AIRHEADS SCUBA      logo.jpg (46466 bytes) 

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         NEWS ARCHIVES             


9 Dec 2001

Awards Dinner 

Well, if you missed the Airheads Annual Awards dinner, you missed a good time.  We had both turkey and ham on the menu this year as well as Kaye's famous homemade eggnog.

Dale Huff received the award this year for educational achievement (the most classes taken in one year).  He took five classes this year:  deep diver, computer diver, drysuit diver, nitrox, and advanced.  In addition to his certificate of achievement, he received a gift from Airheads.  We consider this award to be very important as knowledge is the key to being a safe diver and the backstone of our philosophy at Airheads Scuba.

Philip Janes proudly displayed his Most Active Diver award.  He ran off easily with the most dives for the second year in a row, with 77 dives for the year.  In addition to his certificate, he also received a gift.   This award is also important as the more often you are in the water the more confident and capable diver you become.

We didn't have one recipient for this year's booney award; we had three of our illustrious group recognized for their contribution to zaney diving antics.  As a group they dressed out in their drysuits on a 80 degree plus evening and proceeded to head for the trench and cool water at Martha's Quarry for the treasure hunt.   Martha's Quarry surface temperatures in late summer are usually in the mid 80's with temperatures of  mid 50's in the trench.  The only problem was they somehow neglected to take a heading for the cool water.  They found that exercise in a drysuit is not for the faint of heart.  They all admitted sheepishly that they probably wouldn't try a repeat of the adventure.  Oh, lest  I forget, the names of the award recipients are Dale Huff, Bill Young and Ed Bates.  (Ed technically can't receive the award as he is a part owner, but for this occasion we made an exception.)

Last but never forgotten, Jeff Barnett humbly accepted the Wanna be Diver award this year with his grand total of two dives for 2001 (both of which were done last January).  As you can see below, Dennis gives no quarter in awarding this auspicious award!  You see, Dennis has this theory (based on lots of ancedotal evidence) that any vehicle sporting a dive flag license plate is owned by a diver who doesn't dive.   Hence, in addition to the accolades, he always dispenses a generous portion of friendly advice.

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9 Dec 2001

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Remember:  This year's big sale ends in just over a week (Dec 15, 2001).  All products except Poseidon are reduced from 15% to 30%.  This sale is the only store-wide sale we offer a year.

We will be going back to the monthly coupon specials in January.

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Year in review, A personal observation.

Well, another year has come and is about gone.  I want to take this opportunity to thank all our friends and customers for supporting Airheads Scuba in our aim to offer the best training and personal service possible.   We still believe that diving is a great sport, and we want to pass on our enthusiasm to as many people as possible.  Though the events of this fall did not directly touch the lives of our customers, none of us was immune to the events.  Diving has been a continuing good diversion from some of the evils of the world.

The dive shop continues to excel in its promotion of safe diving.  We offer a full range of dive education opportunities that the other area shops cannot offer due to our technical expertise.  We always strive to be leaders in the dive community. 

Nitrox divers:  You no longer have to wait for fills!  We now can pump nitrox while you wait.  We recently more than doubled our normal air bank capacity and added a nitrox bank for EAN36.  We have changed a few things in the layout of the shop, so if you haven't been out for a while you will be in for a surprise.   Our anti-fragmentation fill station has been upgraded by Eagle Compressor (the manufacturer) to further increase the safety of our fill station operators and customers in the unlikely event of a cylinder failure. 

During 2001 we continued our tradition of being in the water two to three weekends a month. We have done this since our inception in 1997 and will continue the tradition as long as we are in business.  This is not a gimmick; it's our dedication to and enthusiasm for the sport of diving.

Next year we are planning to expand our gas fill facility to make trimix and heliox mixes easier to mix.  We also have a helium analyzer which is used to analyze trimix mixtures.  

Though I had a feeling that I hadn't been able to do much in the way of diving this year, I was surprised at what I personally have been able to accomplish.   On analyzing my dives, I found that things were in reality not that bad.   Although I only was able to do 55 personal dives, they represented over 50 hours of bottom time.  The biggest surprise for me was that I did only about 2 hours of open circuit diving (standard openwater equipment).  I have accomplished a great deal in development of a closed circuit system of my hybrid design and have amassed over 24 hours of closed circuit (rebreather) diving. 

