Boston Scuba Show: March 1st

The Boston Scuba Show & Dive Patrol are back in action on March 1st from 10am-3pm. Below is the official flyer with show details. 

The Dive Patrol presents


March 1 st , 2014 – 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. (see the whole show from your own comfortable chair)

Holiday Inn, Rte U.S. 1 (north), Peabody, Mass.


Directed by Alan Budreau, Audio-Visual by Linda and Kerry Hurd

Featuring (not the order of presentations)



with Diver Ed Monat (Dive Theatre of Maine); Dave Norman – an original North Atlantic underwater photographer, featured in his Cape Ann film; Fred and Chris’ new in-water movie, DIVING THE GLOUCESTER PENINSULA; Dallas and Linda Edmiston, GREAT LAKES DIVING; RECREATIONAL REBREATHERS by Alex Dulavitz of EAST COAST DIVERS; Alex Shure’s in-water explorations; Janet MacCausland’s SLIPPING INTO THE INDO PACIFIC; Bill Lovin’s RETURN TO TRUK LAGOON, with Deb Greenhalgh and Steve Lubas.

Be a member of the group picture with Jonathan Bird (copies available)


Tickets at $15 at the door…or contact Chris Christensen, 2 Ocean Ave (1-H), Gloucester Mass 01930 check payable to The Dive Patrol


THE BOSTON SCUBA SHOW is not an equipment exposition.

If you want to see the latest scuba gear visit your local dive shop – you can handle all the gear, and have your questions answered by the authorities there…and there’s no charge.

Underwater in Salem Sound: Local Lecture Series

We aDr. Brad Hubeny, professor of geologic sciences at Salem State University, shown here coring in Salem Sound with graduate students, is one of the featured speakers in this year's Coastwatch speaker excited that Salem Sound Coastwatch and Marblehead’s Abbot Public Library are sponsoring the “Underwater in Salem Sound” lectures again! The lectures will be held the last Wednesday of every month, January through April. These lectures are FREE and held at the Abbot Public Library at 7:00pm. 

February 26th: “History Revealed by the Sea Floor” presented by Dr. Brad Hubery

March 26th: “Changing Climate, Changing Fisheries” presented by Dr. Mike Armstrong

April 30th: “Shellfish, Shellfish Everywhere and Not a Clam to Eat” presented by Barbara Warren.

For more details on the presenters and topics head over to:


For more information, contact Salem Sound Coastwatch at 978-741-7900 or email

Dive Society Recap 6-12-13

back beachThis stormy weather is getting old but we were able to sneak a dive in at Back Beach last night before the Nor’easter really disrupts diving. Gusty NNW winds caused a little surface current but other than that conditions looked good. There was a lot of the red algae at the shoreline which made entry at low tide a bit difficult.  I’ll be happy when this finally clears up.

Visibility was 5-10 feet and the water is getting much warmer.  There was schooling Pollock which disappeared as soon as two very large Stripers showed up. These guys are like Tarpon in the Caribbean, they just appear in front of you close enough to touch… looking for a handout I suppose. Exploring the reef we found a lobster trap graveyard with flounder and one large Searaven using it for cover. Lobsters,  crab, skates also were out and about.

back beach 2Time: 46min.    

Depth: 25ft.        

Vis: 5-10ft.         

Temp: 54deg.

Dive Society: Old Garden Beach (5/29/13)

We finally got in the water last night and officially kicked off Dive Society. The weather has been rough but thunder showers predicted for dive time were pushed out a few hours. It was a gray but warm evening, not bad at all for

We decided Old Garden Beach would be our best bet. They recently cleared the beach of debris from all of the winter storms.  There was evidence of the stormy weather as much red seaweed and algae covered the shoreline but it was visibly better just a few yards offshore. We headed out off the beach into the sand to find dozens of skates, some very large. We continued into the reef and there were just as many there too. Skates look pretty cool swimming over the rocks, a nice contrast as opposed to buried in the sand. There were several large decorator crabs about, a few flounder and some good size lobster. A school of Pollock accompanied us throughout the dive. A better dive than I anticipated.

Dive Details: 

Leader: Tom Conway

Time: 48min. Depth: 34ft. Vis: 10ft. Temp: 50deg.

