ocean temperature

Ocean Temperature is Rising

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Ranelle Ivens

SITE AUTHOR

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Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology.

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Down here in Costa Rica, this year past year has been a weird one and 2019 seems to be following suit. As divers, we are constantly paying attention to the weather of the ocean. The ocean temperature, the visibility, the types of wildlife and their quantities, waves, tides, and more. After a while, you get to know the patterns and seasons of the ocean. They change just like they do on land, with temperatures and great migrations as well. However this year, things have been increasingly odd, so much that it scares me.

The Ocean in Playas Del Coco

If you’ve ever dived in or lived near the Pacific you will know it to be the bi-polar ocean that can’t make up its mind. The conditions can change drastically from one day to the next, though it always changes within a bracket. For 5 months of the year in Playas del Coco, we expect the water to be cold (62-75°F) and murky (5-25ft of visibility). It has been this way for decades, except for this year. This year, the cold never came and neither did the plankton.

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Down here in Costa Rica, this year past year has been a weird one and 2019 seems to be following suit. As divers, we are constantly paying attention to the weather of the ocean. The ocean temperature, the visibility, the types of wildlife and their quantities, waves, tides, and more. After a while, you get to know the patterns and seasons of the ocean. They change just like they do on land, with temperatures and great migrations as well. However this year, things have been increasingly odd, so much that it scares me.

The Ocean in Playas Del Coco

If you’ve ever dived in or lived near the Pacific you will know it to be the bi-polar ocean that can’t make up its mind. The conditions can change drastically from one day to the next, though it always changes within a bracket. For 5 months of the year in Playas del Coco, we expect the water to be cold (62-75°F) and murky (5-25ft of visibility). It has been this way for decades, except for this year. This year, the cold never came and neither did the plankton.

Isn’t this good news?

We are now 2 months into the 5 months cool diving season and our temperatures are 75-82°F and our visibility 20-40ft. I don’t want to complain as I love the tropical conditions but this is not normal. In fact, this is very very dangerous.

Normally, a northern current flows down the West American coast bringing cold nutrient-rich water into Playas del Coco and beyond. This year it has yet to arrive, and the ocean is considerably warmer for it. With the average temperature for the year raising so significantly, many species are at risk, including humans.

The Effect of Consistently Elevated Ocean Temperature

When the ocean temperature rises, it affects the entire planet. The ocean is essentially the thermostat of the earth, and lately, we have been cranking up the heat. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the surface water temperature has risen by approximately 2°F/1°C in the last 100 years. All the excess heat of greenhouse gases has been absorbed by the ocean as it is trying to regulate the global temperature. If it weren’t for the ocean absorbing all this heat, our surface temperature would have risen by 98.5°F/36°C. In other words, we’d all likely be dead or burning to death in a worldwide desert.

Instead, the Ocean has saved our asses once again. And as a result, it is suffering from our benefit. Below is a list of just a few of the effects of a warmer ocean.

  • Mass Coral bleaching and death
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Increased risk and transmission of water-borne diseases
  • Expanding water is eating up the coasts
  • Loss of coastal habitat for marine mammals such as seabirds and turtles
  • Failed Breeding (species giving birth to a sole gender or, no hatching at all)
  • Reduced fish populations, and reduced catch by Fisheries
  • Ocean acidification (pH imbalance)
  • Changes the flow of major ocean currents
  • Change in major weather systems
  • An increase of the El Nino effect (reduced rain in tropical climates)
  • Extreme droughts and floods
  • Glacial melts
  • Much, much, much more, that you can download and read here. In a detailed publication by more than 20 scientists explaining ocean warming).

 

[/et_pb_image][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text (main post content)” module_class=”dd-post-content” _builder_version=”3.19.9″ text_font=”Lato||||” text_text_color=”#04493e” text_font_size=”15″ text_line_height=”1.4em” border_style=”solid”]

Isn’t this good news?

We are now 2 months into the 5 months cool diving season and our temperatures are 75-82°F and our visibility 20-40ft. I don’t want to complain as I love the tropical conditions but this is not normal. In fact, this is very very dangerous.

Normally, a northern current flows down the West American coast bringing cold nutrient-rich water into Playas del Coco and beyond. This year it has yet to arrive, and the ocean is considerably warmer for it. With the average temperature for the year raising so significantly, many species are at risk, including humans.

The Effect of Consistently Elevated Ocean Temperature

When the ocean temperature rises, it affects the entire planet. The ocean is essentially the thermostat of the earth, and lately, we have been cranking up the heat. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the surface water temperature has risen by approximately 2°F/1°C in the last 100 years. All the excess heat of greenhouse gases has been absorbed by the ocean as it is trying to regulate the global temperature. If it weren’t for the ocean absorbing all this heat, our surface temperature would have risen by 98.5°F/36°C. In other words, we’d all likely be dead or burning to death in a worldwide desert.

Instead, the Ocean has saved our asses once again. And as a result, it is suffering from our benefit. Below is a list of just a few of the effects of a warmer ocean.

  • Mass Coral bleaching and death
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Increased risk and transmission of water-borne diseases
  • Expanding water is eating up the coasts
  • Loss of coastal habitat for marine mammals such as seabirds and turtles
  • Failed Breeding (species giving birth to a sole gender or, no hatching at all)
  • Reduced fish populations, and reduced catch by Fisheries
  • Ocean acidification (pH imbalance)
  • Changes the flow of major ocean currents
  • Change in major weather systems
  • An increase of the El Nino effect (reduced rain in tropical climates)
  • Extreme droughts and floods
  • Glacial melts
  • Much, much, much more, that you can download and read here. In a detailed publication by more than 20 scientists explaining ocean warming).

 

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This is happening NOW

Not in 10 years from now, but already happening. all of the effects listed above have been observed, they are NOT predictions. I personally have experienced many of these changes. This year in Costa Rica was one of the driest rainy seasons yet, and we have suffered from major drought. The year before changes in the weather system resulted in hurricanes which are almost never seen in this region. We also experienced major flooding the likes of which have never been seen here either.

Now it is once again showing itself in an increase in the number of female turtles. In addition to this, as I mentioned earlier, the northern current that usually hits Playas del Coco has yet to arrive. As a result, the Giant Pacific Mantas Rays that usually visit us this time of year are scarce along with various other species of stingray.

Why?

If you haven’t put two and two together already, it’s because humans suck. Both figuratively and literally. We are sucking this planet dry of resources, and life. Soon we will even suck ourselves dry. Our consumption of petroleum, coal and even conventional livestock has resulted in an excess of greenhouse gases.