I was able to do a record dive time (for me) of 2 hours and 30 minutes in Jackson Blue.  This was accom- plished with my dive partner Dennis Price who was diving doubles and a stage bottle on open circuit.  I was also able to do a 63 m (206 ffw) dive with the rebreather as well.  

But some of the best diving I did this year was with my wife Kaye in Panama City.  We were diving with the rebreathers and were able to get right up on to the critters before they were aware of us.  Diving doesn't have to be deep or long in order to be fun.  At the same time, technological changes can improve your dive experience.  Don't be afraid of new innovations.  We will help you fully comprehend them and utilize them to their maximum to help your diving be as enjoyable as possible based on your own individual goals.

Dale Bletso

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New Nitrox Policy

Recently we disassembled a set of nitrox service valves and found them to be in pretty poor shape.  Below is a photo of the valve parts.  Due to the deterioration of these pieces, we are now requiring oxygen cleaning of all cylinders and valves used for mixed gases (nitrox, trimix, etc.) on a yearly basis.

We are concerned with the potential for an oxygen fire while the cylinder is filled by the partial pressure method so prevalent in the industry.  We are also concerned about the potential loss of gas due to a valve failure at depth. 


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17 November 2001

Cylinder failure costs a life

There was a fatality in south Florida when a scuba cylinder which was being filled exploded.  This is a reminder to all our customers that we at Airheads take cylinder filling and visual inspections very serious.  Airheads is the only dive shop in Kentuckiana that uses an adequate fill station designed by experts to withstand the million pounds of kinetic energy that is released when a cylinder explodes. 

The gentleman who was killed was filling the cylinder in a water bath for cooling.   The tragedy is that the cylinder was both out of hydro and visual inspections.   It was a needless, senseless tragedy.  The inside of the cylinder was severely corroded, which weakened the walls of the cylinder.  As with most cylinder failures, it failed during the fill process. 

Report on the tricycle race

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I must admit that I didn't know what to expect with an underwater tricycle race at the onset.  But it was for a good cause so we packed up the vehicles with dive gear -- rebreathers and all -- and we all went over to the pool.  For our part, Airheads Scuba raised money for the Toys for Tots by donating the proceeds from the rebreather experiences we did.  Special thanks to Draeger Dive for donating the use of the Ray rebreathers.  We provided the Dolphins.

Ed Bates acted as a safety diver for the races, Dennis Price was our open water instructor for any scuba experiences, and I did the rebreather experiences.

A special thank you for those of our customers who showed up to support us and the program.  Our own Alphonso Philips actually made it to the final heats in the races. Not bad for a new diver! 


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Annual Holiday Party

This is a reminder for all that our annual dinner party will be held at Airheads at 6:00pm on Saturday, 8 December 2001 .  As always, we will provide the soft drinks and meat.  If you plan to attend, please call the shop so we have an idea on how many will be here and bring a side dish. 

We still are looking for the booney award recipient this year.  If anyone knows something goofey a fellow diver did and you feel he merits this special attention, I urge you to nominate him/her.

27 October 2001


The weather this past weekend was ideal.  The water temperature has started to drop, however.  The next time any of you see Dennis ask him about the skin diving ditch and don in 66 degree water in a skin.  Brrr.  Dennis Price just finished his instuctor evaluation at Alabama Blue Water in Birmingham.  We wish to extend our congratulations on a job well done.  I am sure he will agree it has been a long haul and a difficult endeavor.  He is eager to get into teaching others the sport he enjoys so much.  Dennis has been busy this year.  He has accomplished his instructor training and Advanced Nitrox course this year.  He is also currently working on Decompression Procedures and Trimix courses.

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Kentuckiana Underwater Explorers Society (KUES) is holding their annual Tricycle Race at the Hurstbourne YMCA  on November 10, 2001 starting at 4:00 pm.   For a ten dollar donation non-divers can have a scuba experience and for a twenty-five dollar donation certified divers can have a rebreather experience.  The donations will be going to the Toys for Tots program and will be used locally. 

Admittance for the tricycle race is a $5.00 toy .  You will have to supply your own equipment.