Local Marine Life: Atlantic Torpedo Ray

Our goal is to show you how great diving in New England is. We have begun to tell you about the local dive sites, now we want to show you what marine life you can see around here. From now on we will be featuring local marine life and give you tips on where to spot them! This week we talk about the Atlantic Torpedo Ray.

torpedorayterritoryThe Atlantic Torpedo Ray is found on both sides of the Atlantic. In the west, its territory ranges from Nova Scotia to Brazil. In the east, you can find them from Scotland to Morocco. We also have the opportunity to view and encounter these animals. You can find these rays locally at Folly’s Cove, Lane’s Cove, Plum Cove and the pigeon cove area of Rockport/Gloucester. They tend to hang out in waters of 30ft or deeper.

These animals are bottom dwellers. You will find them nestled and buried in the sand in the daytime. They are nocturnal animals, so you will find them out swimming at night, most likely on the hunt for food. They are generally docile creatures and seem to glide by when swimming.

ray2You can identify the Torpedo Ray by its large round body with a large paddle-shaped caudal fin. Their eyes are small and set apart. Both dorsal fins are located on the tail, one larger than the other. The electric organs are located on the pectoral fins on either side of the head, which gives the rays skin a honeycomb-like appearance. They are dark brown/gray and some might show light spots on its body. The average size is anywhere from 2ft-5ft and a weight of around 30lbs. The largest Atlantic Torpedo Ray was reported at 5.9 feet and a weight of 198 pounds!

The Torpedo Ray feeds on primarily large benthic and pelagic fish such as dogfish, flounder, small sharks and mullet. The rays feed by lying motionless on the sandy bottom until their prey is close enough to them where they can “pounce” on them, wrap their pectoral fins around the prey and send the electric shocks to kill the animal. They maneuver the prey to their mouth and swallow it whole. Their jaw can distend so it can swallow much bigger prey than most expect based on the width of the mouth when closed.

A large Torpedo Ray can deliver a shock of electricity ranging from 170-220 volts. To give you can idea of that power, a standard wall plug gives out about 120 volts. So you don’t want to get too close to these guys! Torpedo_peruana,I_RR3489

As a diver, you need to be cautious of what is around you, especially marine life. Make sure if you decide to lie on the sandy bottom to catch lobsters or to take a photo that one of these rays is not buried in the sand beneath you. Other than watching where you are going, these creatures do not pose any threat to you while diving. It is actually quite a treat to see one of these rays!

Folly Cove: Torpedo Ray Video

Dive Travel: Grand Cayman

As you know we love traveling and are always looking for new places to run group trips.  We are excited to announce that we will be headed to a new destination, Grand Cayman! Grand Cayman is an amazing place for divers and non-divers with its oh-so-accessible dive sites to its seven mile beach to its beautiful botanical gardens.

cayman_mapAbout Grand Cayman:

The Cayman Islands lie in the far Western Caribbean, closer to the equator than most people think. While the real beauty of Grand Cayman lies beneath the water, there is still plenty to see on land. Grand Cayman, the most cosmopolitan of the three Cayman Islands, blends rich local tradition with international attractions to create a truly unique atmosphere. From stunning 7 Mile Beach to George Town, the islands’ capitol, Grand Cayman offers something for everyone. Dive, snorkel, or simply splash in the warm, crystal clear waters that are the islands’ hallmark. Whether you are looking for the adventure of a lifetime or just a few days of respite, Grand Cayman is the quintessential “place to be”. During the time we will be vacationing there, air temperatures will range from 72 – 86 and water temperatures range from 78-82 degrees.  Grand Cayman offers more than your typical sun, sand and sea island vacation. Not only does Grand Cayman offer dream –like diving but it also is home to many other non-diving activities. With unique heritage sites, one of a kind cultural events and some of the world’s best diving, Cayman offers an experience, like no other. Some of Grand Cayman’s most unique attractions include, Stingray City, Pedro St. James, the Botanical Gardens, and Black Pearl Skate and Surf Park. Year round events like the famed Pirates Week, allow entire families to enjoy interactive activities in an idyllic island setting.

sunset-houseSunset House Resort:

Step out of your room, feel the sunshine on your face, catch a breath of fragrant tropical breeze, gaze into the alluring blue water and you’ll have found the beginning of why guests love Sunset House. Everything you have dreamed for a Caribbean Dive Vacation is here! From the exotic palm trees to an amazing house reef; from 5 custom dive boats, to a famous underwater photographer; from amazing Caribbean concoctions, to spicy Indian dishes; they all await you! And combined with warm Caymanian hospitality, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to visit this West Indian oasis, or why you haven’t come back sooner.

img_6591_1Set on a coastal road about 3/4 miles (1.2km) south of George Town, this is a well-recommended hotel whose rooms are divided among a quintet of two-story pink-sided outbuildings. Accommodations are simple, no-nonsense, and comfortable. This place is favored by divers and snorkelers, who appreciate the jagged, mostly rock shoreline (site of excellent snorkeling possibilities) and the extensive diving programs.