Since the ’50s, the ocean has absorbed 93% of those gases, while the other 7% has been hurrying along ozone depletion. Unfortunately, we are not doing enough to reduce our emissions even though scientists have been telling us to do so for years. In other words, we are a bunch greedy pig-headed ignorants causing the destruction of our own planet.

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There is an alternative, but it’s not planet B

We don’t have to be greedy pig-headed ignorants, we can be super cool, awesome badass humans instead. We just first need to kick our bad habits and take care or planet A. So I have devised a list of stuff you can do to be a super cool, awesome badass individual.

  • Do everything in your power to reduce your power bill! Save money and the planet? Touche!
  • Stop driving everywhere, burn your fat, not your gas!
  • Whitewash your rooves and your streets, black surfaces radiate heat
  • Install solar panels! Yet another way to reduce your power bill, and it’s a form of clean energy.
  • Try to eat less meat, especially beef. Most people eat more than their daily needs
  • Plant a garden! Trees, flowers, food, it all helps by reducing the amount of CO2 in the air
  • Reduce plastic and water pollution sources

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Ranelle Ivens

SITE AUTHOR

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Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology.

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Ever went diving and had to continuously put water in your mask to swish around, just so you could clear all the fog out. Only for that fog to come back 2 minutes later so you could repeat the process. And you are diving for 45 minutes so eventually, you just give up and start squinting through it. Then your guide points out a frogfish which you’ve been dying to see… but them darn foggy goggles are foggy again. Yeah, no one likes that crap.  Which is why there are a few things you should know if you often suffer the foggy goggle issue.

I can’t see through the Fog

Just about every diver has had the foggy goggle problem at least once. Though it doesn’t leave you totally blind, a foggy mask can be really annoying while diving. Especially when trying to enjoy observing the behaviours of seahorses or other marine animals. There are a couple of reasons a mask might get foggy. The most common problem being that it wasn’t defogged well enough before diving, and the second being that the mask has not been treated properly. Here’s how to fix it.

Defog, Defog, defog,

Before each dive, you need to defog that lovely viewing window we call a mask. To do so is quite simple, put a defogging agent onto the inside of your mask rub it around and rinse it out. The trick being not to wash all the defog out of your mask, just enough that it won’t get into your eyes. Then, and this is the most important part, put your mask on your face right away and don’t take it off. This way the defog will not dry out and you are less likely to rinse your mask… again.

 

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If you are wondering what to use a defogging agent there are many great options, and all do the trick. Though I, of course, prefer you use an ocean/earth-safe option as there is enough pollution in the ocean already.

  • SCUBA defog: there are many brands out there such as Frog Spit, Reef Safe Biodegradable Anti-Fog, and many other, each will stop your foggy goggle problem.
  • Toothpaste: also leaves your mask smelling minty fresh
  • Liquid Soap: typically dish soap or shampoo is used, but any liquid soap will work. I recommend finding an earth-friendly baby shampoo, as it will be ocean safe and no tears.
  • Mermaid Spit: Wondering where to find the mermaid? Look no further than your mirror. You are the mermaid I’m talking about, and yes, your spit will work wonderfully as a defog (it is also earth-friendly, bonus!)

 I defogged, defogged, defogged, and it’s still a foggy goggle!

If the defog isn’t working, it isn’t the defog that’s the problem; it’s your mask. Don’t freak out though, you don’t need to go buy a new mask, you just need to treat the one you’ve got. When masks are manufactured, the company will put a thin layer of film on the inside of the mask. This protects it from scratching, but it also makes your mask fog like crazy. To make it stop you obviously need to get rid of that layer. There are two simple ways of doing this.

 

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More Toothpaste, please!

Toothpaste is once again the answer to our problems, defog treatment, gingivitis, teeth whitening it does it all! To start your treatment find a white paste toothpaste (not the newer gel toothpaste) and smear and healthy layer on the inside of the mask. Allow it to sit and overnight and dry before washing it off. Note that you may need to repeat this process 2-3 times, and you will still need to defog your mask before each dive, or you could still get a foggy goggle.

Burn, Baby, Burn!

Though you don’t need to create a disco inferno in your mask, burning the film on the inside is, in my opinion, a sure-fire way to treat your mask (pun intended). All you need is a lighter and some water. It is a good idea to wet your mask beforehand. Though it is not necessary, it will help protect the skirt inside your mask. To treat it, light your lighter and pass it over the inside of the mask, burning the film off. You will see black soot forming, this is good and means that it’s working. It is very important that you do not hold the lighter in one spot for more than a couple seconds. The heat from the lighter can melt the silicon skirt on the inside of the mask so you need to be aware. After burning it let the mask cool off before washing away the soot, then burn it again. though it shouldn’t be necessary, it will help ensure you didn’t miss any spots. If you don’t feel comfortable burning your mask yourself, remember you can always ask a dive professional for help. Most shops will do it for you free of charge even.

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Viola!

If you have followed my instructions correctly you should have a beautifully clear and fog free mask! Woo-Hoo! Now you can see all those little ocean wonders! If you are still experiencing the foggy goggle problem leave me a comment and I can try to help you as best as I can. Feel free to send an email instead if you’d prefer.

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little things

Little Things in the ocean are exciting too

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I often wonder, is it a lack of education, or a lack of interest? When I take people diving I always like to show them the signs for the marine life we are likely to encounter. Yet it seems that usually, whenever I mention frogfish or nudibranchs I am met with looks of confusion. Other times I show people a small nudibranch and they hover 5ft above me and nod giving me the ok signal. Meanwhile, I know full well there is no way they really saw the tiny creature from that far away. It all makes me wonder; is it weird to like the little things?

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It Not Just Nudis

While guiding I also like to show people more common creatures that are easy to glance over. One of my favourites being the Panamic Barnacle Blenny, a small goggly-eyed fish that lives in holes in the reef. (See Video Above) I also point out Star of David Urchins, Christmas tree worms, and other small goodies on our reefs. Yet I never know if I’m going to get a ‘wow face’ or an ‘oh that’s nice face’.

Personally, I love discovering these little, hidden treasures. No matter what face I get underwater, once we return to the surface the main excitement always falls first and foremost to the big guys. The rays, the turtles and the sharks. Not that I don’t enjoy these beautiful animals, but they always take precedence over the little guys. But why? Isn’t a neon coloured sea slug who can survive through photosynthesis just as interesting?

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There Are Some Exceptions

When it comes to seahorses there is always excitement. Everyone knows what a seahorse is and everyone wants to see one. Divers love them and they will oftentimes take the lead in after-dive conversations. So what makes them different from the other little guys? Is it because they seem so mythical? Or are they just well known?