Come on out and join the fun and help a worthy cause.  Airheads Scuba with other local shops will be doing scuba experiences.  Airheads will be offering the rebreather experiences as we are the only ones in the area trained in this equipment..   We will have two Dolphin and two Ray rebreathers available.  We wish to thank Draeger Dive for the use of the Ray's for this special occassion.

Please call us at 957-1226 if you plan to attend.

Extreme Diving?

A lot of people think that some of us here at Airheads Scuba are involved in various forms of extreme diving activities.  There may be a kernel of truth in that believe as there is in most rumors.  However, I went onto a site the other day that really impressed me.  These people really have their act together. 

Visit this site and, if you have time, download their mpg clips.  If nothing else,  you will begin to understand that  interpretations of what are considered extreme diving activities are relative.  Dive safely.    http://www.tekdyk.dk/doux/index.html

By the way, we will be going to ABWA in Birmingham, Al next weekend (19, 20, 21 Oct) so Dennis can finish his Instructor check outs.  Volunteers are always welcome.  Call out to the shop if you are interested.

Dale Bletso  

Dive Rite weekend -UPDATE

We had a good turnout from Airheads in Pellham.  We left Friday morning and stopped at Madison Aquatic Park for some warm-up dives.  The vis was running better than 30 feet and the temp was 79 degrees all the way to the bottom!   Needless to say, we were pleasantly surprised at the warm water and had to improvise to dive in thin suits.  

We arrived at Alabama Blue Water early Saturday morning to help set up.   JT (Joe Taylor) and Del Motes showed up from Dive Rite.  They had plenty of gear to try out.   This included Transpacs, regulators, and dry suits.  Of course, there were a few new toys. 

We are proud to announce that Airheads is the first in Kentucky and Indiana to have a helium analyzer to ensure our trimix divers of the exact mix available.   This piece of equipment adds to the safety and quality of helium-based mixes available only here at Airheads Scuba.

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Another new toy (click to enlarge)

When I first started cave diving, the only lights available were canister lights which were both large and heavy.  Well, things have changed.  Dive Rite now has a new HID light with a nickel metal hydride battery pack.  The battery pack is so small it can actually be carried in a BC or thigh pocket!  It has a burn time of over 4 hours with a 10 watt HID lamp.  The 10 watt lamp gives the equivalent light output of a 50 watt halogen unit. 

Present at the demo days were: Ed Bates, Kelly Cordell, Dale Huff, Dennis Price, Tom Seaver, and of course myself.  We all managed to get at least two dives a day under our belts.  The vis at ABWA was very good, especially deep.  We managed to discover new areas of the quarry we had not visited before.  Remember, we invite anyone who wants to dive to tag along on our weekend dive outings. It is a great way to meet new people and dive.

Dale Bletso

Dive Rite weekend

There is another opportunity to try out some of the Dive Rite products.   This event will be held on the 22nd and 23rd of September at my fovorite dive site, Alabama Blue Water.  Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to call us so we can help in any hotel reservations.  This is a good time to meet and dive with new people.  As always Dive Rite personnel will be on site to help gear you up and explain why their gear is the best.


Special Thanks to all those who helped us at  our Kiosk in the Jefferson Mall this past weekend.

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Hopefully the many contacts we made will lead to many  future dive buddies.

Congratulations are in order for the following Open Water students;

Darlene Youngblood   Cheyenne Youngblood            Kenny Jarvis                 Par Juett

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Dennis Price did most of the work in this class for his instructor rating.

Congatulations are also in order for Mark Maschmeyer and Debbie Maschmeyer for sucessfully completing their Nitrox class.




Sunday, August 26, 2001

This will be the sixth annual treasure hunt for this quarry. Entry fee is $17.00 prior to August 20 and $22.00 after this deadline.  Each dive team will be allowed one hour to hunt for goodies.   All proceeds from this event go to support DAN, our emergency support organization for dive accidents and problems.

Come by the shop for full details and registration slips.

We will not be able to attend (see next column) but we wish everyone good luck.

Have a great day!


Airheads will be closed Friday and Saturday, August 24 and 25, 2001.  We will be doing a special promotion at the Jefferson Mall this weekend. 

If you need anything specifically from the store (such as air or rental equipment), please call ahead and make an appointment.  Otherwise, please visit us during regular mall hours:

10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday             12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Sunday.




Airheads Scuba personnel will be on site at Martha's Quarry from August 31 to Sept. 2 to parti- cipate in this event.   Come join us for a weekend of fun and great prizes!

