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TDI Tech Diving Weekend


Feb 26-28 2010.   Subtropic is hosting a TDI Tech Diving Weekend. Come for a “meet & greet” social on Friday evening with Brian Carney, President of TDI, and others, then dive the Vandenberg (Max 150 f/46 m) on Saturday, and on Sunday dive the wreck of the Curb (200 ft/61 m max). 
The first 6 TDI divers to book will get 2 spots for the price of 1. –* Both divers must show TDI Deco procedures or deeper C-card at the store during Friday’s check in to take advantage of the special
If you are a TDI/SDI Dive Center, book your spaces before January 8th and get a 20% discount on all your spaces.
Price of the weekend is only $160 plus tax of 7.5%.
Reserve your space with $80 deposit that is fully refundable up to February 1st, 2010. No refunds after February 1st, 2010.
There will be contests for prizes, and the opportunity to buy any and all tech gear you try out at a discounted rate.
Once you have booked your spot, Subtropic Dive Center will send you a confirmation email with a detailed itinerary.
Accommodation can be arranged, but must be booked a min of 2 weeks in advance. Rental gear is available, but limited, so please book your rental equipment needs at the time of your booking with Subtropic dive center to insure availability. All fills will be available at Subtropic Dive Center. Inquire with Subtropic Dive Center for rates.
This event is open to all TDI/SDI Dive Centers and all Tech divers (individuals and groups) and must be deco procedures or deeper certified, or be part of a class to participate on the dives.
Looking Forward to diving with you! CONTACT SUBTROPIC TODAY info@subtropic.com





Subtropic has been a dive destination for over 25 years. It has seen many changes over that time, but one thing has remained consistent over that time, and that is customer service. “The main thing we do that keeps divers coming back year after year is listening to their needs and adapting with the changing times to offer what they want,” says Robin Lockwood, owner of Subtropic.
Not only does Subtropic offer recreational dive trips out to the wrecks and reefs of Key West, but we also offer Tech diving trips for those divers who are more advanced and wish to see something different. The USS Curb, the USS Wilkes-Barre and the S-16 Sub are all wrecks that Billy Deans did back in the day, and Tech divers want a piece of that history.
Of course, the latest wreck to go down in the Key West fleet is the USNS Vandenberg (sunk May 09). It is the perfect training platform for both Tech divers and rebreathers, ranging from a depth of 55’ – 150’.
Nitrox and Trimix is becoming the norm for a number of visitors to the Key West wrecks. Subtropic has been supplying these for a long time. “We have huge 32% banks and the capability to pump any Helium mix your heart desires” says Robin. “We have welcomed tech divers since we opened our doors and are seeing more and more rebreathers, especially now that the Vandenberg has gone down”. 
Subtropic runs Tech and Rebreather specific charters to groups who wish to dive any of the more advanced wrecks around Key West. You are an advanced diver and want to stay down for two – four hours? No problem! Our Tech specific boat only takes out tech and rebreathers so you can have all the bottom time you want.
As a TDI Diving Facility, Subtropic offers all instructors who are bringing down tech students a great discounted rate. If you are interested in becoming a Tech diver, call Subtropic for their list of Tech instruction.
If you are planning a short vacation or a week-long diving bonanza, Subtropic can also arrange lodging for you at great rates.
To summarize, Subtropic is a down-to-earth, friendly and knowledgeable company whose attitude is to safely  ‘get out there and dive!