Some Say The Little Things are Boring

I’ve met plenty of dive professionals who find even seahorses boring. Originally, I would just look at them like they were crazy. However, I have come to understand why they believe this, though I don’t think I will ever agree. When you see a large animal it’s almost always doing something, even if it’s just swimming. While, in contrast, the little things seem to be just sitting there, not moving or really doing anything perceivable. 

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Perceivable being the keyword. Frogfish and even barnacles are always doing something, though you don’t always see it. It takes good buoyancy and patience to be able to observe the miniature world. A set of good eyes or a magnifying glass doesn’t hurt either. If you watch closely you can see the tentacle-like arm of a barnacle shooting out and capturing food before pulling it back into its mouth. You just need to take the time to look.

Small Creatures are Exciting

The first part of the excitement is actually finding and seeing these little animals. It is easy to spot an animal that is the same size as you but its another story entirely to find a sea slug that’s less than 1cm in length. After the initial sense of accomplishment, there is admiration and curiosity. Admiration for an organism so small to live in an ocean so big, and fascination for how strange and unique these creatures are.

In my experience, it is the little things that are the most colourful, and the most complex. Each of them has a unique strategy to survive, whether it be camouflage, venom, or mimicry. Oftentimes they also hunt differently than large marine organism as well. For example, the frogfish uses a lure to entice its prey.

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The Next Time You Dive

I implore you, that on your next dive or snorkel trip, that you try to enjoy the little things. Though they may not be as apparently interesting as finding a large animal, they are just as mesmerizing. Who knows, you may look into a crevice and find two crabs having a boxing match, or you may look into a coral and find a seahorse blending almost seamlessly into the branches. I implore you to find out more. The next time you find a new creature, or even familiar one, find out what it is. Read about that animal, how it lives and survives, and it will amaze you all the more.

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Follow Me

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Let Others Know

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frogfish

Frogfish, the fish with superpowers

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Ranelle Ivens

SITE AUTHOR

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Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology.

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Frogfish, or as I like to call them, the pug of the ocean, is a species of fish that is unique and interesting. These adorably ugly fish are a favourite among many divers as they can be very rare and difficult to spot. Being a type of anglerfish they are fascinating to watch, and sometimes exhibit odd and endearing behaviours.

What is Heck is a frogfish?

Most people have no idea what a frogfish is, simply because they are hard to find, and so they’ve never heard of them. As I mentioned earlier its an anglerfish, meaning it uses a lure to catch its prey. This means that they don’t move much. Instead, they prefer to camouflage themselves and lie in wait like little ninjas. Frogfish have a toad-like appearance and open and extend their mouths like a frog, hence the name.

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Where do they live?

There are around 47 known species of frogfish and they can be found all over the world. Including salt, brackish, and freshwater environments. Meaning they are quite adaptable! However, they are not found in the Arctic nor the Mediterranean sea. Generally, these little dudes like an average water that’s 20 C (68 F) or warmer. I don’t blame them either, who likes living in the cold? As a result of their temperature preferences, frogfish don’t live very deep but have been found in up to 100M (330 ft) of water. In my experience, they are 4-10M (10-30 ft) deep.

You could also attribute their prefered depth and temperatures to their living environment. Camouflage is very important for this animal, and because of that, they live on the ocean floor. Usually, on reefs or near corals as this gives them lots of places to hide in plain sight, though some do hunt in the sand

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The Hunter and the Hunted

Being an anglerfish, you must wonder what this fish fishes for. The answer actually depends on the species of frogfish. Different kinds of frogfish have different lures, each specializing in attracting different kinds of food. The lure is actually called an esca. Some mimic shrimp, small fish, tubeworms, or bristle worms. What is even more interesting, is that the esca can be regenerated, just in case dinner gets a little bitey. Though, it would be pretty hard for the frogfish’s prey to eat the esca, as the frogfish will catch and swallow its prey in about 6 milliseconds. So fast that other animals can’t even see it happen.

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In those 6 milliseconds, the frogfish will open its mouth, sucking water and it’s prey inside. It will then swallow its dinner expelling the water from its gills. In addition to this, the frogfish has a special muscle that will trap the prey inside so it can’t escape. Believe it or not, a frogfish can eat prey that’s up to twice its size! Not only can it expand its mouth, but its stomach as well. Watch the video above to see what I mean.

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Ninja Skills

Apart from being able to move lightning fast and gobble up prey twice its size, the frogfish can blend into the reef and even mimic other animals. Like ninjas, frogfish don’t have much in the way of armour. They have no scales but instead a soft squishy skin that can change colour. (Did you know Seahorses also change colour?!?) In addition to this, their skin has a unique texture to it. The texture will depend on the species but will allow them to mimic sponges of corals. Alternatively, some frogfish grow algae on their bodies to help them blend in.

In comparison to adult frogfish, the babies camouflage a little differently. Instead of trying to mimic their surroundings they will impersonate other animals. Usually, they will disguise themselves as a venomous nudibranch (sea slug) to deter predators. By now you must be wondering what it is they are trying to hide from. The reason behind all the cloak and shadow is due to their primary predators; damselfish, wrasses and clownfish. As you may know, especially in the case of damselfish and wrasses there are MANY of them in the marine environment making hiding difficult. Luckily Frogfish are mini ninjas

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Frogfish have a Superpower

Who knew these ugly little fish were so damn cool right? So what is their superpower? I like to call it JET BURST! What it is, is a unique propulsion method. The frogfish will suck water into their mouths and push it out of gills located behind their pectoral fins. The force of the expelling water shoots them forward like a jet. This technique gives them a burst of speed allowing them to quickly escape predators. And, if you pair Jet Burst, along with the fact that their mouths can expand up to 12x their normal size, these lazy fish can actually move pretty fast.  

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what scuba equipment to buy first

What SCUBA Equipment to Buy First

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A little while back I trained a student who instantly fell in love with SCUBA. After their first few dives, they were already wanting to buy their own gear. At this point, they asked me what was most important, and where to start. When you decide to buy your gear piece by piece it can be tricky figuring out which purchases will be the more vital. Hence I have decided to write this gear guide on what SCUBA equipment to buy first, which I would like to develop into a series of posts helping divers choose the equipment best suited to them.

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This article is based on my personal opinions and feelings and experiences. I hope that you all find it useful!

Numero Uno

The big cojones on my order to buy scuba gear list is the mask. Every person has a different kind of face making the mask one of the more important buys. I say this because the mask is typically one of your primary sources of comfort while diving. Imagine have a leaky rental mask that just doesn’t quite fit even when you tighten it own so hard you feel like you’ve put your head in a vice grip. Not fun. Many people find ill-fitting masks very deterring and even cause some people to panic while diving.