$10,000 worth of dive gear will be hidden in the quarry.  Camping is allowed both Friday and Saturday nights FREE with payment of the entrance fee.

Admission is $25.00 Friday night.  Gates open at 6:00 p.m., and the hunt begins at 8:30 p.m.

Admission is $15.00 Saturday or Sunday, with the hunt ending at 5:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon.  Diving will be allowed at no extra charge Saturday night for those who have already paid the entrance fee for the day.

If you need anything for this weekend, please notify us ahead of time so that we can make special arrangements to meet you as the shop will be closed Friday, Aug. 31, and Saturday, Sept. 1.



Nitrox certification

Dale Huff  

Robert Raymond

Advanced Diver

Dale Huff

Visual Inspection Certification

Bill Routh Jr.

   Dave Walker

    William McClaskey

VIP class and dive in Lake Jocasse

8 July

Dennis and I went down to Salem, SC Saturday for the VIP class I was doing for Off the Wall Boat Charters.  As the owner was doing some open water work in the AM, we went along for one of Dennis's trimix course dives.  We were fortunate to dive the wall.  We were impressed by the 50 foot viz below 100 foot.  Water temp at depth was 50 degrees and 78 above 50-60 foot.  Of course the viz down to 50 foot was not as good. (20-30 foot)

The wall at Lake Jocasse is a spectacular dive as a rule.  It starts at 50 foot  and steps right off to 200 foot at normal pool.  From there it tapers off to about 350 foot about 200 yds out in the old river bed.  The valley and hills that form the lake were featured in the movie "Deliverance"  Two of the better dives here are the graveyard at 130 feet (also featured in the movie) and the wall.  There is also an authentic chinese junk at the edge of the wall that is kind of neat.  We encourage anyone to come on one of our weekend trips to Lake Jocasse.

By the way, the Visual Inspection class went off well and I feel sure we have added a few more attentive inspectors to the field.


ABWA - Dive Rite weekend

July 16 - 17

Well we had Kelly Cordell, Karen Backherms, Philip Janes and myself down to the event here in Alabama.  The weather was near letter perfect. Saturday I donated my Dive Rite side mount rig and MLS compact HID light for display. 

I managed to get fitted up for the new Dive Rite drysuit.  It is well made and very affordable for a pack suit.  The workmanship is very impressive.   They use no seam stitching but a ultrasonic welding process. It also comes with a pocket on each thigh and a neck seal with a hood tuck under.

Dive Rite had their new products on display.  Karen got to try their new fins and was very impressed with them.

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Wayne overwhelmed by all the goodies

Photo by Steve Parker

A Trip to PCB

19 - 26 July

Kaye and I went on vacation to Panama City.  We had intended on mixing ocean and cave diving, but Kaye came down with a cold so we stayed in PC.  We gave the Draeger rebreathers a good work out during the time we were there.  We only did the jetties due primarily to ear problems.  The current was for the most part good as we confined our dives to the slack periods.  The visibility was 30 to 40 feet on most of the dives. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the jetties in PCB they offer an excellent source for inexpensive diving with a large variety of marine life.  In fact we were lucky to find our old friend the 5 ft Jew fish at the end of the jetty.  I managed to get real close being on the rebreather. 

To name a few, we saw Townsend Angelfish, Spotfin Butterflyfish, Lookdowns, Bermuda Chubs, Atlantic Spadefish, Leopard Toadfish, Stripped Burrfish, Triggerfish, many varieties of damselfish, groupers, blennies and snappers. 

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On the way back from working in Georgia, I met up with Dale Huff for two days of diving at Alabama Blue Water.

Congratulations are in store for Dale Huff  as he was able to finish the following;

Deep Diver Specialty     Computer Diver Specialty         Dry Suit Specialty

One more specialty and with his 25 dives he will qualify for his advanced diver rating!

Don't forget this weekend is the  DIVE RITE demo weekend (16 and 17 June 2001) at Alabama Blue Water Adventures, Pelham Al.  For information go to http://www.divealabama.com

Dive Rite personnel will be on site to fit and gear you up to dive in their equipment!  Of course Airheads Scuba will be their as well.

