November 2017

MUD Club

Next Meeting: Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Andrews University – Biology Amphitheater, Price Hall – Berrien Springs, MI

Meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.   (3rd Tuesday of every month except December)

November Meeting:

Normal Meeting sequence is as follows:

  1. Introduce Visitors.
  2. Present Specific Club Information – November Elections.

President – VP – Treasurer – Newsletter/ publicity

A drawing will be held for members attending the November meetings for an “Aqua              Flare” useful for those night river dives. There will be a December Newsletter w/ news          years dive information

  1. Identify dive events upcoming or planned. (Dives & Road Trips).

The Turkey Dive is Sat, Nov 25. Confirm Location & Time.

Identify volunteers to help Karen& Barb setup & takedown warming tent & food setup.

Who will volunteer to be there as shore support? Who has a DAN O2 kit they will bring?

Will someone, who is not diving, volunteer to be the dive safety officer?

  1. Identify & discuss diving related news important to divers.
  2. Present any Show & Tell.
  3. Attendees speak about current diving experiences or lessons learned.
  4. Open session.

 October Meeting Highlights:

There were 18 members present and no guests. Bob Sweeney spoke about attending the Great Lakes Wrecking Crew (GLWC) Meet & Greet at Gilboa Quarry and the dives there. Kevin Ailes spoke about providing lake safety support for a Triathlon event and dive on the Ironsides where the bottom temp was 36F, Thirsty Thursdays dives have been sparsely attended partly due to the time change and they are now River Night dives. Darrin Jillison brought in a newly made grappling hook for construction comment and possible future sales.  Mary Beth ended the meeting by discussing boat operation and a Boat Operator Quiz (with prizes for the most correct answer) then held the drawing for the diver “Flair” which Larry B won.

2017 Diver Related Events:

  • Turkey Dive (MUD Club) – Location TBD – 12:00 PM, Saturday, November 25 –

Brenda Bower, Senior Producer of WNIT Public TV, is scheduled to be there.

  • News Years Gathering & Dive (MUD Club) – Location TBD – Sunday, December 31

2018 Diver Related Events:

  • “Our World-Underwater XLVIII”, Chicago, Il; Feb 17-18
  • “Upper Midwest Scuba & Adventure Travel Show”, Duluth, MN; March 3rd
  • “Great Lakes Shipwreck Festival”, Washtenaw College, Ann Arbor: March 3rd
  • “Ghost Ships Festival” 2018, Milwaukee, WI; Mar – Dates Unconfirmed
  • “Mysteries & Histories” Shipwreck Show, Holland, MI; – March 24

 Thrill of the Chill Dives:

“Thirsty Thursdays” morphed to “Thursday Night dives” has now become “Thrill of the Chill” dives. As always please keep updating the club site on Facebook for “Time & Place” for Dives.  Remember that day light is getting to be a premium for the dive so consider putting a light on your flag or float and consider shortening your dive. Remember that the leaves are coming.  (If you dive the river you know what that means J )

Check out these dive shops that Muddy Divers use:

Wolf’s Marine Dive Shop Benton Harbor, MI (

Sub Aquatic Sports & Service Battle Creek, MI (

Divers Inc. Ann Arbor, MI (

Hart City Scuba Elkhart, IN (

Just Add H2O South Bend, IN [Michiana Divers] (

Altek Sports West Michigan Adaptive Diving Zeeland, MI (

Divers Corner:

Regulator Standards – What is that unobtrusive lettering on your first stage?


EN 250 is an assurance that your regulator can deliver quality breathing performance beyond the recreational depth limit. Your regulator is designed to operate to 165 ft. and below 50°F with unchanged breathing performance in the first and second stage. The octopus will not perform to the same specifications and its use is not recommended below 100 ft.

EN250 is the requirements of the European standard for diving equipment to meet the demands placed on it at depth and under high breathing loads. It means that that regulator has been tested to make sure it will deliver gas at acceptable depths at acceptable temperatures in any situation.


The new standards decided in 2014 outline how an octopus rig, single 1st stage and two 2nd stages, is not the preferred option if you’re diving deeper than 98.4 ft. (30m) or water colder than 50°F (10°C).  If you are diving in colder waters or deeper than 98.4 ft. (30m) then it is advised that you only use one 2nd stage per 1st stage.


Your regulator is designed to operate to 165 ft. and below 50°F with unchanged breathing performance in the first and second stage as well as the octopus.

EN250A tests the 1st stage with a demand on the primary and alternate demand valve to simulate two divers breathing off a single 1st stage.  If the 1st stage can deliver gas to two 2nd stage’s, it will have EN250A stamped somewhere on it.  If your regulator has EN250A stamped on it then an octopus’ setup should be fine even in colder deeper waters but dual valves will always be recommended.

EN250A >50°F (10°C)

With the new EN250:2014 regulators that are not designed for cold water will have to have to be marked with “>50°F (10°C)” somewhere on the 1st and 2nd stages. ‘Cold Water’ is defined as water temperature below “>50°F (10°C), and regulators marked with EN250A are tested to a temperature of 39.2°F (4°C). Smaller, lighter regulators do not have enough metal parts to act as a heat sync and absorb heat from the water to prevent icing up in cold waters so it should only be used in warmer waters.

CE0078 (or some variation) is the stamp of the center that tested the regulator.

Side Note:

There are currently both philosophical and quantitative differences between European standards and the U.S. Navy standard for cold water regulator testing. The Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) has developed testing procedures that are more rigorous than the EN 250 tests currently used by European nations.

Cold water being defined as 37°F (2.8° C) in salt water. In fresh water 38°F may pose a risk of ice accumulation in the regulator second stage, with resultant free-flow.

Polar Waters / Frigid waters defined as 28°F (-2°C)

That uncertainly also explains the U.S. Antarctic Program’s policy of requiring fully redundant first and second stage regulators, and a sliding isolator valve that a diver can use to secure his gas flow should one of the regulators free flow.

The Navy’s primary interest is in avoiding regulator free-flow under polar waters / frigid waters(28°F). The breathing effort, which is a focal point of the EN 250 standard, is of lesser importance.

Risk factors for an icing event are diving depth, scuba bottle pressure, ventilation (flow) rate, regulator design, and time. In engineering terms, mass and heat transfer flow rates, time and chance determine the outcome of a dive in cold water.

Water in non-polar regions can easily range between and 34°F to 38°F; at those temperatures, gas entering the second stage regulator can be at sub-freezing temperatures. European standard organizations classify 50°F (~10°C) as the cold/non-cold boundary. The Navy has found in the modern, high-flow regulators tested to date that 42°F is the water temperature where second stage inlet temperature is unlikely to dip below freezing.

The last thing a cold-water diver should want is to make it easier to get more gas. High gas flows mean higher temperature drops and greater risk of free flow.

My advice to all Muddies is to watch what the Navy is putting on their authorized for cold-water service list. The small number of regulators that show up on that list have passed the most rigorous testing in the world.

Remember: “It’s better to finish your dive before you finish your gas”

Mack (The Dive Mentor)


 Note that words of wisdom are most often generated from an adverse learning “experience”

 Examples are:  Surface support is seldom thought about until its needed.

It’s easy to get into the water but how easy is it to get out?                                                           Think about it before you enter the water and “Be prepared!”

 Remember: ANYONE can call off a dive at any time.  In other words, it’s always OK to say “No”.

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