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Finding a mask that properly fits your face, doesn’t fog up on you, and fits comfortably is a great first choice scuba purchase. The mask is also one of the less expensive pieces of gear typically sold in the $50-$120 range. It’s lightweight, easy to travel with, and you can use it for snorkeling too!

Safety is Important

Especially in SCUBA diving, safety is extremely important. It is for this reason that I highly recommend that a dive computer be at the top of your ‘what SCUBA equipment to buy first’ list. A dive computer can not only help you log your dives, but also save you from decompression illness. Computers can also extend your bottom times in comparison to using dive tables. This is because dive computers calculate your no stop limits as you dive.

There are many great models out there that are quite affordable and great quality. After you buy your computer make sure that you read the manual and get familiar with it. Knowing how your computer works and being able to understand the displayed information is key when it comes to avoiding decompression illness.

They say to follow your feet

After buying a mask and computer the next vital gear pieces are a bit of a toss-up. That being said I would recommend your next purchase to be fins. It’s a hard decision between fins and wetsuit but in the end, I choose handy dandy flippers. The reason for this being that many shops cheap out on rental fins.

A fair few dive shops will provide snorkel fins instead of dive fins because of their lesser cost. The problem is that they are really crappy underwater. If faced with any kind of current, or even if you are simply a weak swimmer, having good-for-nothing fins can be dangerous. Having a proper SCUBA fin that fits properly can save you a whole lot of trouble in the water.

Exposure protection!

As I mentioned earlier it was a hard decision between wetsuit and fins for 3rd place. If you are wondering why, well it has to do with something you may find disturbing. I wasn’t to place wetsuit third for the simple reason that rental wetsuits are often peed in… Yeah, totally gross. I know. It is for this reason that many divers choose wetsuit when deciding what SCUBA equipment to buy first. However, the trouble with wetsuits is that depending on where you are diving you may require different thicknesses of suits. Where ever you decide to dive, proper exposure protection should be available to rent. Whether you need no wetsuit, a 3mm all the way up to a dry suit. 

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Why buy a wetsuit? You mean apart from not having to dive in a smelly, old, peed in rental? Well rentals, being old, tend to get thinner meaning they don’t offer the same warmth as a newer personal wetsuit. You can also buy one that is exactly your size, meaning no too short limbs for the tall and slender, and extra room in junk trunk spaces for women buying ladies wetsuits. In addition, there are many different wetsuit technologies out there such as infrared and polar fleece that will keep you warmer than generic neoprene.

The Life Line

That’s right, coming in second to last on my list is your regulator set. My reasoning for having it so low on the list is that a proper dive shop will maintain their regulators well. Meaning that you shouldn’t need to worry about it malfunctioning. Unlike the previous pieces of gear, your regulator will need servicing and maintenance at regular intervals, especially if you aren’t using it for an extended period of time. With proper maintenance and care your personal regulator will become one of your scuba treasures. Not to mention, having a regulator that you trust and are comfortable with can help you feel relaxed, improving your breathing technique.

The Big Piece

Last but not least is your BCD. though this too is an important part of your SCUBA set up I recommend it as the last purchase for a few reasons. The first being that it requires just as much maintenance if not more than your regulator. With a BCD it is very important you always wash, dry and store it properly, as a failure to do so can end up in a malfunction at depth. The other reason I believe you should get your BCD last is that it is the most difficult piece of equipment to pack in a suitcase.

That being said, once you do fall so deeply in love with the underwater world that you are ready to buy and drag a BCD around the world with you, that purchase is going to be one of your little babies. When I finally bought my first BCD I was in love with it and 7 years later, I’m still loving it and taking all the steps to make sure it lasts another 7 years. Having your own BCD can also help with your buoyancy control. Diving with the same equipment on a regular basis allows you to get to know how it works, instead of switching it up all the time wiith different rentals.

What SCUBA Equipment to Buy First

When trying to decide what SCUBA equipment to buy first you will need to take a few things into consideration. Things like comfort, safety, peace of mind, cost, etc. Each of these is important but you need to prioritize what is most important to you. I hope you found this guide insightful and has made your ‘what SCUBA equipment to buy first’ conundrum a little easier to solve!

 

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boyan slat

Boyan Slat Vs. Water Pollution

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Most times the news is rancidly depressing, especially if you listen to the broadcasted news. I often scroll my feeds and see greed and ignorance eating up our planet without remorse. Animals poached for something as trivial as a handbag, sharks mutilated for bland soup. Petroleum sucked from and spilled into our oceans to make single-use plastics that will kill sea animals and create widespread pollution. It makes me sick to my stomach to think there can be such unabashed disrespect and greed on such a beautiful planet. Which is why I want to share a positive story with you about an amazing young mind, that of Boyan Slat and his battle against water pollution.

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Who is Boyal Slat?

According to Wikipedia Boyan Slat is 24 year old kid from the Netherlands who dropped out of aerospace engineering school. Though this may not sound impressive, what you don’t know is that this ‘kid’ has created an invention that could make an immensely positive impact on ocean pollution. In 2012 he made a speech on Tedx Talks and shortly after went viral.  About a year later he founded The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization trying to rid the ocean of pollution. Now, in 2018, he is finally launching his invention, and so far it seems to be working as planned.

An Ingenious Creation

The Ocean Cleanup system is most simply described as a large flexible boom with a weighted skirt that reaches around 3 meters deep. The system utilizes the natural forces of the earth such as currents and wind to catch up ocean debris. The U-Shape of the system traps floating plastics in its arms. Then, every so often, a marine vessel can collect the trash. It will then be taken back to land sorted and recycled.

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In addition, to its wonderful purpose, the system works autonomously. The little power it does require is supplied by solar and natural energies. Including it’s tracking and signaling systems; both important for monitoring progress as well as warning nearby ships to its location. Eventually, Boyal Slat plans to deploy a fleet of these systems into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Round 1, Fight!

It has finally started! For years I have been hearing and following the progress of Boyan Slat, rapidly and steadily working toward launching of his Ocean Cleanup Systems. This year they have launched System 001 which was deployed in the great garbage patch on October 16th, 2018. Now, I sit on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear the results from its deployment. If the system works as designed, The Ocean Cleanup estimates that they could clean up 50% of the great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 short years!

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The impact that such a feat would have on the health on our marine environment is immense. It would decrease animal deaths and increase species population. It would reduce debris, it would reduce toxin levels and so much more. For a time we were innocently ignorant of the problems we were creating through our consumerism. Now, most are just ignorant, ignoring and disregarding something so obviously vital for the temporary ease of plastics. I am just glad there are people like Boyan Slat and The Ocean Cleanup who have the mind and power to do more than their part.

