August 2012 FCDA Surface Interval.



August 2012 FCDA Surface Interval.
August 2012
Volume 19 Issue 8
Inside this Issue
The Presidents’ Corner
page 1
FCDA Donors I
page 2
July Meeting Raffle
page 3
Events of Interest to
FCDA Members
page 3
FCDA Member Ads page 3
Members of the Month
pages 4, 5
FCDA Donors II
page 4
page 5
German U-Boat
Discovered Off New
England Coast
page 6
Astronauts Train for
Asteroid Mission
Underwater by Maureen
page 7
Next FCDA Meeting
page 8
The Presidents’ Corner
by Mike Cassetta
The days are getting shorter
and summers coming to an
end, boo hoo. The good news
is there is still plenty of diving
to be had.
The July meeting was extremely well attended. Capt
Noel shared footage of his trip
to the Maldives. Overall, this
looks like it would be an extremely exciting expedition.
On Friday, August 24th, we
will have our annual FCDA
movie night. This year's film
will be the thriller Open Water.
The film's major focus is how
to run a dive charter, giving
folks that up close animal encounter and the importance of
“good customer service”. It is
actually based on a kinda true
We will plan to do a cookout
prior to meeting, weather permitting. A small grill will be
available for everyone to use.
Please bring your own meat for
grilling, but as usual at our
meetings,. beverages will be
available for purchase at the
September will be members
present night. So far we have
several victims going to share
short videos. If anybody else is
interested, please let Matt or
me know. We additionally, are
looking for featured guests for
both October and November.
Once again, shark week is
on Discovery Channel. As
usual, air jaws is being featured, and lots of talk about
large predatory sharks. Certainly the recent attack on the
Cape is fueling the excitement.. I think it would be good
if they featured other species
besides the white sharks, we'll
see how it goes.
Advice for the month: don't
walk outside in your socks in
the rain. That also applies to
Well, “That's all folks”..
Page 2
FCDA Donors
The business listed on this page has donated
dive gear and dive services to help support the
Fairfield County Diving Association.
New England's Tech Diving Center!
New England Dive Center
476 North Colony Street
Wallingford, CT 06492
Fax 203-284-1355
UWATEC, Oceanic,
C r e s s i - S u b ,
P o s e i d o n ,
P.O. Box 3005,
Fairfield, CT 06824
Internet mail: [email protected]
2012 Board
Matt Rownin &
Mike Cassetta
Vice-President Mark Shannon
Secretary Charles Blanchette
Paul J. Gacek
The region's foremost
source for scuba and
technical diving gear,
everything for the
serious tech diver.
Atlantis I
and rental.
New England Dive Center offers complete training for all levels of
diving, from Open Water through the most advanced technical
courses. Our instruction provides certification through SSI, PDIC,
Visit us on the Web:
Page 3
July Meeting Raffle Winners
After an excellent presentation
on “The Maldives” by our own
Capt’n. Noel, the club held its
regular raffle to support our DAN
Platinum sponsorship.
The winners were: Defog and
Scuba pack donated by New England Dive Center - Benedict
Danielczuk; Akona Mask donated by Orbit marine Dive Center
- Toni Morgan; Pink Access Bag
donated by New England Dive
Center - Julie Hellburg; Dive
Gloves donated by New England
Dive Center - John Hill;
Hanger donated by New Engl a n d D i v e C e n t e r — J o hn
Fanuko; Diver Accessories donated by New England Dive
Center—John Hill; Scuba Pro
Hat donated by New England
Dive Center-Toni M; 2 Air Fills
donated by Rex Dive CenterBenedict Danielczuk; 2 Nitrox
Air Fills donated by Rex Dive
Center—Jim Purcell; Slap Strap
donated by Orbit Marine Dive
Center—Toni Morgan.
Thanks to New England Dive
Center, Orbit Marine Dive Center
and Rex Dive Center for donating
tonight’s raffle prizes for our DAN
Remember, you can't win if
you don't buy tickets and you
can't buy tickets if you don't get
up and come out to FCDA events
and meetings!
Events of Interest to FCDA Members
August 24th Movie Night and Cook-out— The August meeting is Movie Night and “BYOM” Bring Your Own
September 13 - 16, 2012 - Annual Cape Ann Trip - September 13 - September 16. Cape Ann Campground.
