Newsletter - 07/09/2001

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The Loggerhead

The Official newsletter for The African Diving Experience
Volume 10 Date: 07/09/2001

We hope you enjoy the September issue of our monthly newsletter.


<1) What's happening on the African Diving Experience
<2) Shark of the month  - Mozambique Bullhead Shark
<3) For Sale - Pisces Dive Center in Mozambique
<4) Book Review  - Spearfishing for skin and scuba divers by Steven M. Barsky
<5) Equipment - How to Find the Best Fin for You
<6) Equipment Specials
<7) Website of the month
<8) What you need in a basic medical kit for divers
<9) Events

1. What's happening on the African Diving Experience

For those of you who missed the Water Sport Africa show, well you missed a lot. Most of the equipment importers had some representation at the show. Some of the interresting new products included:

The new Mares Hub which can automatically loosten and fasten it's own Cylinder strap. Who said diving was for roughed people.
A few of the suppliers displayed their new titanium versions of their regulators for example the ScubaPro S600 in titanium as well as a Mares Titanium regulator.
The Dreager re-breathers are also starting to become more affordable with the Dreager Ray selling for about R14000.

Be sure to have a look at the dive site information on False Bay, Port Alfred and Umhlanga Rocks that have been added to the growing list of diving locations in the country.

Interested in a banner exchange? Do contact us at the following e-mail

2. Shark of the month - Mozambique Bullhead Shark
Class: Chondrichthyes (Cartilaginous fish)
Sub class: Elasmobranchii (Sharks and rays)
Order: Heterodontiformes (Bullhead sharks)
Family: Heterodontidae (Bullhead sharks)
Genus: Heterodontus ramalheira (Mozambique Bullhead shark)

Also known as the Horn or Port Jackson shark, it is a rare species and lives on the outer continental shelf and uppermost slope, in deepwater between about 100 and 275m. It has a cylindrical trunk with conical head, small spiracles behind and below the eyes and very short snout which is bluntly rounded. Both of it's dorsal fins has a stout fin spine with the origin of the first dorsal fin over the pectoral fin bases. The origin of the second dorsal fin is over the free ends of the pelvic fins. The Bullhead shark has large pectoral fins and an anal fin.

This shark has a reddish brown colour with numerous small white spots scattered all over it's body. It grows to a size of 83 cm and feeds on crabs. It is presumed to be oviparous or egg laying, although no egg cases have been found. This shark is harmless to humans.


Source and

3. For Sale - Pisces Dive Center in Mozambique

Pisces Dive Centre (Southern Inhambane, Mozambique) is for sale due to a medical problem of the owner. The centre will be sold as an ongoing business and has been running successfully for over 2 years now. Pisces is the only PADI affiliated dive centre north of Maputo and offers the full range of services including courses, night dives, guided dives, resort courses and so on.  All equipment necessary to run the business is being sold as part of the assets.  Pisces is located within Jangamo Beach Resort, 30km south of Inhambane Town, which is a relatively new resort offering 80 plus beds and is still developing.  The centre works on a rental basis with the resort and has lovely facilities including house for staff, sales counter, equipment storage room, maintenance room, debriefing area, classroom, store room and huge kitting up / rinsing area with tank and racks.

Commission is paid by the resort for bed nights sold by the centre and competitive accommodation rates are available to encourage groups of divers to the centre.  For more information regarding the area, centre, quality of diving (which is excellent) and resort; please take a look at our web page on

Hope it is of interest, if so then please contact Denise Jackson on

4. Book Review - Spearfishing for skin and scuba divers by Steven M. Barsky

Which would you rather do - go to a supermarket and buy a tasteless fish, or go diving and get your own fresh fish? If you prefer adventure and tasty fish, then this is the book for you! Spearfishing for Skin and Scuba Divers was written for the novice diver who wants to get started in underwater hunting. This book contains the basic information you must have to help you pick the right gear for your needs and know where to hunt. Also included is information on secret spearfishing techniques, fish species, accessories, and conservation. Chapters include:

• Spearfishing in Perspective
• Types of Spearfishing Gear
• Freediving Gear
• Where to Find Fish
• Types of Fish
• Developing Your Spearfishing Techniques
• Maximizing Your Freediving Abilities
• Spearfishing Competition
• The Future of Spearfishing

If you want to go spearfishing and be a successful underwater hunter, this book is the place to start.