Plum Run closed

It is indeed bad news that an excellent dive site is out of reach to divers.  We, as a society have no one to blame but ourselves.   A non-fatal incident occurred late last year.  As a result the operators of the quarry closed it down.  They feared legal repercussions in the case of a future more serious accident.  Opening, operating, and managing dive sites has become a legal quagmire in recent years.  As long as divers refuse to take responsibility for their actions these closings will become more common.  This is the second "local" quarry we have lost access to in the last five years. 

Worse still, the state of Hawaii has ruled the waiver as totally useless.  This is the wrong message to be sending to the public.   Yes, we have the right to sue for redress and should retain that right, however that right should be reserved for those instances that merit it.  If the boat abandons you have merit, if you do something stupid, the only thing you merit is the consequences, not a settlement from someone else.  This has led to numerous operations there closing down or becoming scuba tyrants. 

We at Airheads Scuba try to impress on all our divers the need to accept responsibility for their actions.  We encourage training and classes to make our diver's the best equipped possible.  We challenge the other operations in the area to do the same.  It is only though education that we can impress upon people the importance of being responsible divers.

Dale Bletso 

Solo Diving and the Recreational Diver .........Part 2


Solo Diving and the Recreational Diver .........Part 1


This article is in the Adobe Acrobat format.  If you do not have Adobe Reader you can download it for free from 


Lake Jocasse - South Carolina

Kelly and I just returned from a trip to Lake Jocasse in South Carolina. We were doing some trimix diving.  We met up with Steve Parker from Birmingham for the boat trip out.  While Steve worked with his group, Kelly and I did our dive.  I dove with my rebreather with closed circuit deco and Kelly was equipped with dual 95 cylinders and two stage bottles for deco.  The mission for this dive was to check out the rebreather for this depth range.  It of course worked as designed. We did a 206 ffw dive for 25 mins which required a 58 min deco schedule starting at 150 ffw.  We are all awaiting an article in the near future from Kelly on what it takes for this kind of diving.  There are no pics of me as I took the pics.  


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Lake Jocasse

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Kelly geared up

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Mike getting ready

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David with his stages

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All ready

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Kudos to the following divers.  They all know the value of continuing education and its key to success!

Visual Inspection Procedures

Mark Meadows

Jim Barrie

Amanda Barrie

Scott Chambers

John Carmon

Raymond Gavreau

Nitrox Certifications

Richard Rabek

Dwight Thrailkill

DAN O2 Providers

Mark Meadows          Scott Chambers

Jim Barrie                     Sandi Back

Chris Back                   Doug Baker

Ken Hunt

For Birthdays in April and May, happy birthday's are in order.

              Vic Bailey              Dr.   Roderick Hahn         Fred Howard            Dale Huff          Bill Naper

                                 Nathan Ratledge                   Todd Schindler            Jim Watts

Well I set out early for the scheduled Deco Procedures class in Alabama.   This turned out to be a little fortuitous as it turns out that it was a Teledega weekend.  There are about two of these BIG RACE weekends a year. There was not a hotel to be found.  As I was doing work in Georgia, I managed to alert everyone to the change in plans.

We left for Pennyroyal Quarry early Sunday morning.  What a beautiful dive day.  It was sunny and warm.  We had over fifty foot visibility!! Water temperature is on the rise as well.  We encountered 53 degrees down to about 30 ffw where it slowly dropped to 42 at 90 ffw. Dennis Price and John French got two of their required dives out of the way and at the same time we had fabulous dive conditions.


Deco procedures class

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Pennyroyal Quarry

           Special Dive Event  

John Eger invited us to dive at a private quarry.  We do not have the opportunity to dive private quarries that often.  It is a real privilege.  As there are several caves in this quarry it would not be a good place to be open to recreational divers.  Present were John Eger, Philip Janes, and cave divers Karen Backherms and Dennis Price.  Karen set the line and Dennis lead the dive in about 400 feet at which time, due to the cold, (42 degrees) and silt potential Karen decided to turn and they crossed over to the other side of the passage.  As this is a man made passage designed for trucks, it was wide (50 feet or so).  Dennis and Karen then did a little exploration from side to side and found another side chute.    When Dennis ran into a tree at 300 feet penetration he decided that was enough.   They then made a more direct exit to open water.  Karen reported seeing several large albino crawfish.   We will have to try this when the water temperature reaches about 50 degrees.  Of course, John and Philip, not being trained, played around in the open water areas of the quarry.  John did some underwater videography.