Two good reasons for staying here are direct access to the hotel’s much-praised restaurant, SeaHarvest, and its sprawling bar, My Bar, which is especially busy every Friday night. About 80% of the guests staying at the hotel here are scuba enthusiasts; and about 80% of the clients at the hotel’s bar and restaurant are full-time island residents.

Diving & Marine Life:

The Cayman Islands 250 dive sites (soon to be 365) are sure to leave even the most seasoned divers awestruck; with deep dramatic walls adorned with sponges and corals, shallow reefs of fish and small invertebrates, and an assortment of famous wrecks, all in perfect 80 degree water. Visibility often exceeds 100 feet revealing some of the world’s most diverse aquatic life. Grand Cayman is also home to the world’s best 12 foot dive, the legendary Stingray City. With an abundance of experienced, highly professional Sunset Divers instructors, numerous snorkel and dive sites accessible by boat or straight from shore, Grand Cayman is the ideal setting to explore the underwater realm. Whether you choose to snorkel or dive from our legendary reef just off shore, or seek a more thrill filled wreck dive, or an amazing wall dive, Grand Cayman and Sunset Divers has a dive site for every type of diver.

ShoredivingShore Diving:

Sunset House has something on Grand Cayman that most dive operators don’t. That something is our very own – on the property – don’t have to go anywhere but here – world class – shore diving. Unlimited shore diving is included in all dive packages. When you get back from the morning two tank dive – have a quick lunch – and you can just jump right back into the Caribbean waters. Afternoon dives, night dives what ever you want! The dive shop has a dive site map and the dive staff would be happy to brief you on the highlights of the dive so you don’t miss them.

Once you’re in the water you will immediately see why it is one of the best around. For starters the water is a little over 80 degrees all year long. The giant stride into the ocean is just about 20 yards from the pool and bar…where you land in 12 feet of Caribbean water. There you can do some buoyancy checks, make sure everything is working and then away you go. We have resident turtles and eels and even a Manta has been seen on occasion. The dive shop has a site map for you to look at before diving and guided dives are offered for anyone that would like a little moral support on the first dive. The sites major landmarks, or watermarks should we say are the Wreck of the Nicholson and Amphitrite, a 9 foot tall bronze mermaid waiting to greet you…both in 50 FSW.

nightdiveNight Diving:

What a dilema this is! On one hand we have one of the best shore dives on the island day or night. As a guest of Sunset House you have 24/7 access during your stay. On the other hand you could sign up for a night boat dive. Anytime six or more divers want to go night diving we will get a boat ready and take you to any of the numerous dive site just minutes from our dock. If you want to do a night dive from shore just come on in and sign out a tank before the dive shop closes. Put that tank in your locker until your ready to go night diving. If you would like to do a boat night dive you can come on into the dive shop anytime and put your name on the Night Dive sign up sheet. We need 6 people to go but you will be amazed at how many people come out of the woodwork when there is a night dive announced. Most of the time divers request a dive on the wreck of the Balboa. This is a wreck just minutes from the dock and located in the Harbour. Either way night diving in the clear warm water of the Caribbean is as good as it gets! Remember night dives are not included in any packages so make sure you sign up at the dive shop as soon as you check in – to reserve your spot!

mermaidpicsThe Mermaid: Amphitrite Video

Amphitrite has been overseeing Sunset Reef for seven years now. She has graced the cover of Skin Diver Magazine, Sport Diver Magazine, Scuba Diving Magazine and numerous others.

At the time, General Manager Keith Sahm purchased the mermaid from Simon Morris, a famed sculptor from Canada, to ease the pressure off the resort’s famous and delicate reef. Amphitrite is actually a 9 foot tall bronze mermaid and was carefully put underwater at the edge of Sunset Reef. Today she sits in 55′ and keeps an ever present watch over our reef. She is a favorite for photo enthusiasts (she is the only creature that seems to stay still for photographers) and makes for great group photos. But be careful, take a long look at her. There are all kinds of growth on her in particular, through her hair! The longer she is down there, the more her beauty comes out!

To find the mermaid just jump in at the ladder and swim straight out until the reef drops from 30 FSW to 50 FSW into the sand. Hang a right and keep the reef on your right side and you will swim smack dab into her domain. Less than 10 minutes from shore you can visit and photograph the most famous mermaid underwater.


