dec 2010.
Tammy and I pose for photos before finishing off her advanced open water on this dive trip.
We had Dr Bill who came to our dive club meeting all the way from Catalina Island, was great to hear about his adventures under the waves and enjoyed his wealth of knowledge.
We had an amazing guest speaker called Tony Wiley who was a hard het diver in the navy and boy oh boy what a story and journey he shared it was a privilage to have him at the meeting. He now owns a shop in Riverside called Wileys Dive Locker.
In 2010 we were invited to the Californian Science Museum, we had a good turn out of members.It was very educational and fun at the same time!
Our second clean up was in 2009 at Cresent Bay Laguna, We had a great turn out and everyone received Project Aware Certificates!
The Club did its first Project Aware clean up at Lake Perris it was quite amazing how many bottles and cans we found in the lake!
Here is Henri while some of us scuba dived a few of us cleaned up the beach area
We had a few designs for our new logo and this one nearly made the mark, but in the end we decided to get rid of the Hammerhead and replace it with the Californian State Fish a girabaldi and use a dive flag background with two divers
Here the club enjoys a dive on the YUKON a sunken treasure in San Diego off Mission Bay, it is 366 ft long and we felt like ants on this giant ship!