Help A Guy Out

I don’t know about you, but the ocean is definitely very important to me. Not because it supplies food and jobs for millions of people, but for what dwells within. As a diver, I spend countless hours interacting with the ocean environment and it has become a vital part of who I am. To see the health of the oceans bolster and begin rejuvenating after years of heart staking damage is with all I can give. If you, like myself, would like to the support the cause you can donate directly from their webpage. Or you can always share and spread the word. And perhaps most importantly, you should strive to be and more responsible consumer.

The pictures used in this article belong to TheOceanCleanup.com and BoyanSlat.com 

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Follow Me

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_social_media_follow _builder_version=”3.14″ background_color=”rgba(15,15,15,0)” text_orientation=”center”][et_pb_social_media_follow_network social_network=”instagram” url=”https://www.instagram.com/seareinascall/” _builder_version=”3.14″ background_color=”#078773″ border_radii=”on|3px|3px|3px|3px” border_color_all=”#078773″ follow_button=”off” url_new_window=”on”] instagram [/et_pb_social_media_follow_network][et_pb_social_media_follow_network social_network=”facebook” url=”https://www.facebook.com/SeaReinasCall/” _builder_version=”3.14″ background_color=”#078773″ follow_button=”off” url_new_window=”on”] facebook [/et_pb_social_media_follow_network][et_pb_social_media_follow_network social_network=”twitter” url=”https://twitter.com/SeaReinas_Call” _builder_version=”3.14″ background_color=”#078773″ follow_button=”off” url_new_window=”on”] twitter [/et_pb_social_media_follow_network][et_pb_social_media_follow_network social_network=”youtube” url=”https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFgrcUN1Xa8-B_zlRtEcrNg” _builder_version=”3.14″ background_color=”#078773″ follow_button=”off” url_new_window=”on”] youtube [/et_pb_social_media_follow_network][et_pb_social_media_follow_network social_network=”pinterest” url=”https://www.pinterest.com/seareinascall/” _builder_version=”3.14″ background_color=”#078773″ follow_button=”off” url_new_window=”on”] Pinterest [/et_pb_social_media_follow_network][/et_pb_social_media_follow][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text (author bio)” _builder_version=”3.14″ text_font=”Lato||||” text_text_color=”#0c0c0d” text_font_size=”16″ text_line_height=”1.4em” text_orientation=”center” module_alignment=”center” border_style=”solid”]The ocean is my biggest passion. As a SCUBA instructor I have a unique opportunity to show people exactly how precious the ocean is.  I aim to inspire others to love and respect the sea through education and diving.

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Let Others Know

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Some Other Articles you Might Like

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dive site Cleanup

Dive Site Cleanup Challenge #CleanDiveChallenge

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Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology.

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Share Away!

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The underwater world is a unique place full of color and life. It is vibrant and moving and always changing. Except that, where you would expect to see that life and beauty grow, lately, it has been diminishing. If it was a small regression you could chalk it up to being the normal pull and sway of nature. However, that isn’t the case. This decline has been an ongoing phenomenon for over 50 years. As a diver, you should feel a desire to help, or at least I hope that you do. Which is why I propose a challenge. I challenge you to a dive site cleanup.

Once you see and understand how fast the life of the ocean is being extinguished, it is impossible to ignore, nor should it be.

Our dive sites are clean

Here in Playa del Coco, our dive sites are very clean. Even so, we still find garbage and discarded fishing gear regularly. Most of the professional divers in our local area have adopted a wonderful habit of removing any water pollution they find, which is part of the reason our sites are so clean. However, I still see many people passing up trash on a dive. It is my belief that if every diver picked up a little bit of trash each time they dove, the ocean could be a much cleaner place. 

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Our Dive site Cleanup

Organized dive site cleanups are a great way to raise awareness and get a jump start on cleaning up our local areas. They can also be used to concentrate on removing trash from areas that we don’t dive in. As I said, our dive sites here are very clean, so clean, that holding a dive site cleanup at one of our regular sites wouldn’t make much of an impact. Which is why we decided to focus on an area that was popular with fishermen.

The Cleanup was hosted by Rich Coast Diving, a local dive shop on World Cleanup Day. They supplied a boat, captain, tanks and filled any extra spaces with their own staff. We were 8 divers, equipped with mesh bags and cutting tools and a passion to make a difference.

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What we found

On our first dive, we found mostly what we expected. Lots of fishing line, lead fishing weights, and hooks. Each of us came up happy campers. We genuinely enjoyed what we were doing, even if it seemed like work we all had a great time. On the surface, we picked through all of our findings so that we could recycle what we could and properly dispose of the rest.

  • A fin bag full of fishing line
  • A handful of hooks
  • Approximately 30 lbs of lead
  • A plastic pipe
  • 2 knives
  • Several other pieces of miscellaneous garbage

It was our second dive that proved to be a big surprise. I don’t think any of us suspected to find and remove what we did. We started the dive in the same location, however this time, we moved towards a nearby island that many fishermen walk out to during low tide. My buddy and I were diligently looking for garbage before I got distracted by a nudibranch. A moment later my buddy hurriedly got my attention. He had encountered a small wreck with a massive ball of line entangled around the ships decaying anchor.

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It took a bit of effort, but after signaling the other members of our group, and working together, we were able to remove the bundle from the ocean. The Bundle turned out to be mostly made up of a mass of longline. The whole things weighed over 50 pounds and we needed three people to carry it from the boat to the truck.

It’s a Worldwide Problem

Our dive site cleanup proves that no matter where you are, you can find a piece of fishing line or some kind of garbage that doesn’t belong. Plastic pollution has permeated the farthest and most uninhabited regions of our ocean. Meaning that in a place where there are many of us, I’m sure you can find a piece of trash or two. I believe that every dive should be a dive site cleanup, not just the designated dive site cleanup dives. Which is exactly why I am calling you out as a diver and creating this challenge. I challenge you to pick up that garbage and put in its place!

Every dive should be a dive site cleanup, not just the designated dive site cleanup dives #fightoceanpollution

Participating in the #CleanDiveChallenge

Being a part of this challenge is easy. All you have to do is pick up the garbage that you see while diving. Take a picture with that trash and recycle it, upcycle it, or put it in the trash bin. Then, put that picture on social media with the hashtag #CleanDiveChallenge and tag at least one dive buddy. that buddy, in turn, needs to respond to the challenge and tag another buddy. The goal is to have pristine dive sites all over the world and help make our oceans a cleaner place.

Copy paste the text below into your social media post, just don’t forget to tag a dive buddy.