Annapolis Update from BC artificial reef organization


By Doug Pemberton, Vice-President ARSBC
Eighteen months ago the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC) began work on their latest project. The helicopter carrying destroyer escort HMCS Annapolis is a large ship, 370’ long with five decks containing hundreds of compartments, including crews’ quarters, offices, galleys and dozens of cramped machinery spaces (pictured left). Powered by diesel powered steam turbines there is also a huge engine room and boiler room to deal with. The scope of work necessary to ensure that these ships are cleaned to the meticulous standards as set out by Environment Canada and also made as safe for divers as training, experience and common sense will allow, is a bit intimidating.
We had not sunk a ship since the Cape Breton in 2001, but last year there was an air of anticipation, optimism and confidence within the society and the local diving industry and we knew it was time. The Annapolis is our eighth project in BC over the past 20 years and we are no stranger to the trials and tribulations and hard work necessary in preparing and deploying an artificial reef.
For this project, we are working with members of the Canadian Artificial Reef Consultants (CARC), a group of alumni from the ARSBC who have gone on to take the artificial reef model internationally.
The first several months were spent removing the ‘low hanging fruit’, the easily accessible items such as bunks, doors, lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, aluminum racks used to hold up the miles of wiring, and air ducts and copper pipes that wind their way throughout the ship. We also dismantled hundreds of filing cabinets in storage areas in the lower decks. And let’s not forget everyone’s favorite job, removing and bagging fiberglass insulation (640 bags to be exact!) from areas of the ship where it might pose a hazard or in areas where bulkheads need to be exposed in order to cut diver access holes.
Funding for these projects has always come mainly from the recycling of metals on board such as copper, brass and aluminum and when we started this project the economy was good and prices of these metals were at an all time high. Then, last September the world economy collapsed and metal prices went with it forcing us to rethink the parameters of the project. But nothing could dampen our determination and being adaptable is a necessity when working on these projects.
Presently much of the ‘simple’ work is pretty much done and we have moved into the next phase of the operation which involves the dismantling of the boiler room, engine room and other machinery spaces. These are also the areas where the majority of the salvageable metals are to be found.  
It is planned that the ship will be ready for its final inspection early in the New Year and then the process of application for a sink permit can begin. If all goes well we may be issued that permit next spring. After that it is a matter of waiting for suitable weather and organizing events around the sinking.
The artificial reefs that we have sunk to date make for some great diving but more than that they provide important benefits to the marine environment. They provide the horizontal and vertical profile needed to provide safe habitats for a great diversity of marine invertebrates, fish and plants at a variety of depths. The large convoluted surface area interacts with nutrient-rich currents that also carry planktonic or juvenile forms of life looking for a suitable environment. For that reason placing these ships is always a challenge as the sink site must meet very specific criteria as far as depth, bottom topography, exposure to current and existing marine life. There are also issues that deal with underwater cables, boat traffic, commercial activities and other recreational activities, impact to local residents and First Nations consent. Our goal for the Annapolis has always been to place this ship in Howe Sound but our challenges have been complicated by the fact that Howe Sound is a fjord and most areas are either too steep, too deep or too shallow. There are also active shipping areas with tugs and ferry traffic, underwater cables and areas that are recognized as sport fishing zones. After surveying a variety of locations we have picked Halkett Bay, a small bay at the east end of Gambier Island about a 20 minute boat trip from Horseshoe Bay.
It has been an incredible, very busy, but very rewarding year. We are starting to see the results of all our efforts. And it is not just the efforts of the ARSBC. The ARSBC has always relied heavily on volunteers to get these ships prepared and the Annapolis is no different. To date volunteers have put in nearly 9000 hours of untiring commitment to the project! Like the proverbial mailman we have been out on the ship in every kind of weather, from downpours to snow storms and blistering heat to freezing cold. Volunteers have come from all over British Columbia, Alberta, California, Oregon, as well as a strong and regular contingent from Washington State. Volunteers have been invaluable to this project and we are so grateful to their hard work and determination.
For more information on the ARSBC and the Annapolis, please visit our website www.artificialreef.bc.ca



The articles, positions and statements contained in this publication are not necessarily those of SD™ TDI™ or ERDI™ its BOD, officers or
employees.  Opinions, conclusions, and other information in this publication are solely those of the authors and are neither given nor endorsed by the agencies mentioned. Total editorial freedom and expression is solely retained and the responsibility of the editors/writers.

July Featured STI Trip

Little Cayman – August 8 – 15, 2009


Ninety miles northeast of Grand Cayman lies the island of Little Cayman and the exciting Little Cayman Beach Resort. The two story guest buildings line the large freshwater pool which offers a beautiful view of the ocean. Porches and balconies are in abundance, adding a quaintness reminiscent of the European origins of the early settlers. The famous " Bloody Bay " wall is a hop, skip, and a giant stride from the resort offering spectacular diving starting at 18 feet and descending to over 6000 feet.

The island offers the best of both worlds: a charming, tropical resort on a quiet, unspoiled island, surrounded by breathtaking coral walls. Topside relax on the beach, bicycle around the island or hike through the largest bird sanctuary in the Caribbean . Spend an unforgettable week at the "island that time forgot".

Diver Package Price: $1715.00 – Non-Diver Package Price: $1366.00 (Based on double occupancy)

Single Supplement – $400 pp

A $350.00 non refundable deposit will reserve your space