             Spearfishing for Skin and Scuba Divers by Steven M. Barsky, Published by Best Publishing
                         To order this book go to:

                        Remember it is illegal to spearfish with SUBA gear in S.A.

5. Equipment - How to Find the Best Fin for You

From thousands of controlled tests by dozens of individual divers on more than 100 different models of fins, ScubaLab has learned some valuable insights into how fins should work and how you can best use them. Characteristics of efficient fins include:
  Flexibility. The fin should be flexible enough so that you can increase your speed and thrust by increasing kick frequency—not kick size.
  Power. The fins should generate the power you need with a kick that stays within the slipstream of your body, as much as possible.
   Channeling. The fin should push water either through the fin or behind the fin, not sideways into the other fin's path. Most fins accomplish this by directing the pushed water with rails, vents, splits or flexible material that cups the water.
   Stability. The fin should display only a minimum amount of wobble, interference or side-to-side slicing and should cause you little or no body rocking.
   Snap. The fin material should have enough rebound so that the fin snaps at the end of the kick.
   Lack of interference. The fins should not rub against each other or hit each other.
   Correct fit. Our tests have also clearly shown the vital importance of correct fit. Do not compromise! Be sure that the fin you select fits you snugly with your normal foot covering. Do not be sold on a fin that is too large, just because that is the size it comes in, or the size the store happens to have in stock. Such a fin decreases your efficiency, comfort and safety. With the Tester's Choice fins listed in this and past fin reviews, you should be able to find one that fits.

 Open-toe foot pockets. This may seem like a minor detail, but adequate drains and space for the toes play a major role in fin comfort and performance. That's why testers favored the open-toe style. Open-toe pockets allow sand to pass out of the foot pocket when you are in the surf. They allow water to drain from the fins after removal. They often improve the fit and function of the fin by giving more toe room, and they reduce the suction effect of the bootie to the inside of the foot pocket, making the fins easier to remove.

6. Equipment Specials
Here are a few specials that is doing the rounds:

     Purchase a custom made, Cressi Sub wetsuit, before 17 September and you don't need to pay the tailoring charges saving you about R250.
     Dacor is back in the country and you can trade in your old 1st and 2nd stage for a new one at a minimal charge. Available at authorized Dacor dealers.
     Trade in 3 of your 1kg lead weights for 2 eco-friendly Bright Weights. Availableat all Bright Weight dealers.
     Trade in your old DV and get a 30% discount on a new Poseidon regulator and octo combo.
     Mares has also got a special for Dive Masters and Instructors. They have a good deal on a package that includes possible dealership oppertunities.

For more information's about specials or any equipment related queries contact Richard at:

7. Website of the month
The following site is our choice for the website of the month:

This is a realitively new web site with great potential. You can subscribe to their buddy list create a profile and post information about your dives. It is well worth a visit.

8. What you need in a basic medical kit for divers:

Knowledge of first aid is essential for any diver and is usually one of the first components which divers disregard or don’t bother to pay attention to. The following basic medical kit is to treat small wounds, scrapes and other irritating conditions, especially in divers:
· Sun barrier cream – to protect from nasty sunburns
· Ear drops + dropper – to manage swimmers ear
· Headache tablets (preferably paracetamol)
· Adhesive bandages – for those little cuts and scrapes
· Antiseptic solution – to disinfect those scrapes and cuts
· Cotton wool
· Anti-seasickness tablets
Consult your local doctor for the precise content and use of all the medicine in your basic medical kit.

9. Events

Gavin Sadler is arranging a visit to Splash diving, which is a indoor training facility near Snake road in Benoni off the R21. Splash is a Naui Platinum approved Dive Center and has 8m indoor heated pool with a viewing window at 8m. The facility has a large training room and club house with full equipment available. The visit will be an orientation visit for potential divers and anyone else whom is interested. This event will most probably take place on the 29th September 2001 and anyone interested in attending is welcome to contact him for more information.

Contact information: Gavin Sadler

Updated on: 06/03/2003