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I completed the #CleanDiveChallenge and I nominate INSERT DIVE BUDDY/BUDDIES HERE
Plastic pollution is going under the radar! Awareness needs to be raised hence the making of this challenge! Anyone who doesn’t complete the challenge needs to donate to project aware at https://netdonor.net/page/17238/donate/1

At the rate we are going, in less than 30 years there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish. To stop this from happening we need to not only reduce plastic use but remove the trash that is already polluting our waters. Every year over 100 Million marine animals are killed by garbage in our ocean. It is time that we, as individuals, do something about it.

Learn More about the Clean Dive Challenge https://seareinascall.com/2018/09/26/dive-site-cleanup-challenge/

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Help fight plastic pollution and clean our planet.

As divers, we have a unique opportunity to make an impact. We are diving in key habitats all the time. That’s where all the cool sights are right? So, why not protect these places ourselves? Why not help the animals that we love and care about? It doesn’t take much effort from us, but it will make a big difference for the marine habitats we visit.

 

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Taking it a step further with Dive Against Debris

If you want to do a little bit more than just participate in this challenge you can always add your findings to Dive Against Debris. This program was created by Project AWARE. The idea is to participate in dive site cleanups and report your findings. They then take that information and create a map of ocean trash. The reported data is very useful and tells us where the highest concentrations of garbage are. This information can lead to trash and recycling reforms in areas where it is most crucial.

As I said before, dive sites cleanups are great, however, people go diving just for fun more often than they participate in active cleanups. You don’t need to wait for a cleanup. You can pick up trash on any dive and submit your findings to dive against debris. You can also donate to Project AWARE to help fight against ocean pollution.

Cheers to Clean Diving!

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Share Away!

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reduce air consumption

5 Crucial Steps to Reduce Air Consumption

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Ranelle Ivens

SITE AUTHOR

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Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology.

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To stay in that place where time slows down, where you are weightless and where nature constantly surprises you. To be there for even just a minute longer to savor that blissful feeling is what every diver wants. We all know that when the needle on our gauge falls too far that our time is up, and must return to our other reality. It always happens too fast. Lucky for us, there is one thing that we can always improve. Reduce air consumption.

To stay in that place where time slows down, where you are weightless and where nature constantly surprises you. To be there for even just a minute longer to savor that blissful feeling is what every diver wants.

How to Reduce Air Consumption

If you reduce air consumption you have more time before your tank runs low. Which means more time underwater, or at least as much as your computer or dive tables will allow. If you are running out of air before you are running out of bottom time, you’ve got room for improvement. How do we go about doing that? Keep reading.

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You are not a flying

Even though it may feel like it sometimes. You are not a bird and you are not in the sky. When underwater many divers like to use their arms to swim. If you are one of these divers then stop. Just stop. Arm flailing is for birds, we are fish and fish swim with their tails. The reason for this is that moving and especially swimming with your arms is inefficient. Not only does it not get you as far as your flippers, but it also gets your heart pumping. Which, in turn, leads to shortness of breath and an increased rate of air consumption.

Instead of flailing, smacking your dive buddies, freaking out animals and being out of control use your fins. Clasp your hands together, cross your arms, leave them limp at your sides. It doesn’t much matter so long as they are not moving. At first, it may be tricky but just focus on keeping them still and you will get the hang of it. You will also notice a change in your buoyancy, so be prepared to add a little air if need be. Which brings me tip number two.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://seareinascall.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/img_6255.jpg” _builder_version=”3.14″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.14″]

Buoyancy

Yeah, you’ve probably been told a million times diving is all about buoyancy. Sorry, but it’s true. If you want to be a good diver and improve your air consumption you are going to need to get really good at buoyancy control. I’ve written a detailed guide on mastering buoyancy so I will give it to you in short. Weight yourself properly, learn to control your buoyancy with just your breath, and practice, a lot.

Being in control of your buoyancy will reduce if not eliminate the need to add and dump air into your BCD. It will also help you relax so you aren’t rolling around all over the place. All three of these benefits will reduce air consumption and help extend your dive time.

From the book of a Yogi

Wondering what diving has in common with yoga? Breath control. Simply, you need to learn to control your breathing if you want to reduce air consumption. The first step is to actually pay attention to your breath. After that, you should try to relax and slow it down a little.

I find the best method is to breathe in slowly for 5 seconds and then breath out slowly for as long as you can. However, don’t force it. If you feel like you need to breath in again do it. Mastering this technique takes time. With practice, you will notice that taking one breath will take up to 20 seconds. As you can imagine this will make your tank last a lot longer. Not to mention you will feel more relaxed during your dive.

Once you have gotten the hang of this technique and you feel it comes to you naturally, stop paying attention to your breathing. Sometimes paying too much attention to it will increase your air consumption. This comes from stressing over it. Instead, establish a rhythm, then relax and enjoy your dive. If you feel yourself losing your beat then come back to your breath and reestablish the pattern.

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Stop Fighting the Ocean

While diving you are going to feel currents, surge, and swells. Most people will try to fight against these natural forces. Sometimes you will need to but in many cases, you don’t. When dealing with surge and swell you will be tossed around a little bit forward and back, or side to side. The best option is to relax and focus on maintaining buoyancy. Just go with the flow and the ocean will likely put you right back where you were. It may even help you get to where you wanted to go.

When dealing with the current you will need to decide whether you are swimming with it, or against it. Always take into consideration your dive plan before choosing. If you need to return to where you started then begin swimming against the current.

Swimming against the Current

That being said swimming against the current can be tiring and will almost always increase air consumption. The trick to minimalizing the impact is to go slow. Often currents will have small lulls. Take advantage of the lulls to move forward. If the current increases stay were you are and look in the rocks until it passes. Once it resumes its normal force, continue to move at a slow and steady pace. This will make swimming against the currents much easier and less straining.

Swimming with the current

In comparison to swimming against the current, swimming with the current can be very relaxing. The key is to not swim, or swim as little as possible. Instead, use your fins to steer and only speed up when necessary. If you need to slow down try flaring out, if that doesn’t work you can always turn and swim against the current. Whenever there is a time that you don’t need to kick or swim, take advantage of it. It will almost always reduce air consumption.

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Frankie Says Relax

Just do it! When you want to get to better air consumption you need to relax. This is probably one of the most important steps to reducing your air consumption. Being nervous, giving into anxiety, and stressing are things that you need to let go of. At least while you are underwater. Battling your mind isn’t always easy but for 45 minutes of the day try to just enjoy the life around you. Aim your focus on the fish and beauty of the world around you. Distract yourself from your mind and let go.

Battling your mind isn’t always easy but for 45 minutes of the day try to just enjoy the life around you.

 

Another trick to reduce air consumption is to pay attention to the muscles in your body. Try to consciously relax each of them. allow them to go limp and take advantage of being weightless. It may even work out some of those kinks in your back. The more you accustom yourself to being underwater and truly enjoying it the less air you will use. Nervous and new divers almost always use more air than anyone else. So just take it easy; you’ll get there.