Shore diving on Friday; Contact - Mel Rich at email [email protected] for details and for camping.
October 28, 2012 - Annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving/Beach Cleanup- 10:00 AM
FCDA Member Ads
Hey - have you got a non retail-diving business that you’d like to share with fellow members of FCDA?
Get your business card size ad in the FCDA monthly newsletter “Surface Interval” for only $50.00 for one
year. Give your business a boost and help support the production of our monthly newsletters. For more
information, write to FCDA, P.O. Box 3005, Fairfield, CT 06824 or email to [email protected]
Page 4
Members of the
by Charlie
Lets get the meeting started!
Who rang the bell?
Let the presentation begin.
(Continued on page 5)
FCDA Donors
The business listed on this page has donated
dive gear and dive services to help support the
Fairfield County Diving Association.
Page 5
Member of the
by Charlie Blanchette
FCDA Donors
The business listed on this page has donated
dive gear and dive services to help support the
Fairfield County Diving Association.
(Continued from page 4)
Our Jeff.
Rex Dive Center
Offers Technical Diving Classes
Interested in taking your training to the next level?
TDI Instructor George Sharrard (# 10270) is
New Camera.
Intro to Tech
Advanced Nitrox
Decompression Procedures
Stop by Rex Dive Center to talk about schedules, class requirements and gear. Or, email [email protected] for
more information.
Page 6
German U-Boat Discovered Off New England
The WW II German submarine U-550 was discovered on
July 23,2012, 70 miles south of
Nantucket Massachusetts. The
U-550 was sunk by depth
charges on April 16, 1944 after
successfully torpedoing the
American tanker, the Pan
Pennsylvania. The exact location of the U-550 has never
been known and though there
have been several searches for
the location of the U-550, all
have been unsuccessful. Garry
Kozak of Edge Tech, Wareham
MA, is a specialist in undersea
search with 40 years of experience. Edge Tech is a manufacturer of high resolution commercial & military side scan sonar systems used world wide
for demanding undersea search
operations. Garry teamed with
AWS Expeditions operated by
Joe Mazraani and associates to
research and to finalize what
should be the likely area the
submarine sank in. Utilizing
specialized side scan sonar
largeare a search techniques,
an area totaling over 70 square
miles of seafloor were covered
in 2 days of search operations
resulting in the location of the
U-550. The sonar image shows
the U-550 sitting upright and
tilting to her starboardside.
Underwater images of the deck
and torpedo loading hatch
were captured and the images
were assembled into a composite photo mosaic. Further documenting of the wreck site is
*Historical Background*:
On April 16, 1944, the German submarine *U-550*,a type
IXC/40 long-range U-boat under the command of Kaptitan
leutnant Klaus Hanert, put a
single torpedo into the stern of
the 10,017-ton American
tanker *Pan Pennsylvania*.
The Allied tanker was in convoy and bound for England
loaded with 140,000 barrels of
gasoline at the time. Following
the torpedo explosion, the Ship
took on an immediate list to
port, and when a fire broke out
in the engine room the tanker
was abandoned in short order.
The convoy escorts picked up
56 survivors, leaving 25 men
missing out of a crew of 81.
brought the *U-550* to the
Gunfire from all three escorts converged on the surfaced submarine as German
sailors poured out of her
hatches, briefly returning fire
with their own weapons. Meanwhile, USS *Gandy* rammed
the submarine aft and the Germans abandoned ship. A muffled explosion aboard the submarine indicated the crew had
set off scuttling charges and *U
-550* sank stern first. Twelve
survivors from the submarine
were picked up by the destroyer escorts, while 44 men
were lost. Patrol boats picked
up the bodies of three German
sailors outfitted with escape
gear during the next several
weeks: they had apparently escaped the sunken submarine
only to die adrift at sea. The
tanker *Pan Pennsylvania* capsized and drifted for two days,
her cargo of gasoline on fire,
before finally being sunk with
After picking up the survivors
*Pennsylvania*, the U.S. Navy
destroyer escorts USS *Joyce*,
*Peterson* and *Gandy* combined their efforts to bring swift
and fatal retribution to the attacking submarine. Picking up a
solid contact with her sonar
gear, USS *Joyce* closed on
the target and made a depthcharge attack that quickly
For more historical information on the events of April
16,1944, please refer to the US
Coast Guard website: *U.S.