Many airlines fly to Grand Cayman including American Airlines, United, US Airways and Delta. Newly released is a direct flight by JetBlue to Grand Cayman from Boston which travels on Saturdays. At the moment you can only book through December, so keep looking for price updates on flights. Most flights will average from $400 to $650 for a round-trip ticket.

boys on boat

Group Leader:

Shaun Maguire will be your group leader. Shaun in an experience PADI Instructor and has been running trips for 5 years now. He is there to help you with anything you might need while on vacation so you don’t have to worry about anything but having fun in the sun!

For more information:

Undersea Divers Grand Cayman Trip: January 18th -25th, 2014 Click HERE for trip details

Sunset House Website:

Gear Breakdown: Aqualung SolAfx Wetsuit


For this month’s equipment blog post we will be featuring Aqualung’s SolAfx Semi Dry Wetsuit. This wetsuit is undeniably the most popular suit we sell.  We see divers heading out in this suit in all seasons.  It’s not diving in cold water that we dislike, it’s being cold while diving. But thanks to Aqualung and the SolAfx, you no longer have to be cold.

The SolAfx is a semi-dry wetsuit. The suit is made up of Aqualung’s aqua flex neoprene so you can be warm and comfortable at the same time. The suit is 8mm in the torso and 7mm in the limbs for better flexibility. These are the thicknesses of the neoprene before nylon gets added.

The suit features “in-skin” gaskets in the forearms and calves which minimizes water entry. This means that the suit will initially let water in, your body then warms that water up and there will be little water exchange which means you won’t have that cold water moving in and out of your suit, which in turn means you stay warmer.

Another feature of the suit we like is the attached hood. Having an attached hood is great because there is no cold rushing water entering the neck. The hood also features what Aqualung calls their Vent G2 Technology. This vent technology allows trapped regulator exhaust bubbles to exit while keeping cold water out.

aqrosnetshop_5040500500The suit also features an across-the-chest Plasmaloc zipper which has a tighter tolerance and a unique integrated tooth design that makes the zipper more water resistant than most other suits. Along with the zipper, the suit features a water dam. This water dam covers the neck and shoulders to add another level of protection against any water ingress through the zipper.

The kneepads featured on this suit are made up of several independent panels that allow stretch and comfort combined with ruggedness.

This suit comes in 1 color (Black with Silver Graphics). The red and pink graphics are now gone.

There is both a women’s suit running in sizes from 4-14 and men’s suit sizes run from XS to 3XL. The SolAfx retails at $535.00.

Want to hear from an actual customer who wears this suit? Check out Jerry Shine’s review of the SolAfx suit here.

Sizing Chart

Wetsuit Maintenance & Care

Local Diver Profile

This month we are featuring Dave Norman as our Local Diver. You can find him snapping photos or speaking at one of our photo society meetings. He is a seasoned New England Diver and can give you some tips and tricks with your scuba and photography skills.

How long have you been diving? 

43 years

How were you introduced into Scuba Diving?

I grew up 2 blocks from Revere Beach and spent countless hours at the beach – swimming, looking for shells and other “treasures” thrown onshore after a storm.  I was primed for it.  After I graduated from college, my first job was teaching at a high school in central Maine.  Cold nights and not a lot of social life.  Heard a radio advertisement for SCUBA lessons at Colby College, a few miles away.  I didn’t own a car and offered one of my high school students to pay for the class if he would drive each week.  A deal was struck and I’ve been diving since.

How many dives do you have logged? 

Who can remember…

What kind of diving do you personally enjoy?

My primary reason for diving is observing / photographing marine life.

What’s your favorite dive site on the North Shore? 

Folly Cove – it has a wide variety of diving – wall on the left, sand/reef in the center, rocky shore on the right.  It’s shallow near the beach and 60 feet at the mouth.   That’s great potential.

Why do you love New England diving so much? 

The variety – I used to give a slide presentation describing  3 facets of diving New England – Eastport, ME; Cape Ann; and blue shark diving off the coast of Rhode Island.   All are a car ride away.

What was your favorite scuba trip? 

The past 2 years I made 2 dive trips to the Bahamas to shark dive that were exhilarating, but over the years 2 trips stand out: one to Grand Turk Island and another to British Columbia.

Do you have any trips planned in the future? 

Yes, St. Vincent.

Do you have a favorite piece of gear and why? 