John and Michelle French

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We all know John was anxious for the new one to come into the world, but I admit he was pretty original in his approach.  John delivered Jessica Marie French in his home on the phone with 911 late Saturday evening.  When the paramedics arrived it was all over but the shouting. 

Kudos to the following divers.  They all know the value of continuing education and its key to success!

Advanced Nitrox Certifications

John Eger

Dennis Price

Karen Backherms

Jeff Barnett

Nitrox Diver Certifications

Joe Johns

Marvin Kniss

Carole Kniss

For Birthdays in Jan - Feb - March, happy birthday's are in order.

Karen Backherms            David Bivens        Tim Cockeril         Cassandra Cornett         Jason Greenwell

Max Hise        David Kniss         Bruce Trent        

and of course our own spring baby (20 March)   Kaye Bletso

*** WARNING *** 

28 Feb 2001

There was another incident of an open water diver and his dive buddy drowning in a cave.  Diver one was just certified.   Following a surface interval after completing his open water training dives, he and his buddy (certified a month before) proceeded to do a dive at Royal Springs in Mayo, Fl, a large popular spring basin some instructors use for open water dives.  The spring has a depth of about 50 feet.  What many people don't realize is that the cave in this spring is a very dangerous one.  Even trained cave divers do not explore it do to its high silt potential.   The trip out is almost always in zero visibility. 

The first mistake these two divers made was to enter the water near a cave system with flashlights.  This was particularly dangerous for them as it appears the temptation to go a little farther proved too much.  If their instructor warned them of the dangers associated with caves, they failed to listen. 

The second mistake they made was by diving in a cave without a continuous guideline to the open water.  Then again, even if there was a line, they probably would not have known what it was or how  to follow it out.

The third mistake they made was not having the proper training.  There is nothing in an open water diver's training (even an instructor) to prepare them for the cave environment.

There are actually five cardinal rules for safe cave diving.   However, not having the training  made them useless to this pair.  Air reserves would have meant nothing to these two.  After all, they just finished open water training which teaches divers to be on the surface with 500 psi in their tanks.   I can guarantee you that 500 psi is not enough air for either of them to have been able to make it out from the 500 ft penetration where their bodies were recovered.

As this is not a cave diving report  I am not going to cover all the rules nor the order of their importance.  This was a stupid accident.  Which rule caused their deaths can be debated.  However, if they had not entered the water with those flashlights, they would have never entered the cave and would have gone home with nice memories of their time together.  There was absolutely no reason for it to have happened.  Perhaps if their instructors had shown them the CDS video, "A Deceptively Easy Way to Die",  they may have not been tempted.  If any of you reading this article have not seen this video I urge you, no, I implore you to come into the dive shop and watch it.  It is only 20 minutes long. 

Trip Report      22 Feb 2001

The trip to Blue Water Scuba was interesting.  John Eger and Dennis Price managed to get their advanced nitrox dives done.  They put in 140 mins over 4 dives in 50 degree water.  The high point was while we were down Friday a storm struck.  The winds were so strong they destroyed some of the temporary structures there.  In fact, Birmingham experienced some of their highest linear wind speeds on record  (99 mph).   There was no warning and it was all over by the time we come up!!

Visibility at 80 feet was in the 30 - 40 foot range and better than 50 feet at 130 ffw.  It really made the dives more enjoyable.  It also made mistakes in buoyancy and trim very visible to me. 

They both learned that the simple act of deploying a lift bag or the execution of an out of air emergency in a no reference situation leads to a substantial amount of task loading.  Adding to that, new gear configurations make even the simplest of tasks such as time or gas management difficult at best.  Mistakes were made, discussed, and corrected.   This is their first step to more demanding and serious diving scenarios.  Congratulations are in order to both.

Sunday, Dennis and I dropped down to Jackson Blue, a cave in Marianna, FL.  There, I did my first rebreather cave dives with the unit Steve Parker and I have been diving with this past year.  I now have fifty hours of bottom time on the unit.  We did a 2 hr 29 min dive with a penetration of 2000 feet at a depth of 98 ft.  Diving the unit in this environment is very nice, better than open circuit to say the least.  This was followed Monday with a 99 min dive. Of course, both dives required a substantial amount of decompression.   The ability to go closed circuit on deco meant only 2 cf of oxygen was necessary for 40 minutes of deco! 