Coast Guard History:
Press Release July27, 2012
Page 7
Astronauts Train for Asteroid Mission
by Maureen Halsema
On June 11, 2012, NASA sent
a crew to live for two weeks in
Aquarius Reef Base to conduct
research and mission-simulation
training for work on asteroid mission scenarios.
Diving is often used in NASA
training to teach astronauts how
to work in low gravity. The underwater environment simulates
many aspects of space travel, allowing astronauts to acclimate,
learn how to adapt to challenges,
solve problems and practice skills
prior to lifting off into orbit.
This is the 16th crew NASA has
dispatched to the Aquarius Reef
Base for NASA Extreme Environment Miss ions Oper ations
(NEEMO). NEEMO 16 is taking
place at the Aquarius Habitat in
NOAA's Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, approximately 3.5
miles off the coast of Key Largo,
Fla. This underwater laboratory is
owned by NOAA and operated by
the University of North Carolina,
Wilmington. It provides excellent
conditions to train the astronauts
to endure isolation and live in a
small habitat with several crew
members. In space, the astronauts will live in small quarters in
an unforgiving environment.
Much of the equipment they will
use while underwater — including
their communications systems,
underwater vehicles and breathing apparatus — are similar to
what they will use when operating in space. are similar to what
they will use when operating in
This mission is specifically investigating methods of asteroid
exploration, including robotic systems, necessary crew members
and associated tasks, communication systems and challenges they
may face or need to overcome
when working in such an environment.
Aquarius Reef Base is designed
to withstand ambient pressure
equivalent to 120 feet underwater
(approximately 5 atmospheres
absolute). It is an 82-ton doublelock pressure vessel that is nearly
50 feet long and 13 feet wide.
This underwater research laboratory is located on a baseplate 63
feet underwater. The underwater
habitat offers saturation diving
research opportunities to NASA as
well as other scientists. Researchers can spend more time at depth
completing no-decompression
dives in the waters that surround
the habitat.
Inside the habitat there are six
bunks, a shower, toilet, refrigera-
tor, microwave, computers and
communication gear that connect
to shore via wireless telemetry.
This is how aquanauts can communicate with the shore-based
mission control center.
On the surface, above the lab
are buoy floats that provide communications towers with VHF, cellular and wireless antennae.
These floats are also equipped
with important life-support materials such as generators and air
compressors that connect directly
to Aquarius Reef Base.
After completing their mission,
the aquanauts will decompress
inside the Aquarius Reef Base.
The pressure inside the habitat
will be brought slowly from the
operating depth to 1 atmosphere
absolute. Then, the aquanauts
will lock out and swim to the surface.
Source; Divers Alert Online
Page 8
Next FCDA Meeting
Friday, August 24, 2012 - 8:00 PM
Cookout - 7:00 PM (weather permitting)
Coast Guard Cottage, South Benson Marina, Fairfield, CT
FCDA at the Movies
"Open Water"
Independent filmmaker Chris Kentis directs the dramatic thriller Open Water, based on a true story. Susan
(Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel (Daniel Travis) are a busy married couple on an island vacation. They board a vessel called the Reef Explorer with a group of other scuba divers, traveling 15 miles out to sea. Since they are certified to dive in open waters, the couple breaks off from the group to go exploring. The Reef Explorer accidentally leaves without a proper head count, leaving them stranded in shark-infested waters. Kentis and producer
wife Laura Lau did all the filming themselves in the actual ocean without extraneous special effects, while the
actors wore special steel-mesh under their wetsuits in the scenes where actual sharks were involved. Open Water was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 as part of the American Spectrum competition.
We will plan to do a cookout prior to meeting, weather permitting. A small grill will be available for everyone to
use. Please bring your own meat for grilling, but as usual at our meetings,. beverages will be available for purchase at the cottage.
Fairfield County Diving Association
P.O. Box 3005
Fairfield, CT 06824
Address Service Requested

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