 

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life cycle of a sea turtle

Life Cycle of a Sea Turtle

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parallax_method=”on” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”no-repeat”][et_pb_image src=”https://seareinascall.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/img_6368.jpg” admin_label=”Image (min 1080px wide 16:9 ratio)” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ border_style=”solid” animation=”off” sticky=”off”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row custom_padding=”|30px||30px” custom_padding_phone=”0px|0px|0px|0px” custom_padding_last_edited=”on|phone” background_color_2=”#e7e6d7″ background_position_1=”top_left” background_position_2=”top_left” background_repeat_1=”no-repeat” background_repeat_2=”no-repeat” padding_right_2=”9px” padding_bottom_2=”50px” padding_left_2=”9px” module_class_2=”dd-overlap-row” custom_css_main_2=”margin-top: -75px;” _builder_version=”3.0.92″][et_pb_column type=”2_3″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”no-repeat”][et_pb_post_title author=”off” date=”off” comments=”off” featured_image=”off” admin_label=”Post Title (and categories)” module_class=”dd-post-title” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ title_font=”Lato|||on|” title_text_color=”#04493e” title_font_size=”30px” meta_font=”Lato||||” meta_text_color=”#f9a340″ meta_font_size=”13″ custom_margin=”||0px|” border_style=”solid”][/et_pb_post_title][et_pb_divider color=”#078773″ divider_weight=”3″ module_class=”dd-divider” _builder_version=”3.2″ custom_css_main_element=”width: 12%;” hide_on_mobile=”off”][/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text (intro)” module_class=”dd-text” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ text_font=”Lato||||” text_text_color=”#04493e” text_font_size=”18″ text_line_height=”1.4em” border_style=”solid”]How turtley do you need to be, to be turtley enough to join the turtle club? I would say more turtley than you can ever imagine. Most turtles don’t even make the club as only 1 in a 1000 turtles make it to adulthood. his is because the life cycle of a sea turtle is pretty intense. In their life they face many dangers and challenges and need to persevere against impossible odds. Even before a turtle is born they need to be tougher than their shells to survive. Let’s find out why.
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You gotta Start Somewhere

The life cycle of a sea turtle starts in an egg… That’s buried in half a foot of sand. The mothers do not guard their nests but rather, they bury their eggs at night and return to the sea. Leaving nature to do the rest; literally It is as soon as mom leaves the eggs that the babies begin to face danger. Many birds, and scavenger animals like foxes will sniff out nests to eat the eggs. There are also human poachers who will dig up the eggs and sell them as food.

After the smorgasbord and 55-145 days most of the remaining eggs will hatch. Once they are born they stay in the nest for a number of days. They do this so that they may absorb their yoke and gain strength before the treacherous task ahead, Then, once the sand cools they now night has fallen. It is at this time that they make their escape!
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Though taking a stroll down the beach sounds easy, you need to remember you are not a baby turtle. There aren’t birds, dogs and other animals just waiting for you to pop your head out of the sand. Nor are you so small that fishing line, plastic bags, and other trash appear as impossible hurdles leading to potential death. Apart from avoiding hazards, baby turtles need to find the water. They do so by looking for natural light from the ocean horizon, feeling the slope of the beach and searching for wave crests. Unfortunately, lights from campfires, cars, towns and other artificial sources can confuse them, stopping them from ever finding the sea.

The little guys that do make it to the water then begin what’s called a swimming frenzy. Basically, they swim like mad until they reach the open ocean far away from coastal waters. On the way out they need to worry about birds, fish garbage, boats and fishing gear. Luckily, once they make it to the open ocean life is a little less hazardous. Beng away from the coast line means less birds, and little boat traffic. Unfortunately it does not reduce the amount

The ‘Lost Years’

Little is known about what baby turtles do once they get out to sea. There are many speculations such as they spend their time floating among seaweed, or drifting in ocean currents until they become larger. A group of scientists interested in the life cycle of a sea turtle carried out a study in which they tracked baby turtles using a solar tracker and satellites. They found that the turtles travel A LOT. I’m talking like 700 miles in 11 days a lot. It was also observed that the turtles stayed at the edge of the continental shelf. The turtles spend 8-11 years of their life this way. By this time they are around the size of a dinner plate. At this time they swim back inland to coastal waters where they live out their lives
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”1182,1175,1174,784″ gallery_captions=”This turtle is hungry!,He’s looking right at me!,even though the life cycle of a sea turtle is hard this guy keeps his chin up,” fullwidth=”on” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ background_layout=”dark” max_width=”80%” module_alignment=”center”][/et_pb_gallery][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.0.92″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text (main post content)” module_class=”dd-post” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ text_font=”Lato||||” text_text_color=”#04493e” text_font_size=”15″ text_line_height=”1.4em” header_font=”||||||||” header_text_color=”#04493e” border_style=”solid”]

Adulting Sea turtle style

Some sea turtles need to wait a long time before they can be considered an ‘adult.’ In fact, depending on species it can take anywhere form 10 to 50 years for some species. Once said species reaches sexual maturity they begin mating and reproducing. Female turtles tend to be promiscuous girls where ever they are, and will mate with multiple males. They do this because females have the ability to store sperm for long periods of time giving more genetic variety to their clutches.
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_video src=”https://youtu.be/Suazhu2Dy0Q” _builder_version=”3.0.92″][/et_pb_video][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.92″]Once they’ve finished getting giggidy-giggidy the male goes back to his normal life. The new mother on the other hand will make her way back to where she was born to lay her eggs. I find this to be an extraordinary feat. When that turtle was a baby they memorized how to get back ‘home’ to somewhere they potentially haven’t been in 50 years. Each turtle will lay between 2-8 nests consisting of 50-200 eggs (depending on species) each nesting season.
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Why are Sea Turtles so Engangered?

Sea Turtles have been around for 65 million years. Despite all the dangers they face and odds that are stacked so against them. Yet now, sea turtles are facing extinction. This is because all of a sudden in the last 80 years new threats were introduced that sea turtles just don’t have a chance against. Initially, they became endangered in 1973, just 30 some years ago. This was due to over fishing of the species. People hunted them for their shells, meat, eggs, and leather. So much so that their populations dropped to unhealthy levels. Now, we have laws forbidding the hunting of turtles, yet they are still dying.

More and more turtles are dying from pollution. Not just fishing nets and, boat traffic, but plastic and chemicals that are entering being allowed to enter our ocean. Sometimes the garbage and toxic waste is even put there deliberately. Not to mention that many turtles have lost prime nesting grounds due to coastal development. o many people and lights means that turtles need to nest elsewhere. This combined with water pollution and the poaching of turtles, it is difficult for these species to survive on their own.

