July 2020

MUD Club

Club meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 21, 2020 is CANCELLED

Though we are for the most part still in a “state of quarantine” local diving activities continue to be on the upswing. Get wet when & if you can but please observe social distancing techniques to protect yourself and others.

It has also been suggested that interested members attend “Tankful Tuesdays” dives or alternate dives as much as possible as an alternate to the monthly meeting whether diving or just providing shore support.  Stay tuned to the club Facebook page for diving opportunities.

With the restriction on class sizing and spacing being discussed by schools along with the cost to maintain them is a high state of cleanliness, the Club needs to consider options for holding monthly meeting in the future.

Most other organizations are having the same problem. Some groups are holding “Zoom” meetings. If any member has experience on using this method to conduct meetings, please drop the club officer’s information on how this could be done and how successful it has been for them.

Remember to continue checking with the Divers Alert Network (DAN) for additional updates on COVID-19 and its effects on divers who have survived having it.

https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/

Also do not forget to tune into “ScubaObsessed”, the longest running Scuba related pod cast in the USA and hosted by the Mud Clubs own Darrin Jillison. Check him out on most Thursday evenings and join in the chat room at around 9:30.   https://www.facebook.com/scubaobsessed/

Diving Notes:

St. Joseph River – Niles:  There were excellent river conditions on the

July 7, 12, and 14 Dives at Riverfront Park in Niles. On those dates there was low water level, very manageable current going across the river and good visibility for grubbing.  BUT, after heavy rains before this weekend the river conditions changed and the river is up considerably, the current is back to FAST that last 1/3 distance to the other side.  It is very doable and fun to dive on the park side and if you dig bottles will (may) appear 😊

We are taking a breather from posting newsletters from yesteryear, but they may be back.

Diver Hacks (And other stuff YOU already knew, Right?)

Use gel baby oil or baby shampoo to make it easy to wiggle into your wetsuit especially if it has been awhile since you last put it on.  I know, its common knowledge that they shrink over the winter when left alone in the dark.  Note that baby shampoo is better than using spit, even cut down to 50/50 it works great.

If not using shampoo, placing a thin plastic bag, like the ones you get when shopping at Meijer’s, over your hand or foot helps them slide right through the sleeves or legs.

Buy a moldable regulator mouthpiece that conforms to your specific bite This provides maximum support of the regulator, reduces jaw fatigue and headaches.

When is the last time you stretched your fin straps to check for cracks? Have you considered changing out to spring straps?

While you are at it, when is the last time you “really” inspected your mask strap? You do carry a backup mask on dive trips, don’t you?

Have you sharpened your dive knife lately and coated it with a layer of car wax or silicone lubricant to prevent rust? Have you cleaned and lubed your knife sheath and checked its locking mechanism for proper operation?

All black fins, gloves, booties, and hoods look alike?  T or F?  So, do you have your name or identifying mark on all your gear with labels, U/W marker paint or have affixed waterproof stickers with your name written on them? 

Did you know a candle stub makes a good emergency zipper lube?

Do you get your BC tank straps wet before setting up on your tank to get a more secure attachment? This can make a difference as the strap tends to stretch when in the water.  This is especially good to do if you have a new BCD or if the strap in your buoyancy compensator has become stiff from infrequent use.

Do you have a spare tank valve O-ring?  When was the last time you just “really” inspected you tank valve O-ring? Do you occasionally change it out as just cheap dive insurance? 

Diver Do’s – The question really is “Do You”?

How often do you Inspect and Service your dive gear before you go to the dive location- especially if far away from home?

Have you made and use a Dive Equipment Check List when gathering gear for a dive? 

Is your list different for a summer, fall or winter dive?  Does it include different needs for a river, lake, ice, or wreck dive?

Do you and your buddies ALWAYS have and discuss your Dive Plan before the dive? Does your plan have contingencies and does everyone understand those contingencies?

Dive Debrief: After Dive, have you and your buddy been debriefing?

1) Did both of you identify what you think went well and as planned in your dive.

2) Did either of you identify what you think did not go as planned and why?

3) Did you & your buddy identify any actions learned or reinforced about the dive?

REMEMBER:

There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence.

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