Dema Report    1 Feb 2001

As most of you already know, I had to do the DEMA thing with my other company.  DEMA (Dive Equipment Manufacturer's Association) holds a trade show annually.  This is the only opportunity dive shop operators have to see everything that is available in the dive industry.  Kaye flew down on Friday and was able to do a quick run through also.  I say quick because the show was monstrous in size.  The show was interesting with the usual plethora of neat things to see.  It was important to see this show as the next one will not be until the fall of 2002.  The few that I will mention are important to a few of you. 

First I found a source of oxygen analyzers that is actually affordable.  It is manufactured by the same people who did the OMS unit.  The good news is we can sell it for about half the price of the previous unit we carried.   That is good news to all you nitrox divers. 

Dive Rite now offers a shell style dry suit. They have also officially introduced their 10W HID light.  This is probably the way of the future.   That little 10W light has an apparent output equivalent to a standard 50W lamp.   They are also very affordable and, as with all their products, backed up with the Dive Rite guarantee. 

Atlan has given us a chance to put their dry suits in rental!  This is a very tempting offer that we intend on studying very carefully.

Kaye, of course, was checking out all the new T shirt designs by Amphibious Outfitters and others.  I look forward to seeing some of the new designs here at Airheads before too long.  

Before DEMA I attended a Draeger service seminar.   Airheads is now a repair facility for the Draeger rebreathers. We are the only one in Kentucky.

I taught the first Visual Inspection Procedures Instructor course for TDI using their new VIP program written by myself.  It  went over very well. As always, we at Airheads are trying to be the leaders in this industry and the community we serve.

Of course, I did stop on the way down to do a dive at Blue Water Scuba.  A really nice dive in 50 degree water. With the requisite dry suit, 90 mins bottom time was well within the comfort zone.  The warm moist air from the rebreather certainly contributed to the length of the dive. 


Dale & Kaye Bletso 

Second Ice Dive  14 Jan 01

Well a second ice dive went off today.  Being able to make one ice dive a season is a hit and miss affair here in Louisville.  Two is indeed fortuitous.  We had a good turn out today.  Present were John French, Kelly Cordell, Philip Janes, John Eger, Jeff Barnett, and Dale Bletso.  Karen Backherms was also present as designated beach bunny.  She supplied surface support for any problems that would have arisen.  The only problem encountered this week was a free flowing regulator which led to an aborted dive.  The free flow was a regulator problem and not related to the cold. 

The ice sheet is dissipating from what it was last week.   It is only about an inch thick now.  An inch is still too much to break through from underneath.  Of course to dive required all present to be equipped with a complete redundant system sufficient to effect an exit in a safe manner.

Everyone thought the water felt colder than last week though it wasn't.  There was no sun today and a pretty good breeze.  The lack of sun always makes it seem cooler.  As is usually the case with off season diving, the visibility was real good, exceeding 40 feet.


Marriage Announcement:

Ken Rezka and Sherry Knight are being wed this Saturday 13 January 2001.  Ken is one of our divers who has the misfortune of diving in places like California and Hawaii while he is "working".  (Its a government defense related job) Yeah right, we all understand.  Best of luck to you both. 

Falling Rock Ice Dive 6 Jan 2001

Well we had a real treat this Saturday.  We had a good turn out and thick ice for the dive. See the details here.

New Year's Dive   1/1/01

Bill Young and I  left for the dive at the normal time.  We both assumed that the previous night's activities caused some of our New Year's divers to not show this morning.  We got about an hour down the road when Fred from Martha's Quarry called and said the dive had to be scrubbed due to the icy conditions in Nashville.  Fred said this was the first time he has had to cancel this event.  It hadn't escaped my attention that the further south I got the worse the conditions became.  Sooo, our next outing will be on 7 Jan 2001 at Falling Rock

For those of you who are new to Airheads, The New Year's dive is kind of a tradition here.  It worked out well that Martha's Quarry also was open for this one day in the winter.  It also sets the pace for the upcoming year by establishing that the year has a good start when the first dive is also on the first day of the year.  This one would have been special as it would have been the first for the millennium as well.