 
[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://seareinascall.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/1535574211628.jpg” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ max_width=”80%” module_alignment=”center”][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.92″]Over 300 turtles were found dead on the coast of mexico Photo Credit Goes to  Fox News

Become a Turtley Enough

Wanna join the turtle club? Then you need to fight these threats, just like the turtles. Reduce water pollution. Stop using so much plastic and go reusable. Don’t buy turtle products! As cool as it might be to have a carved turtle shell on your shelf at home, purchasing such an item is supporting illegal poaching. What is even better than saying no is to report the people who are selling these things. Another great way to join the turtle club is to share this post (yeah I know shameless self promotion, but for a good cause!). If you learnt anything about the life cycle of a sea turtle someone else can too!

Of Course another great way to help the  turtle is by supporting conservation efforts. There are many fantastic organizations out there that could use your help. One example is the Turtle Island Restoration Network. They have achieved some amazing accomplishments in turtle conservation such as shutting down a Mexican slaughter house and saving 50,000 turtles. Donating to this federally approved non-profit charity will aid in future endeavors such as these so you know your money is going to good use.

How do you plan on becoming part of the turtle club?

What surprised you most about the life cycle of a sea turtle?

Is there something I didn’t include about the life cycle of a sea turtle?

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Let Others Know

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Some Other Articles you Might Like

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diving with children

Diving with Children

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Ranelle Ivens

SITE AUTHOR

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Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology.

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You would think that teaching or diving with children would be difficult and scary. When I first became an instructor it was definitely something I was nervous about but it really isn’t that bad. In fact, more often than  not, diving with children is so much more fun. And Teaching them? Usually a total breeze!

This week I was able to teach two bubble makers and an advanced course to an adolescent boy. I had a great time hanging out with the kids and it was all thanks to my great friend and fellow mermaid Bobbie Jo. Bobbie Jo was having a busy week and called me up to give her a hand with the little ones which led to these amazing adventures.

The Bubblemakers

The week began in the pool with two excited youngsters who were ready to try SCUBA diving. We had a blast doing all kinds of fun tricks like helicopter spins, mermaid kicks, and hand stands! Both children really seemed to enjoy them selves in the pool and it wasn’t long after surfacing that they were asking about  the ocean.

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Thanks to Bobbie Jo at Sirenas Diving for the extra photos!

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After loading up the boat the children and I went snorkeling while the divers were diving. We saw many colorful fish and some big ole eels before it was time to head in. During the surface interval we went to a favorite beach of mine, Playa Jicaro for or bubble makes. This beach is calm, clear,and shallow with lots of corals and sea grass. A perfect location for little bubble makers. The kids did great and the older sister was especially enthusiast. By the end of our adventure the was already wanting to get certified!

The Advanced course

The advanced course is by far my favorite class to teach. With all the electives the course is always a little different from the last time so it never feels repetitive. Another reason I love this class is because people who sign up for this certification are people who love to SCUBA dive.

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PPB

Was an absolute BLAST! We both had so much fun on the first three dives I didn’t know if tomorrow could ever compete! Dive one was the Peak Performance Buoyancy dive. While diving mastering buoyancy is such an important skill. This is exactly why I recommend this adventure dive to my advanced students. Before the dive was over this little guy  was doing the moonwalk, front flipping, and hovering upside down like a seasoned diver. In between skills we were graced by a friendly eagle ray. Watch the video below to see just how friendly he was! Shortly afterwards we found a small turtle who was just as friendly! He even let us take a selfie or two. The little guy just sat there noming away on the blue tunicates while we marveled at him jaws agape.

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Navigation

Our  second dive was the Navigation dive at Tortuga where we practiced compass use and basic search patterns. The kid flew through the skills with ease and then we were off exploring the dive site. On this dive we ran into many sharks. However the big highlight was at the very end of the dive where wee ran into another turtle! This one was quite a bit bigger but didn’t mind the entourage of divers one bit. We all took photos and videos of the turtle before we had to shallow up for our safety stop. Then, to our surprise, the turtle actually swam to the area we were doing our safety stop in and continued to dine on his lunch among all the divers!

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Underwater Naturalist

After two great dives I was starting to wonder how the third was going to end up. To my surprise it was just as bountiful as the others. I must have been running high on luck that day as we got into the waters at chilliguaro dive site. We began the dive with lots of fish, a few nudibranchs, and a seahorse! Soon after we ended up in the sand beds. The sand beds are a great place to find stingrays and we were in no way disappointed. After the rays we took a lazy gander through what I like to call the gardens. It was there that we found not one but two frog fish! Suffice to say we found all kinds of vertebrate, invertebrates and plants for our underwater naturalist dive!

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Day 2

We were off to the Catalina Islands! On our way out to the sites A baby humpback whale caught everyone off guard when it suddenly preformed a full breach! The splash it left behind was huge! We slowed the boat in hopes that we could catch another jump on camera. The whale did not jump again but it did give us a wave and let us admire it’s pretty tail.

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The Deep Dive

We preformed the deep dive at the wall. This dive site is a Catalina favorite of many as it has many sharks and good chances for the giant manta ray. We preformed our deep dive skills at 82ft. We were able to observe the difference in depth gauge readings as well as a significant loss of color! after our skills were completed we enjoyed the rest of our dive swimming among sharks and schools of fish. We also saw some giant dogtooth snappers!

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Shark Aware Adventure Dive

While diving at dive site Arcoiris there is no better adventure dive to do that Shark Aware! This dive site has a large sand bed where you can find as many as 14 sharks at one time! It always so nice to see so many sharks in one place with the dangers they face. We were able to get within a respectable distance to the sharks allowing us to take not of individual markings, and genders. We also found a number of octopus on this dive that out exploring the reef!

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What it’s like diving with children

Diving with children is a very rewarding experience. For me it is a great opportunity to act silly and be extra goofy. Something that I love but am not always able to do. I believe it is very important to stop being an adult sometimes and let yourself be a kid. It so important to play and have fun, and children are great teachers!

If there is a downside to diving with children would say that it is the stress that comes with safety. Safety is very important especially when diving, and even more so with precious young lives. As safe as diving can be it can also be dangerous. This is why I always strictly follow the standards laid out by my diving institution. However, you never know what your students are going to be like and some listen better than others. Luckily,in most circumstances, the children understand that they need to follow the rules when it comes to diving.

Would you ever take your child SCUBA diving?

Have you ever been diving with children?

What were your advanced course electives?

Other thoughts, questions or comments? Speak up in the comment section Below!

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