Newsletter - 01/12/2000

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The Loggerhead

The Official newsletter for The African Diving Experience
Volume 1 Date: 1/12/2000

We hope you enjoy the 1st issue of our monthly newsletter.


<1) About the African Diving Experience
<2) Shark of the month - Goblin Shark
<3) Equipment Specials in SA
<4) Book Review - Scuba Diving and Snorkelling for dummies
<5) Events in the Southern African diving scene
<6) Equipment discussion - Comparing the different types of 1st stages
<7) Websites of the month

1. About the African Diving Experience

As this is the 1st issue of our monthly newsletter we felt we should tell you a bit about The African Diving Experience. The African diving experience is a non-profit website aiming to bring you up to date and relevant information on diving in the southern African region. We have features on diving locations (currently Sodwana Bay and Bass Lake), diving equipment, some interesting websites, general information on sharks and a photo gallery where you can submit your diving photo's to be viewed by other divers.

We will also be adding a dive shop directory, tips on identifying fish and more Diving Location as we explore them. If you would like to help us get information on a diving destination in the Southern African region please e-mail us at: Full recognition will be given to the person or company supplying us with information.

We would appreciate any comments to help us supply you the diver with the information you want.
e-mail comments to

2. Shark of the month - Goblin Shark
Class: Chondrichthyes (Cartilaginous fish)
Sub class: Elasmobranchii (Sharks and rays)
Order: Lamniformes
Family: Mitsukurinidae (Goblin sharks)
Genus: Mitsukurinaowstoni

The Goblin shark's snout protrudes into a long, flat, blade-like rostrum, giving this shark a distinct shape. It is pinkish-white with bluish fins becoming a pale brownish grey colour after death, without any distinct markings. Five gill slits with gill filaments exposed can be noticed. It's jaws are highly portrudable to snap up small animals. It has awl-like slender teeth that is similar in both jaws. The Goblin shark has a soft and limp body with thin and flexible fins. The dorsal fins are sub equal without spines. Specimens have been found west of Cape Town and of the Transkei coast. Other recordings have been in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, France and Guinea. It is found on the outer continental shelves and upper slopes, but rarely in shallow water close inshore. Feeds on pelagic ocotopuss and crabs. Probably slow moving and reaches a length of at least 385.0cm. Harmless.


Source: Smiths' Sea Fishes (1986) p103 and Fishbase (

3. Equipment Specials for December in South Africa

It is peak season and specials are rare for this time of year because it is also the money making season. We have however found out that Mares is having a big sale. Here's the details:
The following combo goes at approximately - R4490.00: Mares Vector Origin BC, Mares MR12 Nikos Regulator with Nikos Octopus and deluxe combo 2 with Temperature gauge.

By adding the relevant amount to the combo price above the following changes can be made to it:
BC's :
To mares Frontier Vera add R840
To Mares Vector 1000 add R1460
To Mares V16 xtr Regulator add R140
To Mares MR22 Abyss Regulator add R960
To Mares MR22 Ryby Abyss Regulator add R2660

Cylinders Special:
Faber 12lt Steel Dumpy R1465
Faber 10lt Steel Dumpy R1370

The Special is valid untill the 24 December 2000.
For more information contact Richard at or your local dive shop.

4. Book Review - Scuba Diving and Snorkelling for dummies.

This friendly guide shows you how to dive right into snorkelling and scuba. Veteran diver John Newman leads you step-by-step through pre-dive fundamentals, explains what to expect when you're underwater, and describes options available to you after you get your feet wet. Advice like how to buy or rent gear can be found inside. The book also comes with an interactive CD rom for the open water diver.

Book can be purchased online at or at your local book store.

5. Events in the Southern African diving scene

Most people go out and do there own thing with there families, in december, which in turn means that not a lot of events take place. You still get your normal year end club events though. For more information regarding these contact your nearest dive club. If you would like to inform us of events around the country please e-mail us at:

6. Equipment discussion - Comparing the different types of 1st stages
Here is the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of 1st stages.

Type of 1st stage

Unbalanced Piston

Unbalanced Diaphragm

Balanced Piston

Balanced Diaphragm

Advantage s

Easy to manufacture

Easy Adjustment
 Protected moving parts

Can handle high pressures
 Simple to manufacture

Easy Adjustment
Protected moving parts
Can handle high Pressures
Constant hose pressure

Disadvantag es

Water and sediments are in contact with moving parts
Small Orifice
Can not handle high pressures
The Hose Pressure varies
Adjustment is complicated (using shims)

Small Orifice
Hose Pressure Varies

Water and sediments are in contact with moving parts
Adjustment is complicated (using shims)

Lots of moving parts
Requires technical skills to design and service

7. Websites of the month
The following 2 sites was our choice for websites of the month:

Rodale's Scuba Diving Magazine's website (

This is the site for Rodale's Scuba Diving Magazine. You can find information on equipment performance and view the results of the equipment they tested. All of the article's featured in the magazine can also be viewed online. Unfortunately some of the tested equipment is not available in South Africa. The site can be used to get information on anything diving related. The only downside is that the features are mostly from the United States of America. However things like safety features are still very relevant.

Fishbase (

This site is a database for fish. Information can be found on different species and they are also sub divided into the different locations they have been sited in. Some of the common names used might be different to the names we are used to.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and exquisite diving experiences over the festive season.

Willem du Preez and Tjaart de Beer
Webmasters for the African Diving Experience

Special Thanks to the following company's for their contribution to the website.
Mseni Lodge - Sodwana Bay
Reefteach - Sodwana Bay
Ocean Divers Pretoria

Updated on: 06/03/2003