Fenzy – hands down the most durable, practical, and useful piece of SCUBA equipment since Cousteau developed the regulator.

What is the best marine animal you have ever seen? 

Diving with sea lions in British Columbia – they are fast, big and there’s no dive master feeding them!  You’re on your own –more exhilarating than shark diving in the Bahamas.

What advice can you give someone just starting out with underwater photography?

Join a group like the Photo Society at Undersea Divers.

Sit and observe when you’re in the water.

Analyze and critique your results when you’re out of the water.

What type of camera system do you use?  

Nikon D200, Ikelite housing and Ikelite strobes.

Best advice for a new diver?

SCUBA diving is about buoyancy, breathing, and relaxing:

Know how to adjust your weights to be neutrally buoyant at the surface.

Know how to breathe to regulate your buoyancy underwater.


Dive Site Profile: Folly Cove

follyFolly Cove is one of the most popular dive sites around. The dive site is situated right on the border of Rockport and Gloucester. There is always interesting marine life here and with its different topographies this dive site is loved by photographers. We highly recommend making it a 2 tank dive so you can visit both the left and right sides. Whether you are shore or boat diving, you will enjoy this dive.

Bottom Composition: Folly Cove has two different sides you can dive. On the left side you will find a sheer rock wall that can drop down to 75 at the end of the cove. This beautiful rock wall is covered in colorful anemones, urchins and sea cucumbers. On the right hand side you will find a boulder pasture than drops down to 50ft at its deepest point. The middle of the cove is mostly sandy with a patch of rocks in the middle.

sculpin with crabMarine Life: Folly Cove is a great site to see a wide range of marine life. You can see colorful anemones, urchins, flounder, nudibranchs, sea ravens, torpedo rays, squid, lobsters, sea cucumbers, sand dollars and much more!

Parking: Parking is not easy at this site. The 4 or 5 parking spots there are Resident Only.  Most people will drop their gear off with one diver at the actual dive site then drive down the street to park near the Lobster Pool Restaurant. It’s a quick walk/bike ride back. (If the cove is on your left, drive about .2 miles until you see the restaurant on your left side)

Entry/Exit: This site is a bit harder to dive from shore. There is a dirt path down a small slope from the parking lot to the beach. The entire beach is covered with big boulders and small rocks so this site is easier to dive at high tide. While it is still a great dive at low tide, the slippery rocks can be a hazard.

Weather: Stay away from this site if there is a North wind.

BONUS: On occasion you can find a torpedo ray hanging out here. He likes to move around the Lanesville area, sometimes finding him at Lanes Cove.

Watch this video of the Torpedo Ray by Bert Perry: VIDEO

Experience Level: Moderate (due to hard entry/exit) Easy dive once you are in the water!

Gear Breakdown: Suunto Cobra


For this month’s equipment blog post we will be featuring the Suunto Cobra Dive Computer. We have been selling this computer for about 10 years and we can happily vouch for how great this computer really is.

The Cobra is an air-integrated console-mounted dive computer. Air integrated means the computer will monitor and display your tank pressure, track your rate of air consumption and continuously calculates your remaining air time.  (Beats calculating those dive tables, huh!) You can operate the Cobra in 3 modes, air, nitrox and gas.


Another great feature is the RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubble Model). This algorithm enables continuous decompression for optimal ascent time. A back-light will activate automatically when the dive alarm goes off, making the dive parameters clearly visible and legible for peak safety.  To read more about the RGBM click here.

There is also a built in Dive Planner & Simulator. Using these features, you can test upcoming dives and view no-decompression and decompression time data for different depths before getting in the water! The Cobra has an extensive logbook and profile memory so you can look back at all of your dives. It will provide 36 hours of memory which records all important data.


You have the option of adding the SK7 Compass onto your console for easy to read navigation. This compass sits at a 30 degree angle for easy viewing. We find that most of the time people will upgrade to the SK7 Compass and love it!

Maintenance: Don’t forget! When you purchase a new Suunto Computer from us at Undersea Divers, we give you a FREE ANNUAL BATTERY CHANGE FOR LIFE!

Why our instructor loves his Cobra: “I love that the computer is compact and easy to use and tells me how much air I have at my current breathing rate and depth. It makes it easy and safe which I love, especially being in the water with students all the time.”

Cost: Best news about the Cobra?! The price has been reduced!

Cobra  $599           Cobra with SK7 Compass  $669

Watch a video of how the Suunto Cobra works here

For more information about the Suunto Cobra click here